Sarah Harris is from A to Z Baby Planners and has travelled the world. Here are her 7 things you MUST have when travelling with a baby…
I remember my first trip with my eldest daughter well. She was four months’ old, and she and I were flying from Melbourne back to Jakarta to my husband. We were living and working in Jakarta at the time, and I’d flown home to Melbourne to have the baby. I agonised over what to pack and how I’d keep my daughter entertained for the seven-hour flight (she didn’t like to sleep!) for weeks.
I had been advised by many to breastfeed my baby during takeoff and landing to help her ears – which didn’t work in my case as the noise and momentum were far too interesting to worry about feeding – so she cried (loudly). I quickly learnt that a bottle of expressed milk was far more effective for my little one and we never had that problem on a flight again. Tip – if you do offer a bottle, make sure that you are hurtling down the runway before you start as you may find that the milk is guzzled before the wheels have even left the ground if you give it too early. Oh and hide it in the seat pocket in front of you so your baby isn’t looking at it and screeching beforehand!
This was the first of many trips that we did around Asia and Australia, and I certainly became much more confident over time. My advice for any new mamas feeling a little apprehensive about travelling with a little one is to pack as lightly as possible and focus on the essentials. Just as there are plenty of baby products that you really don’t need for home, there are also baby products designed for travel that you really don’t need. Here are my top must-haves for travelling with a baby – designed to help you travel with style and grace, and your sanity intact upon arrival. Note that whilst I have referred to flights, this list is also applicable to other modes of travel.
If you don’t already have one and can afford it, I would encourage you to buy a beautiful nappy bag that you love. When you travel, this bag is likely to become your cabin bag, handbag, beach bag and go-to baby bag all in one. My favourites at the moment are the Andie by Claudine & Ash and Littlephant’s Day Bag (the crochet jewellery hanging from the bag doubles as a toy for babies!).
This is a case of you get what you pay for. BabyBjorn’s Travel Cot Light is THE BEST. It is lightweight, safe and takes about two minutes to assemble/disassemble. I know that it is possible to borrow a travel cot from many hotels and resorts, but I would advise against relying on this. I once checked in to a stunning 5-star resort to find a rickety old wooden cot waiting for me. If your baggage allowance accommodates it (check online before you go), take your travel cot with you. This has the added benefit that your little one will get somewhat used to sleeping in it and chances are they will settle more easily while you are away.
You often have to part with your stroller at check-in so having a baby carrier to enable you to have your hands free is a life saver, particularly for getting through lengthy queues in immigration. I like the range by Ergobaby.
A SWADDLE OR TWO
Swaddles are perfect for using as blankets, play mats, to throw over for discreet feeding or clean up after a sick baby when travelling.
A couple of new, small toys for the trip are ideal. They also need to be relatively quiet. Cloth books with stimulating sounds and materials are great, as are many Lamaze toys. Slinkys were always a big hit with my daughter. Little bags of bath toy animals are also fun to play with and they have the added benefit that you can use them in the bath whilst away.
A SPARE TOP FOR YOU
If you end up with milk, poop or baby sick on you, it’s far easier to change your top than try to mop up with baby wipes! Blossom & Glow have a gorgeous selection of breastfeeding tops and are well priced.
Nappies, lots of wipes, disposable nappy bags, dummies, a spare change of clothes (warm for a plane), bottles and formula (if needed), snacks (if your baby has started solids) and a lightweight stroller (I could write a whole article on this item alone, which I may just do in the future!).
Wishing you all happy travels!
Sarah is the founder of A to Z Baby Planners, named after her adorable little girls, Amelia and Zoe. She loves to travel and has been lucky enough to live and work in the corporate world in Jakarta, Sydney and Brisbane. She now lives in Melbourne with her family.
featured via by Baby Bjorn