Heading abroad for the summer holidays? Wondering what to pack for your baby’s first trip? Here’s a full list of space-saving items for babies and toddlers….
We’ve compiled a list of things to pack for a sunny holiday with a baby under 12 months – if you’re staying at a hotel that’s purpose-built for kids, or your children are a bit older, you’ll be able to leave a lot of these at home. Just check what’s provided at your accommodation before you travel.
Choose a lightweight stroller that lays flat and is easy to fold – you’ll be opening and closing it all the time. It doesn’t count towards your luggage allowance if you’re flying with Thomson Airways, and you can push it all the way up to the boarding gate, although you’ll need to take your little one out when you go through security
2. A new toy for the flight
Pick something multifunctional – Lamaze toys are great for young babies – and go for something quiet (or at least with a volume button). For bigger kids, wrap it up like a present to be given in return for good behaviour. Books are ideal for older children.
3. An elaborate necklace
When you’ve got a baby sat on your lap for the duration of a flight, it pays to have something that’s a) tied round your neck, and therefore can’t be thrown on the floor, and b) a distraction from pulling your earrings/glasses/nose. The beadier, the better.
4. Sterilising spray
Aquaint’s 100% natural steriliser comes in a 50ml bottle so it’s perfect for hand luggage, and you can use it to clean bottles, dummies, grubby surfaces – you name it. A must for camping, too.
5. Sterilising kit
Tommee Tippee’s travel microwave steriliser is really handy if you’re self-catering, and if you’re seriously short on space in your suitcase, try microwave sterilising bags. Milton sterilising tablets are brilliant if you don’t have a microwave – all you need is cold water.
6. Bottles and milk
Tommee Tippee’s milk powder dispenser pots are genius – they fit inside the top of standard Closer To Nature bottles filled with pre-boiled water, so you don’t have to take a separate pot for formula, and everything stays sterile.
7. Disposable bibs
They’ll save you forever washing bibs while you’re away and they’re pre-folded. Another useful bit of kit for bigger/messier kids is a long-sleeved waterproof bib like this one by Lassig. When you’re done, wash it under the tap, hang it out in the sun and it’ll be dry in 5 minutes.
8. Food pouches
Baby food pouches can be very useful when travelling as you can squeeze the food straight onto a spoon (no bowl) or straight into your baby’s mouth (when you’ve forgotten a spoon). There’s no glass to smash in your luggage, and they stack neatly. If you’re taking a couple in your hand luggage, check the weight – some are over the 100ml limit.
While you’re there…
9. A pop-up tent
If you can fit it in your luggage – and you’re planning on getting out and about quite a bit while you’re there – a UV pop-up tent is a lifesaver. You can get lightweight ones that fold down to next-to-nothing, and it’ll save you constantly searching for shade.
10. A swim float
If you’re heading to somewhere like a Holiday Village, you’ll be well catered for in this department. But if you’re staying somewhere that’s less geared up for kids, consider packing a swim float or life jacket that’s specially designed for small babies who won’t fit in a rubber ring. You’ll get a lot more pool time out of it.
Getting out and about…
11. Car window shades
If you’re hiring a car, don’t forget to take these out of your own car when you park up at the airport. Or take the free ones you usually get with your first car seat, as it’s not the end of the world if they get left behind. A buggy shadeA buggy shade can help shelter your baby from the sun and provides a dark-ish place to nap in the day, and when out and about at night.A shawl or scarf
12. A shawl or scarf
Use it as a breastfeeding shield on the plane, a makeshift tent/sun shade/blanket when you’re out and about, a sarong, a stand-in muslin… and whatever else you can think of.
13. A baby carrier
A baby carrier can be a lifesaver in hilly resorts or resorts with , cobbled streets Plus, it means you don’t have to queue for lifts, or navigate a buggy through busy crowds.
14. A travel adaptor
A double adaptor will come in handy for extra electrical appliances like baby monitors (take it for nap-times as you might not be able to relax without it).
15.Something from their cot
To help your baby to settle in their new surroundings, bring a teddy, a blanket that smells of home, or the musical bit from their cot mobile if that’s what they usually hear before bed every night.
16. Mosquito patches and net
Try to avoid your little one getting mosquito bites by using mosquito repellent patches and by hanging a mosquito net over the cot and buggy.
17.Your baby’s passport
You can get the photos taken at many local camera shops or pharmacies – they will snap away with a digital camera until you finally get a shot that’s blink/scream/dribble-free.
Take a spare to replace the one that vanishes without a trace, plus a pool-friendly one with UV filters.
19. Baby sunglasses
Protect your baby’s eyes with baby sunglasses, they might constantly pull them off their face – but it might be worth a shot.
20. Baby sun cream
They’ll need their own, as it’s specially formulated for new skin.
21. Essential medicines
Pack anything your baby takes regularly, plus the usual suspects if you’ve got space – Calpol, nasal drops, Infacol and the like. Bear in mind, though, you’ll be able to get hold of most things while you’re out there if you need to.