|Almeria, Spain 2015|
I am a big fan of travelling. Do it whilst you are young and you still can, is what I say. Life is too short to not see the world. In my son’s first year, we took him to Paris, Spain, Brussels and Dubai. People often ask me what it was like travelling with a new baby. Was it stressful? Hard work? Tiring? Was there lots to carry? The answer to all of these questions is, Yes! However, there are ways to reduce the stress and headache of doing it. Here are 10 things every parent should consider before traveling with a baby.
1. Early arrival
Arrive at the airport/ train station in good time and take advantage of your priority boarding. The extra time they give you to board is needed and useful. Avoid the disgruntled huffs and sly eye rolls of other passengers as you desperately try to bung all of your stuff into the overheads. Arriving early means you can take your time and feel somewhat less stressed. Also, if you check in early at the airport you can get seated in the rows with extra leg room and a bassinet for the tiny person. That’s gotta be a bonus!
2. Check in as much baggage as you can
Depending on where and with whom you are travelling, you will get a baggage allowance and many airlines offer baggage for baby too, in addition to the pushchair. Make sure you make good use of this so you don’t have too much to carry on to the actual flight. You want to reduce the stress as much as possible
All children get bored, some more than others and when you have a long journey, boredom and frustration are likely to set in at some point. Make sure you have their favourite toy to hand (preferably not a noisy one. You don’t want to annoy the other passengers). Another idea is to bring their favourite story books, or prepack the tablet with downloaded episodes of their favourite cartoons. My little one loved a cartoon called Gazoon. Infact, he still does love it. It’s the one thing that calms him down and keeps him quiet when he’s getting fussy.
4. Be prepared
Snacks, snacks and more snacks. Healthy baby biscuits and crisps or even better- some fruit pieces. Load your travel bag up with little bites to eat if you are travelling with a baby. It’s always good to have a back up just in case they do not like the aeroplane food (let’s face it, who does like that stuff?)
5. Plan your days out well
When you have a baby, being back in the house/ hotel before a certain time is really important. Take Dubai for example, we went out exploring, shopping or dining everyday but we always made sure we headed out early so we could get the most out of the day as we knew we wanted to be back for 7/8pm at the latest for babba’s bed time.
6. Bring laundry detergent tablets
As much as they are tiny, babies go through a lot of clothes. Whether its because of puke, wee or poo, they seem to need to change their clothes so often. Rather than stuff the suitcase with loads of baby clothes when travelling, it is pretty handy to bring some washing tablets with you so you can hand wash their clothes and repeat outfits.
7. Buy a travel kettle
Depending on where you are travelling to and what facilities are available to you when you get there, you may want to consider buying a cheap travel kettle. Boiling water for feeds (if you are bottle feeding) is essential. Remember to check before you travel
8. Cold water steriliser bags
What is the best way to sterilise baby bottles when you are in another country? Forget trying to pack a steriliser (even if it is microwaveable). Travelling with cold water sterilizing bags is very handy and ones such as these are excellent as they already contain tablets and you can use tap water to fill the bags. They are quick and easy to use and you can easily fit a good number of bottles, teats and lids into them. You just need to rinse the bottles after with fresh boiled water and leave them to dry.
9. Cool baby down
If you are travelling to a hot country, remember to bring something to cool baby down, like a handheld electric fan. Extreme heat can get very uncomfortable for babies, just as it does for us adults. Try and stick to places that are well air conditioned to reduce the chances of baby getting too hot and keep them out of direct sunlight. If you don’t already have one, buy a parasol for the pushchair to keep the sun out of their face
10. Protect them from the sun
Make sure you apply adequate sunscreen on baby and put them in a sun hat if possible. Depending on where you are travelling to, you may also need a baby friendly insect repellent.