HOLIDAY CHECKLIST FOR TRAVELLING WITH A BABY
Updated: Aug 23, 2018
Travelling with a baby has to be one of the most daunting prospects. I know even after 8 months of packing nappy bags, I still never like being too far away from the house just incase I forget something. So for my own peace of mind and yours too, I've compiled a holiday checklist for travelling with a baby.
Hopefully with this list, it will help eliminate some of the anxiety we all get when packing up and heading abroad.
Passport - this might seem obvious, but babies used to travel on a parents passport. Always double check all passports are valid for at least 6 months after your return date.
Car Seat - You can take your car seat with you or hire one with your car hire, should you wish to leave yours at home. If using a car seat on your flight, make sure it is FFA-approved, or you may not be able to use it.
Baby Carrier - When flying you're allowed to take your buggy to the plane however, it will then be loaded and you won't be able get it back until you collect your luggage. Therefore it's advised that you take a carrier to disembark the plane.
Blanket - As you know it can become quite chilly on a plane with air conditioning, so a blanket from home will keep your baby cosy.
Buggy - There are so many super lightweight pushchairs available on the market now, some even fit in the overhead locker, however most airlines will allow your buggy to be checked free of charge if you wish to take a larger one. Bear in mind the size of the car you're hiring or your transport to and from your location, as you don't want to take something too large if you have a lot of luggage too. Something I wish I'd thought about before heading on holiday, is how long Knox will be in his stroller for. He ended up sleeping in his most evenings and nap times as we were out, I'd opt for our bigger Pushchair next time for ultimate comfort. I'd also take an extra UVF cover, this works well for naps times.
Travel High Chair - We never leave the house without this. It has been one of the best things we've ever bought. We also requested a highchair in our hotel room, so we could stick to Knox's meal times.
So, all of the above seem pretty obvious essentials for me, but its the thought of running out of food and drink that scares me the most. Below are some suggestions of what to pack.
Milk - Pack plenty of milk to cover the duration of your journey in your hand luggage. Gov.co.uk have a handy check list of what you're allowed to take in hand luggage. It's also suggested that you can pre-order and collect your supply of milk from the boots at the appropriate airport terminal. This then means you won't be taking up much needed suitcase space for baby food. For ease I packed pre-made formula and stocked up on more in the airport. It is the heavier option, but I thought it would eliminate any extra stress.
If however you opt to take powder, you have to be careful about the water you are using. Bottled water is in fact un-sterile (shock I know), so this will need to be boiled before adding to your formula. You also need to be conscious of the sodium levels in the water you choose to use for making formula. The NHS have a guide for what is safe. I've been told that well known brands such as Evian are ok, but it's always best to double check.
Food - As with the milk, pack enough food in your hand luggage to cover your journey. I'd also recommend packing more food than you need in your luggage or pre-ordering to your terminal as you would with your formula. Take some snacks in your hand luggage too just in case of delays.
Bottles, Bowls, Bibs & Beakers - Depending on the age and whether you have weaned your baby or not, you'll need to take the appropriate feeding and sterilisation equipment. Some hotels also provide things such as sterilisers, so double check before you go as you may not need to take everything yourself. Bowl, spoon or cuttlery, bottles (we use MAM self-sterilising anti-colic bottles), beaker, fruit feeder, bib. I also plan on taking a mini bottle of washing up liquid, a bottle brush and a few packs of Milton wipes and tablets, all of which I will store in a large Tupperware container to use for washing. Dummies, I also must not forget Dummies!
Underwear & Basics - Make sure you pack plenty (double the days) of basics, lightweight vests are an easy option to keep your baby cool or layer up if your heading to colder climes. If you're travelling to a hot destination it's also a good idea to pack lightweight long sleeve tops and trousers to protect your baby from the sun. Don't forget socks, for evenings and planes, no one likes having cold tootsies.
Outdoors - If your destination has a pool, be sure to pack one or two UVF protective full body costumes. Hats are also a must, as Knox likes to pull them off, I will be taking one in each bag just in case. I've recently purchased one with a protective flap of fabric to shield the back of the neck from the sun. Just in case he starts walking, I've also purchased some swimming shoes which will protect his feet from hot surfaces whilst out and about. He's already toddling around when holding onto something so I don't think we are far off his first steps. With this in mind, I am also packing reins (with an extension lead...not even joking). He's really not into being held 24/7 so this is an essential for us. Even though he's always pulling them off I'll take some sunglasses along too.
If you're heading to a cold destination, the appropriate coats, hats, gloves & pushchair footmuffs will be needed.
Outfits - As we tend to be quite messy, I'll be doubling up on Knox's daily outfits. Taking a mix of rompers, shorts, leggings, T's and vests. I'll also chuck in a few jumpers just in case the weather cools in the evening.
Similarly to travelling to a hot country I would suggest taking double the outfits you need. With plenty of layers to bundle up.
I'll also chuck in a few dribble bibs, and some neckerchiefs.
First Aid Kit - to include Mosquitan Kids Mosquito Patches, Calpol, Baby Ibuprofen, teething granules, bonjela, Vaseline (perfect to cover clean cuts if plasters fall off), Sudocrem
Bath Mat & Products - With Knox confidently sitting he now uses a bath mat in the bath. We will also be taking his Childs Farm baby products so not to irritate the skin.
Creams - Sun tan Lotion (factor 50), Nappy Cream & After sun.
Nappies - I'll be packing both swim and regular pull-ups. Nappy sacks and wipes are also a must.
Roll out play mat - Perfect for in the shade or on the beach.
Sleepaids - We have three of these, yes three! Two battery operated and one plug in. Plus a humidifier and a nightlight. I'll be leaving the humidifier & nightlight at home, and taking just two sleep aids. We'll also take spare batteries and a few adaptor plugs.
Travel Cot - If your hotel doesn't offer this, it is essential to take a travel cot along with you. We love our Baby Bjorn travel cot as its super light and easy to set up and take down. Most airlines let you check them for free.
Toys - We are taking a few of Knox's faves plus some new ones & some books. Knox is obsessed with my make-up bag so I am making him one filled with various teething toys which I will give to him on the plane and by the pool. He has his own nifty little backpack which he can fill with some soft toys too.
Swimming Float - We forgot to order one in time and couldn't find one small enough, so this is a must!
Tavel Baby Gate - This might seem pretty excessive but you don't want your baby wondering out into the pool or onto a balcony unsupervised. Check with your hotel about any possible danger zones.
Baby Monitor - Definitely pack yours if you're staying in an apartment or villa, but we are staying in a hotel so won't leave Knox in the bedroom on his own.
ipad or Digital entertainment - If your baby is anything like ours, its always best to have Peppa Pig on demand. It may only be 5 mins of calm, but it means you can get your beach bags packed.
So the list seems long, and our suitcase was over 23kg when we arrived at the airport, but after some nifty shifting we managed to head off on our flight with no extra costs and everything we needed.
I hope this helps and you have a great time on your jollies! x