When you first become a parent, you might think you’ll never go on holiday again. After all, getting dressed in the morning can seem like a mission in itself. That said, this phase passes pretty quickly and before you know it you’ll be desperate to go somewhere that’s not a soft play area.
Thankfully, with companies like Tots Too offering an eye-catching range of family-friendly holidays, you won’t be short of trip ideas. Here, Nadine Hill from JuggleMum runs through a few things to consider when travelling with a baby.
The type of accommodation you book: If you’re booking your first holiday with an infant, make sure you choose somewhere that’s suitable. Ideally, your room will be equipped with all the facilities you’ll need for a baby such as a cot, monitor, night light and so on. But bear in mind this will not always be the case and you might have to take some items with you.
Many airlines will allow you to put up to two large baby items in the hold so if you do need to bring a highchair or travel cot, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem – just find out what you need before you set off. However, rather than a highchair, to save space we just used the foldaway buggy for that purpose.
The safety of the room: Are there fire alarms? Can you book a room without a balcony or at least one where the balcony does not have easy-to-slip-through railings? A quiet room might also be better if you want your child to sleep early, so ask for something that’s well away from the hotel nightclub or entertainment area.
Upon arrival there are also other ways to baby proof your hotel room such as duct-taping over anything that looks dangerous (like power sockets) and ensuring all furniture is stable. Having said that, provided the basics are in place, you can do the other checks at your leisure.
The place you’re visiting: These days, you can go almost anywhere with little ones in tow. But before you book it’s worth doing your research to see if your choice of destination is suitable for babies. Opting for a sunny climate is fine but if you visit a destination where the temperature reaches 40 degrees in the day (and doesn’t get much cooler at night) it might be difficult for your child to play outdoors and sleep. If you do go to a hot country, be prepared to slap on the sun cream and always make sure very young children are kept in the shade.
Before travelling: You should also read up on whether you’ll need vaccinations to visit a certain country. While the UK child vaccination schedule protects against many diseases such as tetanus, it might not cover those found overseas. For example, there is no vaccine for malaria and this can be extremely dangerous for people of all ages. Moreover, your baby might not have yet had certain vaccinations – so you must be sure that it’s safe for them to travel at any given time.
Travel essentials for your baby: Getting from A to B can be awkward with a baby but it’s far easier if you have all the essentials readily available. With this in mind, make sure you always have nappies and wipes in your hand luggage as well as a range of drinks and snacks – most airports will allow you to take baby food and pre-made milk formulas through customs. It’s also worth taking several toys and visual stimuli to keep them entertained as well as their favourite comfort blanket, soft bear and/or dummy.
Holidaying with a family can be lots of fun – just make sure you consider the above before heading off on an adventure.
By Nadine Hill