The First Year: On the Go
We highly suggest you limit your commitments in the first few months with your child, for her sake as well as your own. There is a lot of adjusting taking place for both of you!
When you do feel ready to travel, I suggest starting small, like going outside.
Babies LOVE to be outside and it's a win-win for you. There's always something new to see, touch, smell, or experience and you don't have to do anything more than go out. Even stepping onto your welcome mat is fine.
You may find it helpful to have a carrier or stroller for longer walks and trips. I’ve listed a few below.
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On the Go Materials
If you plan on taking your child into a car at any point, you'll need a car seat. The best car seat depends on the your vehicle or lifestyle and what kind of travel, features, and options matter to you. Read this very through article from Baby Gear Lab to help you make the choice that's right for you.
The safest seats for the first year are infant bucket-type seats. But, it’s improper installs that cause the most injury, not safety ratings of the car seat, so make sure you practice installing your car seat with an expert.
It's not ideal for your child to spend any more time in a car seat then necessary, as it is a container that will restrict her free movement and ability to explore.
Baby Carriers and Slings
An carrier with infant accessories can be a real life saver for sore arms. Many models will hold children from day one through toddlerhood, and are sturdy enough to last years. Infants should ALWAYS face in with a carrier to help them feel safe and connected to you (front facing is like riding in the first car on a roller coaster).
I'm a fan of the Ergo carrier (pictured and linked below), but there are many options available. Learn more about choosing a carrier here.
A stroller is certainly not necessary for life with an infant, but many people find them helpful and convenient. Strollers are for the adults, and are easy transport from one location to another. There is no developmental benefit for your child to ride in a stroller, and it's one of the least valuable activities she can spend her time doing (traveling on her own feet is best). The best way to take a walk with your infant in the first year is in a carrier or in your arms, so you can narrate, stop, touch, and listen together.
There is no "best stroller", read this article to decide the features your family needs for your lifestyle. Or, skip the stroller and use a carrier or wagon instead.
Radio Flyer Wagon
Use a wagon like this instead of a stroller for any infant who can sit up. The wagon offers some freedom of movement and the autonomy to look around 360 degrees as you travel. This model folds up for easy storage and can be used with older children too.
A hat is easier than sunscreen everytime you step outside. This one is fully adjustable, has a wide brim, and a safety breakaway clip.
Travel Play Yard
If you don't have the luxury of a safe outdoor (or indoor) space for your infant to explore, you can create one with a travel play yard. This is my favorite model, as it is much larger than pack-and-plays, but has a floor and folds up. No matter where you go, your child will have a safe, clean area to explore and move. This is ideal for day trips and camping. A pop-up shelter or tent could also work.
Picnic Blanket for Baby
Nothing beats a blanket for babies on the go. Look for one with a water-resistant lining to keep both of you dry on damp grass, and a blanket that folds into a easy-carry pouch is quite handy.
The topponcino is a infant-sized thin pillow bed used when holding or transferring a baby. It creates a sense of security and offers consistency of texture, smell, and temperature, which can really help an infant feel calm.
You can make a topponcino if you are crafty, or buy on on Etsy. Make sure you get a few covers to throw in the wash!