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Holiday Packing Essentials When Travelling with Little Ones

Katherine Whitby | Registered Paediatric Nurse | Health Visitor | Baby Massage Instructor | Mummy of Two | Founder of Baby Steps

Maybe you're planning a staycation especially if fingers crossed, we have some more gorgeous sunshine in the UK, or maybe you're heading abroad.

Either way it can feel daunting to think of being away from familiar surroundings with your little one, especially if for the first time. Here are some top travel tips for you to make things as easy and enjoyable as possible. Special memories are made being away and your baby will experience new things. Being away is a great reset for the whole family and whatever happens, you can settle back into home life when you return.

Little girl sat packing suitcase for her holiday listening to music on her pink headphones

Things to make sure are on the packing list:

  • Buggy - weigh up a lightweight one with one they can sleep well in when you are out and about at restaurants - hopefully they will sleep sometimes so you can eat in peace!

  • Sling/ baby carrier

  • Comforters or familiar bedding, muslins

  • Any medications, sachets of Calpol, Nurofen, aloe gel, or Neals Yard Remedies Lavender and Aloe Cooling Cream which is fantastic chilled in the fridge to keep them cool, help with heat rash, bites, stings or minor burns

  • Bottles and formula if using, breast pump equipment, breast pads

  • Spare baby clothes (remember in hot temperatures things will dry quickly)

  • Nappies, wipes, travel wash

  • Sun Cream - regularly apply Factor 50. Find the shade of course where possible. If you're in and out of the pool reapplying is essential. If they will keep one on a hat is important.

  • A travel cot is brilliant not only as a place to sleep but also as a ‘playpen’. You can chuck in some toys and as it’s so portable you can use it wherever you are staying or by the pool knowing they are safe - this may be able to be arranged where you are staying rather than taking your own.

  • Black out blinds are a total winner for more sleep! Portable black out blinds are great. Or check what the accommodation looks like light-wise!

  • First Aid Kit and check where your health services will be if needed. Plus check where you are staying for any hazards/safe proofing issues.

If by pool/ sea: swimming nappies, inflatables :)

Biggest packing tip - remember wherever you go you are VERY likely to be able to buy what you need. Don’t stress! The most important things to pack are comforters unique to your baby.


Before we go any further, have you heard about... my online Ultimate Baby and Child First Aid and Home Safety course?

Katherine with her online course for baby and child first aid including a toolkit of resources

It covers not only what to do in emergencies but the day-to-day stuff - the toolkit you need. You can watch in your own time, in the comfort of your home and go back to it again and again, perfect for the whole family.


Back to the blog...

Hand luggage - what you need

  • Remember under 2’s do not usually have any hand luggage entitlement

  • Have spare clothes for them and you!

  • Water, formula as needed

  • Baby food, and snacks if at that stage

  • Toys, books - it’s great to have something new!

  • Syringe and sachets of calpol / nurofen

  • Check you have all your documentation and the baby’s passport!

Cupboard under the sink, safety for children, remove hazards out of reach

Flying Tips...

  • Allow loads of time!!! Use the family security aisle.

  • Try to ensure they are sucking as you take off and land to help the pressure in the ears - breast, bottle, cup of water, chewing on food. It all helps. If the take off seemed to cause discomfort give them a dose of Calpol or Nurofen an hour before landing if possible to ease discomfort on landing.

  • Make sure you are 100% sure of your luggage limits as you pack

  • Most airlines will also allow you to take two pieces of baby equipment free of charge (e.g. a pushchair and car seat or a car seat and travel cot) but CHECK!!!

  • Try and adjust to your destination's time zone once you board the plane unless the time difference is less than 2 hours in which case stay on UK time. Try to relax and enjoy your hols and all can be adjusted on your return……..

Check with your airline what they can offer you in terms of space, warming up food, and what they allow in the overhead lockers…..sometimes if you don’t ask you don’t get! Also if you are taking baby food through security remember it may be opened and put through security cameras/ lasers so you may prefer to buy on the other side once you are through.

On Holiday

Family sat in a yellow kayake on a river, mum, dad, toddler and baby
  • Check where you are staying for any hazards - we have had to put blind cords out of the way, move things in the kitchen and bathroom to ensure it will be safe for our two.

  • I know it’s obvious but pool safety…….

  • Make sure you drink lots of water!! If you are breastfeeding your milk will adjust to the heat. If formula feeding you may want to add in a couple of ounces of cooled boiled water in between feeds but this is optional.

  • Their appetite may change in the heat - little and often of milk and if they are on solids they may not eat as much especially in new surroundings.

  • Food - I often get asked by parents if they should wait to Wean or slow down when away but in my experience helping families and with my two children it is the perfect time to enjoy food together. Meal times are more relaxed, they get to try new foods you might not have thought of at home. For example, my kids love olives as we had them while waiting for food to arrive!

Try and keep your little one in the shade where possible

Wishing you the best time! Often we worry about being away from what is familiar but your little one will enjoy exploring and having an adventure in a new place and seeing new things. Many happy memories will be made x


Looking for more reassurance, confidence and peace of mind?

Why not do one of my First Aid Courses which are tailored to your little one’s age and stage and focus on home safety and accident prevention as well as emergencies - big and small.

Working in Paedaitric A&E for over 20 years and as a Mum of two I cover what you really need to know!

Baby steps  child and baby first aid courses at the studio with Katherine Whitby

Join me for Baby & Child First Aid at the Baby Steps Studio in the woods. Babies welcome :)

Baby steps  child and baby first aid courses in your home with Katherine Whitby

I would be so happy to help you with a First Aid course in your home for friends, family or just for you.

Baby steps child and baby first aid courses online in your own time with Katherine Whitby

There are loads of invaluable tips included in my online Ultimate Baby and Child First Aid and Home Safety course It covers not only what to do in emergencies but the day to day stuff - the toolkit you need.

I look forward to supporting you,

Katherine x

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