OK, we admit it. We’re massive fans of travel. I’m betting that most of you are too. The birth of baby needn’t be the end of travel as you know it. There’s a reason there’s a hashtag #havekidswhiletravel. It makes you see your adventures in a different light, so embrace that. There are some things that you might want to bear in mind though;
- 1. Go somewhere they’ve got most of what you need. And that doesn’t have to mean somewhere you wouldn’t dream of traveling pre-kids, we host our retreats in a fabulous old French country pile, lots of character and gorgeous interiors but sterilisers and baby monitors a-plenty. It doesn’t mean it always has to be that way, just for your first couple of trips it will ease you into your new routine, and by then travel will be old hat so you can throw caution to the wind!
- 2. Order ahead. If you can get the end point to buy nappies for you, it’ll save you half a suitcase of space. Likewise, save yourself the hassle of holding up the queue at security and buy your formula or food pouches airside. You can pre-order online for Boots at most UK airports.
- 3. Buy it. If you’ve forgotten something, buy it there. A holiday is one time where it IS worth throwing some money at the problem if it’s going to give you a little bit of peace and quiet. That goes for a nice hotel the night before if you’ve got a super early flight too – spend the money and you’ll all be grateful.
- 4. Feed on take off/landing. If you’re flying, very young babies might have trouble getting the pressure equalised on takeoff/landing, which can be very painful and lead to a bunch of crying. So feeding them, either breast or bottle, can help them pop their ears as they’re swallowing.
- 5. Walk tall. On that note, try not to worry about what people think if your baby’s crying its eyes out. Don’t apologise too much, babies and parents have as much right to be on a plane (and have holidays) as everyone else, and you’re doing your best for a smooth ride. As long as your little one hasn’t deliberately vomited all over someone (accidents happen) don’t go handing out apology notes or presents.
- 6. Wait for it. I know budget airlines encourage you to buy early boarding privileges, but I’ve always found it best to wait until last to board. Less time cooped up in a seat for your little one, more helpful staff as they’re keen to get going, and most excitingly, there’s often a row of three seats free at the back of the plane. You might just be able to take them over so you and you baby can have some, literal, wriggle room. And if not, your seats are allocated anyway, so you won’t have to fight to get them back.
Clio Wood is the Founder of &Breathe. Focusing on family wellbeing, &Breathe helps new parents re-boot on their postnatal retreats in France and day retreats and events in the UK. Get Fit, Eat Well and Feel Good with baby in tow.