Travelling with a baby…have faith!

Travelling with a baby…have faith!

Travelling with a new born is not only daunting, it’s time consuming too. The amount of time I took to prepare and pack days before was too much!Baby girl standing near the suitcase, trying to pack it, isolated, with clipping path

To save fellow mummies time and mental space, because let’s face it, it’s hard to think straight through blood-shot eyes and sleep-deprived brains, here’s a list of must-haves when travelling to a hot country with little ones.

 

First of all familiarise yourself with your airline’s policies. Our flight was with Ryanair – the only airline who do not automatically offer priority boarding for parents with babies. Alas, you have to buy allocated seating to then warrant priority boarding. With babies in tow, this is a definite must!
We spent copious amounts (as most first time parents do) on a lovely new pram to transport bountiful baby in at home. However, no one wants this thrown on the plane and then launched onto the conveyor belt (times two!). We decided to buy a second hand pushchair on eBay. This is great for two reasons; if you shop smart you can get a high spec pushchair hardly used saving a small fortune. Secondly, you will be a lot let ‘precious’ when leaving the pushchair at the bottom of the steps to be thrown about as you board the plane.
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If you’re travelling with a baby under 6 months it’s likely they are still milk feeders. Unless you’ve mastered the art of breast feeding (in which case hats off to you!), the logistics and tactical planning required for baby feeds at terminal and on-flight put military missions to shame. Okay, maybe not quite. Still, you do need to plan carefully. If you have a formula fed baby you can call the airport, plane-side and reserve your required formula at Boots. Otherwise you are free to go through security with what you need for the journey so long as you are happy to taste some of the stuff yourself.

For our lil one we had powder formula already dispensed into small pots. I took an empty flask through and as soon as we passed security I asked an eatery to fill the flask with boiling water. I did buy some snacks too, so I didn’t feel so cheeky. This meant we went into battle with ammunition. However, with all the commotion the lil one dozed off and slept through the whole flight so it was not needed. However, we were ready and armed (and I recommend all parents should be) to feed during take off and landing, when those little ears are likely to pop and cause upset.
Our destination was hardly exotic (France) yet we still had to contend with 35 degree heat daily with very little drop at night. It goes without saying that I am very grateful to this fan which I clipped to just about everything.
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This nifty contraption can go anywhere and everywhere. We used it on the car seat, the pram and the cot. It was fantastic. We went through 8 batteries over the holiday so make sure you take spares unless you’re happy to go on a shopping spree to buy some.

With baby equipment most airlines allow you to take two pieces with you free of charge. These include car seat, travel cot and pram. We only took pram because we planned and asked ahead about a travel cot at our accommodation. These things are heavy, so do avoid if you can! Then we requested a car seat when booking a hire car. This meant we travelled lighter only needing to check in our pram. We also took our Baby Bjorn sling, for ease when taking baby onto the flight and carrying around in France.

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Once abroad other useful things we took were large sheets of very lightweight cotton muslins. These were so light they were almost sheer. Perfect for hot humid nights or scorching sunny days to drape over the pram to keep the rays at bay. Be sure to pack a few of these (unless you have access to washing facilities) and take some legs with you to. At least four to clip the muslin to the pram (two at the top and two at the bottom) on breezy days. The lighter this is the better as you don’t want baby to be hot and suffocated with this over them.
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I’ve known mothers to pack the electrical steriliser in their luggage, I mean really?! It’s big, it’s heavy and a little too cumbersome for my liking. We took Milton tablets and used a large plastic bowl which any hotel, B&B, accommodation will have on hand. Fill this with water and a tablet for the day and sterilise your bottles following the instructions. There’s no need to lob everything around from home. I know some people like a home from home but you’re creating more stress for yourself. We even took microwaveable sterilising bags with us but I didn’t use them once! A large tub of water and Milton tablets do the trick. Simples!

There are some things you will want to take from home, such as your own sheets for baby to sleep on with the comfort and smell from home. Their comforter, for more home associations and a couple of favourite toys. At a young age there is not much needed beyond this as they will be stimulated and entertained by so much around them. If you do take a cuddly toy, something that doubles up as musical is also nice for baby.

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Lastly, and most importantly, just enjoy your holiday. Careful planning and a little bit of prep should enable you to sit back and enjoy your trip, embrace quality time with your loved ones and create some happy memories. Don’t forget to snap them too, a good camera on a happy holiday is always a must! Once you’ve braved the travels with a little one, you feel you can conquer anything. So take a deep breath and a leap of faith and go…the world is your oyster!

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