When you’re taking your first family holiday, the planning doesn’t stop once the tickets are bought and accommodation is booked! Here’s what to keep in mind in order to make “point A to point B” a doddle.
If a car journey is in the offing, it’s a smart idea to plan in plenty of stops for feeding, nappy changes and to get your baby out for a stretch and a look round. For very long journeys, some savvy parents travel at night, when their baby is asleep. You might also want to take some new toys and bring them out at intervals throughout the journey to keep your little one amused.
If you’re flying, there’s a little more to think about, but don’t worry – it’s all perfectly do-able, and airlines are very used to helping families travelling with little ones!
When you’re packing your carry-on, remember that although the general airport security rule is that no more than 100ml of fluid can be taken on board, this doesn’t apply to infant milk, baby sterilised water or baby food (however, you might be asked to taste any milk or food you’re taking on board for your baby). Remember to take more than you think you’ll need, to tide you over in case of a flight delay.
For ease around the airport, you can use your pushchair right up until you board the plane; the staff will take it from you at the end of the jetway and tag it to go into the cargo hold.
Breastfeeding, bottle feeding or offering your baby a dummy during take-off and landing can help to relieve any uncomfortable pressure in their ears. To keep them amused, try a change of scenery; if you get up and walk about the plane, you’ll find plenty for them to look at – and other passengers may be happy to help distract any fussiness!
One thing to keep in mind is that the air in an airplane cabin is very dry, so it’s quite easy to become dehydrated on flights. Babies feel the effects of dehydration more quickly than adults, so if you’re breastfeeding, you may want to offer more frequent feeds - and remember to maintain your own fluid intake. If you’re bottle feeding, you can offer extra drinks of cooled, boiled water during the flight.