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The Jet Set Meets the Diaper Set

Bring your baby on board with these travel products for newborns.

 

The fertility gods apparently do not consult my travel schedule.

I had a nice lineup of trips tentatively set for this summer, opportunities to catch up with friends I don’t see often since moving to the West Coast, or in some cases, last hurrahs with those on a schedule to settle down and start a family. Then the e-mails started—vague at first, then elated and with an announcement. That schedule? Moving along a little faster than expected. All travel plans are now on hold.

Newborns Aren’t the End of Travel

Yes, the babies are coming, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for all you expectant parents, but I beg to differ with people who think two lines on a pregnancy test are as good as nails in the coffin of your suitcase. Traveling with a newborn isn’t as taboo as it used to be.

Matt Gross, who writes for The New York Times, recently recounted a trip to Italy with his wife and then-6-week-old daughter Sasha on the Frugal Traveler blog. He found his newborn to be the perfect age for travel: portable, easily entertained and asleep for much of the day—advantages that vanish as kids hit the toddler stage.

The Baby Travel Challenge Requires Special Equipment

That doesn’t mean bringing a baby on board is easy—not by a long shot. It takes planning and patience, and a little streak of masochism, as fellow TravelMuse columnist, Amy Hatch, detailed last year.

Traveling with an infant also requires some special equipment—and not only for carrying the baby—though just because you’re a responsible adult now, that doesn’t mean your baby travel gear has to be dowdy. I’ll be adding a few of these items to my shower gift list, so my friends know that while they may be adding to the headcount of future adventures, they’re not off the hook. And to all you jet-setting moms out there, happy Mother’s Day!

Cargot Diapering Organizer

Ever see a parent carrying a diaper bag bigger than their child? Slim down those nappies using the same technique you use on your bulky clothing—by rolling them up. The Cargot Diapering Organizer keeps supplies compact and at hand during transport. When unrolled and in use, it can be hung from a door handle or towel rack for easy access. The three pockets provide just enough segregated space for a day’s worth of diapers, wipes, plastic bags, and any tubes of cream or powder you use. I like the gender-neutral seersucker pattern, but other colors are available (yes, even pink), and all are made from eco-friendly recycled cotton canvas.

$24.99; www.carrycargot.com

Peanut Shell Nursing Covers

For moms who breastfeed, leaving home can mean being exposed to more than just new places. But the bashful don’t need to stay home—these nursing covers from Peanut Shell are as cute as they are discreet. When not in use, they can fold up and fit easily in a shoulder bag. The covers are available in a range of fun designs, and each comes with a matching, washable burp cloth.

$38; www.thepeanutshell.com

Medela Swing Breastpump

Breastfeeding isn’t always convenient or even possible on the road, but moms who feed with breast milk will find most pumps on the market are bulky and unfit for travel. Not so with the Medela Swing Breastpump, which has minimal parts and maximum power (using an AC adapter or AA batteries), and weighs under 3 pounds. Like all Medela products, it’s BPA-free.

$126; www.medelabreastfeedingsus.com

Svan Bouncer

Scandinavian Child has given a fresh redesign to the classic baby bouncer, and uses nontoxic materials to boot. The base of the Svan Bouncer is birch wood rather than plastic, while the adjustable seat and harness are stuffed with PBDE-free foam. Eye-catching color options and integrated toy loops round out the package, but the best part, for our purposes, is that it folds flat for easy transport. Safe for children up to 30 pounds.

$199.95; www.scichild.com

Milkscreen

After nine-plus months of teetotaling, you’ve earned a martini with dinner, but that is one part of the vacation you don’t want to share with baby at his next mealtime. UpSpring Baby’s handy, portable Milkscreen strips work like a pregnancy test—express a few drops of milk on the tip and in two minutes, a plus or minus sign will let you know whether you’re serving up the equivalent of a white Russian.

$5.99 for 3 strips, $19.99 for box of 20; www.upspringbaby.com



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