How to travel with a baby
I always said that a baby won’t change our lives in the sense of traveling. There was no way I would give up my love for traveling, and exploring the world. I said all of these things before we had our child. Then, last year, a week before Savannah was born, my brother got engaged to his kiwi girlfriend. I was so excited because that meant a trip to New Zealand was on the cards in the near future. The trip happened much sooner than we anticipated, and on December the 10th, we hopped on a plane to New Zealand. Not only was that Savannah’s first plane ride, but it was her first time away from home. We literally chose the furthest place on the planet to take her on her first trip. It took us more than 36 hours to get to Auckland (which I might add, was not the final destination, we still had to drive down to Wellington after that….). In this post, I will tell you what we went through, what we needed, and just some tips in case you are planning to travel with your baby in the near future.
Let’s start with realistic EXPECTATIONS when traveling with a baby for the first time:
- No more watching movies, reading books, drinking bloody mary’s and pigging out on the plane. There will be a baby on your lap requiring your full attention. One wrong move and all hell will break loose (chances are, your partner will end up feeding you because you won’t have any free hands to feed yourself)
- Say goodbye to sightseeing every single day. In order to have a calm and happy baby, you need to stick to their regular nap times. In this case, sightseeing might be more difficult, as you will need to stay put for certain times of the day.
- Babies do not like to be in their car seat for too long, which means those 5+ hour road trips might be hard to do. Break the journey up into smaller distances.
- If you travel through different time zones, like we did, it is realistic to expect your baby to suffer from jet lag for at least 5 days. Savannah woke up wanting to play every night at 2 am for the first week.
- Your baby might get sick. Savannah got sick when we arrived in Auckland, due to air conditioning and people coughing on the plane all around us.
- Sometimes it’s hard to prepare food while traveling, and buying a jar of food is OKAY.
WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE JOURNEY:
- Car Seat (We checked our car seat in as your allowed to have an extra bag for your baby. You can buy some great car seat bags which will protect it here )
- Car window shade
- Light-weight pushchair (the best pushchair to travel with is BabyZen YOYO. You are allowed to take the stroller as hand luggage when folded up)
- Muslin blanket and Shawl for breastfeeding on plane
- Baby carrier– this is a lifesaver when running from the one terminal to the next!
- Some snacks to keep your baby busy
- Bottled water (buy this after security check)
- Food in jars and bottled milk (in our case Savannah refused the bottle, and we got some food jars from the airlines)
- Changing Bag, LOADS of wipes, LOADS of nappies, nappy sacks, and changing mat.
- Travel Cot (luckily we were able to borrow a travel cot from friends in New Zealand)
- New toys for the flight
- A change of baby clothes and a change of top for you
- A plastic bag for numerous emergency uses
- Essential money and documents
DOCUMENTATION AND MONEY
Nowadays most documentation and reservations are saved on your phone to make things easier, but make sure you still have the essential documentation as listed below:
- Travel documents including tickets and hotel reservations
- A photocopy of your picture ID
- Credit Cards/ Debit Card/ Travellers Cheques
- Passport and Visas for the whole family
- Driving Licence (card and paper versions)
- Baby medical book ( we took Savannah’s medical book along with record of all her information and vaccinations, just in case we ever needed it)
- Formula powder/ breast pump
- Bottles/ teats
- Bottle warmer
- Any feeding equipment you might need for the journey (bibs, spoons, wipes, beakers)
- Picnic Bag for taking your own lunch to the beach
- Hand-held blender
- Sterilising equipment (our steriliser was way too big to pack in, so we boiled water in a pot at each feed, and steamed the bottles and teats for around 15 minutes each time)
- Child cutlery, bowls, cups and plates
- Portable high chair (if you do not have space, you can always buy a second hand one on gumtree/ online buying and selling website (of wherever your destination is at), as you usually get them for dirt cheap)
- Beach towels if your hotel doesn’t provide them
- Plastic bags ( makeshift bin, for carrying wet clothes, emergency sick bag, the uses are endless)
- Cot and cot linen
- Nightlight (handy for late night nappy changes)
- Baby monitor (life saver and gives you absolute peace of mind- do not forget this one!!)
- Cool clothes for baby during the day
- Warm clothes (think night time, chilly departure lounges etc.)
- Sun Hats
- Shirts/ Tops
- Skirts/ shorts
- Swimsuits/ sunsuits
Special thanks to totsandtravel.co.uk for making our journey easier!!