Are you planning to head away on a family holiday, baby on board? Here are five travel essentials you’ll want to pack for the trip – you may not have realised how useful they’d be!
Now that summer is in full swing, many families are travelling to visit friends and relatives, or heading away to relax after the hustle and bustle of the holidays. And if you’re travelling with a baby, you might be wondering: How much of his nursery do I need to pack and take along? Babies do seem to need a great deal of paraphernalia, but travel means you’ve got limited space, so you want to make the most of your luggage allowance. Here are our top five absolute must-have travel essentials when going away with a baby.
1. Baby sleeping bag
A lightweight baby sleeping bag is a godsend when you’re travelling, as it will keep your little one warm and covered whether they’re strapped into a car seat, riding in a pram, sleeping in a portacot, or hanging out in one of those little aeroplane bassinets. Most baby sleeping bags have a special opening you can thread their seat belt through, and the zipper openings make nappy changes on the go super-easy. Plus you won’t have to worry about them kicking off their baby blanket in the middle of a crowded airport or when you’re driving down the motorway and can’t stop to fish it out from under the seat.
2. Baby monitor
Worth its weight in gold, a baby monitor is essential when you’re travelling, and especially when you’re staying somewhere new, or you want to put your baby to bed but still stay up and visit with the family. Invest in one with a video screen and audio, and you’ll have peace of mind no matter what area of the bach you’re staying in. We love the VTech BM3500 Safe & Sound Pan & Tilt Video Monitor, as you can not only watch your baby via the parent monitor’s screen, you can also talk to your baby (it has a microphone and speaker) if they’re unsettled and need comforting. It also has five lullabies and a temperature sensor so you’ll know at a glance if your baby is too hot or cold. Great for monitoring older kids, too – especially if they’re sleeping in a different room to you and you want to make sure they’re actually sleeping, and not wandering all over Grandma’s house!
3. Baby carrier or sling
A baby carrier is incredibly helpful when you’re on holiday, for a number of reasons. You can wear your baby and have your hands free for pushing your luggage trolley, eating meals, or simply sitting down for a rest with a book and a sleeping baby. They’re great for carrying your baby when you’re shopping or strolling along the beach. And if your baby is unsettled and won’t sleep unless you’re holding them, you can carry them in a sling or carrier to calm them down, or wear them while you’re sitting on a deck chair under the stars, relaxing. You can even breastfeed while wearing a baby in a sling or carrier! They take up far less space than a pram, and make it easy for parents to share the baby-carrying duties too.
4. Muslin or light blanket
Versatile and taking up almost no space in your luggage, a muslin or baby blanket is so much more than useful for covering your baby. You can use it as a burp cloth, pram liner, a breastfeeding cover-up, a swaddle wrap, a cover for the stroller when you’re out in the sun, a play mat, or even roll it up and use as an adult neck pillow when you’re riding in the car or on a plane. And in a pinch, you could origami one into a temporary cloth nappy – it won’t be leakproof, but it can contain a mess if you’re desperate!
5. Baby wipes
Yes, you’ll need them for nappy changes, but baby wipes are good for so much more than wiping bottoms. We recommend you invest in a couple of travel packs and stash them all through your vehicle and hand luggage. You can use them to wipe down an airline tray table before your baby starts playing toys on it, clean messy fingers and faces, mop up spilled drinks, remove makeup, tidy up smudges on your shoes or handbag, clean cuts and scrapes, soothe sunburn or wind burn, and even clean the windshield of the rental car after you’ve driven through a bug storm.