What to pack when travelling with a child

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Dear Diary

So ever since Mateo was born he has become a little jet setter and has been to more countries than I have my whole life (lol just kidding ). His first trip was when he was just under 8 months old and it was to Boracay, (an Island in the Philippines). Whilst it was an exciting time for our family, it was also very nerve-racking, as I had no idea what it would be like travelling with a baby. I thought it might be of help to first time mummies  who are thinking about travelling with a newborn/toddler to write a blog post on – what to pack when travelling with a child! When I first decided to plan a trip with my little boy, I had many questions running through my head- what do I pack? What are the most important things he will need? How many nappies do I take? How much food will he need? Are there specific things I need to pack in my hand luggage? How much is too much clothes? These are just some of the questions that went through my head when planning that first family trip. (and trust me there were many more).

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First things first!

The first thing I always made sure to do before packing for a family holiday, was to make a list of items that Mateo needed or used on a daily basis. (Gosh the list was not short I tell ya!). This will of course be different with every child depending on the age. I looked at the basic essentials – food- milk/solids/snacks, water bottle, nappies, wipes, nasal spray etc. I then focused on the outfits he would need during the holiday (most of our holidays were tropical places which we stayed at for a week or two). The next thing was his favorite toys or books that he enjoyed playing with. This was so important as certain toys entertained him longer than others. We looked at booking most of our flights around  his nap time/bedtime, that way he would sleep for most of the flight (keep that in mind). Late flights for us were always better than early morning ones, as we found that Mateo would fall asleep before we even boarded the plane. (This might not work for all children but we were lucky enough that he always seemed to follow the routine we had in place).

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Carry-on luggage

The most frustrating thing I found was what do I take in my hand luggage?? and what do I put in my check-in luggage???? (this required a little more practice as on each trip I always somehow took things in my hand luggage that were not needed- (better safe than sorry I say, but my husband didn’t think so as he had to carry a 100kg bag around the airport lol). Below you will find some things I always packed on-board. (Depending on the duration of the flight, these might vary and you might need more or less).

  • 2-3 bottles of formula- all ready for the hot water to be added when needed (if you are breast feeding, no need to pack anything unless you prefer to express before hand).
  • 3-4 solid type meals, mostly heinz food pack –  so good because there usually is no mess).
  • snacks (biscuit box) or you can ask for fruit on board.
  • toys/books- iPad was a life saver on our last trip to the Maldives. (Don’t forget the charger).
  • nappies -I always take a 100 (hahah literally! I’m not kidding and have a major problem, but I believe packing enough for the flight is important just in case!
  • Wipes (tissues) -I didn’t pack these and had to use my face wipes for one of the flights- thank the lord I had some in my bag.
  • Pacifier- This was a lifesaver especially when it was sleep time. (make sure to get a pacifier clip as I can’t count how many pacifiers  we lost on our trips until we finally got one)
  • Blanket- I found taking Mateo’s blanket made him more comfortable to fall asleep, as he smelled something that reminded him of home.
  • Clothes- pj’s, tops x2, pants x2, bibs, warm socks, onesie, hat/beanie (to cover his eyes from the plane light, or you can buy the eye masks),
  • Panadol/kids – As Mateo was teething we always made sure we had baby panadol in case he got a temperature on-board.
  •  baby ear plugs/nasal spray
  • Stroller- I wouldn’t know what I would have done without a stroller. Most airlines will allow you to take the stroller all the way to the plane doors. So helpful especially if you have a stop over flight and a 1000kg baby! lol

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Check-in luggage

As most of our holiday destinations were tropical places (islands), I always had to pack summer essentials. Below you will find a list of things that Mateo needed and used on every family holiday. (keep in mind this is only a guide and your child might need more or less)

  • Baby sunscreen/moisturizer (soo soo important!)
  • Sun hat
  • Bathers- long sleeve with shorts
  • Towel (hooded)
  • Shorts/t-shirt/longtops/pants/jacket/shirt/singlets
  • Water toys
  • Food (we had to pack the formula for all our trips as we traveled to Islands that didn’t have the specific formula that Mateo liked (research this beforehand)
  • More nappies and wipes (The more the better)
  • Sandals/runners/socks
  • Baby carrier (This we used on our first trip but as he got bigger he liked to be in the pram)

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So there you go! I hope that this blog post can in some way guide and help nervous first time mummies who are planning a family holiday with their newborn/toddle. It can be very frustrating not knowing where to start, or what exactly to pack. This can be your little guide, and remember! you can always add in things that you think your baby will need. I still kick myself sometimes when arriving to our destination and realizing I forgot something. (like baby wipes! we can’t always get it right!)

PS: I just want to say a thank you to all my readers who have supported my blog over the months as it reaches new heights. Being featured on MyDeal.com.au as one of several family friendly blogs. Link is below if your interested in reading

https://www.mydeal.com.au/blog/post/family-friendly-blogs

Mirela. B

xxxx

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