Are you about to venture on your first holiday with your baby?  It is certainly a milestone event, even if you feel a bit overwhelmed about packing for two weeks’ worth of supplies, and thinking you might need to take the kitchen sink with you.  But is the reality easier than you think, as with a little preparation it can be oh-so easy.

A smooth journey

Baby feet and holding a baby book

For small babies, people are the best entertainment, but you may also want to take a few small toys and books as extra distractions.  If you can walk about the plane or train, stretch your legs and a chance of scenery will help too.

If you are travelling in a car stop at a service station, or picnic area and have a quick stroll.

If you are flying try and give your baby a drink or breastfeed or formula-feed during take off and landing to avoid any painful earache due to the effect of pressure differences. It is very difficult to explain to a baby and the sucking/drinking will not only distract them but it will naturally help them swallow.

Be prepared

Be prepared travelling with a baby

It’s a good idea to get yourself prepared and take a few emergency essentials with you just in case.

If you have a toddler, get them involved with the packing, it will help them to learn to prepare and get excited about their journey.

For a baby obviously you will need to pack this, but add things such as infant paracetomol, teething gel, perhaps a sting gel or antihistamine cream for insect bites.

If you holiday is going to be a sunny one, make sure you’e pack your baby’s hat, UV suit, sunglasses and portable sun pod, as well as plenty of sunscreen.

Your baby’s skin is five times thinner than yours and contains very little melanin – so sun protection is vital

Feeding matters

Feeding your baby when travelling

Breastfeeding is a boon on holiday as you don’t to take any equipment, just you.

If your feeding your baby with infant formula you can look at travel packs or ready make formula in the brand that you usually use.

Other equipment such as travel sterilizers, pre-sterilized bottle liners can be very useful for your journey.

You should consider taking additional formula for your trip that should be packed in your hold luggage.  Many brands are available in other countries but they may be presented differently and under a difference name.

Have some car sense

Travelling with a baby in the car

If you are travelling on holiday your young baby should be in a rear-facing car seat ideally in the back of the car.  It is probably safer to take your own car seat but it is possible to rent one if you’re hiring a car at your destination.

It’s definitely worth taking some window shades to shield your baby’s skin and eyes from the bright sunshine and to keep them cool and comfortable.

There are a number of UV filter shades available on the market that fit over the windows or on the car seat to help keep the heat and sun off your baby.

Have fun and don’t forget the camera to capture your first holiday!

Staycation vs abroad

Baby on holiday abroad

Do you stay at home or travel abroad?  For many the thought of travelling abroad with a baby is stressful, but perhaps you could find it more relaxing than you think.

A long car journey can actually be very stressful compared to a short plane ride.

If you are going somewhere where you need vaccinations, remember that your baby will need the same, so do check with your doctor about what you need and how soon beforehand to have it.

But remember that a short flight and guaranteed sunshine could be a better alternative to a staycation.

All-terrain travel

Baby wearing on holiday

Do you stay at home or travel abroad?  For many the thought of travelling abroad with a baby is stressful, but perhaps you could find it more relaxing than you think.

A long car journey can actually be very stressful compared to a short plane ride.

If you are going somewhere where you need vaccinations, remember that your baby will need the same, so do check with your doctor about what you need and how soon beforehand to have it.

But remember that a short flight and guaranteed sunshine could be a better alternative to a staycation.

Keep safe in the sun

Baby safe in the sun

If you are travelling to a hotter climate than the UK, be aware that babies, like all children can get hot and dehydrated very quickly in warm weather.  You may need to consider offering extra milk or water.

Your baby’s delicate skin can burn in as little as 15 minutes if unprotected; it is best to keep babies out of direct sun especially when the sun is as it’s most intense between 10am and 3pm until they are at least 6 moths hold.

To keep your baby cool, dress them in light-long sleeved tops, trousers, and a hat, even on cloudy days.  If you can get them to wear and keep on sunglasses that would be great too.

Opt for a 30+ SPF “broad-spectrum” sunscreen that is formulated for children.  Make sure you liberally cover them from head to toe about 30 minutes before you go outside.

Make sure you remember their hands, feet and ears, and re-apply every two hours and after any swimming.

Ensure you have a clip-on parasol or mesh buggy screen, and use even on cloudy days.

Portable tents and sun pods that are made from ultraviolet screening fabric are perfect for the beach, outdoor playtime, picnics and daytime naps, even for mums and dads.  They are often in clever flat pack formats for ease of transporting.