What you need to know when you’re preparing to travel with your baby.
Heading off by road or plane with your new baby for your first family holiday, but unsure what you need to check before you go? Here are the main things you and your partner need to consider before you get your holiday underway.
If you’re planning to leave the UK, your baby will need his own passport from the time he’s a newborn. To apply, contact the UK passport service, and fill in an application form. You’ll need two identical passport- sized photos of your baby and an original document, such as his birth certificate, to prove his British citizenship. The passport lasts five years and costs £46.
Some airlines, including BA, will let your baby fly from 48 hours old, with permission from your GP, but without a passport you’ll only be able to fly within the UK. Most airlines don’t require ID for travel in the UK but check before you book.
Make sure all your baby’s vaccinations are up to date before you go away. Check for details on the NHS website, and look into any he might need for your holiday destination. Your GP will be able to tell you if your baby is old enough to have them. For example, the yellow fever vaccination isn’t recommended for babies under 9 months old.
The general rule is that babies under 2 years fly for free, either on your lap or in special bassinettes. However, individual airlines have their own policies on this so check when you book.
Pack individual see-through plastic bags with all you’ll need for one change. Then you don’t have to take a bulky change bag into the tiny plane toilet.
Thomas Lynch, from Thomson/FirstChoice holidays
If you’re taking milk or sterilised water onto a plane in your hand luggage, the maximum 100ml rule for carrying liquids doesn’t apply, but you can only take on enough for your journey.
“You might be asked to taste the liquids by a security officer,” explains a spokesperson for the BAA. “There isn’t a limit on powder formula, and bottled water is available in shops after security. Airlines can also provide water during your flight.”
You can take your buggy to the gate when boarding the plane where it’s then checked into the hold like other luggage. However, it’s worth checking with your airline to see if there’s a charge for this.
Most can provide car seats for an additional charge, but if you’re hiring a car abroad be careful about what you’re getting. Of course, taking your own is sensible, but not very practical. “If you’re hiring a car abroad go for a large, multinational company as you’re more likely to get a good car seat,” suggests Luke Bosdet from the AA. “Always check which seats the company has available and what condition they’re in before you book.”
“Buggy’s have to be X-rayed at the boarding gate. Get your baby out and the pushchair folded beforehand so you’re not holding up impatient holidaymakers.”
Kirsty, 31, mum to Thomas, 8 months
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