One of life’s great pleasures is being able to look through old photo albums from when your parents went on holiday abroad. The haircuts, the clothes, the toothy grins and those familiar youngsters in the pushchairs! Your baby might not be old enough to fully remember your holiday now but early family holidays are great fun for parents and you’ll be providing much merriment for when your baby grows up! Just make sure you’ve got your camera ready and poised to capture that special moment when your baby gets more ice cream on their face than in its mouth!
Making that leap abroad can be nerve racking though, especially when you’ll probably be worried about forgetting all those things that seem so readily available at home. But if you plan ahead and follow these ten helpful tips, then you’ll leave UK shores with a better peace of mind and have an unforgettable holiday.
10. Many children under 6 months can’t get certain vaccinations or preventative medicines, so travelling to places where immunizations are required may be out of the question if your baby is very young. Also, be mindful of destinations with extreme temperatures, which can be especially hard on little ones.
9. It’s by no means a given, but babies travelling abroad can be more susceptible to illness, so be sure you’re covered in case you have to miss a flight because your child has become sick. Good travel insurance is definite necessity if your baby needs medical care in a foreign country.
8. If your baby takes formula, call the Careline number found on the back of the container. Ask if your preferred brand is sold in the country you’ll be visiting. Check customs rules before you go, too, as some countries have restrictions on bringing in foreign baby formula.
7. Travel by train or ferry whenever you can. Your child will have more room to move around and you’ll be able to give her your undivided attention, making for one happy baby!
6. Going on one of those fantastic all inclusive holidays? Always use a high-factor baby sunscreen, try to avoid direct sunlight between the hours of 11am and 3pm when the sun is most powerful and make sure your baby is properly hydrated. Babies younger than 6 months shouldn’t spend more than a few minutes in the sun at a time. The best place to be is in a well-shaded area if it is a particularly sunny day.
5. At your hotel or resort, be on the lookout for balconies, stairs, uncovered electrical outlets, open windows and other potential hazards. See if you can arrange with the resort ahead of time so that your room or suite is made as baby-safe as possible.
4. Embrace other cultures! Many foreign countries are so welcoming of small children, and you may be surprised at the warm reception your baby receives at a restaurant, in the park or on public transport. Spain holidays are particularly popular with parents, as Spaniards are well-known for welcoming children just about everywhere. Que pasa, nino?
3. Be extra vigilant if there’s water around. Curious babies can make a break for a pool, Jacuzzi or the ocean in a heartbeat. Check out the best approach to swimming pool safety.
2. Take care with food, especially exotic foods. While it’s great to encourage adventurous eating, small tummies are sensitive tummies. Introduce new foods slowly and keep it simple. (Restaurant staff are usually very sensitive to a baby’s needs though.)
1. Plan ahead. Lots of foreign cultures love babies, but, if you can bring spare bibs, plastic spoons and dummies, these staples will make your trip a lot easier.
What are your top tips for travelling with a baby? What do you wish you’d known?