The Ultimate Holiday Baby Guideby Paige Russell-Tate
Making the decision to go on a family holiday with your baby is so exciting, especially knowing there is so much to look forward to. However, at the same time might seem daunting, but I can assure you it really doesn’t have to be. I will do my best to think of everything you will need for your exciting adventure, hopefully, it should make the experience a little more stress-free, super-duper easy and enjoyable for you, your partner and child/children.
Whether you are going camping, to a caravan, to a holiday village or a hotel, they may already have all the facilities you need for your baby. Such as baby rooms or baby packages, these could include baby changing facilities, cots, toys, games, bottle making facilities or bottle cleaning facilities. These could make it easier for you when you pack. Double-check with the company before you leave. But I would like to help you out before you go on holiday too. So, I have decided to come up with the ultimate checklist/guide for going on holiday with your baby.
1. Passport – First things first, it might seem obvious, but it is surprising at how many people forget or don’t realise that they need passports for babies. Don’t leave it too late, or it may not arrive in time for your holiday.
2. EHIC card and travel insurance - Again, it seems very obvious, however, many people do forget about this or think that their baby is covered on theirs, but that is not the case. This needs sorting at the same time as the passport. Do not forget, it is a very important part of your holiday.
3. Nappies – Now, I know you won't forget these, but the majority of these will probably go in your check-in luggage. Make sure you pack plenty in your hand luggage too and extras for any delays.
4. Spare clothes – These are incredibly important. You will need a few spare pairs of clothes just in case of any accidents. I’m sure you wouldn’t want a smelly wet baby stinking the plane or car out.
5. Baby sling – Even if you take your pushchair, a baby sling will be very handy for when your off to the beach or going for a walk that includes hills, as pushing a pushchair in both of these places can be very difficult.
6. Pushchair – You can take your pushchair on holiday with you and can even wheel it up to the plane door. Pushchairs are easy for when taking a nice stroll along the promenade or around the block, especially in the hot weather. Check with your holiday provider beforehand to check whether it is free of charge or not for pushchairs to be taken on the plane.
7. Travel Cot – When booking your holiday, you can request for a travel cot to be added to your room for free, but these don’t always meet the UK requirements. It is important to check that the hotel provides a cot beforehand, as you don’t want to get there and realise there is nowhere for baby to sleep. Again, check with your holiday provider to see if it is free of charge to take them on the plane if your accommodation does not provide one.
8. Car seat – Laws about transporting children are different than the UK when travelling abroad. Car seats can come in very handy when travelling long distance as children can become fidgety sat on your knee. If you would rather take your car seat with you, make sure you check with your holiday provider that they are allowed on the plane either for free of charge or for a small cost.
9. Snacks – It doesn’t matter what time of the day you travel, you will always want something to snack on. Whether it’s sweets, crisps, sandwiches, chocolate, ect. The journey may be long, and you may not have a meal for a while, so make sure to pack enough. Also, your baby might want snacks too if they have started weaning. No one wants a hungry baby.
1. High factor sun-cream – Make sure you use plenty of high factor sun-cream on your baby when outdoors. Preferably SPF50 or SPF50+, look out for the stars on the bottle, the more stars it has the better UV protection it gives (max stars 5) and use sun-cream that is designed especially for baby's skin.
2. Sun hat – Your baby's skin will be very sensitive and will not be used to the sun you will experience abroad. Make sure they are suitably protected with a sun hat. Having one that fastens under their chin will be handy as it won’t move out of place as often or blow away if it is windy.
3. Toys and books – Try not to forget your baby's favourite toy or book to keep them entertained on the plane or in the accommodation. In order for them to stay entertained for longer, make sure you take a few toys and books. Sometimes, lightweight toys are better, so you can carry them when you go out for the day.
4. Bigger sized clothes – If your baby is very young at the time of travel, you will need to take outfits that are a size bigger. You will be surprised at how quick your baby will grow. This way you won't get caught out when clothes don’t fit.
5. Swimming nappies – You may not forget to pack normal nappies, but did you ever think of packing swimming nappies? No doubt you'd be spending plenty of quality time around the pool, this is where swim nappies will come in handy.
6. Spare clothes – Going on holiday is an exciting time, with a lot of exciting things to do, which can get very messy indeed. Personally, I'd take at least a couple of outfits per day, just in case accidents happen.
7. Cool clothes – The weather abroad is more than likely going to be hotter than what you are used to. When packing clothes for your baby, bear in mind, they won't necessarily need their daily clothes they wear at home. They will only need thin, cotton, lightweight clothes.
8. Lightweight towel – This will be very handy when sitting around the pool or on the beach. Lightweight is best so it's not bulky and heavy to carry if you have far to walk. Most hotels provide towels for around the pool for a small fee/deposit.
1. Baby jarred food – Make sure you take your baby's usual foods, as the food provided may not be suitable for your baby or your baby may not like it. Remember, the usual luggage restrictions don’t apply to baby food, there is a chance you may have to taste it in front of airport security, to prove that there is nothing bad/poisonous in it.
2. Baby formula/breast milk – Your baby will still need their regular bottles. Most hotels don’t provide this for you, so you will need to provide your own. Again, hand luggage restrictions don’t apply to baby food, but you may have to taste it in front of the airport security.
3. Plastic cutlery – Carrying small plastic cutlery around with you when you go out can make mealtimes easier.
4. Rubber bibs – These are easy to wipe down, this means you will be able to reuse them, and won’t have to take many with you. It also cuts on the laundry whilst your away, because I doubt you would want to be doing that anyway on holiday.
5. Breast pump – If you breastfeed, it may be handy to take a breast pump with you if you plan on going out a lot. This means you are able to pre-make bottles beforehand and not have to worry about breastfeeding in a public place you’re not used to.
6. Teething dummy clip or toys – These can be fun for baby to play with when it is meal times. They can chew on them whilst you’re eating or play with them whilst they’re feeding. The dummy clips are made of silicon and the toys are made from plastic with water inside (this can go in the fridge to start with, as this can soothe their gums).
7. Sippee cup – These are amazing for when you are starting to wean your baby. Most of them are non-spill too which is great for on the go mums as they can be knocked over, tossed into the bag or dropped. No worrying or cleaning up required.
8. Highchair/chair sling – If your hotel you are visiting doesn’t have highchairs it will be handy to take a chair sling with you. This wraps around the chair and through the middle of your baby's legs and then fastens at the back. This folds up small and doesn’t weigh much so can be taken out with you wherever you go just in case you decide to eat out somewhere. If you don’t have one of these, a scarf will do just the same.
1. Pyjamas – Even though your baby may not need much for bed, you can always pack something lightweight, breathable and comfortable for them to sleep in.
2. Nightlight – Most places you visit will already have nightlights next to the beds, however sometimes may not be bright enough for trying to change a smelly nappy or to make a bottle up, however you don’t always want to turn your big hotel light on in the middle of the night. But just in case you might want to take a small one with you.
3. Baby bath – Pack some little bottles of baby bath that you use on your baby at home, this can make bath time fun for your baby, or soothing before bedtime.
4. Baby lotion/powder - This can be soothing for your baby before bed and can make them feel comfortable in the unknown environment. If you don’t pack any, don’t worry, I am sure that a shop will sell it.
5. Bedside reading light – This will be more for you than baby but can be handy when your baby has settled down to sleep. You can get stuck into your favourite book for some downtime yourself.
Other Bits and Bobs
1. Nappy rash cream – With the weather being warmer on holiday than it may be at home your baby’s bum might become sore, so make sure you pack plenty of nappy cream. The nappy cream can help their sensitive skin adjust to the warm weather.
2. Your own entertainment – Don’t forget you also need to entertain yourself! You can pack a deck of cards or a small board game. I also like downloading a tv show or film to a device for on the plane when your baby is fast asleep or at the hotel for when you’re having some downtime.
3. Hand sanitizer – I am a pain when it comes to hand sanitizer. I sanitize as much as I can, and I always have a bottle on me. It can come in handy when you go out to different places on holiday and changing your baby’s nappy or feeding out.
4. Baby wipes - These can be used for literally anything, these are lifesavers! You cannot go anywhere without baby wipes. Can be used at mealtimes, snack time (ice creams), travel time and bedtime.
5. Extra dummies – Dummies are so easy to lose, especially when they aren’t attached to anything (dummy clip) and are on the move often. Baby’s are likely to throw them out of the pushchair when you aren’t looking. So, make sure you pack plenty of them.
6. Small play mat – As you may know, your baby may like to roll around on the floor and play with toys when at home, so why not take the play mat with you? It gives your baby chance to develop even on holiday and gives free time too. It will be great around the pool, on the beach or just in the hotel room.
7. Blankets – If your playmat is too big for your suitcase then a blanket will do just as well. It’ll be handy for if you breastfeed and want to cover up in more public places. Also, blankets will come in handy at night time for if it gets a bit chilly and your baby needs a cover-up. You could pack a variety of blankets: thin, thick or medium.
8. First aid kit – This is a big MUST! You will only really need to take the essentials such as: Calpol, Paracetamol, Ibuprophen, Bonjela, Sudocrem, hay fever tablets and plasters. Most places will have a shop or pharmacy that sell most things.
9. Nappy bags – Mainly for putting wet or smelly nappies in. Because I’m sure the cleaners don’t want to smell a pooey nappy when emptying the bins.
10. Baby bottle steriliser – You will need this for when you sterilise your baby’s bottles. The hotel won’t have one for you, so you will need to take your own. You could always take your bottle brush too, to clean them with.
11. Changing bag – Include the essentials: dummies, nappies, nappy bags, changing mat, baby wipes, muslin cloths, nappy rash cream and change of clothes.
Everything I have written about is just a guide for what you could take on holiday with you. Obviously, it is completely up to you. I hope it helps you as a ground point, it’s just the basics really. Don’t forget that most places you go on holiday will have shops, so if you forget something or simply can’t fit it in your suitcase don’t worry because you’ll more than likely be able to buy it there.