Baby's first holiday is an exciting time for all the family, but with so much to consider it can seem a little daunting too. Below you’ll find the Rowlands Pharmacy Ultimate Baby Travel Checklist which will help you stock up with all the essentials before setting off, making sure trips abroad with your little one are smooth sailing.
From everyday babycare supplies that your little one can’t go without through to helpful products you may not previously have known existed, this post will help you to launch your big holiday countdown!
Strategic packing for a holiday with baby
If you try to reel off a long packing list of everything you’ll need without the right strategy, you risk missing off something important. Instead, try segmenting the things you’ll need under key headings like travelling, feeding, changing and bathing, sleeping, swimming and fun in the sun and general health. Here’s our list to get you started…
Packing travel items for your holiday has two parts. Firstly, you’re likely to need your usual items for transporting your baby – buggies, baby carriers and potentially even a car seat as not all taxis abroad have these. Most airlines allow babies under two to share a seat with a parent and you may choose to hire a buggy at your hotel; so long as you’re aware of the plan you should be prepared.
Secondly, while travelling to your destination you’ll need to cater for baby feeding, changing and their entertainment. Many airlines allow their staff to warm baby food or bottles for you (but you’ll need to double-check) and luckily, baby foods are exempt from the usual liquid carry on restrictions.
To keep baby occupied, try taking a familiar and new toy to keep them distracted and comforted. Airline toilets, though compact, are designed to accommodate baby changing; just don’t forget to pack the wipes and nappies.
From baby bottles through to breastfeeding pads for mum, whether you’re staying self catering with a high chair and cooking facilities provided or have booked catered accommodation; there will still be plenty of baby feeding paraphernalia to pack!
Check whether your room will have a small fridge for food storage and a microwave for sterilising. There are other options if not, though if you do plan to take baby food with you, you may want to choose easy-to-carry pouches rather than heavy jars that could break.
Sterilising bags can also help lighten your luggage. And, wherever you are on the move, don’t forget your supply of bibs and muslins. Some parents choose to take disposable bibs on their travels, particularly if there won’t be washing facilities on site.
Changing and bathing
Some parents choose to carry just enough nappies, wipes, nappy sacks and barrier cream to see them through the initial flight, choosing to purchase new supplies when they land, or ordering products through their package holiday operator to be available in their room when they arrive. If you do choose to do this, don’t forget to pack a few extras in case of delays and remember to take a travel changing mat with you.
You may decide to take a small baby bath with you or to use a bath in your accommodation. For the latter you may require a universal bath plug, along with a mat to keep baby safe from slipping. If there’s a particular soothing bubble bath that’s usually part of their bedtime routine, don’t forget to take some with you to help ease their transition.
Many hotels now provide cots for families though you may choose to take your own travel cot and linen. You may feel happier for your baby to sleep in a sleepbag inside the cot or on your own linen, particularly if they have very sensitive skin.
Taking familiar items with you could also help them settle. A baby monitor will also provide peace of mind should you choose to sit on your apartment balcony or terrace while your little one rests inside. Keep an eye on the temperature so you can make appropriate adjustments to the air conditioning.
Swimming and fun in the sun
If you’re jetting off somewhere sunny, you’ll likely want to make the most of the warm weather and time spent by the pool or on the beach. Make sure you take a peek at our guide to Protecting Your Baby from the Sun, which contains information on selecting sunglasses, clothing and sun cream for babies.
Alongside loose cotton clothing and a wide brimmed hat, you may want to invest in some UV swimwear for baby and don’t forget to pack some swim nappies so they can enjoy a splash around too.
Shade is a summer essential for tots so along with an umbrella or shade for the buggy, you may want to pack a pop up UV tent so that your little one has their own private area to play and snooze in outside of the sun’s harsh glare.
It’s sensible to pack a small first aid kit along with everyday essential medicines you may need for baby, such as colic remedies and infant pain relief. While most of these will usually be available at your destination you could find your usual brands hard to come by.
If you’re travelling within Europe, remember that your infant will need their own EHIC card too.
What do you think of our Baby Travel checklist? Is their anything that’s proved invaluable to you on trips in the past that we’ve missed off our list?