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Baby's First Holiday

The holiday season is now underway, and you may be looking forward to some time away together as a family. Whether you are planning your first family trip abroad, a UK trip or a staycation, here are a few tips on what to take and how to keep your baby safe and comfortable while travelling.

When is the best time to travel?
Sometimes you may not be able to choose the time of day you travel, but if you can, it can be beneficial to travel after your baby’s bedtime. This way you can keep your little one to their usual routine and hopefully they will sleep while you travel. If your baby is travelling in a car seat for more than a couple of hours, then it is recommended to stop every few hours for a break and don’t leave your baby sleeping in a car seat when out of the car as the position of the car seat changes when not in the car and can restrict baby’s airways. If it is a long journey, then you could travel during the day and plan a couple of stops for a meal or a walk in a park where your baby can lie flat in the pram.
If you are flying long haul, then check with the airline before you fly to see if they have a cot available, as this can be invaluable during a long-haul flight allowing you some time to rest.

Keeping your baby entertained
If your baby is still very young then they won’t need much to keep them entertained while travelling and if you are lucky, they may sleep most of the way. As your little one gets older, they will obviously need more things to keep them occupied if they are awake. It is harder keeping them entertained when restricted in a car seat, but some simply travel toys may help and also playing children’s songs. If you are flying then pack some simple toys and games you can play together in your seat, like building blocks or stacking toys and maybe even some books. If your child is older then you can buy lots of different travel toys and activities or even, make your own – check out sites such as pinterest for inspiration. If your baby is over 6 months, then lots of snacks is also a good idea and plenty of water.

What to pack
The amount you need to pack for a baby seems endless, whether it’s for one night or two weeks. The last thing you want is two huge suitcases as well as the pram and car seat to carry. Here are a few tips to help you limit the amount you need to take away with you.
- Keep clothes to a minimum – check the weather and work out actual outfits you and your family will wear and keep it to a minimum, don’t add any last minute panic items. It may also be worth investing in packing cubes – small bags for clothes which fit easily into your suitcase, its amazing how much you can stuff into one little bag.

- Nappies and suncream – if you are struggling with fitting everything you need into your suitcase then look to see if you can get a delivery sent to your holiday destination. See if you can order all consumables to be delivered to your holiday home or hotel and if not then maybe take the absolute minimum and buy when you arrive.

- Toys – lots of cottages and family holiday destinations cater for children well and have toys / games to keep your little ones entertained while you are away. It may be worth adding a few items in your carry-on luggage or have accessible in the car, but don’t take too much. Your baby will have more of your attention while away so they can enjoy plenty of quality time with you as a family.

Have you recently been on holiday with your baby? We’d love to hear your advice and tips on travelling with a little one. Post your comments on our blog here or our Facebook Page.

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Note: whilst we welcome feedback on this blog, we will not tolerate any abuse or misuse. Please respect the views and feelings of others. The content and advice offered is based on general recommendations and health-care professional suggestions and is designed to be used as a guide and discussion piece. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis or treatment by a qualified health-care / medical professional. If in doubt, always consult your doctor or health-care professional.

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