Home sweet home...currently sitting in bed feeling sorry for myself because I have a cold! Hubby goes back to work tomorrow so what better time than now to write up my holiday post with tips and advice on traveling with a baby.
As an Eid gift for myself and my little bub, hubby booked us a 5 day trip to Istanbul literally 2 days after Eid. Safe to say we left packing to the last minute and I was panicking that we would forget something. Thanks to some of my Instagram followers I got some great tips on packing and traveling with a baby.
My daughter is now 14 months old so all the tips are more geared toward this age group.
It's definitely totally different traveling with a baby compared to traveling alone or as a couple. My best advice would be to just take it easy. I wanted to do so many things each day but we mostly managed to just do one thing each day before we all got super tired. Don't overstretch yourself, plan things but keep in mind you probably won't be able to stick to a schedule.
Now that I'm home I'm really proud of how it all went Alhamdulillah and I realise that I was more stressed and panicked by everything, babies are resilient and if you keep calm and prepared your baby will take it all in his/her stride!
Booking your holiday
Book Early morning/Late night flightsI booked our flight outbound and inbound as early morning flights (not on purpose), but this turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Our outbound flight was at 10:35 and inbound 07:45, we left super early to get to the airport so we had to pick the baby up and just leave even as she slept. She woke up when we got to the airport but alhamdulillah slept on the plane. On the way to Istanbul she slept during takeoff and woke up 45 minutes toward the end and on the way back she slept all the way through. I was really worried that she would get upset during take off and landing because of how the rise and drop in air pressure effects your ears. I had her milk, water and dummy ready so that the sucking would not effect her ears as much, but I really needn't worry so much because it really didn't phase her Alhamdulillah.
Book the right seatsTry to book the window seats. If the planes have it try to book seats with just 2 people. On our outbound flight the window seats with 3 people, a lady sat on the outside seat and it was hard to get in and out of the seats to get to the toilets especially when she fell asleep. Alhamdulillah on the inbound flight we managed to get seats with just 2 seats in the window row right at the back. Which made life so much easier.
HotelResearch the hotel you'll be booking. Unfortunately I didn't realise that the hotel had quite a few steps at the front and this made it difficult to get in and out of the hotel with a stroller. Luckily the hotel had a small lift so we could get her up to the room.
Travel InsuranceI recommend taking out some travel insurance when you book your holiday, this will cover you should you have to cancel your tip last minute for any unforeseen situations or if you or your baby get sick abroad and need medical attention travel insurance will cover this
Print everything and take it with you for easy travel!
Pack baby clothes in freezer bagsThis helpful tip came in really handy, we packed for 5 days and put the things she will need in zip lock bags. This made it easy for me and my husband who doesn't know how to choose clothes for her unless I tell him exactly what it looks like and exactly where to find it. This meant I had enough clothes for each day and the things that we didn't use comes back clean in the bag without getting mixed up with the used clothes.
If traveling to a hot country pack suitable clothes, a hoody/cardigan and a spare blanket in case it gets cold or just for the journey to and from the airport in the UK.
Laundry detergentAnother tip I was given was to put some baby laundry detergent in a small bottle so that we could wash her clothes in the hotel bathroom if it got dirty and needed to be cleaned straight away (poop/vomit), nobody wants to be paying to wash baby clothes.
FoodMake sure you pack enough snacks and food for your stay. We packed some Ella's kitchen smoothies and puddings because she is on solids and tends to eat what we do but if we can't find suitable food for her or she refuses the food we eat at least there is something that she recognises and will eat.
I also packed her favourite kiddylicious snacks which keep her occupied when she starts to get fussy.
Pack enough milk and water/juice for the journey, you may be asked to test it at the airport but we didn't have any problems with it at all.
If you know you might not be able to find milk near your hotel, it might be a good idea to pack some UHT or long life milk in your hold luggage.
We traveled with Turkish Airlines and they offered pureed jar baby food (Heinz), so if your baby eats jar food find out it the airline will give you some during the journey.
EntertainmentAs I said before Alhamdulillah my daughter slept on the plane but just in case I packed her favourite books and stuffed toy. We also downloaded her favourite songs/nasheeds from Youtube so that it could be played offline if she got too bored.
Most airlines give small toys or activity packs on board to keep kids entertained and the little wooden toys from Turkish Airlines did help keep her occupied too.
MedicationDon't forget to pack some paracetamol, teething gel and other baby medication in case your little one falls ill on the journey or whilst on holiday. Always take the medication in the box that it comes in as they often check this in the airport
Don't forget the sunscreen (SPF 50) for your babies sensistive skin!
Remember to put all liquids in a clear plastic bag to make security checks at the airport a breeze.
Speaking of security checks, avoid wearing any metal on yourself or on your baby so that you can get through quick and easy.
Cabin luggageTry to pack light when it comes to cabin luggage as you want to keep yourself as hands free as possible when boarding and leaving the plane. If you can just pack a large baby changing bag and leave the rest in your hold luggage.
|Folded stroller next to a standard cabin bag|
This probably needs a whole post to itself but I'll talk a little bit about it here.
You will need a lightweight stroller that folds away easily
We bought the GB Pockitt + as you can see it folds down really tiny, even smaller than a standard cabin bag size, you can actually take this and put it in the overhead cabin bag storage or even stow it under the seat that's how small it is! It's the Guinness world record holder for the smallest stroller when folded.
Compared to our Mama's and Papa's Ocarro buggy its super small and super lightweight that even I can pick it up with one hand.
It's a bit fiddly to open and close to begin with and does take a lot of practice at the start, but the more you do it the easier it gets. It's not one that you can open or close with one hand whilst holding a baby so keep that in mind when traveling alone with a baby.
It's also not as comfy as our everyday buggy and I wish the seat was a bit more deep and not so sloped so her legs don't hang off as much, but for a travel pushchair it's pretty good.
Even when open, it takes up less space than our Ocarro so for that reason it's perfect for taking on holiday.
I recommend trialing your travel stroller for a few outings at home so that your baby gets used to sitting in it whilst abroad.
The sun canopy is pretty useless on this stroller so I had to add a muslin with some paper clips for when it got too bright.
Because it's a lightweight stroller and the way it's designed if you have a heavy bag or heavy things hanging on the handles, when your baby comes out it tends to tip back.
Smaller changing bag
When you arriveWhen you get to the hotel ask the reception where you can get milk for your baby if your baby is on fresh milk. Luckily in Istanbul we found it super easy to get fresh and UHT milk from local stores.
If you're staying at a resort, the hotel may be able to supply you with milk for baby. This is one of the areas I was worried about but if worse comes to worse and you need milk at the airport or on the journey to the hotel, you can get milk from most restaurants, cafes and even McDonalds.
We've learnt so much from this trip and had a great time Alhamdulillah. If these tips were helpful or you have some helpful tips of your own let me know in the comments below.
My next post will be an Istanbul specific post telling you all our fav places to visit and eat!
All that's left to say is enjoy your holiday!