If you are about to embark on your first holiday with your new addition, congratulations! Welcome to a world where holidays will never be the same again. First and foremost because your new little person gets to invade at least half of your luggage allowance! Packing for a baby is a minefield. There are so many vital ‘must-haves’ but here are my essentials (outside of nappies, baby wipes, baby bottles and formula!)
- Cot & Stroller Blackout
Long time readers will know I’m obsessed with travel blackout. I think creating a darkened room can really help kids adjust to a new time zone. In addition to this there have been many times my hotel room has had uncovered windows or flimsy shades that allow bright light to stream through the moment the sun’s up. To combat this, I’ve used a mix of products over the years. Snoozeshade have a range of fantastic products from blackout buggy cover (perfect for those evenings where you want baby asleep in their stroller whilst you’re out for dinner) to blackout cover for your travel cot. I also highly recommend packing black bin liners and sellotape if you think you might be staying somewhere with little to no curtains (it may sound odd for first timers but the beauty of having a baby in a travel cot, means you can put it anywhere to give you some separation e.g. the bathroom of your hotel room. And not all of those places may have curtains!)
- Travel sterilising equipment
Before you lug your entire sterilising cabinet with you, check with your hotel in advance to see if they might provide a steriliser (you may be pleasantly surprised). If there’s a microwave, you may want to just bring sterilising bags. Or invest in a handy Single Bottle Steriliser. For more information on how to sterilise on the plane and at your destination, read my sterilising guide! P.S. don’t forget to pack a small bottle of washing up liquid and a bottle brush.
- Lightweight Activity mat
Quite frankly babies don’t do that much. But one thing they do enjoy is laying on a nice mat and staring at interesting things. Amazon have a huge range of baby play mats for as little as GBP 10. Buy a cheap, lightweight one which folds up easily in your suitcase.
Having a young baby fall ill is upsetting when you are in your home environment. Overseas it can be even more stressful. Make sure you have a comprehensive medical kit full of brands you trust. Here’s my medical kit list, recommended by my children’s pediatrician. It’s also worth (for the more neurotic amongst you), doing a google search in advance for recommended English doctors or hospitals just in case. In a similar vein – don’t forget to purchase decent travel insurance!
- Easy to use, collapsible stroller
Remember that huge contraption you bought before the baby arrived? You know the one that cost practically the same amount as a small car? Don’t bring that on your travels. Invest in an easy to use, lightweight collapsible stroller. We are big fans of the Baby Jogger City Mini. Or if you’ve got a toddler who doesn’t really use the stroller that much, buy a cheap lightweight one from the supermarket. If you’re contemplating a lot of travel on the horizon, you may even want to check out the Babyzen Yoyo that folds up into hand luggage. Yes you can actually take it onboard the plane!
There’s nothing more magical than baby’s first travels. Don’t stress, be organised, consult a packing list so you don’t forget anything and have a wonderful trip xx