The Best Baby Travel Essentials for Your Next Family Trip

Traveling with baby can be challenging—but these packable, portable, super-lightweight items help make trips a breeze.
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By Emma O'Regan-Reidy, E-Commerce Editor
Updated June 7, 2023
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Image: Target
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All parents know that bringing baby anywhere pretty much guarantees a bag (or two) brimming with gear—and when you’re packing for an extended trip, the prospect of carrying everything around (and remembering it all!) can be daunting. Thankfully, there are plenty of sanity-saving baby travel essentials out there, all designed to lighten your load. From on-the-go changing and feeding accessories to feather-light strollers and packable playards, these trusty products will make any trip more seamless. Below, browse our handy baby travel essentials checklist, then shop our favorites for an array of categories.

Baby Travel Essentials Checklist

Packing for yourself and your little one doesn’t have to be a headache. To make sure you don’t forget any baby travel essentials, keep this checklist handy as you prep:

Baby Travel Essentials To Shop

Missing a few key items, or not sure where to start when it comes to picking out baby travel essentials? We’ve got you covered. Here, check out top-notch travel strollers, portable high chairs, diaper bags, car seat toys and everything else in between so you’re prepped for any and all travel plans.

Best travel car seat

Searching for a top-notch infant travel car seat? You can’t go wrong with this design from Nuna. It’s made from premium materials, has a secure five-point safety harness and can easily be installed with a seatbelt (no base needed!). This car seat is also Aircraft-certified and can be seamlessly connected to any Nuna stroller. Another feature you’ll love: It has a removable, full coverage canopy that’s UPF 50 to keep baby shaded in sunny weather.

Dimensions: 27.25” (L) x 17.5” (W) x 23” (H) | Weighs: 6.9 lbs. | Maximum capacity: 32 pounds

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Best travel booster seat

Traveling with a tot or a kiddo? Don’t forget to bring along a travel booster seat. Our favorite is this design from Peg Perego. It can be adjusted in four different ways to ensure your little love is comfy and safe while en route to your destination. This booster can be installed using just a seatbelt and folds easily for added convenience. When inevitable messes occur, you’ll also love how the cover is machine-washable.

Dimensions: 26” (L) x 22” (W) x 17.25” (H) | Weighs: 14.8 lbs. | Maximum capacity: 120 lbs.

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Best travel stroller

Butterfly Complete Stroller
Image: Nordstrom

Talk about on-the-go: This lightweight travel stroller is just 16 lbs. and meets International Air Travel Association (IATA) requirements, meaning it can be stored in a plane’s overhead compartment. When on the ground, unfold it in seconds and enjoy features like the spacious underseat basket, the protective sun canopy and the advanced four-wheel suspension. Better yet, you don’t have to sacrifice sturdiness for the small size—the stroller can be used from 6 months up to around the four-year mark.

Dimensions: 36.42” (L) x 17.72” (W) x 40.31” (H) | Weighs: 16 lbs. | Maximum capacity: 48.50 pounds

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Best travel crib

Lotus Travel Crib
Image: Guava Family

Wherever you’re headed, making sure baby has a safe place to sleep is a top priority. Thankfully, the Lotus solves that problem. This lightweight travel crib (13 lbs.) folds into a compact carrying case that fits in the overhead compartment and can be worn as a backpack. Once you’ve reached your destination, it sets up in 15 seconds and is super-sturdy for peace of mind. Plus, it doubles as a playard, with a side zip door so baby can crawl in and out.

Dimensions: 45.5” (L) x 31.5” (W) x 25.5” (H) | Weighs: 15 lbs. | Maximum capacity: No weight limit

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Best toddler travel bed

Need something a bit more tot-friendly? Then this toddler travel bed will have your (and your kiddo’s) back. Highlights include the sleeping pad, the adjustable sunscreens and the secure anchor straps. This portable bed can be used by little ones between the ages of 6 months and 5 years old, so you can count on it for many outings to come. The best part? It easily folds into the included carry bag when not in use.

Dimensions: 19” (L) x 3.5” (W) x 19” (D) | Weighs: 3.65 lbs. | Maximum capacity: N/A

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Best baby carrier

Ergobaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier
Image: Ergobaby

A carrier will let you walk around with baby without having to work hard—and still have the freedom to use both hands. Pro tip: Wearing baby through the airport will let you wheel along your luggage and sail through security without taking baby in and out. A longtime parent-loved brand, Ergobaby stands out for form and function, giving you the option to wear baby in multiple positions.

Dimensions: 6.2” (L) x 9.1” (W) x 10.4” (H) | Weighs: 2.2 lbs. | Maximum capacity: 45 pounds

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Best portable high chair

Inglesina Fast Table Chair
Image: Pottery Barn Kids

Clip it on, clip it off; this portable high chair creates seating for little ones where there otherwise is none. Suitable for up to 37 pounds, it’s sturdy and durable enough to last through the toddler years. Best of all? It packs flat into the included travel bag. Now comes the hard part: Picking just one of the cute colorways available.

Dimensions: 14” (L) x 17” (W) x 11” (H) | Weighs: 4.96 lbs. | Maximum capacity: 37 lbs.

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Best travel diaper bag

Duo Weekender Diaper Bag
Image: Skip Hop

Road, train or plane trips with kiddos are what this weekender bag was made for. It weighs only 3 lbs., but don’t let that fool you—there’s plenty of room for your gear, thanks to the convenient mesh packing cubes included and the wipe-open compartment. Need to be hands-free? No problem. Just adjust the strap to turn it into a crossbody. Other highlights include a cushioned changing pad, an insulated bottle pocket and a handy luggage sleeve—score!

Dimensions: 17.5” (L) x 9” (W) x 14” (H) | Weighs: 3 lbs. | Maximum capacity: N/A

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Best travel changing pad

Baby Changing Pad
Image: Amazon
Buying Options

Make on-the-go diaper changes a bit less messy with the help of this travel changing pad. No matter where you are, it will offer a hygienic, cushioned surface for baby to lay on while they get cleaned up. We love how this one can be opened with just one hand—plus, it features two storage pockets for diapers and wipes. When you’re all done, fold it flat and tote it in your diaper backpack, your carry-on bag or your suitcase.

Dimensions: 13.8” (L) x 8.4” (W) x 1.6” (H) | Weighs: 7.04 oz. | Maximum capacity: N/A

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Best wet/dry bag

Grab and Go Wet/Dry Bag
Image: Skip Hop

What do you do when you’re nowhere near home and you’ve got a handful of dirty cloth diapers and soiled clothes? Grab one of these totes, which separately store wet and dry items in the same bag. Sealed seams prevent wicking and leaking, and a snap handle makes it a breeze to carry.

Dimensions: 12” (L) x .05” (W) x 15” (H) | Weighs: 3.2 oz. | Maximum capacity: N/A

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Best portable wipes dispenser

On-the-Go Wipes Dispenser
Image: OXO

When it comes to on-the-go diaper changes and post-meal cleanups, you’ll likely have your hands full. This is why OXO designed a dispenser that, with a one-handed push of the button, reveals a large opening for easy access to wipes. The handy strap and slim shape mean you can hang it from your stroller or tuck it neatly into your bag.
Dimensions: 1.5” (L) x 6.2” (W) x 11.3” (H) | Weighs: 4.9 oz. | Maximum capacity: N/A

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Best travel potty seat

Jool Baby Products Folding Travel Potty Toilet Training Seat
Image: Walmart

Thanks to this cool design, potty training doesn’t have to stop just because you’re out and about. When nature calls, unfold this travel potty seat and place it on any adult-sized toilet to create a smaller, more comfortable seat for your kiddo. Then, simply wipe it clean, fold it back up and place it in the included travel bag.

Dimensions: 13.75” (L) x 11” (W) x 0.75” (H) | Weighs: 12.8 oz. | Maximum capacity: 50 lbs.

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Best travel white noise machine

Yogasleep Hushh White Noise Sound Machine
Image: Best Buy

If you’re traveling with a little one who’s still lulled by white noise, this is a must-have. It has all the features you’d want in a sound machine—a variety of white noise and sound options, volume control, long battery life and a lock—all in a compact, highly portable design. There’s even a clip to hang it from baby’s stroller or car seat.

Dimensions: 3.5” (L) x 3.75” (W) x 1.75” (H) | Weighs: 6.72 oz. | Maximum capacity: N/A

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Best travel nursing pillow

Nurse Sling Nursing Pillow
Image: Nordstrom

Nursing pillows are the perfect companion to long breastfeeding sessions—and this one is ideal for on-the-go moms. The unique sling style offers you and baby support, with the distinct advantage of folding into a convenient travel bag, thanks to its slim, lightweight design.

Dimensions: 22” (L) x 3.5” (W) x 5” (H) | Weighs: 1 lb. | Maximum capacity: N/A

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Best baby bottle

Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle with Natural Response Nipple
Image: Walmart

Bottles are essential baby travel gear for families with newborns or infants. Our favorites are these from Phillips Avent, which have natural response nipples that allow baby to control their feeding pace. They also have a no-drip design, making them perfect for taking out and about.

Dimensions: 2.8” (L) x 8.39” (W) x 6.54” (H) | Weighs: 11.04 oz. | Maximum capacity: 9 fl. oz.

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Best insulated food jar

Zoo Insulated Little Kid Food Jar
Image: Skip Hop

If your little one has moved onto solids, this insulated food jar is the perfect way to keep their food fresh while you’re not at home. The container keeps contents warm for seven hours and cold for five—plus, it even comes with built-in utensils for an on-the-move meal.

Dimensions: 3.5” (L) x 4.7” (W) x 3.5” (H) | Weighs: 8.2 oz. | Maximum capacity: 11 fl. oz.

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Best formula and snack dispenser

Milk powder dispenser
Image: Phillips

Keep snacktime contained with this handy container. It seals shut for ultimate freshness and is complete with removable inner sections that let you pack different snacks all in one place. What’s more, its convenient spout makes formula storage and transfer a breeze.

Dimensions: 3.94” (L) x 3.94” (W) x 6.10” (H) | Weighs: 3.68 oz. | Maximum capacity: 27 fl. oz.

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Best portable baby bath

Flexi Bath X-Large Bathtub
Image: Nordstrom

Baby is practically guaranteed to make a mess wherever you go—but a portable tub will help you deal with the aftermath. This lightweight one by Stokke folds completely flat, so you can easily fit it in your luggage.

Dimensions: 33” (L) x 10” (W) x 20” (H) | Weighs: 9.5 lbs. | Maximum capacity: 46 pounds

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Best pacifier clip

Babygoal Neutral Pacifier Clips
Image: Amazon
Buying Options

Trying to keep a pacifier in baby’s mouth and off the yucky sidewalk (and all other dirty surfaces) can be next to impossible—that is, without a pacifier clip. This one is a traveling parent’s best friend, thanks to its soft (and washable!) design and easy-to-use plastic clip. This pack of six will have you covered for many adventures with baby to come.

Dimensions: 6.3” (L) x 5.43” (W) x 0.71” (H) | Weighs: 1.58 oz. | Maximum capacity: N/A

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Best baby travel toy

Last but certainly not least on our list of baby travel essentials is this best-selling car seat toy. Your little one will love how it’s super-soft and features plenty of engaging textures, patterns and activities to explore. On the other hand, you’ll love the convenient clip-on design that keeps it within baby’s reach—perfect for when you’re driving, or traveling in general. It’s easy to see why it has tens of thousands of glowing Amazon reviews!

Dimensions: 5.3” (L) x 2.8” (W) x 11.5” (H) | Weighs: 15.36 oz. | Maximum capacity: N/A

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How We Chose the Best Baby Travel Essentials

We get it—parenting requires a lot of gear, and it can be hard to find the best fit for your family every time. To streamline your shopping (and packing) experience, we browsed baby travel essentials from an array of leading baby brands and trusted online retailers. We considered a list of criteria when sourcing products, such as ease of use, weight, size, portability, quality and durability, value, style and, of course, safety. We also read user reviews to understand how these products have worked for real families on the go, and didn’t consider anything with less than an average four-star rating. What’s more, we also looked for products that meet IATA requirements or have Aircraft Certification where applicable.

Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.

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