Travelling with your little one
My discovered & tried trips and tricks to a smooth travel with a little one
Travelling with a baby can seem a bit daunting at first, but also very exciting and rewarding. I had all these feels and more before travelling with my daughter Sophia for the very first time.
The very first time we travelled Sophia was only 10 weeks old and we were travelling to Lithuania to spend Christmas with my family. Her passports had arrived only about a week before we had to travel (the wait felt a bit stressful towards the end as we were worrying if at least one will arrive in time), but after that we ended up travelling so much during her first year.
In the first year of Sophia's life we have travelled either by air, by train or by car to Lithuania, The Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, The UK. The list was later expanded with Norway where Sophia stood on the skis for the very first time and even skied a little bit!
To prepare for the travels I was researching a lot, joined multiple travelling with kids groups on Facebook, asked around in Facebook mom groups, googled travel with baby advice, and so on... Not to mention looking up all the documentation that we may need...
Keep in mind that if you're travelling solo with your little one it is best that you have at least scanned copies on your phone of the following documents and an authorisation form with the signature of the child's other parent (I have been asked for this a few times and the UK Border Control Officer commended me for having one). The documents mentioned are:
copy of the child's other parent's passport;
copy of the child's birth certificate.
So here's a little something that I have put together from what I've found and tried whether we were travelling with my husband or "solo" (just me and Sophia).
FIRST! Just trust that everything will go well and think positive! I think that’s the most important part.
From the practical side, things that have worked for us are:
nursing or sucking on the pacifier during take off and landing (Sophia never took one from birth, but Philips Avent Soothies worked for us while travelling when she didn't want to nurse);
have their favourite toys (teething toys for babies and more interactive ones for toddlers are the best in my experience);
if the baby is older and you have already introduced solid foods, bring some snacks (pouches and finger foods are a great choice);
have at least 1 change of clothes for yourself and for the babe;
at least 5 nappies in the diaper bag (or 2 per hour of travelling and can reduce as the little gets older);
if you have, take a travel stroller (something like Inglesina Quid2, Joolz Aer+, BabyZen Yoyo, Bugaboo Butterfly,..) it will save you time waiting for your stroller as these are the ones you can place in the overhead locker on the plane;
if you're travelling with your regular pram, remember to get the pram tag from the check-in desk and you can then leave it by the gate. Keep in mind that different airports have different rules on where you can get your pram back (some deliver at the gate and some at the luggage claim) and if you want it to be delivered at the gate, you have to make sure that you get a special tag and the flight crew informs the ground staff (when we went to Norway our pram was taken to the luggage claim even though it had the special tag to be delivered to at the gate as a member of the ground crew decided that it was too big to be delivered at the gate even though it was in a special pram bag);
all airlines allow to have liquid food for the baby, you just have to check what is the maximum of it that you can take;
if you want, you can purchase a separate seat for your baby and have them sit in their car seat (I would most probably do that if the flight is more than 4hrs, but you have to phone the airline for that). Alternatively you can request a bassinet or special seat on the long-haul flights as the little one will be more comfortable than in a carseat;
baby carrier! It’s been super helpful when boarding and leaving the plane (we've been loving our Artipoppe baby carrier as it's been a dream when travelling alone with a baby, feel free to reach out for a referral code);
check in as many bags as you can, so you wouldn’t have to carry everything through the airport and onto the plane (you can always ask to put your bags into hold at the gate at no extra cost);
at the gate, tell them you’re flying solo with your babe and if you could board first. They are normally very accommodating about this as it takes time to get yourself and the babe settled once on the plane as they usually sit you in the window seat.
I also put moisturising face cream and SPF on my girl’s face as the sun is much more intense up there even when in the airplane.
Also, keep in mind that when travelling by car you need regular breaks (at least every 2 hours) as babies & toddlers cannot be in their carseats for extended periods of time. Babies under 4 weeks of age should have breaks every 30min and not exceed 2hrs in a carseat per day if possible.
If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a message. x