15 of the best travel essentials for baby and toddler

Whether you're travelling on a plane, train or car with a baby or toddler, these products will allow kids to be comfortable, calm and entertained on long journeys

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Take the sweat out of holidays with our selection of travel must-haves…

1. Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet, 32GB, £129.99

Type: Kids’ tablet

Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 Family travel product over £50 – Gold

Forget I spy, tablets are the answer to keeping your kids entertained on a long journey, and the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids’ Edition – our gold award-winner – is just the thing.

An 8” tablet with an HD touchscreen and parental controls, it’s suitable for all ages from three and up. It comes with a year’s subscription to Fire for Kids Unlimited, which means apps, books and audiobooks, games and videos galore, including content from Disney, Nickelodeon and Sesame Street.

It’s designed so your kids can use it without you having to worry – they can’t run up bills buying apps and they don’t have access to social media unless Mum or Dad gives the go-ahead.

You can control it through the Amazon Parent Dashboard – accessible through your smartphone as well as directly on the tablet – which suggests books, videos, educational apps and games for your kids to enjoy, as well as letting you know how long your child has spent playing a certain game or reading a book.

You can also set your kids time limits, limit access, set educational goals, and personalise it for up to four different users.

It comes with a kid-proof case in blue, pink or yellow, but if the worst happens – juice gets spilt over it, or it gets dropped in the toilet – there’s a two-year “worry-free” guarantee. It also has 32GB storage and the all-important battery life is 10 hours – longer than most journeys!

MFM judge Anthony says “This is an excellent computer, packed full of great content. It has a huge variety, from games to books to apps and videos. There are lots of famous, recognisable characters, too. It’s all set up for hours of fun and has a setting for adults, too. It’s well worth the money.”

Available from: Amazon, Argos and Currys

2. Red Castles Babynomade, £40-£45 

Type: Travel blanket

Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 Family travel product £15 – £50 – Gold

Baby, it’s cold outside – but when travelling in the car, babies (and children) shouldn’t wear a coat or pram suit so that the car seat harness can be tightened correctly.

So how do you keep your little one warm on the move? Our MadeForMums gold award-winner, the Babynomade is a hooded, preshaped blanket that’ll make them super-toasty in seconds.

You use it to line your car seat, pulling the straps through the blanket’s zipped openings, then there are pockets for your baby’s legs, a flap comes up to keep their tummy and chest warm, and a waist belt keeps this in place. Lastly, you fold over the side flaps and they’re snug as a bug!

The Babynomade can be used with three- or five-point harnesses and comes in two sizes, 0-6 months and 6-12 months.

You can buy it in various weights, from double fleece for chilly winter days to a lightweight cotton for the warmer months, all in a host of different colours.

Not just for car journeys, the Babynomade is versatile – it can also be used in the pram, baby carrier, carry cot or simply when carrying your baby in your arms.

MFM judge Christy says “A good, safe alternative to a coat in the car seat – it feels nice and soft and is very easy to use.” 

Available from: BabyMonitorsDirect, Baby Rug and Kiddies Kingdom

3. Apramo Flippa Dining Booster, £39.99

Type: Travel highchair/ booster seat

Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 Family travel product £15 – £50 – Silver

No highchair? No problem! With the foldaway Apramo Flippa Dining Booster, a MadeForMums silver award-winner, your baby or toddler will be safe and secure wherever they tuck in.

Suitable for babies from six months old to around three years, or 15kg, the Flippa is basically a mini high chair which you secure to the back and seat of a full-sized dining chair with two straps.

With a plastic back and seat, it has strong aluminium legs and rubber feet you can adjust for more stability. Once they’re strapped in with the Flippa harness, your little one can either eat from the tray the Flippa comes with, or you can remove the tray so they can sit up to the table. Dinner is served!

Afterwards, you can wipe it down and with a touch of a button, the Flippa folds away neatly.

Available in nine different colours, this is definitely one to pack for trips away and it won’t take up much room in your suitcase.

Our MFM judge Hollie said “This is a great product. My daughter really enjoys sitting in it. It’s easy to fold down, very portable and quick and easy to attach to a chair. It’s very simple to attach and detach the tray table, and the use of metal instead of plastic means it feels really well-made and sturdy.”

Available from: Kiddies Kingdom, Precious Little One and Uber Kids

4. Splash About New Happy Nappy, from £10.99

Type: Reusable swim nappy

Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 Family travel product under £15 – Gold

When taking your baby for a dip, a reliable, leak-proof swim nappy is a must – no one wants their child to be the reason the pool has to close for cleaning.

Better for the planet than disposable swim nappies and less bulky to pack for holidays is Splash About’s new and improved, reusable Happy Nappy – we like it so much we gave it our gold award!

It’s made from high-quality neoprene, with waist and leg cuffs that fit snugly and a non-gaping gusset, so there’s no worries about any embarrassing poo leaks in the pool.

Available in sizes from 0-3 months to 2-3 years, it also has built-in sun protection of UPF 50+ to protect your baby’s bottom from the sun. Although you don’t have to use it with any other swim nappy, Splash About sells a Cotton Nappy Wrap and Liners if you prefer.

When swimming time is over, you just rinse it out and it dries in flash so it’s always ready for baby’s next dip. Best of all, the Happy Nappy comes in some adorable designs, including the Owl and Pussycat and Dino Pirates.

MFM judge Alysia says “We love the happy nappy! The designs are fun and appealing to children and the shaping means that nothing leaks out. Our daughter soiled her nappy in the pool and it contained it all, no leaks at all! The aftercare is so easy – just rinse, leave to dry and it’s ready for next time. We will definitely be using these in the future.”

Read our full MFM review

Available from: Amazon, Mothercare and Splash About

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5. PuroQuiet Headphones, £69.99

Type: Noise cancelling headphones

If you’re looking for a way to keep the kids occupied on a long journey, these wireless headphones are a great option. As well as being noise cancelling, they limit the volume to a safe listening level and have a Bluetooth connection of up to 30 feet.

You won’t have to worry about constantly charging them as they have up to 16 hours of battery life, so can be used for up to 200 hours in standby mode between charges.

Available in black, pink and blue, they fold flat and come with a handy carry case to use on the move.

MFM tester Louisa says “The bluetooth facility on the PuroQuiet headphones is a real game-changer. My daughter’s been wandering around all over the place (including the garden) while listening with them, and it means I still have control over my phone and can stop/start the story when I want. This is really useful in the car as well.”

Available from: Amazon

6. Gro Anywhere Blind, £34.99

Type: Blackout blind

Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 Family travel product over £50 – Joint Silver

When you’re on holiday, the long, hot days often mean the sun is still burning bright outside when it’s time to put your little one to bed, and without blackout curtains it can be hard for them to drop off.

Our MadeForMums joint silver award-winner, the portable Gro Anywhere blackout blind is a clever, ‘one-size-fits-all’ product that shuts out those pesky sun rays in an instant. It’s easy to use, with suction cups that attach directly to the window glass for a snug fit, and the new, improved version means you can use it on smaller windows as well as larger ones – up to a maximum size of 130cm x 198cm.

Available in a Stars and Moon or Ollie the Owl design, it comes with its own handy bag, making it easy to pack, and it’s washable, too. If you want to maintain your little one’s bedtime routine on holiday and to stop the sun from waking your child way too early, don’t leave home without one!

Available from: Argos, John Lewis and The Gro Store

7. Merifor Travel Mattress, £70

Type: Travel cot mattress

Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 Family travel product over £50 – Joint Silver

Make sure your baby snoozes soundly when you’re away with this premium travel mattress – a MadeForMums joint silver award-winner.

Made from nursery foam and approved by Allergy UK, unlike many travel cot mattresses, Merifor’s Travel Mattress is thick and comfortable and made with special, breathable fabric to help keep your baby cool on hot summer nights away.

On the practical side, it has a cover you can wash at 60°C to banish any dust mites or allergens, while the mattress itself is wipeable, so there’s no need to worry about any little accidents. Its dimensions are 64cm x 93cm, so check that it fits your travel cot snugly beforehand. The only drawback is it can’t be rolled or folded, so it might not be suitable for every trip away.

MFM Judge Stephanie says: “Good quality product, my baby seemed very comfortable whilst sleeping on this mattress. The fact that the cover is washable and the mattress is anti-allergenic is very appealing to me.”

Available from: Precious Little One and Hawkin’s Bazaar

8. Brush-Baby Go-Kidz Electric Travel Toothbrush, £9.99

Type: Kids’ toothbrush

Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 Family travel product under £15 – Silver

Let’s face it, left to their own devices most kids would go days or more without cleaning their teeth, so the more fun you can make it, the better!

A MadeForMums silver award-winner, the Brush-Baby Go-Kidz Electric Travel Toothbrush comes with 36 holographic stickers so your kids can have fun making their brush their own. It also has a two-minute timer to keep them brushing for the right amount of time. Unlike some kids’ electric toothbrushes, it’s reusable – you can replace the brush head and it’s battery-operated, which makes it fab value. Available in pale green and pink, it even has two power modes – a regular speed for normal teeth and a slower one for sensitive teeth.

Our MFM judge Magda says “Hooray! A kids’ electric toothbrush that can be reused! Cute design and good that both toothbrush head and battery can be replaced.”

Available from: Amazon and JoJo Maman Bébé

9. Bizzi Growin POD Travel Changing Bag, £55

Type: 2-in-1 travel cot and changing bag

No ordinary changing bag, this one transforms into a fold-out crib – genius!

With this bag, there’s no need to take a bulky travel cot when you’re going on holiday. Whether it’s naptime or bedtime, in less than a minute you can zip off the body of the bag, slot in some poles to secure the sides, and voila, it’s a cot!

Measuring W48cm x H35cm x D77cm unfolded, the bag comes with a padded mattress to ensure your baby sleeps comfortably. The crib is suitable to use until your baby can roll over or sit up unaided, but once your little one has outgrown it, you’ll still get plenty more use out of the bag. It has several compartments for baby’s essentials, including an insulated bottle pocket. Made from easy-to-clean fabric, it has two handles and a shoulder strap for ease of carrying.

Available from: Amazon, Baby Birds and Bizzi Growin

10. Splash Abouts Go Splash Swim Vest, from £17.99

Type: Accessory

Swimming is a life skill you’ll want your toddler to learn, and Splash About’s Swim Vest is a great way to keep them afloat and help them gain confidence in the water.

Available in Splash About’s trademark appealing designs for 1-2 years and 2-4 years, the Swim Vest is a new and improved, lighter version of the brand’s original Float Jacket, making it perfect for taking on holiday to use in the pool or at the beach.

Robust, yet slim and comfortable for your child to wear, it contains non-removable floats and is made from quick-drying, high-quality neoprene with UPF 50+ to protect your child from the sun. A zip and velcro fastening means it’s secure but also easy to put on and take off.

Available from: Amazon, Splash About and Swimbabes

11. Trunki ride-on suitcase, from £34.99

Type: Child’s suitcase

Let’s face it, travelling with kids can be mega stressful, involving far too many long, boring waits in queues.

Suitable for mini globe-trotters aged three years and up, the Trunki suitcase is your child’s very own pull-along case and travel buddy, helping to make travel much more exciting.

They’re available in several fun designs – now your child can even create their own personalised one, choosing the colour and design of everything from the nose and horns to the handle!

The Trunki’s wheels and clever, saddle-seat back and horn hand grips mean your child can use it as a ride-on for whizzing around the airport. Or, if they’re tired, you can use its long shoulder strap to tow your child along – a great way to entertain them – while inside there’s plenty of room for their essentials including two secret pockets they’ll love stashing things in.

Made from lightweight yet durable plastic with a convenient grab handle, it’s 18 litres and measures 46 x 21 x 31cm, so it can hold everything your child needs to keep them amused on the journey. It’s also lockable so all their things can be kept safe and sound and it even comes with a special seatbelt for Teddy so he can enjoy the ride, too!

Trunki is so confident its cases can survive everything your child might throw at it that each one comes with a free five-year guarantee.

Available from: Amazon, Halfords and Trunki

12. Osprey Poco AG Plus Child Carrier, £300

Type: Child carrier

Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 Family travel product over £50 – Bronze

Take your child on intrepid adventures with our MadeForMums bronze award-winner, the Osprey Poco AG Plus Child Carrier. This backpack-style carrier boldly goes where strollers can’t, so there are no limits to your exploring.

It’s designed to be comfortable for both mums and dads to carry, with a mesh back to keep your back cool and an adjustable hip belt and torso length, while the child safety harness, seat and foot stirrups adjust to fit children of every size, shape and weight.

It also comes with a built-in sunshade with UPF22 protection and there’s a rain cover in case of a shower. It even has an emergency whistle so you’ll be ready for anything.

There’s no need to take any extra bags as the carrier has easy-access mesh side pockets for drinks and snacks, zipped pockets in the hip belt and a compartment behind the child seat for the rest. When you’re finished exploring, it folds away neatly for your next adventure.

Available from: Amazon, Blacks and Osprey

13. Water Babies Twinkle changing mat, £12.99

Type: Changing mat

Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 Best Nappy Changing Accessory – Silver

Make nappy changes at the pool or on holiday that bit easier with the MadeForMums silver award-winning Twinkle changing mat.

Made from 3mm, quick-drying neoprene, it’s cushioned and keeps your wet baby warm while you change their nappy, while the reverse side has the full lyrics to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, so you can entertain your baby in the changing room, too!

It’s washable, super light and rolls up and secures with a strap, making it easy to slip into your swim bag. Measuring 50 x 75cm, it comes in navy with a pink or blue trim.

Available from: Water Babies

14. Monkey Monkey sunglasses, from £10

Type: Accessory

Awards: MadeForMums Awards 2019 Family travel product £15 – £50 – Bronze

Protect your children’s eyes from the sun with Monkey Monkey’s stylish sunglasses, winners of the MadeForMums bronze award.

Suitable for ages 3-11, the durable, foldable frames come in a colourful array of styles from grown-up, cool aviators through to oversized cats-eye frames and tropical prints. Each pair provides UVA/UVB protection with UV400 lenses.

Available from: Boots and House of Fraser

15. Mountain Buggy Bag Rider, £139

Type: Suitcase/child seat

Travelling can be stressful at the best of times, but it’s extra hard with a baby in tow, too! Last year’s MadeForMums gold award-winner, the Mountain Buggy Bag Rider, a 35-litre, two-wheeled suitcase, makes things much easier due to its ingenious ability to transform into a four-wheeled kid’s ride-on seat!

When you need to use the seat, you simply twist the dial on the case, attach the cushioned seat liner, strap your child into the fully adjustable, five-point harness – and result! You can pull your suitcase and tow your child at the same time! It’s suitable for children of up to 15kg.

Available from: Amazon, Kidly and Mountain Buggy

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