Just when you think you know what you’re doing you decide to go on holiday with your baby and enter this whole new world of questions and feeling out of your depth. We took Rory to Turkey when he was seven months old and I wanted to share what we learnt about travelling with a baby, some tips and some items to add to your holiday packing list. We stayed at an All Inclusive Resort but if you’re looking at holidaying in a villa then I highly recommend Elidh’s list of Tips & Essentials.
Formula & Sterilising While On Holiday
Formula feeding abroad can be super daunting and something I tried to do loads of research on as I wasn’t sure how I’d cope without my perfect prep machine. Here is what we did and what we learnt about formula feeding your baby on holiday:
- You’ll need to consider what method of formula you’re going to go with. I heard a few weeks before to be careful about taking powdered formula to make up with water. I didn’t know that some bottled water isn’t safe for babies due to the sodium content and once you’re abroad you often can’t read the packaging due to it not always being in English. We took Ready to Drink Formula and admittedly we spent a small fortune (I think we took 13 packs of 4 in the end at the price of £40!) but I was so glad that we did as it was so much easier than having to worry about making up feeds too.
- Consider ordering your milk into the airport to save on your luggage allowance! This is super easy to do online but make sure you do it with enough time. The delivery process can take up to a week due to it having to go through extra checks. I couldn’t see any Ready to Feed Formula in Gatwick airport so I really wouldn’t rely on it being in the shops.
- When it comes to sterilising, check ahead to see what facilities your hotel has to offer. We didn’t have access to a microwave so opted for the cold water sterilising method. For us it was the easiest mode of sterilisation when travelling, they’re super lightweight to pack and don’t take up much space in your suitcase. I personally just sterilised them in the sink but if you wanted to cover them like you traditionally should it was suggested to me to take a biscuit tin or Jacobs cream cracker box as you can throw it out once you’re done with it and you can also keep your underwear in it so you’re not taking up valuable suitcase space.
- Don’t forget your bottle brush and some washing up liquid! I completely forgot both of these and had to use body wash and a flannel!
What will my baby eat on holiday? This is a grey area that depends on lots of things! If your baby is fussier this could be harder work and I would recommend considering more pouches. Baby Led Weaned babies will definitely have the best variety while away!
- Most hotels will have things that babies can have BUT you never know so bring some along with you too. I didn’t go overboard on pouches and generally managed to find food but I was happy in the security of knowing they were there. I would recommend pouches over jars though to save your weight limit in your suitcase.
- Take a cool bag! We actually didn’t plan to take this for the holiday, we just bought it to keep sandwiches in for the flight but it came in so handy for keeping water, juice, milk and pouches cool in the daytime as we all know how quickly the sun can heat them up!
- Overcompensate on snacks. I only really packed enough snacks for the plane which was a bit of a fail. Rory went off his food a bit so I really wished we had more snacks just to tide him over when he only wanted something small.
- Consider packing juice for your baby! Same reason as above with the mineral water. I couldn’t work out what water Rory was actually able to drink and keeping them hydrated is essential. I ended up having to buy baby juice from the hotel shop at £4 for a small bottle!
What should I pack for my baby? In the nappy department, this is probably where you can play it slightly safer as you’d likely be able to get nappies when you reach your holiday destination, however, they can be more expensive and if you’re loyal to your brand of nappies it’s worth packing a pack.
- We took a pack of nappies and I am glad we did as Rory with his slightly delicate tummy ended up soiling a lot of nappies! They don’t take up as much weight in your suitcase than you think but they are a space occupier! If you get creative you can roll them in shoes or layer them across the top once all your clothes are in to save on room.
- Definitely consider a reusable swimming nappy! I had never heard of these before but they’re so good to just whip on and off again as they dry between swims. They can cost around £10 but they last from birth to potty training so you will get your use out of them!
- Consider taking well-scented nappy bags. It’s harder to get to an outside bin in a code poo situation and you don’t really want to leave that smell in your room. It’s also a bit more considerate to the maids!
Babies react differently to heat. Rory is pretty placid but still had his moments where it got to hot for him so it’s worth considering methods to keep them cool.
- Consider buying a pram fan! I think what we bought is actually a desk fan that you can charge up but it was only about £12 and could be clipped onto the pram to keep him cool when he slept in the daytime, it’s also a great source of white noise.
- Short Sleeve Vests are your babies BFF, Rory wore these every day! I picked up some super cheap ones from Primark that I wouldn’t be bothered about if they were ruined by sun cream etc. Stick to light colours so you don’t attract the heat.