Sunday, 5 June 2011

Up and Away - Travelling with a Baby

It has been a whirlwind couple of months in the Grumpinator household. Lots of trips away and fun times. April saw us travelling abroad to the Czech Republic to visit my Dad and we went sailing over the Irish Sea to see my beautiful friends Alana and Peter tie the metaphorical knot. JC was trying to steal his Auntie Alana's limelight in this picture.

Please note he was not in PJ's all day, he wore a beautiful little kilt to match his Daddy's but this picture was taken before he was whisked back by his chauffeurs to the hotel for his nightcap bottle. 

So with all this galavanting I had to become baby-travel savvy and try and really plan for all eventualities. This is no easy task, so I thought I would share some of my wisdom and the advice I got from others about travelling with a wee tot.

* I wrote this post about a month ago, went to publish it and Blogger crashed losing everything from here onwards! I was so disgusted with it that I couldn't rewrite it straight away. I have probably missed out loads of tips and hints but this is what I remember . . .

Planning and Packing

  • Write a list of everything you think you need a few weeks before you go and continue to add to it as you remember items you have forgotten. 
  • Reclining lightweight pushchair, these are often taken free of charge and can be used right up until you go on the plane. 
  • Take enough outfits for 4 days and wash every 3 days.
  • Take spare sunhats
  • Spray sun lotion/SPF suits
  • Take carseat with you, check into hold for free with some airlines or a Trunki Travel seat 4 – 12yrs)
  • Take a lightweight fabric baby carrier, great for the airport
  • Take pouches of baby food, easy to pack and great for emergencies.
  • If you are worried about sourcing baby food/milk/nappies or can't be bothered packing any then investigate using a delivery service ( to take the stress out of it for you.
  • Take a change mat that you don’t mind putting on the floor as not all placed abroad have baby change facilities.
  • Change of clothes for the flight for baby and you
  • Take small containers/Tupperware for taking snacks out
  • Bring a large backpack to put toys/changing stuff in. Works as hand luggage for the journey and a change bag when you get there. 
  • Bring a plastic bib/coverall that can be wiped down with a baby wipe or washed through in the sink.
  • Just take one spoon, if you need two you can always wash it!
  • Sterilised water can be taken on the plane but it must be in a baby bottle and only enough for the journey. 
  • Pushchairs go through the security belt so make sure they don’t fall asleep in it as you will have to disrupt them!
  • Don’t wear a belt when you are travelling as it is difficult to remove at security when trying to deal with ten million other things. Wear shoes that are easy to remove for the same reason!
The Flight
  • Let the baby suck on either bottle, cup or dummy during take off and landing to help their ears.
  • Take clean snacks and baby wipes on the plane
  • If the flight is not full when you arrive then you can ask the airline to put a block on the seat next to you so that you can have extra room. 
  • Portable DVD players  are good for older kids
  • Compartmentalize things into plastic bags to keep yourself organized then if you need one for dirty or wet things you have them in your bag.
  • Don’t take spare clothes for the baby just take a warm sleep suit with feet and a spare baby gro.
  • Buy some new toys that your wee one has never seen before as they will hold their attention for longer. However, you may find, as we did, that they best toys are the laminated security sheets in the seat pockets! 

At the Hotel
  • If you are staying in a hotel then ask for your room to be on the ground floor so that you don't have to carry the pushchair upstairs (not all hotels have working lifts and it gets annoying after 3 flights of stairs). 
  • Ask for your room to be at the end of a corridor so that it is quieter as people are not passing your door.
  • Position your travel cot in a dark and quiet area of the room. One of my friends puts her baby's travel cot in the bathroom as he gets really disrupted when they sleep in the same room. 
  • Most hotels will supply a travel cot but I suggest that you take your own cot bedding (bottom sheet and sleeping bag). 
  • Take things from home that are familiar to your baby for the bedtime routine (comforter, book, toy)
  • Most hotels will provide food suitable for your baby if you ask them too. We follow a Baby Led Weaning approach so it was easy for us to feed him what we were eating (within reason!) 

If you have any advice or tips to share about travelling then please add a comment as it's great to get new ideas.

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