We selected our favorite on-the-go products for babies, toddlers and even older kids, which you can use not only while traveling, but also at home, at grandparents' homes, in the car, and around the city. We picked only those products that allow for such multi-use or that can be used for multiple kids or kids of different ages. These are products that we actually use and recommend based on our own experience because they, simply, make our lives as parents easier.
1. Mixie Bottles (available as 8-oz. bottles and 4-oz. bottles)
This is by far the best baby bottle on the market, and something we wish had been invented 12 years ago, when we had our first baby, and were up all night feeding him every two hours. The way it works: you pour the needed amount of room temperature water in one part of the bottle, then place the powder formula in another part of the bottle, and set it aside until you need to feed the baby. Once the baby is ready to eat, you simply press on the bottom button of the bottle, which releases the powder into the water, shake the bottle, and feed the baby. Not only is this ready-made baby bottle convenient for both driving and flying, it is a great bottle to have for night-time feedings, as well as when you are out and about shopping, exploring, going to parks, zoos, and children’s museums, and need quick and easy no-mess access to food for a crying baby.
2. Baby Bjorn and Baby Bjorn Cover
We did not have a baby carrier for either of our first two children, and that was a mistake. After a lot of research, we bought the original Baby Bjorn when we had our third baby. It is very useful, both inside and outside of the house, because it keeps your hands free to do other things and to handle your other children. You can also use it when you are out or busy doing something, but the baby wants to be held instead of being in the stroller or crib. The baby can be carried facing forward (for older babies) and facing the parent (for newborns). It holds a baby up to 25 pounds, which usually means a baby up to 18 months old. If your baby falls asleep while in the carrier, you can unbutton the sides and lay the baby down in the stroller or the crib without waking him or her up. Baby Bjorn carrier is perfect when you are standing in lines at theme parks and for quick shopping trips, so you don’t have to get the stroller out. Purchase the Baby Bjorn cover (approximately $38 on amazon.com) only if you live in a colder climate. We live in a warmer climate, where it can still get cool in the mornings and evenings, but we barely use it during those times.
3. OXO Travel Drying Rack with Bottle Brush
This portable drying rack works well for bottles, breast pump parts, sippy cups, baby food containers and snack containers. It comes with a brush that can securely stand on top of the open drying rack while in use or when it needs to dry. For travel, the portable drying rack closes shut with the brush inside of it.
4. Ciao Baby Portable High Chair
This is a light (8 pounds), portable high chair that can hold a child of up to 50 pounds. It folds flat for storage. In the alternative, you can skip purchasing this high chair, and invest in one of the high-end strollers that serve a dual purpose of both a stroller and high chair. The two best high-chair strollers on the market are Cybex Priam with Lux seat ($1,000), which would be our recommendation, andStokke Xplory($1,200) or Stokke Trailz ($1,300). Each one of these strollers simply pulls up to the dining table so that you can avoid dealing with dirty and uncomfortable restaurant high chairs and booster seats.
5. Skip Hop Grand Central Diaper Bag
What we like most about this stylish bag is that it is very large, width-wise, height-wise and length-wise. It can hold all clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and diapers, for both our newborn and our toddler, as well as a few items for our preteen. At any time while you have kids in the household, you do not outgrow a diaper bag (though you may want to call it something other than a diaper bag once the kids are a little older). It will be useful for years to come. The pockets are numerous and they naturally expand to hold an even larger number of items. The bag has a toy fob, sunglasses pocket, tablet/phone pockets, insulated bottle pockets that can hold 4 baby bottles, and a cushioned changing pad. The bag is water-resistant and easy to wipe clean with a wipe. It can be easily and securely hung on any stroller because it comes with its own stroller straps.
6. BabyHome Air Cot Bassinet Portable Crib
This portable bassinet is small enough to take on a trip and fit into a small space, and large enough to hold a baby of up to 6 months (until the baby can roll over – during the time that you will really need a bassinet the most). It can function as a rocker, and has the option to be in a stationary or wheeled position. It folds easily and comes with a travel bag included. Of course, it can also function as your home bassinet. It can be used in the living areas of your home, or the parents’ bedroom while the baby is still small. It is also great for taking to grandparents’ or friends’ and relatives’ homes when visiting with a baby.
7. Karibu Luxx Baby Folding Bath Tub
This portable tub folds flat and dries quickly. It hangs on a shower rod so it’s perfect for shared bathrooms and small hotel bathrooms, which are almost always not clean enough to bathe the little ones in. The drain plug lets you know if the water is too hot. It has a non-slip insert. This tub can not only be used for travel, but it can also be your one and only tub at home for babies and toddlers.
8. Munchkin Arm and Hammer Diaper Bag Dispenser ($5 on amazon.com) and 3 Bag Refills ($9 on amazon.com)
I do not leave my home without these bags. The dispenser clips to the diaper bag for easy access. I use them as garbage bags, dirty diaper bags, and dirty clothes bags. They keep the odors from infiltrating into the rest of your stuff in the diaper bag. I also use them as garbage bags in the car. Even when the kids are a bit older, these sturdy bags can be used for their dirty or wet clothes and for general garbage.
9. Ubbi Tweat Snack Container
These snack containers help prevent spills, but yet provide good access to the snacks. The lid keeps the snacks fresh. They have side handles for little hands and a weighted bottom that bobbles for amusement and play. They are easy to clean.
10. Wet Ones Sensitive Skin Wipes
We use this product for just about everything. This is another item that I don’t leave the house without. I keep one in the car, one in the diaper bag, and at least one at home. We constantly use it to clean our hands, because it works better than hand sanitizer, and it doesn’t dry hands out. Most importantly, it will clean almost any stain, if you use it right away and press down on the stain hard. It is especially good for cleaning stroller stains.