Traveling with baby: My essential gear

London, UK - Photography by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

I finally took my two-month old son to go get his passport yesterday. This means I’ve already got upcoming travels on the horizon and this also means traveling with baby all over again now that my daughter is a full blown toddler.

When it comes to packing for travel with my baby, I pack for convenience. Meaning, since I’m usually traveling with other gear like a camera and laptop for assignments, I pack what I need to make sure baby is comfortable while I work.

I save minimalist packing for when I go solo. That said, I do minimize whatever I carry on board because between wrestling a wriggling baby, trying to find my seat, and storing away luggage in the overhead compartment without knocking my baby out, I don’t need the stress of forgetting our passports amidst the chaos.

In addition to these four items I usually bring on board to entertain my infant, here are four essential items I often bring with me while traveling with baby.


Baby Björn

A baby carrier means everything when traveling solo with baby and running through the airport. Strollers don’t work for me until they’re toddlers. I need both hands. Plus jetting around Europe and its cobblestoned streets, carrying baby on my chest in a Baby Björn as opposed to bouncing them along in a stroller works better. That said, I still carry a portable stroller which I can fully cover in crowded spaces.

Professional-looking Baby Bag

Because I tend to consolidate my hand luggage as best as I can, I needed a bag that could also double as a work bag while carrying baby supplies. Two years ago, I found this elegant SoYoung Charlie Straps Lifestyle Diaper Bag. Besides just being good-looking, the bag seems to expand like a Chia pet. In other words, it fits everything I need for baby plus compartments for additional items like passports, a mini laptop, and more.


Stokke PramPack

After spending 1-2 hours researching various baby stroller travel bags online including getting a few recommendations and reading other bag reviews, I had a vision of what I wanted my travel bag to look like -> Clean, simple, non-awkward-looking, stylish, with some type of fragile logo I could place on it.

When I finally stumbled across Stokke’s PramPack travel bag, I felt like they’d literally crawled into my head, pulled out my thoughts, and quickly invented a perfect bag in a span of seconds especially for me (yes, I know – lofty). Anyways, the PramPack™ fits almost any type of stroller and car seat together (I use Graco), plus it has lots of leftover room for a bag of baby clothes and essentials.

Portable electric pump

For the first six months, I exclusively breastfeed and then continue up until 11-13 months supplemented with baby food. Though taking some time out while running around during my travels to breastfeed is a nice bonding experience, my baby can down a pumped bottle in about five minutes which makes it easier and time efficient. Especially at night or during conference breaks and such. So depending on the trip, how long, and where I’m going, I try to carry a small portable Medela electric breast pump.

Since most of my travels as a writer and photographer are working trips, these are the main large items I take along for convenience when traveling with baby.