Holidays with baby are a breeze if you plan ahead...
Here’s our guide to exactly what you’ll need when you’re on your travels.
At a glance
- Don't forget your baby's favourite comforter or toy
- You can take baby milk through airport security but may have to taste it
- Using a baby carrier or sling means your hands will be free for everything else on your list
What you’ll need for travelling
Make sure it’s appropriate for your baby’s weight and age. If you’re renting a hire car, don’t forget to check that it comes with the right car seats for your baby. If in doubt, take your own car seat with you. Along with your buggy, it is the most important tool in your travel kit and most airlines allow them (but do double-check about costs).
If you’re flying, dress your baby in two or three light layers, so you can remove and replace them as necessary. PS….This also works for adults
These are especially useful in crowded airports, as well as on ferries.
Using a baby sling or carrier allows you to have your hands free for luggage and trolleys. It is a useful piece of kit, but probably won't replace your most important bit of kit...
A folding buggy is a must while travelling, not just for baby, but for carrying all your beach or picnic goodies, too. If yours is expensive, you might want to box it up before flying to avoid damage in transit.
Mums know how important it is to shade babies in hot weather. Many buggies come with suitable covers. If yours doesn’t, a clip-on parasol will do the trick. Or to save space, a muslin and a safety pin can work just as well.
Sunny weather isn’t always guaranteed. If you’re going somewhere with a changeable climate, or planning a UK winter break, you won’t regret taking a rain cover.
If they don’t already have one at your destination, this is an essential. But if you’re only going to use it occasionally, ask a friend if you can borrow theirs.
What you’ll need at dinner time
Milk and bottles
If you’ve expressed for the journey, or you're taking bottles, you’ll need enough milk for the journey. Airport security will let you take through resealable containers larger than 100ml if they contain baby milk – but they usually ask you to taste it.
Bibs and a splash mat
If your baby’s on solids (or practising), a splash mat is a useful way to protect the carpets in your hotel or villa - and your own sanity in the process.
Plenty of snacks and drinks
Don’t forget to look after yourself! You’ll need healthy snacks and plenty of water.
How to keep babies entertained
Comforter or cuddly toy
If your baby has a favourite blanket or comforter, be sure to take that along (or two... just in case!). Some parents swear by wrapping them in a T-shirt that smells of mum.
Baby toy or mobile
A couple of brightly coloured toys might keep your baby distracted during the journey. Keep everything in a special toy bag - it avoids pulling out pants (or worse!) when reaching for that emergency toy.
Nursery rhyme or classical-music CD
Granny was right - classical music really works. Music can be a great way to soothe your baby, particularly on long car journeys. Try old favourite nursery rhymes, calm classical, or smooth jazz for peaceful babies. There are baby-focussed CDs and DVDs that can work a treat.
Bottle feeding abroad
You may need to make up infant formula feeds with bottled water if the local drinking water is not recommended.
Bottled water is not normally recommended for making up feeds because it can contain too much sodium (salt) and sulphate – and it still needs to be boiled like tap water before you prepare a feed.
Look for the sodium content on the label – often written as Na and choose one that has less than 200mg of Na per litre.
Check the levels of sulphate (SO or SO4), too. These should be no more than 250mg per litre.
Evian and Volvic are two examples of suitable brands.