It’s that time of year where our thoughts turn to the warmer months and we start looking forward to escaping the mundane and going on holiday. We’ve got a week in Devon planned with my family coming up and just the logistics of packing the car is stressing me out already! We managed to go on a few short breaks with Baby Knight last year which were really lovely. We have family in Spain so went to visit them for 5 days and also went to Cornwall later in the year. If I’d had a pound every time someone recoiled in horror when we said we were flying with a baby my holiday would’ve been paid for! After so many times I was also convinced it was going to be terrible, we were irresponsible parents and everyone on the plane would HATE us.
However the tale has a happy ending because she managed really well on both flights and we had a great holiday. Phew! So a couple of months later we decided to join some of my family for a break in Cornwall. No problem! If we can handle a plane, a car is a breeze. Then I realised the journey was about 4 hours and the longest Baby Knight had been in the car before was an hour tops. Cue more fear. But we all survived and again had a great time. It must not have been too traumatic because we have a few getaways planned for 2015 which I am eagerly anticipating!
That said, I know I will still feel a little apprehensive when the dreaded day of travel arrives as I think every parent does with a baby on board. So I thought I’d share a few tips that I’ve learned from the experience (some the hard way, this post is not boasting about what a perfect parent I am!)
- Airports are stressful. Fact. Wearing our baby was the best decision we made as it gave us another pair of hands and we just checked the pushchair in with the suitcase. Easy peasy and one less thing to think about.
- I’d read something about buying new toys for going on long journeys but just thought at that age they don’t really know so I just hid some of her toys for a week so they were as good as new to her.
- The obvious things are to pack lots of nappies and spare clothes but also plenty of hand sanitiser and anti-bac wipes. Airports and planes especially are a playground for germs!
- If you can, feed on take off and landing to help their ears. If not a dummy would do the job but Baby Knight refuses to take one. (Mr Knight actually tried whilst on the plane and she heaved and then projectile vomited all over us. We had to sit in sick for a further 2 hours. Marvellous.)
- That brings me onto another tip, have a separate carrier bag to put dirty clothes in. We also had a poo explosion to contend with!
- A few hours after we got to Spain, poor baby had a complete meltdown. She refused to feed, we tried rocking her, singing, all the classics. In the end I lay her on a blanket from home and she started to calm down, we then started her bedtime routine as close to normal as possible which settled her. I’d never even considered that it was all such a big ordeal for a four month old and that she’d need some extra comfort. If blankets are too big, just anything familiar that will smell like home will do.
- When we were in the car, it was tempting to just keep going as stopping so often makes it feel like you’ll never arrive! We were fortunate as she slept for a lot of the journey but stopping every hour and a half seemed to work the best for us. She enjoyed bouncing around on us for a while to stretch her legs and we got a Costa fix. It did take us a long time but we arrived with a happy baby and consequently relaxed parents.
Obviously I only know what works for our baby so this may not be useful to you and I can’t say anything about travelling with a toddler yet but I think it’s helpful to share experiences. If you have any other travelling tips please share them in the comments!
Thanks for reading,
Knight Mummy x