Your little angel’s first holiday is such an exciting time, filled with fun and new experiences. However, planning baby friendly holidays is not the easiest task. It can be tricky to figure out what to pack, where to stay, and how to make sure the whole family has a wonderful time.
Luckily, we have all the advice you need for an absolutely fantastic holiday with baby, so you can skip the stressing and go straight to making some magical first holiday memories with your bub.
The number one rule of baby friendly holidays is keeping things nice and simple. It’s best not to get too attached to any particular holiday itinerary, as your little one can (and will) throw a spanner in the works of whatever schedule you make. Instead, manage your expectations and understand that some experiences may be missed. Don’t worry- there’ll be plenty of time for jam-packed holidays when your little tyke is older and as eager for adventure as you are.
If You’re Flying:
Aeroplane travel with a tiny tot in tow can seem pretty daunting- but it doesn’t have to be. Flying with a baby under six months can be surprisingly easy as they’ll likely sleep for most of the flight. If you’re travelling with a baby over six months old, simply make sure you have toys and snacks in your carry-on to keep your little monkey busy with.
One big concern for parents flying with their little ones is the earache caused by cabin air pressure. However, this problem can be avoided! Feeding your bub during take off and landing can alleviate any sore ears, and you can give your munchkin infant paracetamol too.
You also need to ensure your child has all the appropriate travel documents, such as:
- Their passport
- A visa (if the country you are visiting requires it)
- A written letter of consent from their other parent (for single parents)
You should also thoroughly research your airport and airline before travelling. Some important things to find out are:
- The minimum travelling age for that airline.
- Do they allow small babies to travel on their parent’s lap (this saves money)?
- What liquids are allowed through security and in your cabin baggage?
- Can you bring a car seat on the aeroplane (if you have a transfer from the airport) or will you have to hire one?
If You’re Driving:
Long car trips with a little one certainly have their challenges, but with our tips your family road trip will be bags of fun.
When planning your trip, remember that babies need stops for feeds and changes, so plan places where you can pull over along your route and factor these stops into your estimated arrival time.
One great way to minimise the chance of your nugget kicking up a fuss is to drive at night, as this will help them to sleep through the journey. Simply take your sweetie through their usual bedtime routine but place them in their car seat rather than their crib at the end.
We also suggest having one parent in the backseat with the little ones to keep them entertained, wipe up any messes they make, and generally keep an eye on them.
A big part of any holiday is where you’ll be staying- and on baby’s first holiday, you’ll need to make sure that’s somewhere with all the right facilities for your little cutie.
Many parents actually find that self-catering accommodation works best for baby friendly holidays, as:
- It allows you to make your own schedule to fit with your baby.
- You don’t have to worry about other guests.
- There is often a washing machine for you to do any laundry (babies are messy after all).
If you’re heading to a hotel, swot up on how baby friendly the establishment is before booking. A few things to check for are:
- Do they have a creche, nursery, or babysitting service?
- Do they have highchairs and travel cots available?
- Are the hotel chefs happy to puree food or are there shops nearby from which you can buy baby food?
Heading Somewhere Sunny?
Catching some rays is, for many of us, the hallmark of a perfect holiday. But there are a few things to consider if you’re planning to have some fun in the sun with your bub.
The NHS says that babies under six months old should be kept out of direct sunlight, so keep your sprog in the shade and make sure you have a sunshade attached to your buggy. You’ll also want to put your babe in a sunhat with a wide brim or a flap at the back. Not only will this look super adorable, but it will keep their face and neck safe from the sun.
When it comes to sun cream, the higher in factor the better, and you’ll want to reapply regularly. Test the sun cream on your bub’s skin before your holiday to make sure they won’t react badly to it, and it’s worth remembering that some sun cream brands do special baby sun cream too.
What To Pack
Knowing what to bring with you on your first holiday with baby can be dizzying. Luckily, we have a helpful list with some key things to include.
- Home comforts, e.g. toy or blanket
- Travel blackout blind
- Night light
- Plug adaptors
- All weather clothes (layers)
- Foldable buggy
- Travel sling
- Bottle, bottle warmer, steriliser and breast pump
- Sunhat and sun protection
- Nappy bag with nappies and nappy cream
- Swimming nappies (if holidaying with a pool)
- Dummies and teething rings
- Formula, baby food and/or hand blender
- Travel cot (If your holiday home provides a travel cot you will still need to bring your own baby bedding)
- First aid kit
- Wet wipes
Whether you’re jetting off abroad or enjoying a staycation, we’re sure you and your little traveller will have a fabulous first holiday together.