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From surviving the flight to remembering the swimming nappies, our checklist covers everything you need for your first holiday with baby
Check whether there’s a suitable bed for your baby at the hotel. If not, you’ll need to take a travel cot. Also, pack blankets or baby sleeping bags, but remember it might be hotter at night on holiday. A plug in night light can be handy, along with a baby monitor (with adapter) and travel blackout blinds.
2. Car seat
Don’t forget to book a baby seat for your hire car. If you’d rather take your own, check your airline’s baggage policy for baby equipment, as rules vary.
A lightweight pushchair is essential. If you’re flying, you can take it as far as the aircraft door. It’ll be stored in the hold and may not reappear until the luggage carousel, so you might want to pack a sling to carry your baby through the airport on arrival.
4. Nappies and wipes
Take plenty for the journey and extras in case you’re delayed. Also, remember spare clothes, plastic bags to store any soiled nappies, and a travel changing mat. You can buy most familiar nappy brands abroad, but swimming nappies can be harder to find.
5. Bottles and formula
You’re allowed to carry baby milk through airport security, so if you bottle feed, take formula cartons or expressed milk and plenty of sterilised bottles. Pack your powdered formula in your suitcase along with sterilising equipment.
6. If you’re breastfeeding
Feeding in busy new places can be distracting for your baby, so you might want to bring a cover-up to use on holiday. Don’t forget your breast pads, and if you plan to express, remember to pack your pump, bottles and sterilising equipment.
7. Surviving the flight
Changing air pressure can make babies’ ears feel uncomfortable, so at take-off and landing try giving your little one a milk feed or a dummy (if you use them). Stash some new and exciting toys in your hand luggage, and try to time your flight with naptime or bedtime.
8. Sun protection
If it’s going to be hot, pack long-sleeved, lightweight clothes and sunhats. You’ll need to keep babies out of direct sunlight if they’re less than six months old, so take a parasol for the buggy and a sunshade for the beach. If they’re older, you’ll need loads of children’s sun cream with an SPF of at least 15.
9. Bathing and toiletries
Your holiday accommodation may not have a bath, so just in case, pack a universal bath plug, so you can bathe your baby in a sink. Take your usual toiletries and a first aid kit, which should include a thermometer, age-appropriate paracetamol and ibuprofen, plasters and any medication your child needs.
10. Travel stair gate
A roaming toddler can be stressful on holiday, especially when you’re in unfamiliar surroundings. A fold-down stair gate can help fence off steps and access to water hazards, balconies or kitchens. You could also pack some toddler reins for outings.
By Emily Bamber