Does travelling with a baby bring you out in a cold sweat?
Don’t panic! With just a little bit of extra preparation you can set yourself up for a stress free journey.
Prepare Your Documents
Make sure you apply for your baby’s passport and visa (if needed) well ahead of time. If your baby doesn’t share your surname you may need a birth certificate or letter from a parent to travel with them.
Did you know you can take your baby’s passport photo yourself now?
Children must be on their own in the picture. Babies must not be holding toys or using dummies.
Children under 6 do not have to be looking directly at the camera or have a plain expression.
Children under one do not have to have their eyes open. You can support their head with your hand, but your hand must not be visible in the photo.
Children under one should lie on a plain light-coloured sheet. Take the photo from above.
To find out more visit https://www.gov.uk/photos-for-passports
2. Baby Baggage. Some airlines allocate baggage to babies and some don’t so check who you’re flying with in advance. I know it’s hard but travelling as light as possible will help so much once you’re trying to lug luggage and a baby around.
3. Pack into smaller bags. Whether it’s changes of clothes, toys or everything you need to change a nappy, packing things in separate (labeled!) bags will mean you won’t be stuck searching in the bottom of your carry on for loose items. Just pick out the one you need and you’ll have everything ready to clean up a mess, entertain a baby or change a nappy.
4. Liquids. Get all liquids together in advance from the whole family so you don’t need to faff about getting them out bags at the airport.
Although there are restrictions on liquids going through security, that doesn’t apply to baby’s milk (formula, expressed or cows milk), boiled water in a bottle or baby food. It’s always worth checking online before you go to make sure rules haven’t changed.
You can order milk to the airport through boots but it must be done 1-2 weeks in advance. Just pop on the boots website and when you check out, order it to a store a select the airport you’re flying to.
5. Extra items to consider packing:
A massive muslin. Its uses are endless - cleaning up mess, sunshade, blanket, swaddle, cover up if you’re breastfeeding, something for your baby to sit on on the floor if your flight is delayed etc.
A Silicone bib so you can wipe and re-use rather than material ones that need to be washed.
Snacks! For you and your baby. Not only for the journey but to keep in the hotel room.
Foam squares -perfect for the hard floors of hotel rooms or around the pool.
Sterilising tablets - take the ones that only need 2 litres of water and you can use an emptied drinks bottle from the supermarket.
6. Keep track of your pushchair. If you have a popular pushchair, try and attach something to it like a piece of ribbon or sticker so that you can identify it easier at the airport.
7. Give yourself room to move. If you can afford to upgrade to premium economy, it might be worth considering. If you have a baby on your lap for the entire flight you’ll be thankful for the extra room. If not, select an isle seat so you can get up and move around easier.
8. Feed your baby during take off and landing to help their ears. Plane noise and vibration does also help some babies to sleep.
9. Pack a couple of new toys or books so they have something new and interesting to look at on the journey. Be creative and make fun toys on the go by using mirrors, bottles with things in as rattles, things to put in and out of cups once you’ve had a drink etc.
10. The Hotel Room. If you’re staying in a hotel, ask for a quiet room away from lifts and stairs. Rooms overlooking the pool are usually noisier so try and get one that’s tucked away, even if you have to sacrifice your view a little. If your room is still noisy, try a white noise app on your phone or vacuum noise on YouTube. Consider packing a travel black out blind to block out any sunlight for daytime naps.
Remember - However warm it is outdoors, if you have air conditioning indoors you’ll need warmer clothes and sleepwear for your baby.
This 8 hour Henry the hoover YouTube video works wonders. Just make sure you’re on the hotel’s wifi first! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBVFU--BHT8&t=6570s
11. Keep it simple! Don’t plan as much into a day as you would before you had a baby. Start the holiday with mindset that everything will take a little longer and days will need to be kept simpler. You may need to plan a little more than usual around food and nap times.
12. Enjoy yourself! Take a deep breath when things get stressful, enjoy the simple things and make memories together!
Becki Williams is a Hemel Hempstead Photographer who specialises in Newborn & Baby Photography. With 17 years of Photography & Photoshop experience she creates beautiful baby portraits from laid back, fun photo shoots with your family.
If you’re interested in a Newborn Photo Shoot please…