ADVICE FOR FIRST HOLIDAY ABROAD WITH BABY(26 Posts)
Hi - we're going on a week's cheap summer sun break with our 9 month old. Whilst I know it will be lovely once we're away, I'm feeling a bit anxious about all the logistics (I have PND). We haven't flown before and I don't know what I should bring, what to leave behind or the best way to prepare. If anyone can offer any tips (or even give me an idea of what to expect on the flight, what to do with the pram etc.) I'd be incredibly grateful - thanks!
Right, first off, try not to stress.
Are you using bottles? If so, you will need to take a steriliser. I used this :-
Use this checklist to help you remember everything:-
Don't forget to bring baby's favourite toy and teddy/other pacifier and keep it handy for the flight.
Most airlines will allow you to take the pushchair right up to the plane door and then staff will pop it under with the luggage. Ask at check-in whether you get it back on the Tarmac once you've landed or whether it will turn up on the carousel.
You should get priority boarding.
Take satchets of Calpol and ibuprofen with your hand luggage just in case.
With baby food, they just make you try it before allowing it through security. They also allow water for the baby, again you will have to drink some.
Are you taking a car seat? If you're hiring a car, I would seriously consider taking your own car seat. I bought two that I always take with me on holiday. The car seats that come with hire cars in my experience have been awful and dangerous.
P.S. you should try and give baby a drink whilst taking off and landing to relieve any pressure in his/her ears. Either that or encourage them to suck their thumb (that works for longer!).
Sorry another thing, always make sure you have at least one change of clothes for baby on the flight and bring a spare top for yourself. Just in case! Layer baby up so you can keep her/him comfy through the flight.
Ok this is stalking now! If you need anything, just ask!
I have to say, I wouldn't take a steriliser for a 9-month old, by that time I was just washing bottles out.
Why bother with priority boarding, it just means sitting on the plane for longer, doesn't it?
Playdoh was a good toy for the plane (though a bit smelly - home made is less so if you can bear it) though I don't know if it comes under the 'liquid' rules.
Are you hiring a car? Splash the cash for airconditioning.
I'd agree about taking your own car seat. I was in the queue once behind a family who'd booked one at the car hire place and there wasn't one available when they got there.
A muslin is a good sun shade for a car window.
I was a bit OTT with the sterilising! I did it for 11 months!
When I said priority boarding, I meant that on the airlines that I've been on, when the time comes to queue to board the plane, they have asked the people with babies/small children to come to the front of the queue.
I have always used scheduled airlines. I forgot you can buy priority boarding.
Sterilising bottles is recommended until they're a year old. I'd take a travel steriliser. We have very clean water here - the country that you are travelling to might not have the same rules. Why risk the baby having a poorly tummy for the sake of taking a little box?
I totally agree - better to be safe than sorry.
Check with health visitor about what water to use, I can't remember which one was advised when we went away with 4 month old.
I wouldn't take play doh on a plane - it's bound to leave a mess or stickiness behind
Evian used to be recognised as having the lowest sodium but in Europe there are other brands which are baby friendly and have a logo on the label (Nestlé did on). Take a few new books (touchy/feely and ones with finger puppets or moving parts), stacking cups/shape sorter and buy cheap bucket and spade there. Take travel handwashing gel and nailbrush and pegs/string so you can rinse out clothes and hang over bath or on balcony. UV Sunsuit , high factor suncream, sunhat and swim nappy. May need a cardi and light jacket for evenings
Hi went on hoilday with ds at 6months bring capol, babywipes ( loads) blanket good for when in pram sheilding them from sun if bottle feeding , we got small cartons if baby milk ; and depostible bottles were great, plenty if nappies, high factor sun cream couple of baby hats , nappy cream, nappy bags . Think you are sorted just have a great time
We took dd to Italy when she was 5 months. We didnt take a steriliser either but we bought a washing up bowl out there and used Milton sterilising tablets. They we perfect! So much easier than an actual steriliser and can be used for all food items, bowls etc too so you can throw everything in at once and just take out what you need.
Take as many nappies as you can as I often find them expensive abroad. I tend to buy the cheap ones abroad for use during the day as they'd be on and off all the time anyway as we went in and out of the pool and save the best for night time. Didnt bother with car seats etc but do take pram with a parasol. I also took a light sarong for laying on the baby if sun was strong whilst in the pram.
Sun suits are a must as they're far too young for swim costumes etc.
Try go all inclusive - so much easier than self catering as you can pick and choose without worrying about the waste! otherwise at 9 months you can easily buy food there.
For the travel out and in but ready made formula- much easier and if needed, pre serialised bottles. You can pre order your formula to the boots at the airport so you don't have to worry about getting liquids through etc. I travelled with one bottle and then took 2 pre sterilised bottles with me and bought cartons at the airport for both outward and inward journeys.
It's easy so try not to worry!
Milton and a plastic bowl is by far the easiest way to sterlilise on holiday.
Personally I wouldn't choose to go all inclusive, we always go self catering so we have a fridge and when ours were babies we could prepare some food for them at home if neccessary.
I never took nappies, they take up too much room in the case, I always bought them in the supermarkets wherever we went and I never found them expensive. Do take nappy sacks though as they don't often have them.
I always bought my nappies on holiday- just the local brand but I brought swim nappies - they were much more expensive.
Any all inclusives I've stayed in have had microwave and fridge as well. I didn't sterilise past 6 months but if you need to I always found microwave steriliser bags to be great.
Great thread - and good timing
Anyone recommend a good, not too expensive sunsuit for 8 month old baby DD? She's 6.5 months now and will be 8.5 months when we go away. Might get away later in the summer too so would be good if it would do her a bit longer - I guess a smallish 9-12 month would be good - so any good brands? And also do they make you open cartons of formula at the airport?
Hi. I always got our dd suits from next, mothercare etc, about £12-16. Yes they will make you open cartons so pre order them to boots at the airport so you can collect them once you've gone through control. They'll be ok in your case though
Wow, thank you so much everybody for taking the time to respond, makes me feel much more prepared & the tip for pre-ordering the formula at the airport is genius. I hope other people have found this helpful too. Cheers!
Sunsuits are the nuts. Don't bother with pretty frilly swim wear, just get a neck to ankle UV suit and a hat with a chin strap.
Don't stress about keeping baby in routine. I spent a miserable week with four month old DD on hols trying to exactly replicate my (OCD) home routine, blacking out windows etc etc.
Likely your little one will sleep more in the heat and I would just let him/her stay up with you until late, nap in buggy as and when. I did this on subsequent hols with DD1 and DD2 and enjoyed self much more.
If you're going somewhere hot, I ALWAYS take Banana Boat SPF 100. My kids have never had sunburn with this stuff, it's great for the face and hands where clothes can't cover up.
We took our 7 month old to Madeira last year.
MILK: Took aptamil cartons and poured into his bottles just before security. I was asked to taste it. It was fine. Also took Ella's Kitchen pouches - clean and easy to close with no mess. We bought aptamil tub at the pharmacy, airside at the airport but we found Madeira stocked it which was just as well as one tub only lasted just over a week. He had more milk than food as he tends to eat less when hot.
NAPPIES: We took some nappies for the first three days and swim nappies. Found portugal's 'own' brands did the job well.
FOOD: We took snacks and ella's kitchen pouches and found that in Protugal, parents tended to make their child's own food at home and ask restaurants to warm it. It was this that made us go down the baby led weaning route - best decision made ever!
ROUTINE: We made the mistake of wanting our son to go to sleep at 7pm (still too hot) and sleep soundly in his buggy whilst we ate at 9pm. We learnt that our son would dictate what he wanted and it was far easier for us to allow him to tell us when he was tired.
AIRPORT: Go through 'fastrack security' if you can. Takes the hassle out of the long queues. The buggy can go with you to the gate and if you board the plane from the tarmac (i.e. you need a bus or a short walk to the plane's steps, you can take it as far as the steps. It goes straight into the hold and in Madeira - can differ elsewhere - you collected it first thing when stepping off the plane steps. Take a baby carrier though for the flight because if you cannot get your buggy until you get your luggae off the carousel, it can be a 30 minute nightmare holding a baby. We took infant car seat too and it went straight to 'over sized luggage' when checking in.
TOYS: We took small, hand-held toys. Also helps if the place you are going to has a creche that families can use. It was our son's favourite place and also good place to go whilst taking refuge from the sun between lunchtime and 4pm.
FLIGHT: Our son slept on take-off! It was a 7:30am flight and had been awake since 5:30am and was 'woken' for his car journey at 4am so slept/awake every 40 minutes on a 4 hour flight. Journey back, not so much sleep - it was an afternoon flight!
Good luck! We're going bck to Madeira in 5 weeks - with a now 19-month-old. i have heard toddlers are a nightmare compared to babies!!!!
This is such good advice: ROUTINE: We made the mistake of wanting our son to go to sleep at 7pm (still too hot) and sleep soundly in his buggy whilst we ate at 9pm. We learnt that our son would dictate what he wanted and it was far easier for us to allow him to tell us when he was tired.
At home, I'm a GF routine freak. On holiday, even I let it go.
Don't assume that you can take a changing bag as extra hand luggage. You might get away with it but babies don't get their own hand luggage.
Several dummies for the plane if your baby uses them - then if they get flung on the mucky floor you can get another one out.
If your baby doesn't want to sit still don't feel silly walking around with them. I spent what seemed like hours on one plane walking up and down the aisle with my toddler - it kept her quiet so I didn't care what anyone thought!
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