Baby Delight Snuggle Nest XL Traveler

Ok, so you guys know I’m a huge dockatot fan. Love love love our dock. I will still get one for Fitz to use at home and after he outgrows this for travel, but I check the dock when we travel. It’s just too much to carry on. I found this Snuggle Nest online for a great deal (1/3 the cost of the dock) and it turns into a bag! I can put diapers and wipes, a little blanket and extra outfit in here for the inflight plus have Fitz’s bed with us. No worries of it getting lost and it won’t be using up my carry on allowance bc it’s my diaper bag! It’s light enough that Bash can even carry it around. Now I really can’t wait for Fitz to get here and join our family adventures☺️ And I can give a full review of the product then! 

PS: please forgive the tot tornado in the pictures. They aren’t worth picking up until he is in bed😂

Traveling Light

One of my goals is to start traveling light. Yes, even with my toddler (Gah! I can’t believe he’s almost 2😭) in tow, I want our family to be less weighed down by stuff. Not because our backs are breaking (they are though!), but for the mental weight it also takes off of travel. 

Now, I know in my baby packing post I say less is not anymore, but I’m going to try and change that! With an infant, I am not so sure it’s possible. But an older baby or toddler, I think it is! 

I managed to pack our family of 3 a weeks worth of clothes for Disney World and the beach into our carry on size suitcase! We will have our dock a tot and diapers in another bag. So, we aren’t going with just a carry on suitcase, but this is a huge change from our usual two small suitcases or one large suitcase plus the dock a tot bag. 

I’ve been reading more and more about traveling with less and doing more, so I decided that’s our new motto.

I realized in Paris we really didn’t need half the clothes we packed, and that trip was over 2 weeks long. Obviously, having a washing machine made that possible, but going to a laundry mat would work too. It’s also amazing how mixing and matching pieces can make so many different outfits. In Paris, I ended up wearing the same two sweaters over with different bottoms and even over a dress. And my black leather boots were really the only shoes I needed. Baby supplies are hard to cut back on, but I think with adult packing downsizing is definitely possible! 

This is only the beginning of our traveling light journey, so that’s really all I have for now. Hopefully, I will have more to report in the future! 

Happy travels!

Travel fears and Is it safe to travel internationally with baby/children? 

I was watching one of my favorite travel bloggers this morning talk about travel fears, and how it is a major concern for people these days. It made me realize how many of you mommas and papas probably feel that fear heightened when bringing your most prized processions (your babes!) along. So I’m going to talk a little bit about how I combat my fears/why my momma bear instincts don’t stop us from traveling.

Let’s tackle this in a question answer format for organization and because time is of the essence as my little man is not really into solo play this morning.

What if we have an emergency? 

Program all local emergency numbers into your phone!!! Police, EMT, Fire Department,  numbers all in your phone. I even favorite the closest hospital, police station, grocery store and pharmacy in my google maps on my phone. If you don’t have international service, you can download the local area map and use it without service.

We have utilized resort health services in Mexico after making a mistake eating fresh fruit in a market (ooops I even knew better!). Luckily, obtaining medication in Mexico is really easy and we didn’t need an actual hospital visit. I have only been to Mexico sans bebe, but I imagine the resorts marketed with children in mind would be able to assist with a child’s medical emergency as well. With children in Mexico, I would definitely go the resort route. I’m sure there are some really great non-resort areas, but when it comes to travel with baby I like to advise on making your location and accommodations as easy and baby friendly as possible. In Mexico, this means resort to me.

In Peru (no baby here either), I traveled with a tour group and our group had our own nurse traveling with us who had her own medical supplies and managed our malaria medication as well. I was fortunate to not find myself in any medical situation, but one guy in the group was bit by a snake and our local guide knew exactly what to do. Another woman had many fire ant bites and our nurse was prepared with the right tools and medication to help. Our group spent 3 days in Lima, a day in Iquitos, and 10 in the Amazon Rainforest. If you want to do an ecological adventure and/or service trip the Amazon has a lot of great groups that go, and again for something like a rainforest I highly recommend an organization and lodge with meals, guides, activities included. The Amazon is amazing, but very dangerous in the sense it is wild and emergency assistance is not a phone call away.

While my husband has not personally needed any medical assistance in Japan, he said the hospitals are very modern. If he were to need help he would not have any worries about receiving care.

If you travel in the European Union have no fear. You will be given great and affordable care at any of the government hospitals. I can’t say what the price will be everywhere, and if you go to a private hospital I really have no idea. As an American traveling without purchasing international medical insurance (maybe I should post why we don’t usually purchase it? If you would like me to post on that leave a comment) in the EU we have never had a problem with baby or without. While in Paris December 2016 our son, 16 months at the time, was taken to the pediatric emergency and the care was exceptional and affordable. No insurance the visit was 62€ and his 3 medications were 2€. We have good American insurance and still can’t get away with an emergency visit that cheap.

What about terrorism and violence?!

I actually had people give us a hard time about going to Paris over Christmas because terrorists might attack or violent protesters might hurt us. I literally laughed at them, and replied you realize we live in Chicago, right?! Violence is every where. Not too long ago BLM ripped apart the giant Christmas tree downtown and were shoving and screaming at Black Friday shoppers on the magnificent mile. I lived less than a mile from all of this. We stayed inside that day. I live in one of the most violent cities in the United States, making it really one of the most violent places in the western world. It is more likely we will be victims to violence here than really anywhere else we would travel. Most Americans wouldn’t bat an eye at a trip to Chicago, we sensationalize the unfamiliar. Try to keep that in perspective when questioning the safety of a destination.

It’s all about doing your research and avoiding areas known for violence. When you come to Chicago, you obviously aren’t going to be wondering around the rough neighborhoods alone at night. The acts of protest, destruction and violence a Black Friday ago didn’t seem to stop tourists (or locals as we were out there, gotta get my deals!😂) from shopping the mag mile this year! Why should that not apply to foreign destinations as well? Paris is a fantastic city that has had a couple of terrible tragedies and some intense protests, like almost every major city in the world.

The media sensationalizes most of what we hear and see. They also love to leave out the wondeful and amazing good things that are happening. They prey on our fear. Don’t let it get to you. Find local blogs of the place you wish to go and find out from a real source what the area is like. Email the hotel or apartment you are interested in and ask if it is in a kid friendly neighborhood. If lots of families live there, it’s probably because it’s a safe neighborhood!

We don’t know the language, how will we manage? 

One, you can learn some basic words and phrases. With just a little practice this is a very easy way to make your trip wayyyyyyy more enjoyable. You should always learn hi, please, thank you, have a good day/afternoon/night. You will learn this goes a long way, and is greatly appreciated. After that if you convey you don’t the language it is likely they will still try to help you. It really is disrespectful to not even make an effort, and will not get promising results.

Two, make a list of important phrases and keep it with you all the time. Numbers, how much?, where is (bathroom, the elevator, the exit, a good restaurant), I would like, we want to go (blank), we are staying (with the address of where you are staying). You can even open the list and point to it if you need to. I put these in my husband’s phone. I’ve been fortunate that everywhere I have traveled I have at least an elementary level knowledge of the language. My husband speaks only English, so this is a vital tool for him and works very well:)

Bring a small English-Language dictionary to keep your room and when you have something you struggled to convey that day that might be helpful later look it up and add it to your list.

We also always grab multiple business cards with address of where we are staying and put them in our wallets, passport holders, taped to our stroller, pockets. You can never have too many on hand. It’s also good to memorize at least the intersection. Then if you get lost and can’t find any of the cards or your list you can have some idea of  what to say to get help as the location of Hotel Orange probably isn’t common knowledge.

Any travel fear I left out? Leave a comment! 

Ciao amici!!

P.S. We have some exciting things happening here at home! Can’t wait to fill you guys in! 😘😘

Long Haul Inflight with a Toddler or Young Child: a how to sleep guide.

Ciao amici!

 I haven’t posted in a while, sorry! I’m really quite terrible at this whole blogging regularly thing. 

Anyway, I’ve been seeing/hearing a lot people have difficulty with their littles inflight. I can’t promise to work miracles, but I can tell you we have had two fantastic international round-trips with our son at 13/14 and 16/17 months. With babies under 12 months (or pre-walking) you really shouldn’t have to worry, the boob or bottle will knock them right out! But for our now curious travelers who are in the toddler stage inflight seems to be a bit more difficult. 

We slew this dragon with establishing an inflight routine. 

To successfully create an inflight routine we used the following items. However, you can alter these based on your own preferences.

iPad games: fisher price has great free ones, kids doodle, coloring book apps

iPad shows: we have Little Pim in French and Italian, Little Einsteins, Thomas and Friends (whatever your child likes or none of them if you don’t do screen time) 

Bedtime books: if you have specific books you read only for bed or nap time bring them on the plane!!!! I can’t stress this enough!! Or if you have a lovey or something that signals bedtime to your little bring it!

Snacks: whatever your babe eats at home. Nothing new and exciting, we are going for routine and minimizing the stimulation that your little is already getting enough of from the new environment.

So you have your supplies now what? Time to get your itinerary down. Ours goes like this:

1. Board and get everything organized for ease of transition. No pulling bags down from the overhead to get the books, lovey etc. Keep all of that with you from the start. If you didn’t have time to do a diaper change before you boarded do so now. 

2. Snack time. Eating and drinking during takeoff help their little ears feel better during the pressure changes. 

3. Watch a show/play iPad games

4. Meal is served. Eat.

5. Depending on the lights dimming, watch shows or play iPad games. Also take a stroll to the bathroom to do a diaper change into an overnight diaper. Let your little stretch their legs and walk to the bathroom holding your hand. Changing into pajamas is also a good idea if that helps your little get in the sleepy mood. 

6. If the lights are dimmed or they have announced they will do so soon, pull out the bedtime books. Read them with the overhead reading light or until the lights are dimmed. 

7. Now that the cabin is darker, sleep! Your little should be pretty ready for this after a full tummy, fresh diaper, their bedtime books and the lights now low. 

For domestic just alter the routine to the amount of inflight time:) 

Happy Travels! 

Also note the baby neck pillow* 

Paris with bèbè

Well, given it’s Paris I figure I can save a ton of time writing this post because I don’t have to convince any of you that is beautiful and a must see. I will give it 1 additional minute to say Paris in winter is still worth visiting if you are questioning the time of year to go. Two words for winter visitors: Christmas lights. As my idol Audrey Hepburn said, “Paris is always a good idea!” And she’s right.

Now, Paris with a baby… it’s still a good idea, but it’s definitely not easy. I’m going to do a highlight of the setbacks and how we overcame them for now because you know all of the great reasons to go.

  1. There are no highchairs. I’m not exaggerating here. We knew of 1 restaurant with them and that is because my friend worked there and ordered them two high chairs after talking to me and constantly saying sorry to many American tourists from the hotel it was connected to requesting them. This is fairly easily solved with either keeping your child in the stroller and eating outside on the sidewalk seating (beware lots of smoking happening here) or getting an over the seat highchair cover thing. We did both, but our chair cover really caught the eyes of Parisians. Just a note as well, you won’t find any Parisian babies out at restaurants really. Saturday morning/lunch maybe, but it’s just not the culture. The heavy use of crèche, nannies and babysitters is very common. To the point of having a few long conversations explaining our parenting style with my friend’s friends and explaining why I/we take my baby places and why I/we spend so much time with him. Attachment parenting has not hit France yet. Personally, I loved proving everyone’s opinions wrong by having a happy well behaved little man while eating out. If you are a bit sensitive be prepared for a less than gracious host once they discover you plan to eat avec bèbè. 
  2. Elevators do not mean no stairs or that you can keep baby in a stroller it is highly likely you will still encounter some stairs even if your building has an elevator. Newer buildings you’re ok, but older buildings usually have a step or two before or after the elevator. In many places you will have to fold your stroller to use the elevator (the Eiffel Tower, small elevators in residential buildings if you don’t want to wait forever) even umbrella or compact size strollers. Sometimes it’s just easier to fold and do the stairs or carry the stroller with baby in it because you will not get the courtesy of people who are capable of taking the stairs getting off and letting you on because you have a baby. Nor will you find people who will let you on before them. We had a particularly bad experience at Les Invalides with the elevator. There were quite a few young adults there that day and young children with their parents (and all I will say about the french children we encountered is the book Bringing Up Bèbè must have been inspired by some very different Parisian children that we never saw because the ones we were around were not inspiring us to follow their parenting methods.) despite not really being busy, and they all used the elevator. Even just for 1 floor. They showed no care for the fact we had to use the elevator, and they didn’t considering they spent each floor chasing after their offspring who many times while waiting for the elevator went running up and down the nearby steps trying to coerce their parents into just taking them instead. Then, when we did fit with one family on the elevator their little girl pushed every button. No punishment, no telling her to say sorry, one elevator. The Louvre was not much better once you are in the galleries, but you do get to skip the entry line if you have a stroller and that lift is nice and controlled! Yay! 
  3. Smoking is everywhere. Our son had never really been exposed to it, we aren’t used to it either, bring allergy medicine for you, baby saline drops and a travel humidifier. Shouldn’t be as bad is summer when it doesn’t linger as much. The air pollution was also terrible while we were there, but hey, they made the metro free! 
  4. Hardly Any Changing Stations we have this problem here in Chicago too, so I’m not afraid to do it right there in the stroller wherever I am. Don’t like it? Install facilities for babies! The museums do have some great changing areas, usually in a private family bathroom or at least a separate area for just the station with its own sink. 
  5. Crappy Diaper Selection the diaper selection is pretty small. If you use pampers you’re in luck. I ran out of day time diapers literally 24 hrs before our flight home. Finally found a sensitive brand I had never seen before. It took 4 stores and every pharmacy along the way. Plus side of packing diapers? Lots of room in your suitcase by the end of the trip for your new purchases;) 
  6. Just not that baby friendly like other places we have traveled. I believe this is because of the cultural differences in how babies and children should be treated and should spend their time. Like I said before, I don’t think attachment parenting is big in Paris. I wouldn’t say anyone was directly rude to us, but on a few occasions we were given a cold shoulder. We did have a welcoming experience at the children’s emergency room, but that is obviously considered an appropriate place to bring your baby.  The nurses (who all spoke English!), the facility, everything was very nice and affordable! No insurance, 56€ for the hospital visit and 2€ for all three of his medications!! One stale note about the experience, our doctor stopped speaking English once he realized I spoke french and did so well enough to clearly understand everything happening to our son. My husband asked him if he would please speak English again, and he straight up ignored him continuing only to talk directly to me in French. I translated it, no big deal to me, but hubby was pretty upset. So we did have one stereotypical French snobbery experience, but that’s it. 
  7. No Kids Menu at most places sorry if you have a picky eater, there is McDonald’s there and frites are a french norm. I don’t really believe in the “kids” menu anyway. We just share our food with Sebastian or order him a small dish of something to supplement our sharing.

And that is really all I can think of. We rented an apartment from A la carte Paris. It was in a fantastic location for us, beautiful, clean and fully equipped. We will definitely be staying there again. Apartments are definitely the way to go in Paris with or without kids. We had a good trip despite some personal obstacles and illness. We will hopefully be back in the city of light in the near future, and actually get to use our Disneyland passes and not spend that day sick in the hospital instead! 

Leave me some comments with questions or your own experiences! 

Buon viaggio amici! 

Travel Gear Must Haves: Fisher Price Ultra-Lite Day and Night Play Yard (Dock a Tot optional)

Update!! We have used it twice now, and it’s awesome. We took it to Paris and Florida, checked it like a regular bag. We even fit the dock a tot in the bag it goes in! I don’t think it would fit if the infant sleeper was also packed in there. 
First, I have to say we have never used it to travel with, yet.

 We just transitioned our son from co-sleeping with us using a Dock a Tot and sidecar crib to his own crib detached from our bed. We are leaving for Paris in a month, so I had to find something that would be easily portable and safe for him to sleep in on his own as they wanted 90 euro a week to use their pack n play! 😳 Going back to bed sharing would ruin all of our progress of sleeping on his own, so I did some research and found this lovely travel cot for under 90 euro (I got it for $89)! This bad boy was the cheapest I found with the best features! I was looking at the Baby Bjorn, and while it is all organic, non-toxic, etc it is also almost triple the cost. If that is something that is very important to you, I would recommend checking that one out.

For us the short term use has as pretty ok with the materials it’s made of and this one has an infant sleeper attachment! That’s right, infant sleeper attachment!! It’s also inclined which is awesome for reflux babies, like our son. You can put your baby on the bottom level too, but I don’t like really little babies near the drafty ground. 

Weighing only 13 lbs with everything in the storage bag that has both a handle and shoulder strap this travel play yard is impressive. That means with the frame, mattress, infant sleeper attachment and the diaper changing mat and caddy all packed in the handy bag it comes in you can easily carry it and baby, check it on its own or even put it in your big suitcase!!

It just pops right open, clicks to tell you it is locked in place, drop the mattress in, do up the velcro straps and done! Or if you want to use the infant sleeper snap it into the top 4 corners, put the cushion on and voila! Just as easy to fold back up and put away.

Despite being light weight it is very sturdy. Our son is pretty big for 15 months, and I am not worried about him tipping it over at all. 

The mattress has a pretty good thickness, not that different from our home pack n play. The foot print of the bottom isn’t much smaller either. It takes standard play yard sheets. 

Basically, I wish I would have known about this guy sooner because I would have used it at home for nap time with that inclined infant sleeper, and killed two birds with one stone!  

I’m really excited to use this bad boy, and let you all know how Paris went with our 1 yr old. He will be meeting one of my best friends for the first time😁 

**the dock a tot pictured is the larger Grand size. Our son is 32.5″ tall and 15 months old.  

Leave a comment! Let me know what you guys think or if you have any questions. 

Ireland with a 1 yr old

Well mates, we did 1 whirle wind week in Ireland with our now 1 yr old, and it was a fantastic trip! If you are looking for a vacation destination that is easy to take baby/toddler along Ireland is definitely a top pick. Lots of space (except on the roads) to breath and let little one explore. We only made it along the south from Dublin to Kerry and back to Dublin because we were actually there for hubby’s work. But, I imagine our experiences and tips could apply to the majority of Ireland. Don’t quote me, though! 

So, you are here to read what do to make it the most enjoyable trip. You have probably read my packing list. I have an ammendment to that list for Ireland and big stressor as well. 

AN UMBRELLA STROLLER ISNT GOOD ENOUGH! That’s right, as much as I love my baby jogger vue light, it’s not what I took to Ireland. There were too many occasions when sidewalks weren’t available or they were total crap, even Dublin! You will see everyone else using a full size stroller because the bigger wheels are absolutely necessary. So what stroller do I suggest? We took our Babyjogger City Mini GT and it was perfect. It is small, but durable and has great wheels. It folds with one hand for TSA, the plane and the small trunk of the rental car. More on the rental car after I stress…

BRING YOUR OWN BABY FOOD/SNACKS AND DIAPERS! Ireland has a very poor selection of products compared to US and other places in Europe. A waiter that wasn’t for our table actually made a point to come up to me and ask about our Puffs (Gerber’s life saving product for us) because they have nothing like it and always sees them on American mom blogs. I let her try them, she was in awe, and we had a long conversation about baby products in Ireland. If you are looking to open a store in Ireland a Gerber products store would be a huge success. I brought a ton of puffs, crunches and yogurt drops with us and we used every last one. I also brought some purées which was awesome when he was hungry off the typical dining schedule of Ireland. The diaper and wipes selection was also terrible, maybe the majority cloths? None the less, bring enough and use the empty space for souvenirs. 

The rental car situation. 

We drive manual/standard/stick whatever you want to call it at home. We are very used to it. If you are not used to driving manual, I don’t recommend doing so in Ireland. You will be driving on the opposite side of the road and car. This means Right is wide and left is tight. Just keep reminding yourself of that. The roads are extremely narrow. I mean extremely. The one way we live on is wider than the majority of two ways. If you aren’t used to a manual, you will have an even harder time getting around. Also, in our opinions the Irish are not patient people. They were not kind to driving slow or sharing the road on a super narrow two way. Just trust me, if your daily driver isn’t manual, pay the premium for the automatic. Driving was the only unenjoyable part of our trip because it was pretty stressful. 

That said, I do recommend renting your own car if you are leaving Dublin. It’s not so bad you shouldn’t drive, I just want to give a warning. Some of the best areas of Ireland can only be seen if you have your own transport. We stopped many times to see things we never planned, they just pop up everywhere there. Same recommendation on bringing your own car seat. The cars are typically smaller, pack accordingly. We upgraded to a Passat, so we had no issues getting two big cases, stroller and backpacks in the trunk. It was probably as big as we would go there as the parking spots and roads are narrow. 

Self-cater or Hotel

We had better experiences in hotels this trip simply because the way of life in the cottage we rented was so different from ours that it required more work than we prefer for a vacation. Our cottage was heated by coal stove, hot water and electric. They all had to be manually controlled and the hot water heaters and electric ones never really heated up. So we had to really feed the coal fire. That meant hubby going outside at 2 am to get more coal. That’s not fun in October with a 1 yr old. If it were spring or summer this issue wouldn’t have occurred. The hot water heater was fairly easy to manage, but silly me didn’t think about needing to turn it on for the laundry as well. Just keep these things in mind when looking for a self-cater option. 

The hotels didn’t have any of these issues, and we’re very accommodating and friendly especially when it comes to baby necessities. 

All of the places we stayed provided a travel cot. We had no problem getting a high chair at restaurants. We brought our portable one just in case, but the stroller fit in every place we went so we used the tray on it half the time. 

Trip highlights with baby

There were a few places that really had our little man excited, and that we also really enjoyed. 

The Irish National Heritage Site

just outside of Wexford in Co Wexford. Very cool to learn about the history of Ireland in the great Irish outdoors and Bash really liked looking at everything. The price was fair and if you’re hungry while visiting they have a cafe. 

Blarney Castle and Gardens

My husband carried Bash to the top of the castle with us. I would not recommend this if you have a squirmer or aren’t very strong. I never would have done it, and I was a nervous wreck the entire time up. The stairs are spiral, narrow, slippery (it was misting while we were there) and extremely steep! Bash loved it though, and in the end I am glad he got to go up because he was all giggle and excitement. Hanging your baby upside down to kiss the stone is frowned upon we discovered 😜. Jk we didn’t try! 

Killarney, Co Kerry

The entire town was great, obviously the national park and castle are the draw, but we had fun going into all of the great shops. Our hotel here was the best of the trip, The International. Lots to see and do, very friendly locals. 

Mahoney Falls

This was a last minute driving decision, and turned out to be one of the best places we visited. The trek to the falls is not easy. You will want to lock the front stroller wheel/s and keep a good hold. We back it down when we are feeling uneasy. Prevents baby from getting away from you. Definitely worth the effort, though. 

Dublin and Trinity College

Aside from getting bored at the old library seeing The Book of Kels, Bash loved Dublin. Maybe it is because we live an urban life so it felt more like home, but there is just so much to keep him entertained. We toured the Trinity campus, let him out to explore, then had many choices for dinner in that area. The best dining experience we had the entire trip was dinner at Farm on the patio. Bash stayed in his stroller and people watched, while we enjoyed a few courses completely undisturbed. The food was fantastic, the best we had in Ireland. They had a very nice family bathroom with a changing station, as well.

All the ruins along the way.

We stopped and saw many ruins and castles along the way. Too many to list, but getting out of the car was a relief for us and Bash. 


All the pubs are kid friendly until the night. You don’t have to feel strange about it because there will likely be other kids there as well. In the evening they can be very loud though, so we opted for restaurants or take away (carry out) for dinner. We very much enjoyed the Langton’s pub in Kilkenny for lunch. Spacious and there were quite a few children other children dining. 

That’s really about it:) Go enjoy the Emerald Isle with your little! 

Have questions or want to add something I left out? Leave a Comment!   

Baby Travel Gear Must-Have: Baby Jogger Vue Lite Umbrella Stroller

I could probably write a 10,000 word essay on why I love this umbrella stroller! It has so many features in one little (relatively speaking) package.

**I am in no way compensated for this review/pick. Just my personal opinion and purchase.

The first thing I love about it is that it is made with quality materials that feel durable and sturdy. I want all of my bigger baby purchases to last and be safe. The Baby Jogger Vue Lite is no exception. The metal frame is light weight, only 14.5 lbs, but definitely feels sturdy. It’s capable of being a travel system with the baby jogger infant carrier car seat and adapters, so that tells you how sturdy it really is! I have never used this feature. The material is also high quality with a very large 50+ UV sun protection canopy that has amazing coverage for both seat positions. 5 point harness for your squirmy wormy, escape artist or not sitting up on their own yet baby. One fairly easy to push brake, comfy and taller than most umbrella stroller handles I have seen, lots of accessories!

My second favorite thing about this umbrella stroller, it has the option of both parent facing and outward facing. This is super important in our family. And get this, you can switch it with just one hand! If your baby is like mine, and enjoys face time with mommy, or if you are like me, and in congested areas want baby facing you to avoid being knocked into or touched by strangers, this is the umbrella stroller for you! Heck with its almost lie flat recline and bassinet insert (that’s right a bassinet add-on for an umbrella stroller!) that makes it useful from birth to 55lbs, this may be the only stroller you need!

For us, it’s our travel stroller. We keep this bad boy, in the separately purchased, handled storage bag, in our car at all times ready to go. It folds up fairly easy, takes me and hubby two hands pretty much, and is light enough for me to carry while also wearing or carrying our son! It has a little handle on the side that is perfect for when you’re on the go and run into stairs. Just hold baby, fold, grab the handle, go up or down, unfold and put baby back in, no fuss! It also stands up on its own when folded!! My full-size doesn’t even do that!

Another thing that makes it perfect for travel is the front wheels lock. Yes, an umbrella stroller with front locking wheels! So you can survive cobblestone, grass, gravel etc. It’s not all terrain still, but it helps a lot!

The basket under it is nothing special, but hey, it’s an umbrella stroller. We get our diaper clutch (filled), extra water bottle, Kidco peapod, a burp cloth and a book under there all at once. Sometimes I even stuff a blanket, but that’s all it can handle! No diaper bags are going under there. You also can’t access it from the back, another common umbrella stroller downfall. To add a little bit more storage I suggest getting the cup holder (or two). You could add the Baby Jogger parent console too, but in the parent facing direction it might be in your way. A perk of using it facing out is that sitting straight up, it does give you an area to put some more stuff. I can put my jacket back there or a small/medium diaper bag or hand bag, which is really nice and unique to this umbrella stroller design.

Some other cons, no peekaboo window (it’s bigger sibling the vue has this, I believe), every accessory sold separate (but at least it has them!), and the seat isn’t very padded. This is all pretty common with umbrella strollers. However, the seat situation I easily solved with this one of those universal car seat inserts you can pick up just about anywhere that sells baby stuff. You will see it in some of my pictures. We just fold it up with it in there, no issue, problem solved.

The price is on the higher end for umbrella strollers, but reasonable for the quality and features of the product. I picked mine up from buy but baby for $179 (not including any accessories I mentioned), but I found it at Amazon now for $143.99 with free shipping.

There is a similar Summer Infant version on the market now. I’ve seen it, next to my Vue lite even, the quality and features are not there. It’s worth the extra $50 for the better product, in my opinion.

Cons aside, this is the perfect gate check, keep in the car, use from birth, take all over the world, light weight, sturdy stroller.

Overall, we love this umbrella stroller and so does our little man! I’m kind of a stroller snob, my other set of wheels is a Stokke Xplory, so it takes a lot for me to say I love a baby product.

What is your favorite travel stroller? And why? Questions on this stroller? Leave a comment below.

Safe and Happy Travels:)

Travel with Baby Must Haves: Less is not AnyMore! 

So you are going on your first trip with baby, and you are freaking out about what you need and how you will carry it all with you. Hubby and I were in the exact same boat. Well, except, I was a flight attendant. So, I was a tiny bit knowledgeable on what would probably work best, but it’s mostly just trial and error. Lucky for you, I’ve done the trial!

On our first trips, packing for baby was fairly easy because my mom was generous enough to buy the essentials for us to keep at her house. If you are traveling to the grandparents you may invest in purchasing a pack n play, car seat, baby bath, toiletries, some toys and books to keep at the grandparents.

For the purposes of this post, let’s assume you won’t have these things at your destination, and you are traveling by air. Which, by the way, goes much smoother for us than the car. I’m not kidding! Obviously, every baby is different, but our little man is much happier sitting on our laps and playing than strapped into his car seat for hours.

With air travel this means you are keeping in mind not only weight limits on luggage and fees for extra, but also your ability to carry it all!

***if you want the list straight up, with out my blabbing,  scroll to the bottom:)

Why and What I Pack for Airport and Inflight Use: The Essentials in 1 personal item and 1 lap child diaper bag/personal item

These are things you must take in order to keep baby safe, healthy and warm during your traveling. These items I keep with me at all times, at all times, never check them. I’ve read terrible stories of moms not having what they need inflight or after. While it makes me feel terrible for them, I also feel they are partially to blame. So, please, listen here, never ever check your only bag of baby food, breast pump (if it’s crucial to feeding your baby), formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, what have you! Just don’t do it! If they say you must put your bag under the plane, which won’t happen if you board first like the airline suggests (more on this in a post about surviving flight with baby), then you stuff those items in your pockets, handbag, whatever is on you. 

So here it is. I fit all of this in my personal item and my one lap child personal item. TSA allows people traveling with a baby to bring water, breast milk/formula, puréed foods and ice packs through without size/amount restriction. So no worries there!

Diaper Bag: this is the bag I will put up top if I need to. Therefore, I fill it with items that I likely won’t need until after we have reached a cruising altitude.

  • Diapers, A diaper for every hour until you will be able to get to a store to buy some. Always assume your luggage will get lost and baby will have a pooping spree. Plus, a super fresh diaper keeps baby happy.
  • Wipes, I bring an entire pack. They just come in handy in so many situations you can never have too many!
  • Breast Pump, Pumped milk, Formula, Water, Bottles, Sanitizing Wipes, Sanitizing microwave bag, Any and every milk/formula feeding supply you use! So for us this breaks down to my thin nursing cover scarf, which I wear to save room, a hand pump, 1 sterilize microwave bag, 1 small pack of pump cleaning wipes and 1 bottle. If I didn’t breastfeed, I would bring formula and those supplies the same as diapers, more than enough until I knew I could reach a store to get what I need. Then, once I’m through security, I purchase a big huge water bottle to carry in my hand on the plane. It is just worth the extra bucks to me to not carry it until then.
  • Baby food/solids and supplies, for us this is a couple of boon squirt spoons (not the official name, and I don’t get endorsed by them), 1 boon feeder stick, and enough baby food packs to last a meal past our estimated arrival. Add snacks to that if your baby is on to finger foods. If your little one isn’t on solids yet, yay you get to save room in your bags!
  •  Extra outfit for baby plus some, I mean a full outfit including hat, gloves, socks, sweater, whatever s/he will need when you get there. Always assume there will be 2 blow outs and a major projectile spit up. A dirty uncomfortable baby is not worth saving the space. Their clothes are small anyway. I usually pack a one piece outfit of some sort and footie pjs. The fashion police won’t be arresting your baby for wearing pjs after a blow out on an airplane! Also, for international long flights change baby to sleepwear so they will be comfy and to help them understand that it’s sleepy time. If you use a Sleep sack put it in too.
  • Extra shirt for you and your partner, again, the fashion police won’t be cuffing you for wearing a basic t-shirt after your child’s projectile spit up. The people around you however, will be nauseous and frustrated if you leave that rotting on your chest the entire hot and crowded flight. Which leads me to the goddess of the diaper bag, and well every bag I own!
  • PLASTIC BAGS, Oh the uses are endless when you have a baby! I bring both sandwich and freezer size ziplocks, plastic store bags and a little roll of doggy poop bags (purchased at the dollar store). Why so many bags? Well, the spit up clothes go in the store plastic bag, the poop clothes go in the ziplock freezer bag then in the store bag, and I do that so I can carry those around by the handle and not have them touch anything else. The dog bags are for the dirty diapers, and the sandwich bags to keep the cleaned off/wiped off toys clean and together. Plus, the millions of other uses you will come up with at the time of need.
  • Firstaid kit, I have my own little firstaid kit in a clear cosmetic bag. It includes: forehead thermometer, bulb syringe, baby Tylenol and the accompanying syringe, latex free bandaids, travel petroleum jelly, Nose Frida nose sucker, saline nose drops and for us travel Tylenol, travel tums and travel Imodium. You never know what knew or airport food will do to your body! 😂

My Personal Item: which really isn’t mine much at all! This is the one I put under the seat in front of me.

  • Changing pad/diaper clutch, I use a diaper clutch that turns into a changing pad and holds 2 diapers plus a travel wipes case. This isn’t necessary, I just find it convenient to slip on my wrist and be able to hold baby securely with two empty hands and arms. You will need: your changing pad (and/or disposable ones which I put a couple in the clutch as well. I know it is wasteful, but those planes can be really dirty), travel wipes, and 2-4 diapers in this bag for when you may need one immediately and getting into your diaper bag over head seems like a hassle. After those diapers are gone you will just refill from the diaper bag. Also, I keep a travel size diaper rash ointment in my clutch.
  • Blankets, two. One thin muslin, one thicker fleece/minky style. You never know if it will be warm or cold on a plane. I also throw in a few burp towels/blankies for obvious reasons.
  • Toys, and yes more than one is likely necessary. We had some major teething going on last flight. Both bottom teeth started to break through the day before! So, to keep him from chewing the plane, us and our neighbor we used every toy in my bag. Don’t be too intimidated though. By toys I mean a few of those connector rings, teething rings, a tab/tag blankie, a lovey (for us a stuffed panda named Pim), and a couple of noise making toys (trust me the people would rather hear a rattle than a cry!) For a three hour flight we used around 6 toys. A very young baby doesn’t require this, just your facial expresses will likely do:) 
  • Books, yes, bring the favorite book! it is worth the risk of losing it if it saves you on what could possibly be hour 7 of a nine hour flight of little to no sleep. Never happened to me, yet, but I wouldn’t risk going anywhere without the little blue truck books. We take 3. He enjoys the same ones over and over. You know your kid best, so that’s up to you on how many. Also good to bring one for yourself, although I’m a big fan of sleeping when baby sleeps. Especially, if you are switching time zones. Hydration and rest are your friends!
  • iPad, we don’t practice that old no screen time until 2 yrs old philosophy. If you do, great, you won’t need to spend money on downloading expensive foreign language programs for your child. We use the Little Pim Italian series. I like them fair enough, wish it used different voices and not a super cartoonish one, but hey, he loves it. It reinforces the Italian I speak to him, keeps him happy for at least a half hour and it’s educational. He also loves Thomas and Friends, so we have one of those movies on there too. These are mostly our car tools. We have a rough time around 3 hrs in the car. It might be a good idea to use a fun language program in the language of the destination to introduce your little one to what they are about to experience all around.
  • Makeup/refreshing products bag, I enjoy going to the lav, or in my seat even, and freshening up before a flight lands. Don’t aerosol hairspray, but a little roll on perfume, moisturizing, teeth brushing (don’t use the lav water!! It is not safe for consuming!) goes a long way with brightening my mood and getting me ready for next phase of the trip😎
  • Hand sanitizing wipes, planes and plane water are nasty. I wipe down the whole area of our seat with one (or three) before we sit. That way if he is touching everything, then eating his hands, I can feel a little better about it. I use babyganics sanitizing wipes because they are all natural and don’t have that nasty taste.
  • Water, sippy cup, snacks, gum, I purchase a big water past security so I don’t have to purchase any inflight or wait for it even if it is free. I use that water in the sippy too. Remember plane lavatory water not safe for drinking or even rinsing baby stuff! I have never experienced jet lag😁 Hubby, not so lucky. I believe it’s because I’m a camel and I sleep on the plane. I drink a ton of water, which means I urinate quite a few times. I don’t care if that means asking someone to move 100 times, and you shouldn’t either. My theory is fly first class if you don’t want to be conscious of others.  Also, just thought of this, I would put a bottle already filled with formula in here too (or have it measured out ready to be made, however it works). Sucking during take off helps baby’s ears. We nurse during both takeoff and landing. This will keep baby hydrated well. Trust me, this is really the key to a refreshed landing. Planes are super dry! 
  • All Travel Documents and Money, I use a big travel wallet. Keeps me organized. Never check your wallet, not even gate check it. I’ve heard horror stories of this too. Keep that stuff with you. If you are told there isn’t room onboard for your bag, take that stuff out and put it in your pocket or hold it. You can not trust that you will ever see your bags again if you aren’t personally holding them.

Other carry-ons/gate checks I highly recommend, but you may feel aren’t necessary.

  • Baby wrap/carrier, You will want to baby wear your baby. Why? It allows you to have free hands. This is vital if you are traveling alone! Going to the bathroom will be much easier, you can carry/stroll all of your carry ons in your stroller and during security you will just keep baby right in there and walk through. This allows you to remove and put on your shoes with ease, grab your bags and stroller, unfold the stroller no problem, everything will be easier, two hands are always better than one. I use our carrier instead of wrap at the airport simply because it’s less fuss getting on and off. I usually prefer a wrap, but rewrapping in-flight is too much for me.
  • High quality travel or umbrella stroller, I say high quality and travel or umbrella because of how we use our stroller. If you have a hop in, hop out toddler, and don’t want to pile all of your personal items in it, a small cheap umbrella stroller might work for you! I have extreme standards for my strollers. They are used more than our car and car seat, though, so I need them to be reliable and functional for our lifestyle. For us, this means to travel with we use the BabyJogger Vue Lite (still not getting endorsed here, although I should because I’ve been stopped and asked about it a million times and always recommend it to people! Same with our Stokke Xplory, but another post for that). This umbrella stroller is the queen of umbrella strollers if you ask me! It has a sturdy lite weight frame, I have carri while wearing little man through the airport until after security! It has both in and out facing that only requires one hand to switch, front wheels lock, giant sunshade, I can go on and on, so likely a post will be coming about why I love it and highly recommend it. But back to traveling with a stroller. We go with the umbrella because it’s easy for us to carry. Not just at the airport, but also at our destination. We load it up with our personal items, then gate check it, then use it again to stroll personal items, but if we are taking a train, getting in a car, going up stairs, or if the heavens ever align and we get first class, we can carry it on with us no struggle! Purchase a gate check bag or the bag that matches your stroller, it will help protect it and it keep it clean. I’m not sure they will give you a plastic bag like they will for a car seat. You can also check it instead of gate check it if you want. 

And that’s it folks, well, for what goes past security with you! Now to the checked items!

What and Why I Check it: A story of more is less, but less is also more. We all share one large hard case, unless my husband is traveling for work, then he has a garment bag for his work clothes to stay well pressed. It is just easier to have one big case that way only one of us has to worry about a suit case and the other wheels the car seat (if we bring it). One bag doesn’t change our ability to bring all of this, though.

  • Clothes for baby, less is more here for us. We always stay somewhere we can wash our clothes or have them washed. Many hotels have these options or check your rental and the local area for one. You can buy hand wash baby detergent in the travel section of buy buy baby, but I only use it for treating stains immediately. I don’t like hand washing, thougg. For baby, I bring one outfit for every day of the trip or one outfit for each day of a week if the trip exceeds a week. Our little man can use up to 3 outfits in a day on a rough day, so this number of outfits insures day 1 of a trip I won’t be slave to a washing machine. I bring the same number of jammies. To keep organized, I put the full outfit in a plastic bag. Hat, socks, onesie, shirt, pants, sweater/jacket, bib, all together so it’s never a question or search for what he is supposed to be wearing. I also always bring his rain coat, and a couple pairs of shoes. Always be prepared for any possible weather. A cold wet baby makes a bad trip.
  • Eating Supplies, invest in a travel high chair/booster, we use a over the chair kind. It folds into a little pouch, great for countries that don’t typically have high chairs. If you’re staying in the US, a high chair cover will work. Bibs, I like a mix of wipe off and towel kind, 4 of each works for us. We love the Boon feeding products. I pack the squirt spoons, the feeder sticks and then we have no need for bowls! The stick we use most often, especially for eating out. We have a good eater who will eat just about anything. We have put sushi, pasta, chicken tikka masala, just about everything in that boon feeder and he has eaten it no problem, and we started doing those foods at 6 months! (But please talk to your dr first, every baby is different) This little tool also saves us from bringing a bunch of baby food with us. Which you can likely buy at your destination, so no need to over do it if you are doing all puréed baby foods. I just bring a few with us incase we can’t find anything on a menu for him or at the hotel breakfast. For warming bottles many hotels have in room coffee makers or will be glad to bring you hot water free of charge. I have never used formula, but I imagine you can warm it by placing the bottle in hot water just like breastmilk. Just be careful not to burn your fingers as the coffee pot water gets super hot!!
  • Travel Sleeping Solution, this one I don’t have much personal advice on, we bed share, cosleep, sleep share, whatever term you prefer. We do use a Kidco Peapod. It’s like a baby tent/play yard combo that folds into a small little circular bag with handles. It says it’s for one year and up, so we don’t leave him unattended in it, but it’s great for picnics, the beach, naps, anywhere baby wants to lay down or play. We just pop it up and he can stretch out while being protected from the sun as well with the spf fabric. We keep it under the umbrella stroller, in our big tote or backpack wherever we go that day. If you have an older baby it could be your nighttime sleeping solution. I’ve also heard great things about the baby bjorn travel crib, which looks like a play yard. It is light weight and folds up small enough to fit in a large suitcase (I believe). I haven’t used it, but if we didn’t cosleep I probably would. It will take 13 lbs from your 50 per case, so I definitely wouldn’t call it compact in general, just compact for what it is. Now, this can all be saved if you book a hotel with cribs and call to reserve a crib before you get there. I would bring my own rubber (water proof) sheet and fitted sheet. Baby likes consistency, so this little touch will help baby sleep and ensure baby won’t have a reaction to the hotel detergent.
  • Diapers, we have an honest diaper subscription so if we aren’t going to go over weight, I pack them. Plus, when they are gone I have plenty of extra room for the purchases from our trip:) Otherwise, I say buy them there if you aren’t brand loyal or know you can find your brand at your destination.
  • Bath time, Get an inflatable baby tub! You won’t need a bath tub to use it, you can take it to the pool or beach and use it like a baby paddling pool, they fold up small, weigh nothing and our little guy loves it! I bring a few of his baby wash cloths with fun prints to double as a toy and a couple of his smaller bath toys that he can play with outside the bath too. We bring his favorite Thomas hooded towel along as well. It can be used at the pool/beach if needed. The hotel towels are fine though, and towels are good to eliminate if you find yourself needing more space or less weight.
  • Travel Size Baby Toiletries,  baby won’t need a full size version. If you’re worried it won’t be enough bring two. Those full size bottles add unnecessary weight. Nail clippers, brush, tooth brush in here too. Add to this travel size baby detergent packs. I just wash all of our stuff together with it.
  • Pool/Beach needs, you have your inflatable tub to keep baby cool and safe while enjoying water, the Kidco peapod to protect their precious fresh skin from the sun while lounging, but what about when you go in the pool or ocean? A good pool sun hat is a must. One with spf fabric. The sun penetrates regular fabrics. Baby is very sensitive and might not have much hair to help protect their scalp. We have a fun Thomas one that came with matching water socks/shoes, another necessity to protect baby from hot sand/pavement, pebbles, shells, anything really. They don’t have calloused feet like us.  An spf  fabric rash guard, even if you think it’s too hot for a shirt. Better to protect from the sun than worry about the extra heat. If it is that hot in the shade, baby shouldn’t be out that long. Last, swim diapers. That’s personal preference whether disposable or cloth. I like disposable for trips at hotels because I don’t have to clean them, but I do worry about the chemicals. I put it on right before the water and remove it immediately after he comes out, the less contact time, the better. Floaties, we haven’t used any yet, but I think the blow up kind wouldn’t be a problem to bring from home. Basically, it’s the blow up tub with a hole in it.
  • Sunscreen, If baby is old enough and your dr said its ok. A baby mineral based sunscreen is great even if you’re not going to a beach or if it’s not even hot. The sun can burn us anytime of the year, in any weather. We use the babyganics brand, and it works well for all of us.
  • An Extra Thin Blanket and/or Sleep Sack, whatever baby uses at home to stay warm and comfy while sleeping. For us it’s footies and a thin muslin blanket. So in addition to the ones I bring for the plane, I bring an extra in the checked bag.
  • Burp Cloths
  • Wrap carrier 
  • Umbrella 
  • Stroller Rain Cover, if you bring your stroller.
  • Clothes for you (and your partner), remember baby could spit up on you so a few extra shirts might be a good idea. However, if you have a washing machine you won’t need too much. We try to limit ourselves to a few mix and match options. And we are always part of the light layers club. I’ll eventually make a post with photos on how I pack over a weeks worth of outfits/options in a carry on (well, now a carry on size space). Hubby and I used to travel sharing only a carry on! Not anymore… Lol😂
  • The left over space is all for you (and your partner) to bring whatever you need, I’ve seen some people just use a separate bag for themselves. I would do this for a particularly long trip or one without laundry facilities.

If you will be using a car seat bring your own to check for free! Car rental company’s charge an arm and a leg for them, and they are known for being terrible and unreliable. Don’t risk it. Spend that money on a nice case for your car seat that will make it easy to travel with. It will check free on every airline I know of. We use the Munchkin-Brica Cover Guard Car Seat Travel Tote. It wheels easy and has a backpack carry option. This is awesome for us because hubby backpacks it onto the train while wheeling the suit case and lifting it no problem if needed, or I can wheel it wearing the baby if I need to. We have the  Maxi Cosi Pria convertible car seat. If you have one of those big britax seats, I don’t think it will fit in our travel tote. You would likely want to just get a wheeled one for that bad boy, anyway.

The Master List


  •  Diaper bag
  • Pump and supplies (if you plan to pump at destination even)
  • Diapers for every hour of travel time
  • Full pack of wipes
  • Pajamas for long flight
  • Extra complete outfit (including hat, gloves, socks, if needed)
  • Extra onesie
  • Nursing cover (if you use one)
  • Hand sanitizer wipes
  • Formula, water, bottles
  • Pacifiers (if you use them)
  • Baby food and utensils
  • First aid kit
  • Plastic bags
  • Extra shirt for you (and partner)
  • Personal Item bag
  • Diaper clutch/changing pad, travel wipes, a few diapers, disposable changing pads
  • Thin blanket
  • Thick blanket
  • iPad/tablet
  • Books
  • Toys
  • Pacifier (if you use them)
  • Water
  • Sippy cup
  • Bottle of ready formula (if you use it)
  • Snacks
  • Travel documents
  • Wallet
  • Makeup bag
  • Tooth brushes and travel paste
  • Moisturizer
  • Contact case and solution, glasses (international)
  • Hand Sanitizing Wipes
  • Baby Carrier
  • Gate check umbrella/travel stroller

Checked items:

Large Suitcase

  • Baby clothes and pjs (week’s worth or outfit for everyday plus extras and onesies) for all possible weather
  • Travel crib/play yard (if no crib at destination)
  • Crib sheets (if crib at destination)
  • Diapers and wipes (or buy at destination)
  • Baby Food (or buy at destination, but check is possible)
  • Travel high chair/booster or cover
  • Feeding utensils
  • Inflatable baby bath tub
  • Baby hooded towel and wash cloths (only if space, a towel is a towel)
  • Extra blanket and/or sleep sack
  • Burp Cloths
  • Wrap carrier (if room)
  • Umbrella
  • Stroller rain cover (if you bring stroller)
  • Few extra shirts for you than before (and partner)
  • Baby travel toiletries
  • Baby Sunscreen (ask dr before use)
  • Sun, swim and sand gear (if going to pool or beach)
  • Whatever you (and partner) need for trip

Car Seat

Leave a comment  if I left anything out, if you have any different travel with baby must haves or just want to share your own baby travel list! 

** again I don’t get anything for recommending products, this is all just my personal opinion and (I wish it wasn’t so) purchased by yours truly . 

*** going to add pics of us using some of the travel products I like soon!