Why travelling long haul with a new-born was a great idea.
When we shared that we had already booked a long haul flight to travel with our 4.5-month-old baby before he was even born, I’m sure some people thought that we were extremely brave or plain stupid! Being completely honest I was slightly anxious about the whole thing, but having the reassurance that the flights and hotel were refundable should we decide to bail out on the whole adventure put those fears nicely into a box of ‘things to think about post-birth’.
Fast forward to four months in, feeling slightly smug and in control from the total chaos of the first few weeks, and we were ready to get packing for our first family holiday to Mauritius. Our destination of choice would appear to be a bit flash for an early holiday – but we chose the location based on recommendations from other friends and reviews that we had read. We were travelling in March which was towards the end of the cyclone season and coming into their winter (which was still hot but manageable temperatures). The time difference was 4 hours which when taking a night flight to and from London made adjusting routines manageable. No additional baby vaccinations were required post the 16-week ones, nor was there a malaria outbreak. Finally, the hotels in Mauritius – those that rated themselves as family friendly were renowned to be of a high standard. For us personally travelling at the point we did made sense as our baby was not on solids yet, which meant we only had to tackle the boob/ bottle factor.
Like with anything, planning and more planning was essential. I packed for every possible outcome within my control. While this is not the full packing list by any means, below are a few essential holiday aids and tips for travelling with your little one.
- Teething toys/ chews (Nuby Icy Keys Teething Toy) – if your baby is teething then I highly recommend carrying a few different teethers / and teething salts or baby bonjela if that works for you. Most flight attendants are accommodating, so if you wanted to cool a teether down for comfort, you could put your teethers in a ziplock bag and stick in some ice. Or if none of that works – pack the calpol!
- Extra clothes for the parents – when travelling with children people always forget about themselves. The best piece of advice another mum gave me was – take some spare clothes for yourself and more than one pair! As if your baby is sick on you, you don’t want to be smelling of baby sick for your 12-hour flight.
- Wet wipes – essential for all spills…
Day to day
Travel cot – Most hotels provide cots if asked, but if your travelling somewhere where that is not an option, or your baby sleeps better in familiar surroundings then a easy compact travel cot is a good safe option. If you’re flying, then check with your airline as most allow two free items of baby equipment (such as a car seat/ buggy/ travel cot etc.) to be put into the hold. For a reasonable travel cot try Mamia Travel Cot for £34.99.https://www.aldi.co.uk/mamia-lightweight-travel-cot/p/013648266871000
Baby Bjorn carrier – A must, great for carrying your baby around the airport if you have put a buggy into the hold. Also perfect for those early morning beach walks!
Travel Buggy – Yes a massive extravagance to get yet another buggy…. However, the sheer convenience of having a carriage that folded up into the size of a small hand luggage size suitcase was priceless and came everywhere we went on our holiday.
Stroller Sun Shade – Great at protecting your baby from the sun/ rain/ wind etc. and can fit most buggy strollers. Can be used to fully cover your baby or just the legs etc. We found a sun shade perfect for nap times on the go. During the day or night, the sun shade blocks the light and creates that dark bedroom environment. It also helps prevent any distractions that may wake your baby.
Other practical items that may be useful depending on the age of your baby may be books/ toys/ snack boxes, feeding chair, stroller fan, food pouches.
As a round up all the items above along with a suitcase full of nappies, large quantities of baby clothes, muslin cloths, a few books/ magazines for mum to read and two weeks of no cooking or cleaning meant we managed to catch up on the past four months of sleep deprivation! Add in some sun, a cocktail or two and a happy baby and I think we’ve got the perfect mix.
Mrs J xx
Some of these items and many more can be found for a fraction of the price of leading brands at the Aldi baby and Toddler event that is live now online and in store from Thursday the 25th of April.