Travelling with your Newborn: Tips for a Stress-free Holiday
Travelling with a newborn can seem like a daunting prospect, especially if it's your first time. But with careful planning and preparation, you can have a wonderful family holiday that everyone will enjoy. Here we will share some tips on how to plan a stress-free holiday with your newborn.
Choose Baby-Friendly Travel Options
When planning your holiday, consider a destination that is not so far away and look for accommodation options that are baby-friendly. Look for family-friendly hotels and resorts that offer amenities like high chairs, travel cots, and babysitting services. You might also want to check that they provide a kettle in the room if your baby is formula fed. All-inclusive family holidays can be a great option, as they typically offer a range of activities and services that cater to families with young children. You also tend to find other guests and the staff are a lot more accommodating and welcoming.
When it comes to travel, consider the age and temperament of your baby. If your little one is still very young, a long flight may not be the best option. If you are flying long distance, consider flying at night time and booking a baby bassinet - with any luck your baby might sleep through the whole journey. You do need to book baby bassinets directly with the airline and these must be reserved. So don’t miss out and book one as soon as you can.
If you do decide on a destination that is closer to home or even a staycation, you may need to consider breaking up the journey to allow yourself and baby to have a break. All airports have baby changing facilities, many have dedicated family facilities and play areas, and most restaurants and cafes in the terminals will also help with hot water to make your little one a bottle of formula if needed. If you do decide to fly with a baby, be sure to check with the airline about their policies and services for families travelling with young children.
Packing for yourself is already stressful, but once you start having to pack for your kids it can feel overwhelming. Packing for a holiday with a baby definitely requires some extra thought and planning. Make a packing checklist and be sure to include all the essentials like nappies, wipes, and baby clothes. If you’re formula feeding you may want to think about packing a mini travel kettle, Milton sterilising tablets, cold water steriliser, hand sanitiser, sanitising wipes, vacuum flask, cool bag and ice blocks. Of course don’t forget your baby bottles and Kendamil formula. If you're travelling by plane, be sure to check the airline's carry-on luggage allowance and restrictions - most airlines will let you take a car seat, pram and also a travel cot. Consider packing a baby carrier or sling too, as this can be a great way to keep your little one close and secure while exploring your destination - especially as some places aren’t necessarily pram friendly (we’re thinking stairs, cobbles and narrow streets).
When it comes to beach holidays, look for destinations with sandy beaches, calm waters and plenty of shady places to sit. Bring plenty of sun protection, including hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and protective clothing. But remember babies under 6 months should not wear sunscreen or be in direct sunlight! If old enough to dip their toes into the sand and salty sea don't forget to pack some swimwear, loose cotton cover-ups and towels for your little one. Some family-friendly resorts offer inclusive hotels that provide swimming pools and ice cream if getting covered in sand isn’t your thing or your baby is too young.
Take it Slow
Travelling with a newborn means you may need to adjust your expectations and take things at a slower pace. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination, and plan for extra stops and breaks along the way. When you arrive at your destination, take some time to settle in and adjust to your new surroundings. Find a safe spot to set up a baby changing station and if you’re formula feeding make sure the power supply is working and the kettle is clean - you want to sterilise this area and keep it clean throughout your stay. Allow plenty of time for feeding, napping, and playing with your little one.
If you're breastfeeding, consider bringing a breast pump and bottles so you can have some flexibility when it comes to feeding. Look for destinations with family-friendly restaurants that offer high chairs if your baby is sitting, you can also purchase and pack with you a fold-up portable high chair if you think you’ll be dining out a lot.
In addition to the tips mentioned above, there are a few other things to keep in mind when planning a holiday with a newborn:
Choose the Right Accommodation
When choosing your accommodation, look for baby-friendly options that offer amenities like travel cots, high chairs, and baby gates. If you're travelling with a larger group, consider renting a holiday home or villa that can accommodate your whole family.
Research Local Healthcare Facilities
Before you travel, research the local healthcare facilities in your destination. Familiarise yourself with the nearest hospitals and medical centres in case of an emergency. It's also a good idea to bring along a first-aid kit with essentials like bandages, antiseptic cream, and sachets of Calpol. You may also want to consider taking out travel insurance to cover any medical bills that may occur.
Consider the Time of Year
When planning your holiday, consider the time of year and the weather conditions in your destination. For example, if you're travelling during the summer months, be prepared for high temperatures and bring along plenty of sunscreen and sun protection for your little one. If you're travelling during the winter months, be sure to pack warm clothing and blankets to keep your baby cosy.
Take Advantage of Family-Friendly Activities
Look for family-friendly activities and attractions that you can enjoy with your little one. Many destinations offer kid-friendly activities like animal parks, aquariums, and museums that are perfect for young children. Some resorts even offer baby and toddler swimming lessons, so be sure to check with your accommodation about any family-friendly activities they offer.
Don't Forget Your Baby's Routine
While it's important to be flexible and adjust to your new surroundings, it's also important to maintain your baby's routine as much as possible. Stick to your regular feeding and sleeping schedule as much as possible, and bring along familiar items like your baby's favourite toy or blanket to help them feel more comfortable in their new surroundings.
All in all, planning a holiday with a newborn requires some extra preparation and planning, but it is also a wonderful opportunity to create lasting memories with your little one. By choosing
baby-friendly travel options, packing smart, and taking things at a slower pace, you can have a stress-free family holiday that you will cherish for years to come.
So why not start planning your baby's first holiday today?