In the summer of 2015 my family and I booked a holiday to go to Florida in September 2016, then a few months later my husband and I found out I was pregnant with our first child. It then clicked in our heads that we were now travelling to Florida with a 8 week old baby! We obviously had the option to change or cancel our holiday, but after talking to a few other mums, we decided to just go for it.
I was originally quite anxious about going abroad with a baby after realising the amount of travelling that would be invovled; the flight, driving around in our hired car once arrived etc. The chances of something happening are slim and if something did happen, you are able to make a claim. Seeing as we were going with our whole family we’d have lots of help and my father-in-law has driven in the USA before, so that was reassuring. Now this holiday has been and gone, I don’t regret taking Oliver one little bit.
We were very lucky with Oliver as he is a very content baby, but the main key to travelling with a baby is organisation. How many clothes should you take? If you’re bottle feeding, how are you planning to feed once through security at the airport? How many nappies should you bring? I’m going to share with you how we dealt with it all and give you some tips if you’re planning to travel with your baby soon.
The first hurdle is the airport. Security is so tough nowadays (understandably) and you can’t take through liquids over 100ml in your hand luggage. Now if you’re bottle feeding this can be an issue, but luckily UK airports allow you to take through sealed bottles of branded ready-made formula – I took through Cow and Gate Hungrier Baby Ready-Made Milk (As my baby is a hungry one!). They don’t allow you to take baby bottles that you’ve put water in through – they will make you empty it! You’re also allowed to take through powder formula. You’ve also got to be prepared for travelling home. In our suitcases we packed more ready-made formula to have in our hand luggage on the way back. I’d also recommend to check with the airport you’ll be travelling home from to make sure they’re okay with sealed ready-made formula.
When it comes to bottle feeding whilst on holiday, we boiled water of a morning and poured the required amount into each bottle, then weighed out the amount of powder that would be needed and took that in a separate container. It’s not recommended to prepare the milk in the mornings due to contamination, so just make it up whenever you need to with the already weighed out amounts.
When it came to sterilising whilst on holiday I panicked, as at home we have a big 6 bottle steriliser which was way to big to bring. After doing a bit of research we found the Tommee Tippee Single Bottle Steriliser on Amazon which I LOVED as it was small enough to pack into the suitcase! It was absolutely perfect. All you do is pour 80ml of water into the steriliser container, stack the bottle, teat and lid into the steriliser and then pop it in the microwave for 3 minutes. Simple! We even use it now when we visit family or if we’ve been out for the day and we need to quickly sterilise a bottle. Click here to get more information.
Obviously make sure you have enough nappies to last the whole flight and travelling. I’d also make sure you have some for when you arrive at your destination for a day or two before you have a chance to go shopping. To save on room in your luggage, we bought more nappies whilst in Florida, this also worked out cheaper as things were cheaper out there! If you’re not able to buy more nappies whilst on holiday, just pack as many as possible, as you never know what nappy explosions could happen!
It may seem like a lot, but we made sure we had 3 outfits for each day and a sleep suit for each night. You never know when your baby might spit up or have an accident that comes out of the nappy (we’ve experienced that a few times…) so make sure you’re prepared! If you’ve got a washing machine available on holiday though that’s perfect, you won’t need to bring as much!
Having a child so young on the flight meant they sat on you with their own special seat belt that connects to yours. I must say I was very impressed with the service we received from the flight attendants. They were very welcoming and did everything they could to help, like warm up your baby milk. Oliver slept for most of the flights (luckily!), but while your baby is awake make sure you have something with you to keep them entertained, or your baby may cry A LOT! Another tip, when taking off and landing, have a dummy to hand or a feed ready, as there ears may pop and they most definitely won’t like that!
Oliver blinked as this photo was taken – Hence why he looks rather drunk!
After making sure you have feeding, clothes and nappies sorted, make sure you have all of the extra little bits you’ll need. For example; Calpol, Thermometer, Bibs, Wipes, sun cream etc. Just think about what you’d use on a normal day and on a normal holiday and make sure you’ve packed plenty, and of course your pram! (You can actually keep your pram right up until you get on the plane. They will tag your pram and take it to the hold, and once you land it’ll be on the conveyor belt where you pick up your luggage).
Specific Tip For Disney World Travelers
If you’re going to Disney World in Florida with a baby that can’t walk, make sure you take a visit to Guest Relations. They will issue you with a red tag that you put on your pram to show that it’s the equivalent to a wheel chair, otherwise you wont be able to go inside buildings ANYWHERE in the parks, not even restaurants! We only found this out half way through the holiday which was a pain in the butt, so a shout out to that girl who told us about it at Epcot!!
Most importantly, just make sure you have fun! If you’re organised everything will go smoothly and you and your baby will have a great time. If you have some extra tips for travelling with a baby, leave them in the comments for us all to read. I’d love to see them so I’m more prepared next time!
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