Have baby, will travel. While taking a trip is never quite the same once kids enters the picture, streamlining essential equipment can do wonders for a weekend (or more) getaway.
Hit the road in safe, softly padded style with the First Years True Fit Rebound car seat from Learning Curve. Awarded a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 5-Star Ease of Use rating, it’s the only convertible car seat that offers a multi-position recline in both the forward- and rear-facing positions; a five-point harness for little ones, 5-65 pounds, plus a Rebound Energy Management System that greatly reduces the chance for broken bones in the legs, hips and waist in case of an accident.
First Years True Fit Rebound car seat from Learning Curve
Keep the littlest day-trippers supported and secured a la Fort Knox with the Advocate 70 CS car seat from Britax. Ideal for parents concerned with providing proper safety, it features a patented, energy-absorbing Versa Tether that anchors at the top of the seat at two points to minimize forward movement. Side-impact cushion technology diverts crash forces away from baby by compressing upon impact, along with soft surfaces that protect children riding alongside. Deep side walls lined with energy-absorbing EPP foam, as well as a fully contained EPP adjustable head restraint, minimize lateral head movement during a crash, which keeps the head, neck and spine aligned to limit injury. britaxusa.com; $369.99.
Advocate 70 CS car seat from Britax
Babies can tackle any kind of terrain with the BumbleRide
Indie stroller. Weighing in at just 20 pounds, the Indie combines
the off-road ability of a multi-terrain stroller with the agility
of an urban jogger. Features include a 360-degree swiveling front
wheel with forward- and rear-facing locking positions, a multi-use
bumper/infant adapter bar, adjustable reclining backrest, rear
suspension and height-adjustable handle. bumbleride.com; $469.99.
BumbleRide Indie stroller
Babies grow faster than frequent-flier miles, making
the B-READY modular stroller from Britax an ideal investment. Featuring a removable forward- and/or
rear-facing seat, an adjustable five-point harness, multi-position
recline, large canopy and full suspension, it can be converted from
a single-child system to a two-child or twin system, using any
combination of seats, and accepts bassinets and infant car seats
(sold separately) in 14 different configurations. An adjustable top
handle with molded grip, large storage basket and removable pouch
give parents organization options, while an automatic chassis lock
keeps the frame in a folded position, and the stroller’s flat fold
allows parents to easily store it with or without the seat
attached. A 1-foot, anti-scuff linked rear brake helps determine
when brakes are locked or unlocked by red and green indicators.
Britax modular stroller
Carry-on friendly developmental toys from
award-winning toymaker Haba make it easy to create an impromptu
playroom while on the go. Cardboard Buggy Books have
colorful illustrations, rustling foil and a Velcro strap for
attaching to strollers and car seats. Discoverer’s Meadow
Fabric Ball has the right combination of textures and
critters to keep animal-lovers entertained. For snugglers,
the Habalinos Cuddly Sheep Svea offers up a finger
puppet and lovey in one. Four knots at each edge are perfect for
gnawing and its soft texture is sure to soothe first-time
travelers. HABAusa.com; $12-$20.
Upbeat tunes can quickly give your home away from home a familiar feel, especially if they come courtesy of award-winning, best-selling children’s performer Laurie Berkner. A former preschool teacher by day and indie rocker by night, Berkner originally started selling her music out of her living room and has released a first-ever collection of
greatest hits, The Best of The Laurie Berkner Band. laurieberkner.com; $9.99.
The Best of The Laurie Berkner Band
Celebrated children’s music label Putumayo Kids introduces
little listeners to music from around the world with collections
featuring award-winning artists. Try their newest CD, Rock
& Roll Playground, to get things rattling and rolling. putumayokids.com; $14.98.
Rock &Roll Playground
Baby Blanket Music’s collection of albums features unique,
soothing lullaby arrangements of favorite songs from well-known
singers like Billy Joel, Elton John, Simon & Garfunkel, John
Mayer and more. Designed to soothe baby while enhancing music
cognition, the all-instrumental arrangements feature classical
instruments like strings, woodwinds, pianos, harps and soft
percussion. babyblanketmusic.com; $14.99.
Baby Blanket Music
An organized yet casual, roomy but not voluminous, fun and funky diaper bag that doesn’t necessarily look like a diaper bag is a vacay must. JuJuBe’s Earth Leather Legacy Collection (think handbags, diaper bags and wristlets with fabulous names like BeHave, BeFabulous and BeQuick) offers up a lightweight, leather alternative that looks and feels like the real thing-without harming animals or the environment. Earth Leather is 30 percent lighter than its real counterpart and is completely machine washable. And, in true Ju-Ju-Be form, the Legacy Collection features vibrant linings protected by Agion eco-friendly antimicrobial coating for life’s little spills. ju-ju-be.com; $20-$200.
JuJuBe’s Earth diaper bags