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When traveling, it's always a good idea to find out about the climate and weather conditions of your destination ahead of time. That way, you can be prepared to dress both you and baby appropriately for the trip. If you're bringing a stroller, keep in mind that with a few accessories, you can protect your infant from many of the elements. Some strollers come with these accessories, but if yours doesn't, you can always find them at a stroller specialty shop or one of the major infant retailers, like Babies R Us.
Foot Muff – Many of the better stroller lines come with these, but if yours doesn't, you can always purchase one separately. Ideal for cold weather days, the boot cover attaches to through the harness of your stroller and wraps around your baby or toddler for warmth. JJ Coles makes a version for infants as well as toddlers that fit most types of strollers.
Rain Cover – If a rain cover comes with your stroller, you'll likely snap it on for a custom fit. It provides a clear vinyl shade to keep the rain out, but let baby enjoy the view. If you need to purchase it separately, you can get a one size fits most version, which rests on top of your stroller. Especially For Baby at Babies R Us makes stroller rain covers.
Sun Shade – These might snap on to your stroller much like a rain cover does if your stroller comes with it. The best ones are UV filtered to keep the sun's harmful rays away from your child. They're typically made of a soft woven fabric that drapes over your stroller and allows your infant to see out.
Sun Canopy – Just about every stroller has a sun canopy with the exception of some of the most basic umbrella strollers. However, if you've ever toyed with one of these, you know it takes some adjustment throughout your walk to keep the sun out. Short of using a blanket to cover baby up, if you want to go the canopy route, you can purchase a canopy attachment that'll block out much more sunlight than a standard stroller canopy will. Protect A Bub makes a canopy shade attachment maintains visibility for your child while providing sun protection.
Mosquito Net – If you're going somewhere tropical where mosquitoes are abound, this is one handy stroller accessory to have. It's typically a mesh fabric with attaches snugly to your stroller via an elasticized bottom. They're much more common on European models of strollers, but you can purchase them separately. See if your stroller manufacturer carries them. If not, baby retailers or places selling outdoor gear do carry them.
When you're on the go with your stroller, it's always nice to have somewhere to stash your stuff in a convenient, organized place. This is especially true if you're sprinting through the airport with your toddler to get the gate; you'll want to have all your documents on hand when you get there. If you're looking for stroller accessories that'll keep you from juggling a drink in your hand and travel documents in the other, try one of these nifty organizational accessories for your stroller.
Carry You Milan Deluxe Stroller Organizer ($40) – Carry You makes a line of practical organizational bags for the stroller, including cup holders, saddle bags, and organizers. The Deluxe Stroller Organizer accommodates two cups – a sippy for your tot and a drink for you. But it also provides a large mesh bag and smaller organizers for papers, keys, small toys, and any other loose item you need to store. It attaches to the back of your stroller and is constructed of a nylon mesh material. It works nicely for travel because it packs flat and will collapse with your stroller as well.
Skip Hop Dash – Skip Hop makes organizational tools for the modern parent, from a sculptural bottler drying rack to diaper bags that do double-duty as stoller bags. We like the Dash because it looks deceptively like a messenger bag, yet it attaches to the rear of your stroller with its own stroller straps. Plus it's the ideal size for boarding on a plane, but has enough room for all your essentials. There's a total of 10 pockets to keep you organized as well as convenient outside pockets that'll fit baby's bottle.
Gadgets aren't just products that you use for everyday tasks. They're products that you use for everyday tasks that are well-designed and take a new spin on an existing concept. Here are just a few pieces you might want to try out for your next trip baby travel trip:
Züca ($130-145)– Ever use your luggage as a seat? Ever want to use your luggage as a seat, but just couldn't wing it? This wheeled luggage functions as a seat as well as carry-all for your travel gear.
Teeny Towels ($8 for four-pack)– If you ever worried about having room to stock towels for wiping your child's hands clean, worry no more. These teeny towels do really come in a petite package – a keychain dispenser that can attach to your diaper bag or stroller.
Teeny Pads ($7)– For travel and on the go, we like products that pack small. Teeny pads is actually a diaper changing pad that is machine washable, packs petite, and clips onto your diaper bag or stroller.
Diaper Bridge ($40)– When there just isn't a changing table around, this product makes up for it by attaching to a sink. It sounds odd, but if you've ever been to a restroom without a changing station and needed to change baby's diaper, you'll realize the thoughtfulness put into this product.
Some stroller accessories will make your life easier. We've found some stroller accessories you'll want to get for yourself because they're just as ingenious as they are practical:
Lascal Buggy Board – This nifty platform with wheels attaches to the back of your stroller and gives a pretty smooth ride for toddlers and younger children. If you've got a need for transporting a second child who tires easily of walking, this product makes getting from one place to another much easier.
Junior Sunshade – Have you been trying to adjust the stroller canopy just so and you can never get it to provide the right sun protection? Get a Junior Sunshade. This product gives your child additional coverage from the sun with a rating of 50+ ultraviolet protective factor (UPF). The best part? It even looks good over your regular stroller canopy.
Padded Umbrella Stroller Bag – Taking your stroller along to the airport? You'll want to protect your stroller if you've decided to check it in. The J.L. Childress Padded Umbrella Stroller Bag can accommodate most lightweight strollers and umbrella strollers, keeping them protected. Use the padded shoulder strap for easy transport.
There's a whole host of accessories out there you can add that are geared towards your infant's comfort and entertainment. The question is, what do you pick from the sheer number of stroller accessories made especially for baby? Here's a list of a few of our picks.
Toy Bar – Get a toy attachment that connects to your stroller or infant seat. Tiny Love makes an arch with three dangling characters in colors and shapes that babies love. Any clip on toy that's interactive, plays music, and comes in bright, fun colors, works well.
Stroller Bootcover – These accessories are made especially for baby and are the perfect stroller accessory to keep little ones warm. Simply attach the stroller bootcover to your stroller and you eliminate the need for any blankets. JJ Cole makes one which has a shearling inner lining to keep little ones warm.
Portable Mobile – Mobiles aren't just for cribs. Get a portable mobile and clip it onto your stroller or infant car seat. You might keep your baby or toddler entertained long enough to get through the checkout line. Try the Sassy Mobile Caterpillar which attaches with a strong suction arm and lets your baby interact with colorful dangling toys.
When you're shopping for an infant car seat, you don't have to worry about car seat bases. Your car seat will come with one. However, if you've got more than one car and you don't want to worry about shuffling the entire set-up from one car to another or limit which car you drive your child in, consider getting an extra car seat base. Car seat bases are pretty affordable and if you put one in each car, all you'll have to do is fasten your child in her infant car seat, snap it in the base of whichever car you'd like to take, and you're ready to go.
Wouldn't it be great if you could purchase a stroller that would come with every single feature you could ever want and need? Since that stroller doesn't exist, we suggest you customize yours to have all the unique accessories that would make your life easier as you wheel your tot during your travels. Here are some picks:
The Stroller Stretcher ($15)– Ever try to steer a stroller with one hand through the airport while you're actually carrying your cranky toddler in the other? If you've got one designed with such superior maneuverability, you've got a great set of wheels. For those who need a little help, this attachment lets you steer with one hand with ease.
Sit N Stroll With Sunshade ($219) – OK. This one isn't exactly an accessory per se, but it is a great product for traveling that we know makes a lot of parent's lives easier. It operates as a car seat and converts to a stroller – just shove the handle and out come the retractable wheels. It's perfect for use on the airplane and then wheeling through the airport. We like the one with the sunshade, in case you're taking your little one outdoors.
Hands Free Jogging Stroller Adapter by Stroll Smart ($50)– If you jog with baby, this accessory will make your life tremendously easier. Perfect for everyday use, daytrips to the beach, or that week-long stay at the condo, the hands free running adapter attaches at your waist and lets you jog freely with your stroller. What's more, it's compact enough to pack flat in your luggage.