We’ve recently just returned from our first family holiday in Greece as a family of three. In the lead up to our holiday I anticipated the worst; screaming baby on the plane, sickness abroad and enough luggage for a family of ten. But in reality, it wasn’t that bad at all. Otis was a dream of a baby on the flights and other than the standard over packing, it was relatively stress free.
Loads of you gave me advice and tips, so I thought it was only fair that I share them back with you.
Here’s my guide to travelling with a baby (under 6 months old)….
Pick a child friendly resort
Before Otis was born we only did non-package style holidays. The type of holidays where we booked our own flights, hotels and car hire all independently, seeking out the best deals. We would book restaurants for 9pm sittings, or even crazier didn’t make reservations at all. Because we had freedom, and we only had to take care of ourselves. How things have since changed.
As we returned to our room at 8.30pm from our 6pm dinner reservation, I looked up at a couple sat drinking on their hotel balcony and smiled to myself at how our former life used to be. We used to be that couple. We used to sit drinking local beers deciding at 9pm what we fancied eating for our supper. But those days are long behind us now.
We chose the Sani Club resort in Halkidiki based on a recommendation I read on trip advisor, and if I’m honest it was the best thing we ever did. Plus, judging by the other 23 babies onboard our BA flight that day from Gatwick airport, 23 other parents had the same idea. Yep, there were 24 under 2' year olds onboard, which made us realise we had made the right decision.
Everything ran smooth from the beginning to the end. The Sani club are so used to dealing with families and babies, they make everything simple for you. We booked their private car transfers to and from the airport, and they provided us with a baby car seat for Otis, which was safe and secure, and saved us having to lug ours all the way there, and risk getting ours damaged in the hold. When we arrived at our room, the staff had already set up a complimentary cot and steriliser, and provided us with a baby bath too.
The resort itself is ideal for young families and babies with ramps galore, a shallow baby pool and even an indoor pool where you can book swimming lessons for your little one for 35 euros for a private session. The resort is set along a stretch of clear, calm sea and golden sandy beaches which makes it the perfect spot for a family holiday. There’s even a lift down to the beach, and a golf cart buggy/ taxi service which you can call any time of the day to get a ride around the resort. The hotel food is even baby friendly with a baby puree menu in most restaurants, and they offer a baby sitting/ creche service at a fee. It’s a parents dream. So if you’re looking for somewhere to stay, don’t bother looking at other resorts. Just book Sani.
2. Formula feeding
If you’re formula feeding then you need to read this. If you’re not, then this won’t be relevant for you, so skip to number three.
First of all congratulations for choosing to feed your baby. I too am a formula feeding mother, and up until now formula feeding has been easy peasy, but let me tell you about a few things that I’ve learnt about formula feeding while abroad.
Just like us adults, babies aren’t supposed to drink the tap water abroad as their tummies aren’t used to it, so buy the pre made formula before you go away. I use Aptamil first milk, but you can buy other branded milks.
What’s wrong with bottled water I hear you shout? Well, apparently bottled water has high levels of sodium, so this can upset your babes tummy, so this isn’t advised.
Top tip - Order your formula in advance from boots online and select to pick it up airside at your prefered terminal. Then just remember to take an empty suitcase, and off you go! And don’t forget that you can take a couple of the small pre made formula bottles in your carry on bag as they’re 100ml which is within the travel guidelines.
3. Buy a foldable stroller
Trust me on this one, you will not want to take your heavy, bulky buggy abroad. Invest in a compact, foldable stroller NOW! We bought a baby zen yo-yo and we love it so much, we actually use ours full time now instead of our bulky icandy.
The babyzen is so compact you can take it on board the plane with you as it fits in the overhead storage, which means you can push bub all the way to the gate, or even to the steps of the plane.
The only downside to the babyzen is the storage basket beneath isn’t very big, so be prepared to carry a bag around with you.
4. Over packing on baby clothes is a necessity
Don’t underestimate how many clothes your baby will need on holiday. After every swim, we changed Otis out of his wet clothes into dry fresh ones, only to get wet again an hour or so later. Why? Babies can’t self regulate their body temperature like us adults, and can get cold and hot quicker. The last thing we wanted was a cold and unhappy baby, so make sure you pack plenty of swimming clothing.
5. Waterproof nappies
Make sure you pack enough nappies and waterproof ones at that. After every dip/swim it will come off as you don’t want to leave your baby sitting in a saggy wet nappy for too long. Plus, the term waterproof is ironic, as I found them quite leaky. But I suppose having that coverage is better than not having anything at all.
I found the pampers splashers better than the boots own brand label.
6. Pack baby nail clippers
This is a random one, but someone once said to me that your baby’s nails grow faster in the sunshine and they were right. So if can remember, try and pack your baby nail clippers.
7. Dummies for the plane
If you don’t want your fellow passengers to hate you then please pack a couple of extra sterilised dummies. I also find using a dummy clip super handy, so your little one can’t throw it on the floor.
8. Snooze shade
If you’re going somewhere hot and sunny then you need this. Most buggies/ strollers won’t give your baby enough UV coverage, but with a snooze shade it blocks out 99% of UV rays and blackouts the buggy, so your little one can have a sleep.
This a just a guide. I’m no expert, but I did find these items super handy while travelling with a five month old. I hope they help you.