During your holiday

during holidayThe main thing to consider is the heat and how to keep your baby cool. Babies dehydrate very quickly so it’s extremely important to ensure that they have plenty of fluids. Offer extra breast feeds and drinks of cooled boiled water in between feeds. (If you’re breast feeding it’s important for you to increase how much you drink too).

If using powdered formula whilst you’re abroad, make it up with boiled bottled water not tap water as at home. Ensure you read the label to check the levels of sodium and sulphate are correct in the bottled water, Sodium (Na) should be less than 200mg per litre and Sulphate (SO or SO4) should be less than 250mg per litre. Some families prefer to take ready to feed formula. If buying the formula whilst you’re away check the manufacturers website as names and ingredients can vary from country to country.

Use a very high factor sun cream, preferably sun block and apply it to your little one at least half an hour before you venture outside. Keep baby cool by wearing loose cotton clothing and a sunhat always. It’s particularly important to keep your baby completely in the shade and out of the sun at all times. So when out and about use sun shields in the car, ensure you have a sun canopy on your buggy and consider buying UV proof swimsuits and clothing.

Mosquitoes are another consideration. Insect repellents aren’t suitable for children under 2 so invest in a net. Use it over your pushchair if you decide to go for a stroll with baby, this is particularly important at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. At night ensure all the windows and doors are shut and use the net on your infant’s cot. To help prevent mosquito bites, use a mosquito plug-in last thing before leaving your room in the evening, so that when you return after a couple of hours, any mosquitos will have been killed. If after all this, your baby is unlucky enough to get bitten you can ease the itch with a cool damp flannel.

As adults we tend to cope with time changes well, unfortunately for babies they may have a little difficulty adjusting to the new time zones, so be led by your baby for ease and follow their routine.

We all want our holidays to go well so a few things to be aware of:

Prickly heat: this is small red raised itchy spots occurring on any area of the body, it is very common in babies who have been exposed to high temperatures. You should hopefully avoid this by following all the guidance on keeping your baby cool, i.e. wearing loose cotton clothing and keeping them in the shade at all times.

Diarrhoea: if you get food poisoning whilst away continue breast feeding as it is highly unlikely that you will pass it on to your baby. Prevention is better than cure so try to avoid certain foods that can lead to food poisoning. Eat only cooked hot foods and avoid uncooked fruit, vegetables and salad unless they have been washed in safe water or can be peeled. Drink only bottled water. Washing your hands is the single most important thing you can do to prevent infections.

Babies are extremely sensitive to even small amounts of fluid loss so be aware of the signs of dehydration:
  • fewer wet nappies
  • sunken soft spot/fontanelle
  • becoming drowsy
  • dry mouth and no tears when crying

With so much to think about you may wonder if it’s all worth it, but your first holiday with your little one will be in your memory bank forever. We hope you have a wonderful first holiday together!

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If you want more advice, please ask a question or visit our forum.

Otherwise, please get in touch with the HiPP Baby Club.