You requested time off, booked your flight, reserved the hotel room, and planned your days (aka delegate diaper duties to dad, and veg out on a lounger with a cocktail in hand). But there’s still one more thing you have to do: pack. When baby is tagging along, packing is arguably one of the most stressful aspects of traveling. The last thing you want is to schlep a truckload of baby gear through the airport only to realize he doesn’t need most of it. So how do you elevate your commute from everyday to vacay? Pack light. Literally. And guess what: “big” and “light” are no longer mutually exclusive. Case and point: with these 7 lightweight travel baby gear picks, you’ll have all of baby’s essentials for less than 30 pounds. BABYZEN YOYO+ - 14.5 pounds Need a stroller that can collapse into luggage-size dimensions? You've got to check out Babyzen Yoyo+. Here's why: I was recently strolling towards the plane, and a flight attendant was getting ready to hand me a gate check tag. I swore our stroller could fit in the overhead bin, and proudly proceeded to demonstrate. Three clicks and 10 seconds later, our flight attendant waved us through, looking somewhat disappointed that he didn’t catch me in a lie. It’s true: the Yoyo+ does convert in flash, can be carried like a shoulder bag, and follow you on board as a carry-on luggage. Even better? You no longer have to wait for slow gate check attendants. $645, buy here. INGLESINA FAST TABLE CHAIR - 4.2 pounds Restaurant high chairs are not always easy to come by, and you never know how often they're wiped clean. Before heading to Grandma’s summer house (or to a secluded island in the Pacific) invest in baby's very own mobile throne. With Inglesina’s Fast table chair, your little one can sit with the rest of the family, right at the table -- any table. No lap necessary. It’s easy to transport, weighs only 4.2 pounds, and collapses into 3.5-inch thick. It also comes with a self-contained carry bag that can lay flat in a suitcase. If you live in a tight space, this travel chair also serves as a great everyday substitute for a bulky regular high chair. $69.99, buy here. BOBA AIR - 0.7 pounds Being a mom means being a multitasking marvel. Fixing dinner, folding laundry and feeding baby all at once? Not a problem. But navigating a busy airport with a baby in tow? Tricky business. The hand-free mobility of a baby carrier will help you ready yourself for the security checkpoint, get settled on the plane and so much more. The Boba Air is as light as a feather, but strong and supportive, plus tidily folds into its own storage bag to throw in your diaper bag or carry-on. $64.99, buy here. PHIL&TEDS TRAVELLER - 7 pounds Hotel cribs are great to lighten up your (travel) load, but they may not meet today’s safety standards, and some hotels substitute fitted sheets with folded full-sized bedding -- a serious suffocation hazard to a sleeping infant. Play it safe with a portable crib. Weighing in at a mere 7 pounds, the Traveller is lighter than your baby, and its inflatable mattress is cushy and firm all at once. It's compact enough to slip into a suitcase, an overhead compartment or a backpack. What’s more, (de)constructing the Phil&Teds travel cot takes a jiffy. $199.99, buy here. PUJ FLYTE TUB - 1.2 pounds Bathing baby on the go can be a big slippery-slope deed. Hotels don’t always have bathtubs, and even if they do, infants need a lot of support to keep themselves from flailing and sliding. With Puj Flyte, giving that cute baby pudge a quick touch-up has never been easier, even in a hotel room. Like the original, this collapsible tub can fit in most standard countertop and pedestal sinks, and cradles baby in a stable and comfy position during bath time. The Flyte is smaller and lighter than its predecessor, and it folds flat for travel. $34.99, buy here. CRANE TRAVEL HUMIDIFIER - 0.4 pounds Getting sick while traveling is a real bummer, and it’s especially tough on little kids. With Crane’s travel humidifier, you can bring a little relief wherever you go without adding heft to your load. The machine’s ultrasonic cool mist combats dryness and cold and flu symptoms, keeping your wee one as comfortable as possible to help him get a good night’s sleep. The humidifier comes with a carrying bag, a portable tank (remember to empty it out before getting to the TSA checkpoint), and a power adapter that works with both power outlets or USB ports. $29.99, buy here. BOKEN ESSENTIALS EVERY DAY BAG - 0.8 pounds Let us warn you now: your travel experience will never be perfect. But a great diaper bag that is lightweight and functional will undoubtedly make your airport commute a tiny bit better. The Boken everyday bag is deceptively big and will store baby’s entire life… Well, maybe not, but it will pack everything he needs for an entire day. It’s got a total of 6 pockets, big and small, a large diaper pad, and detachable messenger and backpack straps. When you are done using it, crumple it up into an inner zip pouch for easy storage and traveling. Did we mention that this wipeable bag is only 0.8 pounds? $68, buy here.
Daytime naps might last just a few short hours, but they can affect all 24 hours of a child's day. Naps can improve a child's mood and reduce fussiness, crying, whining and tantrums. Studies show that children who nap daily also get sick less often, grow taller and are less likely to be obese when they grow up. Naps enhance attention span and brain development.
Naps can also help make up for any shortage in nighttime sleep. Even a one hour shortage in overall sleep hours can have a negative effect on a child—compromising alertness and brain function and increasing fussiness and fatigue.
There are many ideas for helping a child to take a nap, but the best idea in the world may not work for you if the solution doesn't address the reason that your child won't nap. There is not just one reason that babies and young children refuse to nap—there are hundreds of different reasons.