Strolling through the streets of Paris recently, I looked at my stroller which nestled my daughter and thought she has everything she could possibly need or want, and most of it I’m not having to carry. Hurrah!
When travelling with a young baby, most of their time is spent in the stroller. So it has to be appropriate and comfortable for all situations. Her stroller was more than just somewhere for her to sit and sleep. It was also an activity station and a place where I could control the temperature wherever we ended up and whatever the elements threw at us. It made me realise that our stroller had been customised to make sure it was comfortable and weather proof. And that it functioned to help me deal with any issues I might come across when out and about.
So I thought I’d share with you the little extras I’ve added to our stroller to make it work harder when we’re away. Although they’re just as practical on the streets of London too.
This little organiser might not look like it can hold much, but it pretty much contains everything I need when I’m away. When travelling through the airport normally, I’m diving in and out of my bag looking for passports and boarding passes. This little organiser becomes a bit of a life saver especially when you’re juggling luggage and children, because I use the little pouch at the front to store all the passports and boarding passes until they’re no longer needed. Meaning everything is at reach making the process nice and smooth.
The organiser also holds full-sized milk bottles up right. Sometimes I’ll have milk in them or else they’ll already be sterilised to use on the go.
Whether you want dummies at close reach, toys at close reach or a muslin cloth it can call fit in this organiser. I don’t take it off my stroller even when I’m at home it’s so handy.
I find a fan a really useful tool to have attached onto a stroller. This fan is made out of soft foam so it’ll never hurt your baby even if intrigue takes over and they try to play with the ‘blades.’ Because it’s attached using a large clip it can be attached anywhere on your stroller to make sure your baby gets the right amount of breeze. Obviously this stroller fan is great for those holidays abroad where the sun is out, but even when the weather is cooler I find it useful to have because sods law always has it that the baby will sleep just as you go somewhere where the heating is on full blast and they’re wrapped up.
3. Dummy clips
I find dummy clips useful for attaching toys to the pram as well as dummies. So I bulk buy a few of them. It saves them from falling on the floor and losing them.
This stroller hook attaches to all strollers that have a single bar. I use it to help carry my shopping, or if I don’t fancy wearing my bag when we’re travelling I’ll attach it to the pram instead using this hook.
After picking up kicked off blankets from the floor countless times, I figured it was time to get something that was more practical. I wanted a blanket that wasn’t too warm because it’s not quite winter yet and when I dress my daughter for days out at the moment she’s often quite wrapped up as it is. But when she napped I wanted something that would take the edge off of any wind and also help keep her cosy. After all everyone loves a cosy blanket when they sleep.
The Wallaboo baby blanket comes in so many colours and being 100% cotton I knew they’d be cosy and comfortable. It’s the perfect thickness for the start of Autumn. It’ll last us until a proper winter foot muff is needed. But right now with the weather up and down this makes the perfect transitional blanket for us.
When we travel with bottles and dummies, I find it essential to make sure we have a good on the go steriliser. I don’t mean the main water steriliser that I would use for the initial sterilising back at wherever we’re staying. But a good out and about steriliser. The Bebipod is a steriliser that works with UV light (it’s battery operated), and in combination with the way I usually sterilise I find it’s perfect for our baby’s needs when we’re out. It doesn’t take up a huge amount of room so I can just leave it in the bottom of our pram.
It only take 4 minutes to sterilise a dummy that’s been dropped or a bottle teat before feeding.
When we go out for the day I usually fill up a baby bottle with the water it’s been sterilising in and seal it before leaving it until I need it. That means the inside of the bottle remains sterile as I throw the water away before filling the bottle up with either pre made formula or make up a bottle on the go, but the teat as far as I’m aware isn’t sterile because it’s been out of the solution. So I use the Bebipod to just make sure the teat is properly sterilised before feeding my daughter. The easy to use Bebipod makes teat sterilising simple and quick and I don’t even need to remove it from the bottle to do.
I literally wouldn’t survive without a white noise machine. And this one is portable so it’s easy to transport and comes with a variety of sounds- although we always use our tried and tested one. It can also be set onto a timer, so it will turn off when you need it to or you can keep it running until baby wakes up again. The battery life is great in them too.
We did use You Tube on our to begin with, but those phones get really hot so this is a much safer way of getting baby to drift off.
I literally use this every time my daughter sleeps whether we’re at home or we’re away. I’d cry if I lost it.
If you like to make up fresh bottles of formula I find having one of these milk dispenser’s invaluable. Firstly they attach to your pram, and secondly you can bring up to four bottles worth of ready measured formula out with you and all you need to do is just mix it with boiling water into a sterilised bottle.
With Little London we used a different kind of milk dispenser and I hated it. So it’s important to find one that actually works and suits you- spill proof is essential.
I also like that this can be used when we start weaning too and I can use the containers to store snacks instead.
A good thermos flask that actually keeps boiling water at a suitable temperature all day long for killing off germs in the formula powder is essential in my eyes. This flask does just that. Not all flasks do.
It can’t just be my children that hate being in a carrycot for longer than necessary, so although it’s not advised to move your baby’s to the seat unit of their stroller until 6 months I think I’d find very few parents that have managed to hold out that long. My daughter absolutely hates being on her back now in her carrycot so we had no choice but to out her in the seat unit (screaming isn’t my thing). But she was still so small so I bought a newborn insert to help protect her and keep her steady in the seat unit. I love it, and it’s adjustable. When she falls asleep, I recline her all the way down and when she’s awake I have her in a sitting position, so she’s much more content being in the seat unit full stop as she gets the best of both worlds. This newborn insert I think would make any seat more comfortable if your child is in their prams for long days.
10. Activity Spiral
If you have a bar across your stroller you may as well make use of it to entertain your baby and an activity spiral does just that! There are loads of different ones on the market so it’s just finding the right one for your baby… do they need something they can chew to help teeth? Something that has bells inside the toys? or just lots of different patterns to keep them glued to staring at the variety of shapes they can see.