Life in Asia, Malaysia, Motherhood, Travel Gear

My Must Have Baby Gear for International Travel

Traveling as a mom and traveling with my little one in tow is quite an adjustment. Gone are the days of carry-on, minimalist packing and spontaneity. Now it’s diapers and wet wipes, nap times and nursing. But I wouldn’t change a thing. I had great experiences traveling solo to Cambodia and traveling with friends through India and Southern Africa. Then I got married and traveled even more with my husband through parts of Europe and Asia. Now I get to add my littlest love to our traveling adventures. So the extra gear is kind of worth it.

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But my desire for minimalism continues to influence my shopping and packing choices even when it comes to baby. As we prepared for this trip to Penang, I carefully thought through how to best maximize each item we were bringing for baby. What are the essentials? What’s extra weight we could leave behind? Here’s how we traveled from Indonesia to Malaysia for 5 days with our little baby travel bug. FYI during this trip, Baby Mila was 9 months old and partially weaned through baby led weaning.

Travel Crib 
Fun fact, Mila only sleeps in her travel crib. We don’t have a full size crib at her house. So when planning this trip, we went ahead and planned one checked piece would be her Guava Lotus Travel Crib. It’s the bed she already knows and is familiar with, so it was a no-brainer. Plus, it’s so portable and lightweight, it hardly added to our baggage. And because we had decided to book a 2 bedroom AirBnb, we knew Mila would have her own space. This plan worked out great in reality, and I think we will probably always go the AirBnB route when we can, because ensuring we can have enough room for Mila is way better than trying to squeeze into a hotel room. Plus you get the kitchen space, which is awesome when cleaning up baby gear!

Baby room at AirBnB

Stroller 
For a long time, we went back and forth on even getting a stroller. Where we live in Indonesia doesn’t have great sidewalks or big shopping malls. Would we even use it? We borrowed one while we were in America, but once we got to Indonesia, we decided to buy a used one from a Canadian friend who raised her babies in Indonesia as well. She said strollers were a must have for airports. And she was right! We are so glad we purchased her the MacLaren Quest stroller. Ours is an older model, but still is a great lightweight easy to collapse and carry stroller. We quickly could get baby in and out, and fold it up and put in the back of taxis. The small basket beneath held our portable high chair and our backpack clipped on the handles. This stroller was a lifesaver while exploring the streets of Penang!

High Chair
This is the coolest high chair around. This Inglesina travel high chair screws onto any sturdy table. We can attach it in under 5 minutes. And then it collapses down flat and comes with it own storage bag. I am obsessed with this high chair. We take it everywhere. Whether we are traveling near or far, this is our go to chair. It can attach to about 90% of tables. I love it because it keeps baby right at our level and she can eat off the same table we are. It’s perfect for baby led weaning families.

Placemat
Speaking of eating off the table, we don’t let Mila eat from any old table. We bring along this silicon suction placemat. It’s awesome. It sticks to the table, then the high chair arms hold it down as well. There’s a little lip on the placemat which even catches the inevitable food drop. The placemat is easy to clean and fold up to store in a diaper bag. Because we are baby led weaning, we haven’t ever spoon fed her purees. She’s done solids since she was 6 month old, learning to pick up appropriate sized foods. She also eats almost everything we eat. During this trip to Penang, Mila tried Indian curries and roti, as well as Malaysian chicken and rice dishes. She is loving food with lots of flavor. Which is great for us as we live in a culture that thrives on spicy peppers!

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Carrier
The baby carrier is something we probably use most often during an average day. Mila has always loved to be worn. Since she was a newborn, both my husband and I wore her in slings and then eventually this Boba Air carrier. We specifically chose this carrier because of it’s lightweight, collapsibility and breathability. We live on the equator. It’s hot 12 months a year. We sweat every time we leave the house. If we are wearing a baby too, we don’t need extra fabric making us even hotter. This carrier is a lifesaver for when the stroller just isn’t working for her. Especially on airplanes. Mila can sleep as well in her carrier as she can in her bed. I’m so thankful we have a baby that loves to be worn!

Night Market exploring

Collapsible Backpack
For this trip, we left behind our bulky diaper bag and instead brought a collapsible backpack. We’ve been traveling with these for years, and they are so versatile. Whether you need a makeshift shopping bag or an extra carry-on, these are so great. And they work awesome as a travel diaper bag too. Just enough space and lightweight to take everywhere.

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So what did I bring with us in our diaper bag each outing?
Diapers – at home we use cloth, but for traveling disposable is easiest
Wipes
Extra Onesie
Bib – the plastic wipeable kind, with the pockets
Cup
Snack – typically cereal puffs [like Cheerios, but we don’t have those here]
Toy – usually that could attach to the stroller
Nursing Cover

So that’s the gear we most used on this recent international trip with our 9 month old. Our next trip will be back to America when she 14 months old! I can’t even imagine what a 13 hour flight with an almost toddler will be like, but we are up for the challenge. Any thoughts or questions about the baby gear we use? Any baby travel gear you recommend?

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