I have a confession to make – I love the idea of babyled weaning but I just can’t stand the mess! I will never be one of those mums who posts a picture on Instagram of their baby covered head to toe in spaghetti bolognese or yoghurt. However, I know that getting messy and exploring food is important for Gabe’s development so I do try and rein in my need to clean up every spill and drip whenever I can. Read more
We’ve done quite a bit of travelling with Toby since he was born. With both sets of Grandparents living 250 miles away we’ve been to stay with them a a fair few times plus a couple of self-catering holidays in the UK and the two weeks we spent in France at the beginning of the summer. Each time we’ve made another trip we’ve refined our list of ‘must-haves’ to take with us so I thought I’d share my top 5 toddler travel essentials with you.
So, in no particular order…
I originally bought this so we could use it at home and when we travel. It’s been fantastic, especially for naps while we’re away or when travelling in the summer when it’s still very light at bedtime. The blind fits windows up to 130cm x198cm (we’ve never been anywhere with a window bigger than that yet) but also has clever velcro along the edges so you can adjust it to make it smaller. It attaches to the window with suckers and we’ve never had any problems with them coming unstuck. The other great benefit of the Gro Anywhere Blind is that it folds up nice and small and even comes with its own travel bag.
Depending on where you are going on holiday you maybe able to hire a high chair, or if you know you’re going to be eating out the whole time the high chairs are usually readily available. In our experience though the highchairs which you get in rented holiday accommodation are not always great, either they’re a bit old and tired or just not a great design. When we go and visit our parents we need to take something with us, we don’t really go often enough for it to be worth them keeping a high chair at their houses. At home we love our IKEA Antilop high chair but it takes up quite a bit of room in the car so a booster seat is the perfect option for us. The Muchkin Travel Booster Seat has loads of great features. It is height adjustable with the four feet that fold out of the bottom. The three straps mean it can be fitted safely and securely to most chairs. There is a three-point harness to keep your little one safe in the chair too. When folded there are velcro flaps to keep everything tucked neatly out of the way and there is also a handy pocket inside the seat so you can keep cups, cutlery or bibs handy, or you could even fit a few nappies and wipes in there and do away with the need for your changing bag if you weren’t going to far. We used this booster seat on our recent trip to Butlins and it worked really well for us. We’ll definitely taking it when we go away again, and I can even see us using it at home in the future once Toby is too big for his highchair but not quite big enough to sit at the table with us.
Waterproof floor mat
At home we use a big piece of wipe clean PVC material, that I originally bought to use as a table cloth when we went camping, to put on the floor underneath Toby’s high chair so it’s easy to clean up any spills or dropped food. I’d definitely recommend taking something similar if you are staying in self-catering accommodation, that way you don’t have to worry about anything making a mess or staining the floor – especially if it’s carpet! We also reviewed the Messy Me mat which is perfect for the job.
Cheerios (and Munchkin Deluxe Snack Catcher)
Cheerios (or actually Tesco Multi-grain hoops!) have been our saviour on many trips! Toby loves them, I think he would live on dry Cheerios if we let him! We usually give him Cheerios in his Munchkin Snack Catcher whether we’re at home or away. They’re easy for him to get at but it takes enough of his concentration to keep him occupied, whether it’s while we’re unpacking or in the car. Using the snack catcher also means mess is limited, and luckily even dropped Cheerios aren’t too hard to clear up. If you do a lot of travelling with your kids it’s definitely worth finding a snack they love that also doesn’t make too much mess!
Toby has used a sleeping bag since he was about six weeks old. We have had several different brands in the past but always come back to the Grobag as they seem to have a bigger selection of togs and also bigger sizes (Toby has been using the 18-36 month size for a while now as he is so tall). When travelling I would always recommend taking whatever bedding and toys/comforters that your child uses at home. They’re already going to be sleeping in a strange place and a different bed or cot so anything you can do to make it as familiar as possible will help them feel settled – and hopefully sleep better, although this doesn’t always seem to work with Toby! I would also recommend taking a couple of sleeping bags of different thicknesses, or togs, as you never know what the temperature is going to be like where you are staying. There’s been a few times when we’ve been using a 2.5 tog bag at home but then gone to stay somewhere which has lots of heating and we’ve only needed the 1 tog. It’s always handy to have a spare anyway in case of any accidents!
OK, I know this is the sixth thing on the list but Barry wanted me to add this one! WD40 isn’t actually something we have taken away with us before but after our last trip I’ve bought a small can to keep in the car so we always have some when we’re away. I think every single place we have stayed has had creaky, squeaky bedroom doors, guaranteed to wake Toby when we’re trying to go to bed quietly. One of the wheels on our stroller is prone to squeaking too and we always forget to do anything about it when we’re at home as we don’t tend to use the stroller that much so it’s only when we get away that we remember how annoying it is!
There you go, my top 5 toddler travel essentials. Do you have anything you wouldn’t leave home without when travelling with your toddler?
**Disclosure: We were sent the Munchkin Travel Booster Seat and Deluxe Snack Catcher as a part of my role as a Munchkin Lindam blogger. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.