Travels with baby – the essentials

Travelling with a one year old can be full of nervous little anxieties and mini panics!  We recently took our first flight with our little one, jetting off the Greece for a week.  Here are my top tips for a smooth flight and a great foreign adventure!

  • The flight! Keep your little one active, busy and awake before you take off, then they stand some chance of actually sleeping on the plane.  Our flight was only three and a bit hours, but thankfully our little one slept for a good few hours on the way and on the return journey.  We kept him busy at the airport with some duty free shopping (Hamleys was a hit!) and some plane spotting.  We also prepared by bringing books, a soft toy, play-doh (no issue in taking this through customs) and his usual blanket in our cabin baggage.  The homliness and familiarity of his blanket helped massively with sleeping on the plane and in the hotel.  We also packed and used child sized ear plugs to help with the pressure at take off and landing.  You can pick these up in Boots really cheaply and they certainly helped, although its obviously fiddly trying to put ear plugs into tiny ears!
  • Medicines – we took along a European anti mosquito plug and kept it plugged in in our room every night. It was pretty mild at night, being so late in the summer so we also slept with the doors and windows shut.  We also took along Jungle Formular for kids – this is a mild version of their mosquito repellent for children, as I was bitten a couple of times and rewarded with an itchy red spot, I can only imagine how irritating that would have been for a little person, so I’m glad we got this stuff.  We took along our usual sachets of calpol, and snuffle baby and some special after bite for kids, but luckily we didn’t need any of it!  He did however, no matter how careful we were, suffer from  heat rash on his tummy (he gets this at nursery as well).  We managed to soothe this with some coconut oil (essential for excema prone skin anyhow) and we got some liquid antihistamine from a local pharmacy (not sure this helped!).
  • Swimming – we took two pairs of swim shorts, a shed load of swim nappies and the really great addition of a swim top which covered his arms and tummy. This was great for floating around without getting burnt.  The other essential, and boy what an essential it was was an inflatable crocodile that Grandad bought for his birthday.  The hotel pool was so freezing cold, a certain person didn’t want to get his tummy wet and so spent most of his week floating around on the crocodile!
  • Huge muslin square – beyond essential! These have a million uses, from baby change mat on the go, to wiping up dribble and snotty noses, but also in a hot climate attached to the pram, they make an excellent source of shade.  You can get them all over the place, the bigger the better!  And they get softer as you wash them.
  • Toys – we didn’t take loads of toys, just a couple of cars and his favourite plastic pots he likes to bash! Our top hits were some swimming toys from the brand Zoggs – we have the seal diving rings (great for chewing and bashing when they are little) and the mini floating seals – these look like spaceships and are great for chasing in the pool, bashing together or simply chewing!
  • Shoes – our biggest mistake was not taking shoes for our baby! He isn’t yet walking unassisted, but he enjoys a good toddle around holding our hands – how totally stupid then to forget his shoes!  He was fine walking barefoot on the beach etc, but it was pretty cold on his tiny feet by the pool, so my recommendation is don’t forget shoes!!