• George Bell-Starr

Holiday: what to pack for your baby

Taking your little one abroad for the first time can be a daunting thing, even if you are an experienced traveller. The guide should give you a rough idea on what to pack for your baby when you jet off on holiday.

When you're flying with a baby under 2 most airlines give you extra baggage allowance. Often (but check with your airline) this includes a small carry-on for baby and two hold spaces for baby equipment; pram, car seat, cot etc...

If you are smart with your packing it is amazing how much you can take away with you for the cost of your little one travelling.

Is this your first time flying? Then why not check out our top tips on flying with a baby.

Cabin baggage

This is the most important bag whilst you are travelling. This bag needs to contain everything that your baby will need between bag drop and collection. What you pack will depend on how far you are flying will depend on what you pack, obviously you will need to pack more for flight to Singapore than you will Spain.

Try and pack efficiently, have a 'dry' run in the weeks leading up to your flight. Treat a trip into town as the airport and flight to make sure you can all survive on the items that you packed.

Our essential list:

  • Nappies. For our flight to Faro (2hours 25) we packed six. Four for the flight and two for the airport beforehand. In reality we used three, one before, one during, one after. However there would be nothing worse than needing one and not having one - so don't skimp here.

  • Wipes. One new packet of wipes should do. If you are eco-minded (don't mention the flying) you will have access to hot water so you could use reusable wipes. Personally I would avoid this as space is at a premium onboard and you want to make life as easy as possible for yourself.

  • Nappy cream. Keep it below 100ml and you'll have no trouble through security at all. Pre-pack it in a small, clear ziplock bag and it'll be one less thing to do at the airport.

  • Clothes. Think about the forecasted temperature when you depart and arrive. Is it going to be freezing when you leave and warm when you arrive? Pack accordingly and you'll be able to change your baby on the plane. We took 2 full spare outfits, just incase super poop happens!

  • Toys. Flying is as boring for babies as it is for us. Take two or three of their favourite objects or toys. Enough to keep them busy for at least some of the flight.

  • Calpol/Neurofen. It can be difficult for babies to acclimatise to the altitude and this can result in their ears becoming quite sore. Calpol can just ease their discomfort.

  • Bottles/formula. If you are formula feeding then you will obviously need to take formula. Airlines will have a supply of water (boiling) that you will be able to mix your feed with. It might be difficult to then sterilise those bottles after use so make sure you pack enough for the duration of the flight.

  • Dummy. Sucking on the dummy can help to 'pop' your babies ears as the plane climbs - feeding can also be really good for this, it is the sucking action that helps.

Depending on the length of the flight there are some other items that you should consider packing.

  • Sleeping bag/blanket. If you have a long night, or overnight then you're going to want to try and get your little one to sleep. Try and keep the routine as normal as you can. Consider changing them into a sleep suit and then (if you use one) their sleeping bag. We have found that Evie settles well in her sleeping bag as she's used to sleeping in it.

  • Sleep shade. A large muslin can be really beneficial to drape of you and the baby to block some of the horrible bright lights out.

Does the 100ml limit still stand for baby related liquids?

When you are travelling with a baby (or infant) you are allowed to bring baby food, water and milk through security. This is provided you are actually traveling with a baby and with the understanding that security might need to open the bottles/containers to screen them.

Restrictions from www.gov.uk

Apart from breast milk there is no volumetric limit, however you should check with individual airports and airlines prior to travel. As long as you are sensible there should be no issue with security whatsoever.

Hold (checked-in) Baggage

Prior to Evie arriving we would barely pay for hold baggage, a well packed cabin bag would suit us. However with the addition of everything Evie needs whilst we are away utilising hold bags has become almost essential.

Though the exact allowances differ airline to airline the majority allow you to take two baby related items in the hold - usually as part of the baby travel fee that you pay. This allowance is per child.

You could pack:

  • Travel Cot

  • Pushchair (including a double)

  • Buggy

  • Car Seat

  • Pram (it does not need to collapse)

  • Booster seat

  • Baby carrier

Think carefully about using this 'free' allowance. Depending on what you take and how you pack it you could easily save the cost of a cabin bag for yourself. When choosing your hold allowance think about what you are going to be doing on holiday? Consider wether you're going to be hiring a car or if your accommodation includes a cot.

Unsure what pram to take on holiday? Read our review of the Roma Capsule 2, our favourite travel pram and one of the lightest on the market! You can see how small it is, I'm wearing it on my back!

Our top tip:

Pack your hold item in a specific travel bag, such as this one*. This bag is likely to be much bigger than your hold item leaving you plenty of space. Use this space wisely and you will have room for some of your belongings. We did this on our most recent trip and I managed to take a weeks worth of my clothes in with Evie's car seat.

If you are taking a car seat then pack your little one's nappies and wet-wipes in the seat and strap them in tight, again this will save weight elsewhere.


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