The most essential item for budget travel with a baby PLUS a bonus item for breastfeeding moms!

Traveling with a baby is definitely possible. After visiting almost 20 countries in about 2 years with Darian, we experienced many different situations and while it wasn’t easy everyday, our life was made smoother by some of the stuffs we’ve been carrying. Today we are ready to tell you which item you will need the most in your travels ! This essential baby travel item is … :

A baby carrier (Our is Babyjorn Carrier One 2016)

We got our baby carrier as a gift soon after Darian was born. It turned out to be the most essential item ever ! I can not imagine myself traveling without.

Darian’s birth weight was below 2.5kg and the minimum weight for using the Babyjorn Carrier One is 3.5kg (8lbs). Before Darian reached the minimum weight, I did consider buying a baby sling. Yet the baby sling is bulkier and we usually think twice before buying something that we might only need for a couple of months. In the end, we just carried him until he was heavy enough to be in a carrier. It didn’t stop us from moving around, since Darian took his first flight when he was just 5-week old.

Why is a baby carrier essential to travel with a baby?

The multi-functional baby carrier has several advantages that fits perfectly our needs and it quickly became the most essential item in our travel :

  • First, your son will love the contact with his parents instead of being separated in a stroller.
  • I am able to hold Darian close while having my hands free for other things. It means I can go grocery shopping and cook with him while describing things at his eye level without having to kneel down besides him. I can keep him around in places where we have limited movements, such as riding a bus or passing the immigration at a border.
Maxime is carrying Darian in the carrier.
Perfect example of carrying Darian in the carrier and having 2 hands free: 1 hand for holding the umbrella and 1 hand for bonding with Darian
  • It’s recommended by pediatricians as a “hip-healthy” and ergonomic baby carrier. This means that the baby carrier provides correct support to Darian’s hips and encourages good hip joint development. The sturdy padded waist belt and padded shoulder straps help relieve pressure on the wearer’s back and shoulders. As for our son, the wide and fully adjustable seat area ensures a comfortable and correct position.
  • Many countries we visited over the last two years are just not suitable for strollers. The pavement is irregular and sometimes non-existent. At best, it is occupied by street sellers, cars or scooters. Carrying our son in a carrier is surely more tiring, but so much faster and convenient. We just can’t take imagine ourselves pushing our kid in a stroller in South America or South-East Asia!
Maxime is carrying Darian in the carrier to explore the jungle
It’s better to carry Darian in a carrier than pushing a stroller in the forest right?
  • Darian’s father loves sports, and especially hiking. We often go hiking with our son and we already climbed the highest mountain in Taiwan and South Korea with him. It wouldn’t have been possible to carry him for hours without this essential item !

Our guide on hiking Yushan, the highest mountain in Taiwan at 3.952 meters.

Our family hiking
Hiking Hallasan, the highest mountain in South Korea, with Darian taking a nap !

Why Babyjorn Baby Carrier One?

  • It is easy to wear and possible to adjust all the straps without help from others (unlike a sling)
  • It is safe. The carrier is made from toxin-free, child-friendly materials. Parents don’t need to worry when their babies chew or suck the fabric due to teething. Also, there are straps for small baby legs to make sure Darian cannot fall from the carrier
  • There are 4 different positions including 2 height positions that allow us to carry Darian from 3-month old (others maybe from birth-on) until he reaches 15kg. Darian can face towards us or away from us comfortably. (He prefers the latter to see the world and react with his free arms and legs!) We can carry Darian on our back as well, but he never liked it.
  • It’s durable. We use it on a daily basis. After 2 years our kid has been in it for probably more than a thousand hours in total (I’m not exaggerating) and it is still usable after 2 years.

Unlike the Ergobaby carrier which can store some small stuff like a diaper or two, the Babyjorn Baby Carrier One does not have any pocket. Yet I create my own storage space between me and the carrier. I sometimes carry a wallet or mobile phone there in some new cities where I’m not sure about the safety. They seldom fell and I never lost anything with this “pocket”.

Breastfeeding in the carrier

Babies evolve, so do their mothers! When Darian grew bigger and taller, I just switched the breastfeeding position from carrying him in my arms to carrying him in the carrier. In such way, I can breastfeed him with my free hands taking pictures in museums. It’s not easy but it’s not so complicated either. Finding the position that works for the baby and you takes time, but after that you will see the world brighter and with more freedom! Well worth practicing!

HiuYing with Darian in the carrier in Mexico
Breastfeeding Darian in the carrier and at the same time exploring the city.

Babywearing is an increasingly popular trend as it intensifies the bond between parents and their babies. More and more carriers enter the market once a few months. Although we only tried one, we’ve been totally satisfied with it. It’s durable and ergonomic. So far, Maxime and I still haven’t experienced any posture problems or back pains due to babywearing for long hours every day. We definitely would recommend it to parents, especially those who love to travel. With the carrier we have, we don’t have to own a stroller and we can travel with less weight. Not to mention we can create bonding with Darian while he at the same time strengthens his neck muscle as he looks at us from the carrier.

There are other accessories like windproof cover, teething pads, teething bib which you can purchase to use with the Babyjorn Carrier One. We travel light so we did not try any of them. We used a secret weapon (the bonus item below) and my breast as substitutes.

When my baby was born my personal research directed me to choose between Babyjorn and Ergobaby only. The 2016 version Babyjorn Baby Carrier One no longer exists and is now replaced by the 2019 version. There has been some new improvements and the reviews are as positive as the one we have.

The goal of this post is not promoting “the Babyjorn baby carrier is the best and you should have it no matter what”. We just want to share our own experience and share with travelholic parents that if you choose a good carrier that protect you and your baby well, it is possible to travel light and leave your stroller at home!

A bonus item for breasfeeding moms!

After introducing the most essential item in our family travel, here comes a bonus to all breastfeeding moms!

Ever thought about buying a nursing cover, but hesitate when you see that piece of cloth costs more than a set of baby clothes? Here in this section I am going to share how to make a nursing cover that you like, without carrying one more thing in your bag.

Material: one blanket, one clothespin

From the materials above, I guess most of you have already figured out how to make you own nursing cover. Right? As I am a responsible writer, I will still explain it with simple words and pictures.

Method: Use the clothespin to connect two adjacent corners of the blanket.

And here you are: a nursing cover of your choice!

As a girl from a comparatively not so breastfeeding-friendly city, I do not feel as comfortable as foreign moms who don’t mind showing their breast to strangers just to comfort their hungry babies. I honestly respect a lot every breastfeeding mom. Yet I do care when strangers, men in particular, looking at me breastfeeding my son. If this is your concern, please feel free to use the above method to make your nursing cover in order to feed your little one comfortably next time. If not, thank you for reading this section and I really appreciate your time and your thoughts.

Have you ever use any baby carrier or related accessories? Which one do you recommend or suggest others to avoid? Leave a comment below and help parents who are struggling with those hundreds of choices out there!

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Leungy

A rebellious Hong Konger !
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