Travel Gadgets for New Parents

July 24, 2013 10:09:43 AM PDT
New gadgets and gismos make traveling with a child a lot more simple. Laurie Schacht, The Toy Insider Mom and toy expert has a look at a few and gives summer travel tips for new parents.

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Tip #1: Use Portable Versions of Larger Essentials:
Look for portable products that are a breeze to open and close, which makes them easy to take along when you don't have time for complicated set-ups, or room in the car for full-size products. The journeyBee is a portable crib that pops open in seconds, and gives babies a place to rest and play. Delta's Alpha Elite Stroller weighs just 18 pounds, and folds in half for easy storage and travel.

Tip #2: Provide On the Go Fun: Soft, lovable toys encourage learning through play -- helping to develop baby's imaginations and expand their social skills. Choose a toy, like Lamaze Shiver the Sharpei, that can easily clip to strollers and diaper bags for convenient on-the-go play

Tip #3: Stay Cool: Infants and young children generally have higher body temperatures than adults. Also, children's regulatory systems are not as efficient as an adult's. Babies are at risk for heat-related injuries in the summer months. When driving with your baby, keep in mind that the back seat of a car can get hotter than the front ? and, of course, never ever leave your child unattended in a car, even for just a minute. Look before you lock ? make it a habit to look in the front and back of your vehicle before you walk away. The First Years brand has a new True Fit IAlert Car Seat that synchs with parents' Smartphones in order to alert them of potentially unsafe situations, such as accidentally leaving their child unattended in a parked car.

Tip #4: Stay Organized: Diaper bags are now available in styles and patterns that look more like designer purses or messenger bags than the sterile items of the past. It's easier than ever to find high fashion, functional and affordable bags ? like the Caprice Diaper Bag from JJ Cole Collections - that help busy parents stay organized, not only with changing pads, diapers, wipes and bottles, but also everyday essentials like keys, wallets, cell phones and makeup. We've stuffed this JJ Cole bag with on-the-go feeding supplies from Boon, The First Years and GumDrop: Pulp and Squirt Silicone Feeders; Gnaw and Hitch Teething Tethers; GumDrop pacifiers; and Disney Baby Color Changing Sippy Cups.

Tip #5: Comfort Your Baby: Research has shown that babies experience an automatic calming reaction upon being carried. Infant carriers, such as JJ Cole Collections' new Medley Carrier, are the perfect way for busy, out-and-about parents to comfort their babies, while also socializing infants to the world around them.

Tip #6: Be Prepared: Boo boos happen ? at home, in the backyard, at the beach, in the grocery store. Keep an on-the-go first aid kit into your car in case of emergencies while you're out -- and choose one, like The First Years American Red Cross On-the-Go First Aid Kit, that's made especially for babies and toddlers.

Where to find the products:

Lamaze Shiver the Sharpei This adorable sharpei Play and Grow toy shivers when baby pulls the rings down. See all the hidden colorful patterns as he is stretched out and shivers back up. The fun shivering action, crinkle, clackety rings and different textures are sure to keep baby engaged in endless discovery. Ages newborn to 24 months. MSRP: $15.99, available at and

The First Years True Fit IAlert Convertible Car Seat
A revolutionary new Smartphone-synched car seat monitoring system designed to alert parents of potentially life-threatening situations, The First Years True Fit IAlert Convertible Car Seat is integrated with a patented monitoring technology that alerts parents and caregivers on their Smartphones of potentially unsafe or life-threatening situations: when the child is out of their car seat while the car is in motion; or when the car is no longer in motion and the child is left unattended in their car seat. The IAlert Car Seat Monitor Smartphone App can be customized for contacts to receive e-mail and/or text alerts when the above scenario occur; reminds parents to check that their child is buckled; constantly monitors the temperature in the back of the car; and helps parents install the car seat at the desired angle (when used rear-facing).

The First Years True Fit IAlert Convertible Car Seat is side-impact tested to international standards and offers all the standard features of the True Fit line, including the Rebound Energy Management system for rear-facing installation. Managing rebound energy helps reduce the chance for broken bones in the legs, hips and waist that can be significant in a violent crash. The True Fit IAlert Convertible Car Seat also features a new head rest designed to help manage head control, a no-rethread, easy-adjust harness, built in lock offs, color coded belt paths, LATCH, center angle indicator, cup holder and easy-off pads for convenient cleaning. For use rear-facing 5 to 35 lbs.; forward-facing 23-65 lbs. MSRP: $349.99, exclusive

JJ Cole Collections Caprice Diaper Bag
High fashion meets function in this stylish tote. Choose from three carrying options including stroller straps, a padded shoulder strap, and tote handles. Ten pockets inside and out allow you to keep everything at your fingertips, all while looking effortlessly chic. MSRP: $69.95, available at Babies R Us.

The First Years GumDrop Baby Bottle Starter Set
GumDrop® provides the latest design innovation in pacifiers, teethers, bottles and accessories to help comfort your new baby. Beginning with the newborn GumDrop Pacifier, the pacifier trusted by hospitals, the collection has expanded to include a complete line of feeding and soothing solutions for your little one. This summer, relax knowing GumDrop has you covered with its 10-piece starter set. The slim design of the GumDrop bottle makes it easy for baby to hold on to the bottle when mom and dad's hands are already full. These BPA-free plastic baby bottles include leak-resistant travel caps, and 100 percent silicone nipples. This ten-piece set from The First Years includes three 4-oz bottles; two 8-oz bottles; 2 replacement nipples; 2 newborn pacifiers and a package of 40 pacifier wipes. Ages: Newborn & up. MSRP: $17.99, available on and in select Walmart stores

Boon HITCH Pacifier Tether
We think pacifiers must end up in the same parallel universe as baby socks. So if you're not well-versed in quantum theory, we have a solution! HITCH, Boon's innovative pacifier tether, keeps pacifiers from entering another dimension. HITCH keeps pacifiers off the floor and within your child's reach at all times. Plus, the flexible ring attaches to both button and ring pacifiers. While we may not be getting a Nobel Prize for physics, we think our tether theory is pretty genius. Ages: newborn & up. MSRP: $7.49,

Boon SQUIRT Baby Food Dispensing Spoon
Genius. (There. We said it.) Squirt isn't just a spoon; it's a revelation. It takes baby food, removes the jar and the mess, packs it into a single utensil and with one squeeze?boom! You get easy, one-handed feeding. Pop on the cap to seal food on-the-go. Caution: May cause gobbling and an uncontrollable appreciation for anything delicious. Ages: 4 months & up. MRSP: $9.99, Galt Baby (1915 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago)

Boon GNAW Multi-Purpose Teething Tether
Ancient Chinese secret huh? Forget that mad dash to save their teether from the germ-covered pavement. Gnaw keeps the gnarly stuff out of your kid's mouth by keeping snacks and teethers within their grasp. How does Gnaw do that? We use the same technology as those Chinese finger traps you used to play with. Ages: 6 months & up. MSRP: $7.49,

Boon PULP Silicone Teething Feeder
We don't mean to mouth off, but let's be real about how mesh feeders can be a real mess and difficult to clean. Our silicone teething feeder has some bite to it; allowing for easy feeding with its interior firm stem that forces food out where babies can get to it. It's simple to clean and more durable than mesh feeders. Boon totally has a handle on baby's snack time and when something is this good, we think it's okay to get a little mouthy about it. Ages: 6 months & up. MSRP: $7.49, Galt Baby (1915 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago)

The First Years Disney Baby Disney Princess Insulated Sippy Cups
Give mealtime the royal treatment. These insulated sippy cups from The First Years featuring Disney Princesses make drinking a little more magical for your little one. Your child will delight watching the cups change color as a cold liquid is poured into them, and a quick glance will let you know when the drink is back at room temperature. You'll also love the one piece lid that features an easy-clean valve system, making clean up so easy, it's almost just as magical. There are no small parts to vanish at daycare or disappear down the garbage disposal. And to make life even easier, all of The First Years' insulated cups have interchangeable lids so you can keep the cup even when your little one has grown out of it. Ages: 9 months & up. $7.76 (2-pack),

JJ Cole Collections Medley Infant Carrier
JJ Cole's Medley carrier is an innovative, three-position infant carrier designed to cradle baby in an ergonomic hug that is best for baby's hip position. Medley's easy-adjust buckles, thick straps and seat extender give parents more versatility. The protective carrier cover is removable for cleaning with additional patterns available to purchase separately. For babies 8 to 35 pounds. MSRP: $69.95, available at Babies R Us

JJ Cole Collections Medley Infant Carrier Covers
Quick and easy to suit mom's style, machine washable MSRP: $9.95 each, at

The First Years American Red Cross On-The-Go First Aid Kit
Since fun-in-the-sun boo-boos, bumps and bruises can happen, The First Years and the American Red Cross have teamed up to offer an On-The-Go First Aid Kit made especially for babies & toddlers, perfect for summer adventures! With an easy-to-grip handle and a portable-sized clear case, accessing emergency supplies is easy for busy moms and dads. The On-The-Go First Aid Kit includes 54 essential items when a kiss from mom just won't do the trick: bandages, antibiotic ointment, scissors, tweezers, instant cold pack, gauze pads, hand sanitizer, and more! Pack it in your beach bag, keep in the car or put it in your camping bag! MSRP: $19.99, available in Walmart stores nationwide

Delta Alpha Elite Stroller
The Delta Alpha Elite Stroller, available this August, is 18 pounds which makes it perfect for travel. It's a breeze to open and close, and folds in half for easy storage and travel. The stroller has a 5 point harness system and shock absorbent front wheel; a full multi-position reclining feature and a canopy for sunshade MSRP: $79.99,

ParentLab journeyBee
Whether it's a plane ride across the country, a road trip to grandma's house or simply a park down the street...the journeyBee provides a safe, comfortable place for babies to rest and play all day long. This transportable, light weight portable crib sets up in seconds, requires no tools and makes life a bit simpler for all parents and caregivers. Only weighing 10 lbs, the journeyBee comes complete with a durable outer case, handles and comfy shoulder straps. MSRP: $169.99,

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