Packing for your Little Pickles’s first family holiday
Do you remember the time when you used to book a spontaneous long weekend or holiday and could throw a few things in and travel with just hand luggage? Well, those days are just a distant memory as you embark on holidays with your little pickle…and the kitchen sink in tow!
It’s an exciting time when you decide to take the plunge and leave the security of your own home, with everything in its place, and embark on your first family holiday; but that first time can also be overwhelming as you deliberate on exactly what to pack.
The age of the child can make a difference to what you pack and what becomes an ‘essential’ but here we share our top tips on what to pack for your first holiday with a weaning baby.
If you have just started your weaning journey then you’ll also be supplementing your little pickle with breast or bottle feeding too. Luckily you can pack your boobs but for the bottle feeders amongst us then there’s a few extra essentials to remember!
- Bottles & Teats
- Sterilising tablets or sterilising bags
- Ready made formula / powder to make up as you go (remember if you’re flying and taking this in your hand luggage then pop it into clear bags as per usual liquids – security will allow liquids over 100ml if it is for babies, but it will still go through a security search)
- Milk powder dispenser pots are perfect for the journey as well as days away from the hotel
Top tip! For the journey – take or make up enough feeds, plus a couple more, in case of delays.
Food and Weaning Essentials
Plan your baby’s food around the number of days you are there and take enough for each sitting – then add a few more! We recommend taking pouches where possible and lots of snacks. Of course there will be food available, but let’s face it the majority of babies are fussy, so to rule out your baby going into starvation mode then take what they’re used to and cut out one element of stress whilst away. Breakfast is usually the easiest as it’s a home from home; cereals, toast, fruit – ideal if you are baby led weaning – so you could skip packing the breakfast items.
- Baby bowls
- Baby spoons
- Spare pots to keep snacks and leftover ‘pouch’ food in
- Resealable freezer bags to keep leftover food in or used spoons/pots
- Disposable bibs – saves on handwashing and also lightens the load on the return
- Cover all bibs – especially for those baby led weaners!
- Washing up liquid to wash cups and bowls up (we told you those carefree days were over!)
- Most hotels provide highchairs but you may want to take a travel seat or a highchair ‘insert’ to ensure that baby won’t slip from side to side
Top tip! Take more food and snacks than you’ll think you need. And remember to pack them for easy access for the journey to your destination!
Travelling and Sleeping
When you’re away, it’s hot – hopefully – and you are likely to go exploring so a pushchair is an absolute must have. A lightweight umbrella fold stroller is the most ideal to take but consider whether your child will be happy and comfortable in there for long periods of time. If you want to eat later than their bedtime, the pram is likely to double up as a portable bed for a few evening hours. A large lightweight muslin cloth can be used to drape over the pushchair to stop beady eyes gazing out at the entertainment (do be careful – ensure it is lightweight and allow for air to flow through).
Dependent on the hood on your pram, you might also need to pack the sun shade/parasol to keep delicate skin out of the sun’s blazing rays.
A baby carrier – it may not be used when you reach the end destination, but it’s super useful for the airport/transfer part of the journey, giving you a free hand to pull the extra cases and to find passports/boarding passes quickly.
You may want to also consider a travel case if your pram is of a high value – airport handlers are known to chuck items about – even those marked ‘fragile’.
Don’t forget to book a cot or travel cot with your accommodation – we would then recommend taking your own sheets. If your baby has any particular toys in their cot at home, take them along with you – it helps to have something familiar to them on their home away from home
- Lightweight stroller or babies usual pushchair
- Pram case
- Parasol or sunshade
- Large lightweight muslin
- Travel sleeping bag
- Baby carrier/Sling
- Cot sheets and linens
- Familiar toy/blanket
Top tip! A travel sleeping bag is well worth taking, you can get your little one ready for bed before you go out in the evening and then do the ‘pram to cot’ transfer when you get back – no need to redress or cover them.
Hot Holiday Clothing Essentials
So you’ve imagined yourselves lapping up the sun, but now the day’s getting closer you’re starting to think more practically. Remember those carefree holidays we mentioned? Babies aren’t great in the heat, so you can wave goodbye to hours basking in the sunshine around the pool. But no fear, there are many ways to keep baby cool in the heat and ensure your first family holiday is memorable for all the right reasons!
- Sun lotion/block – Factor 50. Check the UVA rating on the packaging has 5 stars (or at least 4)
- UV swim suit/swim vest and sun hat with neck collar
- Night time babygros/PJ’s – likelihood is that the air conditioning will be on in the room and, so it will be cooler than back home
- Lightweight dresses / trousers – linen is a lovely cool fabric. Make sure that they are not too tight – nothing worse than a hot and bothered baby
- Swim nappies – if you plan to be at the pool every day then plan to take at least four nappies per day. There’s nothing worse than a ‘code brown’ and it’s even worse when it’s from your child!
- Float seat – babies are like eels at the best of time, so to ensure no nasty accidents happen in the pool, pack a swim seat to allow them to bob around safely
- Pool toys
- Pop up UV tent – takes away the worry of baby being out in the sun as you frantically search for some shade, this way they can relax inside with their toys or enjoy a nap, whilst you enjoy a few rays
- Magicool / Water spray. Pushchair fan
Top tip! If you have room in your case, take a small paddling pool with you. It’s ideal to have by your sun lounger with a little bit of water for baby to play and splash about in and keep cool
Other Must Takes
- Baby monitor
- Wet wipes – ideal for wiping sandy hands and melting icecreams, as well as wiping down tables and highchair trays
- Antibacterial wipes / gels
- Travel changing mat
- Travel adaptors
- Travel wash – take a few tubes! For weaning babies, there’s sure to be some of the orange stains on bibs, collars and sleeves – don’t leave them to grow mould during the week, put them into soak and hang out in the sun
- A mini chemist – calpol, thermometer, saline drops, plasters, rehydration sachets
- EHIC cards
- Comforters and/or dummies
- Nappy sacks
- Moisturising creams – the pool chlorine can dry out skin
- Rug for baby to lie/sit on
- Camera (and charger) to snap all of your happy memories
Top tip! The sunshine is amazing at bleaching out stains from clothes and bibs so be sure to make the most of the rays.
Lastly, and the most important, be sure to enjoy your holiday and make the most of being away from your everyday life. For the little things you may have forgotten, don’t panic – you will be able to buy most, if not everything, whilst you’re away. We wish you a happy holiday!
Written by Jess from Prosecco Mum, you can follow her on all the socials below