Chloe was abroad now 4 times and in 2 days time she will be traveling again.I am Polish and I live in the UK so we go to visit my family in Poland, we also went on our first family holidays to Greece and we are going on our final holidays before I go back to work (we don’t talk or think about that and hope that if we ignore it, it won’t happen).
I know that a lot of people get scared or overwhelmed when it comes to traveling with little babies… No reason to!
As far as you are organised and prepared it is not scary or hard, it’s lots of fun! Especially once you get to your holiday destination. Being away with Chloe was the most special time and most fun we have had.
I decided to write some things which in my opinion you need or should consider based on the advice that I have been given and my own experience.
1. DONT CARE !!!!!
This will be the best advice I can give you : stop caring about what other people think !! If your baby screams on the plane (hopefully that will never happen) don’t care about what other people might think! If your baby is loud in the restaurant and you get some looks from other people, just ignore them !!! If your baby cries at night in the hotel do not worry if someone can hear it!!!! Concentrate on you and your baby! Other people don’t matter and remember that your little baby has every right to make noise, cry, scream or laught out laud … That’s the Baby Human Rights Act 😂
2. FLIGHT TIMES
Flights are always much cheaper when you fly early in the morning or late in the evening… And you are used to doing it … Don’t! We have had our lesson when we went on holidays and had no choice in flight time. We had to leave the house at 3am !!! So had to get up at 1am to get out in time, and because I was so stressed that we won’t wake up in time I ended up not sleeping at all!!!! Flying back to London at 11at night and getting home at 1:30am isn’t ideal when your baby is up at 5am or 6am.
Babies are adaptable so they will make sure that they sleep if they are tired but if you mess too much with their routine they will let you know and you want to make sure that they are happy when you are on the plane.
You have a baby now so you can’t catch up on your sleep on the plane or when you get home so it’s important that you travel at a normal time :-).
3.TAKE OFF AND DESCENDING
As you already probably know your baby needs to suck something on the take off and when descending so the air pressure doesn’t hurt their ears.
Take off is easy you just give them a dummy or bottle for the first few minutes and it’s done. What I have discovered when traveling is that a lot of babies really cry when the plane is landing. That’s because the plane starts descending quite quickly (it takes around 20 min) if you don’t give your baby something at the beginning of the descent then it’s too late, your baby’s ears started hurting so it doesn’t matter if it has something to suck or not. Make sure you give your baby a dummy as soon as your ears pop for the first time.
Another trick is to put your baby on your legs, face down (so on their belly) and massage their back.
If your baby doesn’t take the dummy make sure that he/she is hungry! There is no point of giving your baby bottle of milk to suck if she/he isn’t hungry.
4. MAGAZINES AND CUP OF COFFEE
Don’t bother, you won’t be able to have it 😂. If you are flying with a partner /friend and your baby is tiny then you might be lucky as the baby will usually just sleep so you can give it to the dad and enjoy your magazine. If your baby is 6 months or over don’t waste your money. Chloe was climbing over both of us for the whole 3 hours on the plane 😀.
I am not talking about your holiday entertainment, but your baby’s 😀.
Make sure that you have things with you which will keep your baby entertained and distracted. There are some good baby apps which will entertain even very small babies, bring theirs toys, a book. I find that snacks work perfectly! Chloe loves her food and snacking can keep her very happy for quite a while.
6. PACKING !
The harsh truth is that you won’t be able to take your usual 20 pairs of shoes 😀 the good news is that baby clothes are small so there will be some space left for your clothes😀
Pack anything that you think you will need, it is always better to take more than not enough.
My main advice will be to pack your baby clothes (or half of them) in to a hand luggage. I say that in case your luggage goes missing (it doesn’t happen often but is better to be safe than sorry) at least you have your baby stuff and your make-up (that always needs to be in the hand luggage) with you.
Keep your hand luggage to a minimum. I would advise to take 2 big suitcases and only one hand luggage. Recently we took one big suitcase and then had : 1 small suitcase, 1 bag, a pram, a changing bag, my handbag and Chloe (my husband hated every minute of it)…. It was a nightmare. This time we will have my very big handbag which will double as a changing bag, and one small suitcase.
Nowadays this isn’t a problem. You can either take your milk (if you are bottle feeding) or your baby food (if your baby is weaning but not big enough to eat normal food) with you! Or just buy while on holidays (make sure that your holiday destination has a shop which sells baby food) You can take it on the plane with you without any problems (the 100ml rule doesn’t apply to baby milk/food).
I have previously bought meals for the whole holidays with us (lunch and dinner main course & dessert) my advice is just make sure that it’s the pouches not jars that you buy (if you get jars it will weigh a ton 😀) . I have also bought food while on holidays, it does depend on where you are going and if you know the country/trust the food brands.
If your baby is very small (couple of months old) they don’t really have a routine yet and they sleep a lot which means that you don’t have to worry about it. Good thing about them being very small is that they will happily sleep everywhere; you can enjoy your dinner at any time with your baby sleeping in the pram next to you.
If your baby is over 3/4 months old she/he probably has a routine (meal time, nap times, bed time routine). In my opinion you should stick to your routine , maybe bend it a little bit when it comes to bed time but try and follow it. The reason to try and stick to your routine is simple : it took you a long time to get your baby in to a good routine, if you won’t stick to it for a few days/week+ you will have to start setting up your routine again. Also remember that if your baby is out of its routine it will change the way she/he behaves and that can affect your holidays.
If you go anywhere with a time difference of an hour, two or three ahead, that works perfectly for you. That means that you can stick to your bed routine and still have nice long evenings. When we went to Greece which is 2 hours ahead of UK time we had a great time and didn’t have to do anything about Chloe’s routine. We stick to our UK time routine so our usual 6pm dinner became 8pm , bed time went from 19:30 to 21:30 which was great. When we went to Poland which is only an hour ahead we had stick to the day routine but pushed the bed time by an hour (which luckily didn’t affect Chloe in any way).
I am not saying that you cannot go out in the evening or enjoy your holidays, you can, just make sure that you consider your baby’s needs. If your baby is a good sleeper and would sleep while you are out in the restaurant then that’s perfect just let them sleep in the restaurant and then quietly move to the cot when you are back at the hotel.
Tomorrow we are going to Portugal, there is no time difference so our plan is the every second night we will get Chloe to go to sleep in the pram so we can be out a little bit later than 7:30 pm 😀. That would mean that every other night she will go to sleep in the cot and that should keep her routine of going to sleep.
Bring your baby’s sleeping comfort item (if they have any) and toys with you. Chloe loves hotels as its a new environment to explore. In my opinion you only need to make sure that they feel secure when going to bed. I don’t carry a travel cot with us instead I have a portable mattress which I put over the cot base and use our fitted sheets. I bring Chloe’s sleeping bag and her comfort blanket which smell of her home/bed and she never has any problems sleeping.
10. THINGS TO HAVE WITH YOU
I won’t be going over the usual stuff, as you all know all of it already. I will go through some which might not be that obvious and I found that its good to have them with you.
- Thermometer (just in case… that should take some of the stress away if your baby isn’t well and you can check one of the most important things which is the body temperature).
- Calpol (or any other pain relief) in case of teething, fever or anything else. I always have with me the small sachets of Calpol.
- Teething medicines (whatever it is thats works for you baby).
- Heat rash medicine (if you go to a hot country, as baby’s skin after few days might struggle to cope with the heat).
- Few spare dummies if you use them (trust me they go missing so quickly its crazy).