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Category: Travelling with a Baby

As summer will be here before we know it, I have added a travel section to make you super organised for holiday season, from packing to flying with your little ones.  Holidays can be very different with children, but they can still be exciting and stress-free with our tips.

Tips for Flying Long Haul

Our trip to New York in April was the 3rd holiday abroad Indy’s been on, but the first long haul, as well as the first one where he’s properly mobile and into EVERYTHING, so I was a bit concerned about how the flights would go.

Our flight from Manchester was at 9am, so I was expecting him to be awake A LOT, whereas our flight home was a night flight, so I was a little bit more relaxed about this one as I presumed he would just sleep the majority of the way back (which he did thank God!), so most of these tips are for day time flights where there are a lot of hours to fill!  

Be organised!

As I had done all the packing for hand luggage, I knew where everything was and in what bag, so it made more sense for me to be in charge of getting things and my husband to hold Indy and have him on his lap.  We had one rucksack for his food, drinks, entertainment and any changes of clothes, and Indy’s small Mickey Mouse rucksack for nappies, wipes and medicines. I tried to have as few loose items as possible, so his food was in his Yumbox Bento Box, and all his medicines were in a small zip up washbag, so there was no danger of things going flying on the plane and getting lost.  As soon as there was a little grumble, my husband and I jumped into action, with him distracting Indy and me rushing to get the next thing to grab his attention.

Small changing bag / pouch to take into the small plane toilet

I used Indy’s small rucksack for this, so had it stocked with 6 nappies, a pack of wipes, nappy sacks, and his medicine bag.  It was so easy just to grab, and take into the small plane toilet to change him, as well as the airport toilets without having to unpack or rummage through any other bags.  

Tire them out in the airport for a nap early on

We checked our pram into the hold as usual, so Indy walked from check in to security, and then to the gate, so once we were on the plane he was exhausted! He had some breakfast with some milk for take off, and then slept for a solid 2 hours, so I managed to get through most of ‘A Star Is Born’ in one go! 😉

My Quiet Book

This is something I discovered from Instagram and bought from Amazon.  It’s basically a big cloth book, with a different activity or something to fiddle with on each page – such as a crocodile with a zip as its mouth to open and close, or a shoelace to tie and untie, or velcro animals to match up to shapes.  The whole book also closes with a zip fastening so no pieces are lost. I kept this hidden from Indy until we got on the plane, and this was the first thing he played with, and we even took it out to restaurants to keep him entertained so I’m really pleased with it.

Ipad / Headphones

Indy doesn’t have a tablet to use at home, but I remember seeing an instagram post from Tom Fletcher, saying his children still believe ipads only work on airplanes (!) so I thought we’d take ours as a potential last resort.  I loaded it with some films and some baby drawing games, and got it out mid-flight but it only kept his attention for about 10 minutes before he was onto the next thing. Our New York holiday was very full on and we were out all the time, but if we were having a more relaxed sun holiday, the ipad may have come in useful more for watching films, so I would still probably always take it.  

Wrapping up new toys – books / puzzles / colouring books

This was something i’d read about a lot – I bought some cheap colouring books and a pack of crayons, a puzzle and a couple of new books, and wrapped them up in wrapping paper so unwrapping them was an activity in itself!  We read the books a couple of times on the plane, and again, all things came out with us during the trip to keep him entertained when were out and about so were really useful.

Snacks, snacks and more snacks – Yumbox

I’ve written about my love for this Yumbox on our Instagram page already, but it was perfect for travelling.  I filled it with a variety of foods for the journey as it was to be his breakfast and lunch, as well as something to keep him occupied and keeping all snacks in one place!  I also took a banana and a couple of oranges which he ate first for breakfast, and had a stash of breadsticks, raisins and fruit bars in our suitcase as back up! You can literally not pack enough snacks, to accommodate for delays and even just to take out with you while you are away.  

Extra milk

Indy only has cows milk first thing in the morning and last thing at night, but I thought I would take and extra bottle for the journey and a couple of small bottles of instant Aptamil ‘just-in-case’.  He ended up having one bottle mid-flight, which was unusual but it gave him some comfort.

Looking out the window

So simple, and really effective!  This occupied a lot of time, especially towards the end of the flight as we were coming in to land – so always book a window seat!

Walking around the plane

I didn’t want to do this for hours, but 4 hours in we did a few laps to stretch his legs (and mine!) when he was getting a bit restless.  It did the job and gave him a change of scenery, and he went straight back to look out the window!

Most of these tips are probably pretty obvious, but they really worked for us and can be applied to most ages and any length flight.  If you have any other ones, comment below! xxx

 

My Holiday Essentials

Once we’d booked our first holiday with Indy last year, I started looking into the main pieces we would need to take to keep luggage minimal and packing efficient.  I didn’t want to take our Bugaboo, mainly because I didn’t want it to get damaged in the hold, so I started looking into a travel pram, and then a cot etc. The pieces I bought did cost a bit of money on top of the holiday, but these will be our travel kit for years to come for trips in the UK and abroad, so I consider them an investment!  These are the essentials I would highly recommend for travelling with a baby, and now a toddler!

Travel Pram

This was our travel pram of choice, although we have the plain black version.  I love the sporty look, and it really is super light to carry and easy to pack away and put up.  I even use it here in the winter months for dog walks to stop our Bugaboo getting really dirty! It has a big basket underneath for the essentials, plus a big pocket at the back of the seat where I usually keep valuables that are in easy reach when pushing!  The back seat cover can lift up to reveal a mesh panel, which enables good air flow throughout the pram which is great for those afternoon naps on the beach! It’s easy to push on sand, and is also folds up neatly to fit in the smallest of travel car boots! We started using this when Indy was 3 months old, so we’ll definitely get lots of use out of it.  

Pram bag

I really can’t recommend getting a pram bag enough.  This one is technically a car seat bag, but it’s huge, and our pram fits perfectly in it, plus room for nappies, swim nappies, and toys.  We check this in with all the other luggage, and away we go.

Travel Cot

We thought this was just going to be a cheap and cheerful travel cot we could take to friends houses, but we’ve ended up using it for holidays as it’s fairly light and packs up really neatly. I can also pack sheets, sleeping bags and blankets inside, which is an extra space saver.  The only downfall, is that I found the mattress is too thin and hard for Indy – I tried padding it out with towels, but because he’s such a wriggler, these just end up coming off. I bought a separate travel cot mattress from Mothercare, which still folds up, but I pack this in with the pram in the pram bag.  

Microwave Steriliser

I decided to go with microwave sterilising abroad as opposed to using cold water tablets, as i felt it was cheaper, and less luggage.  Our accommodation always had microwaves too, whereas I know hotel rooms often don’t have them. This one is fairly small so easily fits in a hand luggage suitcase, and one bottle fits inside, so will again save you space! This steriliser is nowhere near as convenient as the one you will use at home, as it takes around 15 minutes to sterilise one bottle, so you will just need to plan in your sterilising time around having a cocktail around the pool 😉

Packaway Pocket High Chair

We were given this as a gift, and didn’t appreciate it until we went away.  All restaurants we went to had high chairs, but this was so useful to have when eating in or apartment or villa where there wasn’t one.  Its fabric so folds neatly into the baby bag so you can take everywhere with you, and Indy was very secure when it was tied to the chair.  He is used to eating straight off the table surface, but as this was tied to the chair he was quite low, so we just layered up some cushions which made him the right height.  Again, this is an inexpensive item that will last you a good few years.

Boots Soltan Baby Sun Cream SPF50+

As much as I hate using a cream sun protect as I find them too thick and sticky, I loved this one for Indy on his first holidays and his first time in hot sunshine.  I could see where i’d missed bits, and I was always confident i’d applied enough. Even when he was in and out of the pool, I found the cream really lasted and didn’t always need reapplying.  When he gets a bit older, i’m sure i’ll move to high factor sprays and aerosols as we would use, but in his first year and his skin not being used to the sun, I found this was perfect.

I hope you’ve found these useful, and if you have any questions on any of these recommendations, please let me know in the comments below 🙂

 

Baby Holiday Packing List

When it comes to packing for a holiday with a baby, there is the danger of packing everything including the kitchen sink!  Preparing a list beforehand was an absolute God send for me – it meant I was organised with packing, and had a clear shopping list so there was no last minute rush or panic on the lead up to the holiday!

This list is for your standard holiday in the sun, and this was the list I followed when taking Indy when he was 8 months old – we were weaning and still giving him formula feeds so both areas are covered in the list!  We always prefer to stay in apartments / villas rather than hotels, so this list is catered to that too.

Item Comments
Transport
Travel pram I always pack the pram in a pram bag and check this in rather than taking to the gate. It gives the pram more protection and means we can pack a few extras!
Baby carrier This is handy for beach walks, as well as carrying the baby through the airport.
Sleeping
Travel cot This is always our 2nd piece of baby luggage for the flight.
Travel cot mattress
Travel cot sheets x 2 I pack these inside the travel cot when it’s folded up to save space in the case.
Sleeping bag I also pack this in the travel cot bag!
Sleepwear – baby grows / long sleeve bodysuits / short sleeve bodysuits If we are staying somewhere new, I always take options for Indy to sleep in as I don’t know the temperature or air-flow in the room.
Feeding
Pack away pocket high chair We were given this as a gift and it’s amazing. So small and lightweight, and attaches to any chair!
Microwave steriliser As we always stay in self-catered accommodation, I always check there’s a microwave beforehand.
Bottle brush
Travel kettle Again, I check if there’s a kettle before travelling.
Thermal bottle case x 2
Formula I always take a full box to start us off with – and this goes in the pram bag!
Formula dispenser The full dispenser is always kept in hand luggage… just in case 😉
Bottles
Dummies
Bowl / plate
Spoons
Bibs
Water beaker
Breadsticks / fruit bars / rice cakes Enough for the flights there and back, and a few extras for emergencies!
Beach / Swimming pool
UV protective sun umbrella We bought ours when we were already on holiday, but it was amazing for indy on the beach, as it kept him shaded, and really cool. Ours is a really great size so fits in the pram bag, so we bought it back with us!
Sit in water float Again, we bought ours when we were already on holiday, but it rolls up so small that we will take it every time.
Swim nappies I take a full pack to start us off for the holiday.
All in one swimsuit
Sun hat x 2 Indy has a habit of taking these off and throwing them out the pram before we notice. So I always have a back up!
Beach blanket I prefer a cotton beach blanket to towels, as they stay cooler and are much bigger, so loads of space for all our supplies and for us all to lie down together. This one fits perfectly in our travel cot bag too!
Large swaddling muslins x 2 These were great for draping over the pram at nap time and in the evening, as they provided shade and cover, but kept the pram itself airy. You can also use them as blankets and playmats if needed.
Toiletries
Nappies I try and estimate how many I will need a day, but usually end up taking one full pack.
Wipes I take 2 full packs.
Nappy sacks
Baby sun cream
Baby bath wash – travel size
Sponge
Sudocrem
Calpol / Nurofen
Teething gel / teething granules
Toothbrush / toothpaste
Hand sanitiser gel
Extras
Books I always buy a couple of new books to take with us, as well as taking a couple of his favourites.
Toys Again I take a mixture of toys – I take the smaller ones on the plane and larger ones in the luggage, and have a mixture of some of his favourites as well as a few new ones to keep him interested!

I haven’t included clothes in my list as obviously these are a given, but have to be packed according to the weather.  I always take a variety of options for the baby however, and take more layering pieces, but if we have a washing machine in our accommodation, I will always take advantage of this and pack fewer clothes in the case!  

Over the next few weeks i’ll be blogging about my travel essentials, efficient hand luggage packing, and tips on flying with a baby, to get you prepared for the holiday season!