Travelling with your baby
Planning a trip away with baby? Make it a better break by following this advice.
Before you go:
- Don’t assume travelling within the UK is the easy option. Sitting for hours in a traffic jam can be more stressful than hopping on a plane
- Remember your baby will need a passport if travelling abroad. Allow six weeks for processing
- When flying, pre-booking a bassinet (cot) will guarantee ‘bulkhead seats’ (located behind the partition separators), which usually have more leg room. These seats are a plus even when your baby is too heavy for the bassinet (around 8 months) as it normally gives a small area in which to play/sleep
- Get your little one used to eating baby food from the jar before you go on holiday, as you’ll find this saves fuss when you’re on the move.
- Pack a bag that includes: nappy bags (flight stewards won’t usually take dirty nappies), disposable changing mats (these double as mattress protectors at your destination), an extra top for your baby and you (baby sick is not a good look!) and an antibacterial hand gel that doesn’t need water. Cartons of formula milk and disposable, pre-sterilised bottles save on hassle. Check before you fly that you will be allowed to carry cartons of liquid through security. Powder might be a better idea.
- Ask your flight steward if you can have your pushchair as soon as you get off the plane, so that you don’t have to carry your baby until you get your luggage
- Give your baby milk or water on take-off. She doesn’t know how to clear her ears, and sucking and swallowing will help her. This applies to toddlers too.
At your destination:
- A sink can easily double as a baby bath for tiny babes. Or a universal bath plug will convert your shower into a little bath in a jiffy
- If you’re breastfeeding and the weather is hot, don’t be surprised if your baby wants to feed more as she may be thirsty.
Q I’m planning our first family holiday. Should I choose a hotel or go self-catering?
A Hotels allow you to escape the domestic chores and they often have childcare/babysitters for when you want ‘me time’. Get connecting rooms, or a room with a separate living area so that you don’t have to creep around when your baby is sleeping. Check whether there will be a fridge or mini-bar: handy for storing milk and other baby essentials. Some mums prefer self-catering, for the privacy it affords and the fact that you’ve got everything to hand – kettles, washing machines, etc – when you need them. So think about what’s most important to you.
Q I’m nervous about the luggage we’re going to be taking on holiday – babies need so much! What can I do without?
A The big, important things you need are a pushchair – which they can also eat in on the move – and a car seat, unless you know you can get a suitable one. Remember you can buy nappies, baby food and other essentials pretty much anywhere.
Great baby-friendly breaks
- Kinderhotels offers childcare for babies as young as 7 days. They can also provide essential baby kit so you don’t have to transport it yourself. Nestled within beautiful mountain scenery, most of the Kinderhotels are based in Austria. Prices start from £814 per week for a family of four (full board), excluding flights
- Take the Family (www.takethefamily.com) features day trips, UK-based breaks and international destinations for all the family – choose from beach, adventure, activity holidays and lots more!
- Luxury Family Hotels boasts five gorgeous hotels in the UK, aimed at adults keen to introduce their child to the best things in life from day one!
- Small Families specialises in trips for single parents and their kids. It offers plenty of destinations, usually based in small, family-run hotels. You’ll have a full-time host, so you’re never short of adult conversation!