guest post by Mrs W
Here is my checklist for baby after years of refinement. Flying with a baby can be a lot easier when you’re fully prepared. But when flying with children, it’s essential.
Do you really want to be one of those families waiting endlessly at baggage claim for their shrink-wrapped buggy, multiple car seats, and mountain of luggage? Or, would you rather float through it all with relaxed ease? Travelling with baby can be hassle-free, if you’re prepared to take the time to plan a packing list for travel in advance. Having the right baby travel gear at the right time is essential.
Take advice from someone who has been through the over-zealous overpacking of a first time parent (bringing bottle warmer, microwave steriliser, Beaba Babycook, Annabel Karmel cookbook, endless food containers, and bagfuls of toys and books for 1-2 week holiday, only to leave half of it behind when too much shopping at destination left too little space to bring it all back on the return). I have since seen the light of streamlining. Flying with children is akin to planning a military operation. But that doesn’t mean you have to bring the entire battalion supply chain with you. Read on for crucial tips on baby travel gear, forget the rest.
The rest of this article is available to registered members only. But – don’t worry – it’s free!
[button color=”green” size=”large” style=”none” link=”http://nomadz2.phx.enscaled.us/wp-login.php?action=register”]Click Here to Register for FREE[/button]
Once you register, you’ll be able to continue reading. This article covers essential baby gear and childrens’ travel equipment, including: luggage services, baby changing, medicine and entertainment. It’s a very thorough and comprehensive article, so please register and come back. You won’t regret it!
[s2If is_user_logged_in()]Get Baby Travel Gear Essentials Delivered to your destination
If you want to make your life supremely easy, we love Travel Tots, a one stop online service where you can buy and ship child essentials – perfect for nappies/diapers and other bulky items you don’t wish to hump around in your luggage. Friends based in the US like JetSet Babies and Babies Travel Lite.
Send All Your Family Luggage Ahead
We are also huge fans of First Luggage, which pre-ships your luggage to your destination, so you can whizz through departures and arrivals with only hand-carry and children in tow. Click here to read our article on First Luggage.
Baby Travel Equipment
- Baby Travel Strollers – we tried using the Macleren travel stroller but found it too heavy and cumbersome. Now, we swear by the Aprica Cadence. Dead easy to fold and unfold, lightweight and small enough to sling over your shoulder and to fit in most longhaul planes’ overhead compartment (and coat compartment on short haul trips). It folds in an upright position, so the wheels are always on the ground… which means that your child won’t end up sitting on something that’s been dragged all over the floor, or come into contact with every germ-ridden surface you encounter when travelling. Also, because it stands upright by itself when folded, it can easily be wheeled into a corner and pushed out of the way.
- Baby Travel Cots – check out our post regarding the Samsonite Pop Up Travel Cot. It’s a very light baby travel crib that packs away into a small carry-case.
- Baby Slings – I’m quite partial to my streamlined and minimal fuss Bill Amberg black leather and shearling baby sling, but find it easier to check it in the luggage and travel with the buggy, as an impatient and ever growing queue of fellow passengers and ever more gimlet-eyed staff at security can turn even turn even the most seasoned parent into an all thumbs first timer.
- Baby Car seats – many people yammer on about how you can purchase a new child’s car seat for the price that the car rental agencies charge for one week, so they end up bringing their own child seat everywhere they travel. In our opinion, completely unnecessary – rent at destination. The cost is worth the convenience.
- If nursing: cleverly designed clothing by Seraphine, Jojomamanbebe, and Boob. Bebe au lait aprons while not in the least bit attractive, create handsfree modesty. Bebe Au Lait at Amazon.com Bebe Au Lait at Amazon.co.uk
Bottle feeding & weaning
- Steri-bottles are extremely handy, single use, ready to use sterilized travel bottles.
- Microwave sterilisers are very convenient for sterilising several bottles at once (if closed, the bottles remain sterile for 24 hours, ready for use).
- Milk dispenser: we like the Bibi tiered system. Single-layer, multiple compartment systems like Avent seems like a good idea until you realise that the powder migrates easily between the compartments and you have no idea how much is in each individual compartment.
- Infacol – if your baby is pre-disposed to gassiness or colic. One dropper before each feed seems to help them eliminate gas easily.
- Bibs: soft cotton bibs and muslins are essential. Post-weaning and toddler/pre-school: Mam Bibetta make the best long sleeve, full bodied, wipe clean bibs, with a handy pocket scoop in front to catch spills.
- Don’t forget a set of cutlery.
Baby Travel Changing
- Baby Changing mat – we like Pampers disposable changing mats to lay on top of the regular changing mat when traveling.
- Nappies – we like Nature throughout the day and Huggies Dri-Nites for heavy duty nightwear.
- We like any sensitive baby wipes, nappy sacks, antiseptic hand gel, cotton buds, and travel size of ‘wonder’ nappy rash creams like Sudocrem or Desitin (the latter works miracles on serious nappy rash).
- Spare clothes – at least 3 sets of bodysuits for long haul and 2 full sets of clothes. For those that are potty-trained: 2-3 underpants, 1 full set of spare clothes.
- For check-in luggage, after experimenting with many different versions, we love the Caboose travel potty for it’s stability and completely clean usage when used with self contained, disposable Potette Plus liner bags. Very handy for those in-a-pinch moments where there are no facilities close by.
Baby Travel Sleeping
- Baby Travel Cots – baby travel cots and baby travel beds are pretty bulky and we prefer to avoid them. Most decent hotels and villas will make them available to you, if you enquire ahead of time. If absolutely necessary, Graco makes some decent ones.
- Baby Sleeping bags – essential not only at home but on board a plane and at hotels and villas as well. Keeps your child warm in often chilly airplanes and in a familiar sleeping environment – and you won’t have to lie them on the airplane blanket (at risk of sounding hyper-germaphobic, do you really want baby’s head or body parts lying where countless bottoms and bodies have sat?) We love gro-bags, the summer or mid-weight bags are the most versatile.
- Blankets – a good cashmere blanket in winter and a cotton one if you have space.
Baby Medicine/supplies and Baby Travel Products
You could bring an extremely comprehensive first aid kit, but we find that the following covers all the essentials, and will hold you until you can get to a pharmacy.
- A good thermometer: we love the Braun Thermoscan in-ear thermometer for extremely accurate and fast results (first recommended to us by our GP; it’s the one he uses).
- Travel sachets of calpol and nurofen in case of fever, plus the oral syringes to administer them. Forget the spoon provided with the medicine, have you ever tried to spoon something into a fighting child’s mouth? The oral syringes are a lifesaver. Remember, if the baby has a raging fever bordering on dangerous, you can alternate between neurofen and calpol (paracetamol) at 2-hourly intervals, instead of having to wait four hours to administer. Always check with your doctor beforehand.
- Teetha, Bonjela, or other homeopathic remedies if your child is teething. We also love finger silicone brushes for applying teething powder or gel directly onto the gums.
- Savlon antiseptic cream, travel sachets of antiseptic wipes, no rinse antiseptic hand gel, cotton buds to apply creams, plasters.
- Hypercal – over the counter homeopathic cream, we’ve found this to be much better than arnica for bruises, and much much gentler than hydrocortisone steroid creams for banishing serious eczema.
- Other basics like nail file, child safety rounded nail scissors, child size Mason & Pearson hairbrush.
Put all medicine in clear ziploc/ re-sealable bags so they are easy to find.
There are so many options, too numerous to list here. But, in addition to the essential colouring sets, sticker books, and the like, it must be said that the iTouch makes a great travelling companion for children over 3 years of age. It can easily hold plenty of Apps, TV shows and Videos to keep youngsters happily engaged for hours on end. And, if you are within striking distance of WiFi, the YouTube App can play lots of freely available clips (like ‘Peppa Pig’).
Story books can be bulky but the Usborn Little Book of First Stories is notable for its ultra-thin form factor. It has 6 classic stories in each book.