Travelling with a baby
doesn't need to mean baggage..
It’s ironic, isn’t it? That the time you most need a holiday is the time you’re most terrified about taking one. All you new parents know what we’re talking about. Even before Covid, it was anxiety inducing. You worry that you’re going to forget something crucial, your little one will get poorly, sunburnt, or - worst of all - they might start crying on the plane (just kidding but also… we’re not).
If you’ve decided to book a getaway this year, we’re here to make sure baby’s first trip goes smoothly. We’ve picked up some tips and tricks you’re gonna want to hear - a lot of which was learnt the hard way. We’ve also learnt what a joy it is to see your little one taking their first dip in the sea - or feeling the sand for the first time. You’ll have set them up for a life of travel and adventure and there’s something really exciting about that. When you’re back home you’ll be grateful for the gorgeous memories, the bonding time, and the (very occasional) shut-eye in the sunshine.
TIP ONE: PRE-PLAN FOR THE PLANE
Before you go anywhere near an airport, there are several things you need to sort out. Most importantly: snacks. Make sure you’ve got some go-to snacks and formula for the plane. Secondly, download some baby-friendly music or audiobooks or shows to keep them relaxed. You could also consider noise cancelling headphones to keep the scary plane sounds at bay. Lastly, pick some favourite toys to come with you on the plane. All these things will keep your baby happy and (hopefully) avoid that crying scene.
TIP TWO: PACK LIGHT(ISH)
We don’t mean “bring a hand luggage bag for a week’s holiday” kind of light. And we definitely want you to remember all the important bits like medicines, a travel crib, and sun cream. What we mean is that you should pack the light version of your baby essentials. For example, purchase a pram that will fit in the overhead lockers. Also, you don’t need to pack enough nappies for your whole holiday (unless you’re going to Antarctica and if so, wow your little one is well travelled) because the chances are that you’ll be able to buy them while you’re there.
TIP THREE: YOU NEED A MINI FIRST AID KIT
This one is pretty self-explanatory. We hope you don’t have to use it, but it’s best to have on you. We recommend you pack a nasal aspirator and spray, calpol, baby ibuprofen, a thermometer, teething granules, teething gel, sanitizer and sterilising tablets. Sterilising tablets are honestly amazing. We can’t rave about them enough! They’ll sterilise bottles, toys, dummies and whatever else in only 15 minutes.
TIP FOUR: KEEP HYDRATED
It’s absolutely WILD how much water you need while breastfeeding. While in a hotter climate it’s even wilder. Make sure you bring a reusable water bottle with you so that you can always have some water nearby.
TIP FIVE: DON’T FORGET TO MAKE YOURSELF COMFORTABLE
This is your holiday too. To be able to enjoy it, try not to put too much pressure on yourself about appearance. Get yourself new swimming costumes that fit your postpartum body. All our bodies are different after a child so don’t try to fit into old costumes, cut yourself some slack and remember what your body has just done. Enjoy being able to have a little tipple on holiday, eat some fabulous food and try to relax.
TIP SIX: BOOK BIGGER ROOMS
If you’re staying at a hotel and are able to, we highly recommend booking a room with a little extra space. That way you can put the baby down to sleep and have somewhere else to relax without disturbing them. Alternatively, if you’re renting a villa or flat, try to ensure that there’s somewhere separate for you and whoever you’re with to chill out.
TIP SEVEN: GET BEACH READY
Beach please, getting onto the sand with a baby is a lot harder than it looks. Not only are you scrambling to find shade, but you’re trying to push a buggy across sand - and that’s not what they’re designed for. So, plan ahead and find an easy-access beach. You could also bring a pop-up tent with you or rent a spot under an umbrella so you’ve got some shade. Don’t forget your sun cream (for you and the baby), and a sun hat (again, for both of you).
TIP EIGHT: STAY CALM
Whatever the situation, you can handle it. If they’re crying on the plane, you got this. If their nap schedule is all out of whack, you’re going to be fine. It’s important to keep your composure because your little one will sense your stress if you don’t. It’s totally natural for little hiccups to happen, just adjust the little things that don’t work and go back to enjoying yourself.
TIP NINE: BLACK OUT BLINDS ARE AN ESSENTIAL
If you’d like your little one to get some shut eye during your trip, you NEED to pack travel black out blinds. They're non-negotiable. They’re super easy to assemble and make any room naptime or bedtime-ready. Make sure you’ve also packed a couple of your baby’s favourite comfort items too. For example, their blanket, favourite PJs or teddy.
Thank you for reading. Now go book those flights. We’ve heard Portugal is lovely at this time of year. And remember, if travelling is what you love, you can still do it as a new parent. You’ve just got an extra passenger.