Tips for smooth travelling with babies!
This post is all about travelling with your little ones.
Summer holidays are approaching for lots of you so this is a good time to start planning.
We went on our first family holiday abroad this year.. And boy was there A LOT to think about beforehand.
I made list after list. I’d never traveled with a baby before so I was extremely anxious and a little flustered about what to bring and what to expect.
Being an ambassador for Mothercare I told them about this post I was writing up, so we got together recently and compiled a list of what you need to bring and consider before you set off. So this is my advice mixed with their expert opinions!
Your first trip abroad with your baby is an exciting time but can also be terrifying for some parents as it can make travelling seem that little bit more complicated. Like anything, if you adequately prepare, everything will run smoothly.
-Passport. Your baby will need their own passport.
Mothercare TIP: Follow the rules about the photograph to the absolute letter. You’ll get through quite a few coins in the photo booth before you get a photo that ticks all the boxes, but if it’s not absolutely perfect, it will be rejected by the authorities again, and again, and again. A better alternative to a photo booth is having your baby’s picture taken at a high-street photo development shop. They’ll use a digital camera and will keep going until they get a suitable shot.
-Pippa’s TIP: Don’t do what I did and leave getting your baby’s passport until the last minute. Give yourself plenty of time and room for error. You’ll have enough to be thinking about in the run up.
Packing At some point nearly all parents wonder why their tiny baby needs more luggage than the average WAG. But most of us pack too much. Of course you need the essentials – nappies, wipes, formula milk and bottles if you’re not breastfeeding, plus clothes.
But unless you are heading for Outer Mongolia, you will find shops selling all these things.
-Pippa’s TIP: We went to America on our holiday so I really didn’t need to bring lots of extra things like rice cakes, yogurts etc. I could have lightened the load by just bringing the essentials for the flight , plus 1 day , just until I got to a shop.
Mind you, they didn’t have Aptimal formula in Florida , the alternative to Aptimal was 3 times the price there. So my advice is call Aptimal/Cow & Gate or whatever brand you use and they’ll tell you what countries it’s stocked in.
Check ahead too to see if your accommodation has a washing machine, to cut down on clothes. Many hotels and resorts now offer bottle warmers and sterilisers. If not, sterilising fluid or tablets are easier to pack than your giant steam steriliser.
-Pippa’s TIP: I got Dr Brown serialising bags in Mothercare and I found them excellent.. Very easy to use.
When it came to cots we were staying in 2 different hotels that I knew had cots , but then we stayed with my brother for a while too. There was no cot there so we just bought one when we arrived. I had looked ahead and saw one on toys r’ us site that was perfect and it was only €50 so I reckoned that was worth it over bringing one.
-Mothercare TIP: If you are in doubt, take along a lightweight travel cot that meets modern safety standards (it’s a worthwhile investment as it doubles up as a spare bed when baby visitors come to stay, or need a snooze during daytime visits).
Ollie was old enough to be put in a stroller while on holidays.
At home we use a Stokke buggy, which I absolutely adore. It looks gorgeous and Ollie loves being up so high in it (that’s a different post that I can talk about on more detail again) it wouldn’t have been convenient for holidays though. It comes in 2 parts and would have been too heavy to travel with.
So I got a stroller in Mothercare before we left and it was the best idea ever. It was so light, I could put it up and down with one hand. It had a great lie back facility which meant he could nap easily while out and about.
Pippa’s TIP: buy a travel bag for your buggy. I got one in Mothercare too, they’re very cheap. You’ll be thankful when your getting onto the plane that you have it because you’ll just throw the stroller in with whatever blankets you have too that you don’t need on the flight. It’ll be safer in the bag too.
Mothercare’s TIP: Even older toddlers need a stroller, as they won’t like endless sightseeing or late dinners without somewhere to nap. However, tiny babies should be able to lie flat until they’re three months old – so take a suitable pushchair.
When it came to toys I tried to keep it to a minimum and be clever about what he’d actually use and like.
Pippa’s TIP: I bought a couple of new toys Ollie had never seen before and only showed him once we were on the flight. That definitely kept his interest for longer.
Mothercare TIP: bring something such as the bear they always sleep with, a few fabric books and stacking beakers etc.
For snacks on the flight I made sure to be well prepared with Ollie’s favourites packed in a little lunchbox. (You can bring food and liquid for a baby on board)
I packed grapes, raisins, a yogurt, rice cakes.
I packed 3 empty sterilised bottles and I used the pre made small Aptimal bottles for convince.
Mothercare TIP: encourage your baby to breastfeed or take a bottle during take-off and landing to avoid the pressure build-up that leads to pressure on their little ears.
Let him drink whenever he wants during the flight as babies can become dehydrated in the dry cabin air more quickly than adults.
Long-haul flights can be pretty harrowing with babies and small children, but don’t worry too much about jet lag. Small babies’ rhythms are much more adaptable than adults’
I was actually surprised at how quickly Ollie got into the new time zone.
Mothercare TIP: Adjust immediately to the new time zone, and try to put your baby to bed at your destination at roughly the same time as you do at home, keeping the bedtime routine as similar as possible.
Above all , have fun! Holidays are for making memories so have a blast and don’t worry about anything else.
I hope these tips have helped you.
If you’d like to share any of yours feel free to let us know.