Travelling with your baby for the first time can be an exciting, yet sometimes daunting experience. For some parents, it may even result in them postponing any much-needed holidays, until their child is much older.
However, I’m here to tell you that although sometimes it may not be easy, do not cancel or wait to take your little one away with you – or to get away yourself! Pack your bags and go make some memories as a family!
Considering their size, babies take up a lot of room and because of this; the idea of trying to fit all of your child’s necessities into a suitcase may sound completely impossible!
When I went travelling for the first time with my daughter, I can honestly say I ended up packing and repacking our suitcase a dozen times until I was one-hundred-percent sure I had packed everything we needed.
It was only when I got back from holiday did I realise I packed way more than I had needed! Since that experience, I have come up with a few tips which I always follow whilst travelling and decided to share them with you!
Packing – Or should I say over-packing?
My first and main suggestion is to consider where you are going – what facilities are available on site and nearby.
If you are travelling to a place that has laundry facilities available, then it changes how much you would need to pack. As would being close by to a shop where you can purchase emergency nappies and other supplies!
My next tip is to consider how long you are travelling for – on average a baby will need 2-5 clothes changes a day, so it’s important to make sure you have more than enough clothes.
Personally, if I am travelling somewhere with laundry facilities – I would only pack 2-3 changes of clothes per day, and possibly a few extra to be safe. However, if I was travelling somewhere without it would mostly be 3-4 a day, and a few extras just to be sure. The last thing you want is to get stranded with no clothes because of a messy baby!
Depending on your child’s age, you may still need to sterilize their bottles, and there’s no way you can fit a steriliser in your suitcase!
Now it was only with my son’s birth that I discovered Steriliser Bags for baby bottles and I wish someone had told me about them back when my daughter needed them!
You can use each of them more than a few times – sometimes up to as many as 20 times per bag before you will need to dispose of them. Plus, they will hardly take up any space in your suitcase! All you will need is some hot water and a microwave, which most hotels will have on site whether in your room or in the dining area.
They are also ideal for breast pumps, so they benefit all children – whether they are bottle fed or breast-fed! When it comes to packing nappies and wipes, I tend to pack a brand new large pack of the former and 2-3 packs of the latter.
What to expect when doing the actual travelling
Every child is different. Only you can tell what your child is going to be like, and even then you may be surprised!
When travelling with my daughter as a baby, she was quite and peaceful and would pretty much sleep throughout the journey. When she was awake, she was happy and bubbling and well-behaved.
My son, on the other hand is a whole different story.
He hates sitting still, so travelling with him means a lot of passing him around and play time to keep him happy! Either of these scenarios could be the same or similar for your own child, but it is key to not worry.
Yes, your child may scream and like myself, you may start worrying about the other passengers around you. Don’t. Worry about your child. If you stress yourself out worrying about everyone else, your baby will pick up on your emotions and become more distressed.
There will always be disapproving people or people who moan, but they don’t know you or your baby and therefore their opinions are irrelevant! Everyone is entitled to a holiday, even a grumpy baby!
My key tip is to remember to encourage your baby to swallow milk (or water) upon take off and landing.
If you are someone, like myself, who suffers with their airs popping whilst flying – imagine what it’s like for a baby who can’t tell you what’s wrong. Prevent it by encouraging them to drink!
I would love to tell you it will be stress free and your baby will behave perfectly, and you can just relax, but I know that it’s not always the case.
But that’s okay!
Try to relax as much as possible and remember that if your baby is loud and grumpy, but they love you more than anything in the world and the memories you are about to make together are priceless.
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