A New Mom’s Ultimate Baby Gear Guide, Part IV: Day-to-Day Travel With Baby
Since 2009, Jessica and Samantha have been contributing writers for Lady And The Blog on everything from the runway looks at Fashion Week, to celebrity interviews straight from the movie sets. Over the course of time, we have become great friends, and in recent months, had our babies within 8 weeks of each other. Having become expert product reviewers during our time at Lady And The Blog, and taking a lesson or two from our experiences as new moms, we sought out to sift through the overwhelming amount of baby gear out there to find the most essential products as one enters parenthood. Samantha with her baby girl Penelope, and Jessica with her baby boy Noah, bring you the New Moms Essential Baby Gear Guide, exclusively on Lady And The Blog, to share with you our experiences with our favorite must-haves in the baby product market. Whether you’re a mom (or dad!) for the first time, or have been to this rodeo before, we aim to present you with the finest quality, cutting-edge, and most importantly, safest products that make this most rewarding and challenging new phase in your life, that much more enjoyable!
Jessica and Samantha are back again to help you wade through the ocean of baby gear to help you find the best, most reliable, safest and most convenient gear to make your life as a new mom as easy as possible. In Part I: Eat, Drink Stroll & Play, Part II: Nursery, Swings, Sleep & More and Part III: Fashion Essentials for the New Mom we helped you assemble the basic and most necessary gear in your new mom arsenal to help you start off life with your new baby. Now that you’ve mastered the first months with baby It’s time to take the baby show on the road. In this installment of A New Mom’s Ultimate Baby Gear Guide, we’re going to show you all of our top picks for baby gear that makes your day-to-day travel with baby as easy and fun as possible.
A great stroller is a must have item for any mom, but especially for moms living in urban areas a great stroller is an indispensable item in your mom arsenal. Once your little one crosses the three month mark, you have the option of using an umbrella stroller in place of your larger stroller — enter the UPPAbaby G-LUXE stroller, the incredibly lightweight and user-friendly umbrella stroller that will make all of your day to day activities with baby a breeze.
UPPAbaby has updated their already amazing G-LUXE stroller for 2015 and made the already in-demand umbrella stroller even better. When creating the G-LUXE, UPPAbaby really thought of everything. The G-LUXE is incredibly lightweight at only 15 pounds and boasts a one handed recline and adjustable footrest so it’s the perfect stroller for when your little one needs to nap on the go, and the extendable SPF sunshade makes sure your little one is comfortable even during strolls on sunny days. For parents, the G-LUXE boasts an incredibly easy fold that I was able to master on my first try. Once folded the G-LUXE stands on its own making storage so much easier! The convenient carry strap and one-step brake mean that the G-LUX is as easy for parents as it is comfortable for baby. The five-point harness makes sure your little one is always safe and secure and because the stroller is usable up to 55 pounds it will be a long time before your little one outgrows their G-LUXE.
Another amazing feature of the G-LUXE is that the fabrics and seat pad are stain and water resistant and are all easy to remove and machine washable to keep up with all of the spills and splashes that happen during a day out with a baby. Even more impressive, the G-LUXE is still usable when the seat pad is in the wash! The UPPAbaby G-LUXE stroller is available in six fabulous colors and retails for $279.
Why We Love It: This stroller hits all the marks: lightweight, durable, easy to fold and recline and to top it all off, it comes in an array of fabulous colors. What more could you want? This stroller is a MUST HAVE for moms on the go.
OUR FAVORITE STROLLER MUFF: 7AM ENFANT 212 Evolution Blanket
Providing the greatest and warmest protection for babies and toddlers in the cold, the 7AM Enfant 212 Blanket is so sturdy and stylish, you’ll wish you were wrapped up in one too. Complete with two extensions so that it grows with baby through pre-school, this handy sleeping bag for the stroller look provides all the protection a little one could need to stay toasty. Available in a variety of colors, the biggest challenge is selecting your perfect color scheme. The chevron pattern gives a sporty twist on the Blanket212 Evolution that it is modeled after. The 7AM Enfant 212 Blanket retails for $172.
Why We Love It: Going above and beyond the traditional stroller sack, this is the most versatile stroller accessory we’ve come by yet. The vibrant colors are a big seller for us, but the true value is keeping baby safe and warm, practically filling the need for the coat they refuse to put on anyway.
OUR FAVORITE STROLLER GLOVES: 7Am Enfant WarMMuffs
A must-have in the colder months, these warm gloves attach the stroller handle by Velcro, and stay there so you’re always warm. The ultimate cold-weather solution for strolling around your precious ones in the cold, moms can experience some of that comfort that baby and toddler enjoy in the 7AM Enfant 212Evolution Blanket. Available in a variety of colors and textures, this is one set of gloves you’ll be thrilled about not losing. WarMMuffs are available in sizes perfect for little hands too, so kids can scoot around in style! The 7AM Enfant WarMMuffs retail for $38.
Why We Love It: Mommy brain has met its match with WarMMuffs- no more forgetting your gloves at home, with the gloves already waiting on the stroller, you have built-in backup. The gloves are heavy-duty and made for even the toughest weather, and they’re stylish so you can complete your stroller look and color scheme.
OUR FAVORITE SLING: Joovy BabaSling
When my little man arrived this summer he wanted to be held constantly. Enter the Joovy Babasling, the answer to our prayers and our must have piece of baby gear for everything from going out and about to long distance plane travel. The Joovy Babasling is a hammock style sling with five carry positions and easily adjustable straps so it can be comfortably worn on the right or left shoulder and has a padded shoulder to make sure mom is as comfortable as baby is. The BabaSling even has a buckle so you can unsnap the sling and lay your baby down without disturbing him if they fall asleep in the sling. Joovy has even made a series of videos available on their website to demonstrate how to adjust and wear your baby in all the different positions.
One of the best features of the Joovy BabaSling is how versatile it is. With a few quick adjustments we can go from the Koala (pictured above, 4th picture) or Side Saddle (pictured above, 5th picture) where my little man is looking around and observing the world around him to Sleeping Tiger (pictured above, 3rd picture) for naptime or the Breastfeeding position (pictured above, 1st picture) for easy and discrete breastfeeding on-the-go. I was so pleased to discover how easy it was to carry my son in all of the different positions and how easy it was to get him in and out of the sling. The buckle in particular is a lifesaver during air travel because airlines do not let you keep your baby in a carrier for takeoff and landing. Instead of waking a sleeping baby to take them out of the sling, I simply unbuckled my BabaSling and held my snoozing baby which kept both me and the flight attendants happy. Perhaps the best feature for nursing moms, however, is the Breastfeeding position on the sling. With a few quick adjustments the BabaSling puts baby into just the right position for nursing and the BabaSling doubles as a nursing cover for easy and discrete nursing while out and about. The Joovy BabaSling retails for $79.99 and comes in an array of colors from subtle black to brilliant blue.
Why We Love It: Easy to use and incredibly comfortable, the Joovy BabaSling is a lifesaver for any mom who’s baby wants to be held all of the time or for moms that just want to spend close, bonding time with their babies. As an added bonus, because the ingenious design allows for breastfeeding in the sling you always have a comfortable and discrete way to nurse your baby on-the-go.
OUR FAVORITE BABY FOOD POUCH MAKER: Infantino Squeeze Station
Introducing the best thing to happen to homemade baby food since the ice cube tray, the Infantino Squeeze Station and accessories are a must have. This one-stop solution to baby food storage delivers in style. Fill see-through disposable pouches with homemade puree creations, label it, and go! Making feeding fun, it is the perfect accessory to store homemade baby food, and even applesauce and other nutritious foods for older kids. Easily stored in the freezer, Infantino offers a variety of accessories for the set including a freezer sleeve ($9.99) that holds up to 12 pouches, Keeper Squeeze Pouch ($7.99) for a reusable option, and Couple a Spoons ($3.99 ) to attach a spoon directly to the pouch. The Squeeze Station includes pouches to get your started, but once you start, you can’t stop, so you’ll eventually need a 50 pack of pouch refills ($14.44).
Why We Love It: The Infantino pouches make for an easy on-the-go option, holding up to 4 ounces of baby food puree. The transparent pouches make for simple identification, and the space to write the date and a memo adds a nice personal touch. The squeeze station makes food storage quick, clean, and easy, saving you time and leaving your ice trays for, well, ice.
OUR FAVORITE BABY FOOD ACCESSORIES: Boon PULP & Boon SQUIRT
Looking for a convenient way to feed baby at home and on-the-go? Boon has you covered with their line of silicone feeders including the Boon PULP Silicone Feeder (pictured above, left) and the Boon SQUIRT Baby Food Dispenser (pictured above, right). The Boon PULP is a cleaner, easier alternative to the mushy mesh feeders. The PULP allows for easy feeding so baby can learn how to feed itself without overfeeding and lots of mess. Simple to clean and made of durable silicone the PULP is a must have feeding accessory that babies and parents will both love. The Boon SQUIRT packs the baby food and the spoon together into one convenient container which means less fuss and less cleanup for you. The SQUIRT dispenses baby food one bite at a time and gives you easy one-handed feeding. Easy to load and dishwasher safe, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
All Boon feeding products are BPA-free, Phthalate-free and PVC-free so it’s convenient and safe for your little one. The Boon PULP retails for $7.49 and the Boon SQUIRT retails for $7.99.
Why We Love It: Feeding a baby healthy food on-the-go without making a mess can be a challenge so the Boon PULP and SQUIRT are a dream come true to help parents keep baby fed while you’re out and about. The Boon PULP in particular is a lifesaver for teething babies. Simply put something frozen and yummy in the pulp, like frozen peaches, and let baby go to town. Your little one will get a healthy snack and relief for their sore gums all at the same time.
OUR FAVORITE FOOD ON THE GO FOR MOM AND BABY: Plum Organics & Plum Vida
It’s not easy to blend healthy and delicious when it comes to kids foods, but Plum Organics does just that and takes it a step father by putting it in a convenient squeeze pouch. From Stage 1 foods like Just Carrots, Just Squash and Just Peas, to the more complex Stage 2 goods that come in flavors like Cherry + Sweet Corn + Greek Yogurt, Raspberry + Spinach + Greek Yogurt and more to the Mighty 4 Blends for toddlers that include 4 food groups, Plum Organic makes sure your little one always has delicious, healthy meal options at home or out on the go.
As if keeping baby well fed wasn’t enough, Plum Organics has just launched its newest product line, Plum Vida a delicious line of healthful snack options for mom. Coming in 3 flavors: Pear + Kale + Spinach + Celery, Pineapple + Carrot + Mint and Cherry + Berry + Beet + Ginger, Plum Vida is a delicious snack option for mom to make sure you are also getting your necessary servings and fruits and veggies every day.
Why We Love It: Plum Organics has built a reputation for easy to use, healthful and delicious food options for babies to toddlers and now they are making moms’ lives even easier with healthy and delicious snacks for moms on the go. Make sure to keep some Plum Organics baby and Plum Vida in the diaper bag so you can skip the unhealthy snacks and keep mom and baby well fed as you go about your busy day away from home.
OUR FAVORITE BABY FORMULA SOLUTION: Baby Brezza
Perfect for when you’re on-the-go, or in a hurry to prepare a bottle ASAP, the Baby Brezza Formula Pro is regarded as the “Keurig for infants”. Say so long to messy formula spills and powder waste with this countertop machine that pours the perfect bottle every time. With just the push of a button, you can have a freshly prepared 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10 oz. bottle in seconds. Perfect temperature and consistency means a more seamless experience, when you need it most. The Baby Brezza Formula Pro retails for $159.99.
Why We Love It: It always seems that when you need to prepare a bottle in the quickest amount of time, that’s when powder forms at the nipple, and clogs the passage-way. This no-fuss and no-mess machine takes the guess work out of preparing the perfect bottle, at whatever amount is needed. Another great perk- the Baby Brezza eliminates the need to shake the bottle, potentially eliminating those extra gas bubbles in the process. Best of all, the less there is to think about during those 3am feedings, the better!
OUR FAVORITE TRAVEL HIGH CHAIR: Fisher-Price Space-Saver High Chair
The little high chair that does it all, the Fisher-Price Space-Saver High Chair makes bringing baby to the table a breeze. Easily strapping to dining room chairs, this extremely durable high chair is lightweight, perfect on-the-go, and adjustable to baby’s developmental stages. Featuring a dishwasher safe tray that has one-hand removal, two height adjustments, three reclining positions, and a 5 point restraint system that converts to 3 points as baby grows, this is one highchair that is great to take to restaurants, Grandma and Grandpa’s house, and to have as a home staple. The Fisher-Price Space-Saver High Chair retails for $50.
Why We Love It: The Fisher-Price Space Saver High Chair is perfect for babies that could use a little additional support for their heads, especially when beginning solids. Comfort and ease is well-built into the high chair, and we love how the tray leaves a special space for bottles or sippy cups, and a hook to hang a bib or towel for when things get messy. This high chair has all the best qualities in half the size of a standard high chair, with settings for newborns all the way up to toddlers.
OUR FAVORITE TRAVEL CHAIR: Fisher-Price Deluxe Infant-to-Toddler Rocker
The Deluxe Infant-to-Toddler Rocker does it all from infancy to toddlerhood, with adjustable settings for all of baby’s needs. A rocker and bouncer in one, this item is also capable of being stationary, and includes a removable toy bar. Featuring a machine-washable pad, as well a secure three-point restraint, this must-have is convenient and a money-saver, so baby can enjoy their seat for years instead of months. The Deluxe Infant-to-Toddler Rocker retails for $55.
Why We Love It: This is an item that serves a dual purpose, both a rocker and a bouncer, and grows with baby, to become a beloved childhood seat in the house. It is lightweight, but holds the weight of a child up to 40lbs. The fold-out kickstand is also very convenient for naps and feedings, making it the perfect (and compact!) companion for travel for long trips or short visits to a friend’s home where you will need a baby-friend place for naps and feedings.
OUR FAVORITE LUNCHBOX: PlanetBox
The PlanetBox Shuttle Complete Lunch Box is perfect for packing small meals and snacks on-to-go. Especially where healthy kid meals at airports are hard to come by, this sectional lunch box makes prepared traveling a delight. The Shuttle Complete includes a Tall Dipper container for dips and sauces (under 3 oz., of course), a compact carrying bag, and the metal lunch box is magnetic, so that kids can customize their own look. The PlanetBox Lunch box retails for $39.95.
Why We Love It: This lunch box allows room for prepared meals on-the-go for the youngest eaters, and room to express creativity for older ones. A great alternative to junk food found on the traveling journey, the PlanetBox Shuttle Complete makes taking food from home a fun experience.
OUR FAVORITE DIAPER BAG: Storksak
Among the most popular styles of the Storksak collection, the Olivia bag merges designer bag style with diaper bag functionality. The lightweight nylon satin shoulder bag features five exterior compartments and seven internal wipe-clean pockets to help keep parents organized while on-the-go. The bag comes equipped with a padded changing mat, adjustable/detachable strap, two padded shoulder straps, and thermo-insulated bottle holder. Its loops clip nicely on to a stroller, and has space for everything a mom could need, while not giving off that typical diaper bag look. The Storksak Olivia bag retails for $198.00.
Why We Love It: The Storksak Olivia bag is made to last, and practically indestructible. Every pocket and zipper was designed with purpose, and although not a bulky item by any stretch, it holds a lot of storage, so you can overpack and still look stylish. Spots and spills are of no concern here- this is one must-have that loves a challenge.
OUR FAVORITE WARDROBE ESSENTIAL FOR MOM: BetaBrand Pants
This attire wasn’t creating specifically for moms, but it might as well have been. Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean should have to dress like one. You deserve both comfort and style, and that’s just what BetaBrand delivers with their Dress Pant Yoga Pants. Perfect for traveling in tight spaces, you can feel comfortable while pulling off business casual. The idea behind the dress pant yoga pant was that you can wear the same pants to pilates as you can to work, feeling and looking perfectly appropriate for either occasion. Available in straight leg, boot cut, and leggings, they feel and fit like a dream. Who says being a mom isn’t work? For the position that demands it all, this is the pant that has it all. The BetaBrand Dress Pants retail for $88.
Why We Love It: There’s no shame is rocking yoga pants all day, but sometimes we like to feel a little more put together, in the most functional sense. BetaBrand helps boost that confidence in our look as a mom, especially during those times of travel when we need to feel comfortable, but also greet relatives and friends at the other end of the journey. The BetaBrand collection features a variety of colors and styles, so there’s something for every shape and taste.
OUR FAVORITE SHOES FOR MOM: Ja-Vie Ballet Flats
One of the biggest personal challenges of being a new mom is looking cute while staying comfortable. I love heels but they aren’t the most practical option when I’m carrying around a baby. Enter Ja-Vie ballet flats, my new cannot-live-without-them shoe discovery. Ja-Vie ballet flats combine the comfort of wearing cozy socks with the cute appearance of ballet flats to be the most comfortable, most adorable, most practical pair of shoes you will ever own. The cushioned leather insoles are supportive and comfortable and best of all, you can remove them and run the shoes through the washing machine to avoid them developing a funky smell some shoes get after they have been worn a lot barefoot. Ja-Vie is the ultimate shoe for women who want to be comfortable on their feet without sacrificing style.
As a bonus, Ja-Vie ballet flats are so easy to slip on and off making them the perfect shoe choice for new moms. Whether you’re traveling and have to take off your shoes for airport security or just going into playdates or music class where you have to slip your shoes on and off while wrangling a baby, Ja-Vie ballet flats make your life easier while keeping you looking fabulous. Ja-Vie Ballet Flats retail for $68.
Why We Love It: Fashionable and incredibly comfortable ballet flats in dozens of styles to match anything in you closet, who could ask for more?
OUR FAVORITE MULTI-TASKING ACCESSORY FOR MOM: SHOLDIT Clutch Wrap
The SHOLDIT Clutch Wrap the ultimate in double-duty accessories. This fashionable accessory is actually a multi-functional purse that acts like a scarf to hold all of your belongings in a discrete, convenient and fashionable manner. Perfect for those time when you don’t want to lug a purse or large diaper bag or when you need to keep some essential items close at hand without digging through an overstuffed diaper bag. The SHOLDIT is also great for travel when you need to keep travel essentials, like ID’s and boarding passes, close at hand while juggling a baby and all of your travel gear. The SHOLDIT Clutch Wrap comes in numerous colors and styles so there is a perfect one to match every look and style. The SHOLDIT Clutch Wrap retails for $49.99-$69.99 depending on style.
Why We Love It: As a new mom it seems like you never have enough free hands so the SHOLDIT Clutch Wrap gives you a quick and easy way to keep essentials like wallet, phone, car keys or a pacifier easily accessible while keeping your hands free for your baby. As a bonus, the wide variety of colors and styles means it’s easy to jazz up any outfit with the ultimate functional and fashionable accessory.
Looking to head out on the open road with the baby? Check out A New Mom’s Ultimate Travel Baby Gear Guide, Part V: Planes, Trains & Automobiles.
Want to know more about the best baby gear for a new mom? Check out A New Mom’s Ultimate Baby Gear Guide, Part I: Eat, Drink, Stroll & Play, A New Mom’s Ultimate Baby Gear Guide, Part II: Nursery, Swings, Sleep & More and A New Mom’s Ultimate Baby Gear Guide, Part III: Fashion Essentials for the New Mom.
Samples provided for review. Opinions expressed solely ours.