It’s getting to that time of year when you might be planning heading off on holiday somewhere. But whether you’re staying in the UK or sunseeking a bit further afield, there are some things you have to think about for your first holiday with your baby –
Where to go?
If your baby is still not mobile, now is the time to take that long-distance holiday. Flying with a very small baby is much easier (and cheaper) than flying with one who is crawling or toddling.
Book baby friendly accommodation that will help you relax
Choosing the right accommodation is key to enjoying your holiday. With a small baby, self-catering is usually easier than hotel accommodation. You’ll have a kitchen so you can prepare any meals when they are needed and make a cup of something for yourself if you’re up doing nighttime feeds. The self-catering option also means you can put baby safely in bed at night and then sit out with a glass of wine and a BBQ! And you’ll not be worried about disturbing other guests if baby is having a crying fit.
Does my baby need a passport?
If you’re planning to leave the UK, your baby will need his own passport from the time he’s a newborn. To apply, contact the UK passport service, and fill in an application form. You’ll need two identical passport-sized photos of your baby and an original document, such as his birth certificate, to prove his British citizenship. The passport lasts five years and costs £46.
What age can my baby fly from?
Some airlines, including BA, will let your baby fly from 48 hours old, with permission from your GP, but without a passport you’ll only be able to fly within the UK. Most airlines don’t require ID for travel in the UK but check before you book.
Does my baby need jabs?
Make sure all your baby’s vaccinations are up to date before you go away. Check for details on the NHS website, and look into any he might need for your holiday destination. Your GP will be able to tell you if your baby is old enough to have them. For example, the yellow fever vaccination isn’t recommended for babies under 9 months old.
Does my baby need his own plane seat?
The general rule is that babies under 2 years fly for free, either on your lap or in special bassinettes. However, individual airlines have their own policies on this so check when you book.
Can I take milk in my hand luggage?
If you’re taking milk or sterilised water onto a plane in your hand luggage, the maximum 100ml rule for carrying liquids doesn’t apply, but you can only take on enough for your journey.
“You might be asked to taste the liquids by a security officer,” explains a spokesperson for the BAA. “There isn’t a limit on powder formula, and bottled water is available in shops after security. Airlines can also provide water during your flight.”
What about air travel and taking our buggy?
You can take your buggy to the gate when boarding the plane where it’s then checked into the hold like other luggage. However, it’s worth checking with your airline to see if there’s a charge for this.
Do hire cars provide car seats?
Most can provide car seats for an additional charge, but if you’re hiring a car abroad be careful about what you’re getting. Of course, taking your own is sensible, but not very practical. If you’re hiring a car abroad go for a large, multinational company as you’re more likely to get a good car seat, but always check which seats the company has available and what condition they’re in before you book.
Don’t expect too much
There’s no doubt that holidays offer a lovely change of pace and environment. But the days of sleeping in and lying around in the sun reading a book are probably long gone. Your baby still needs to nap at the same time each day, still needs to be fed and bathed and will probably still wake in the pre-dawn darkness.
So rather than mourn the holidays of old, take a moment to consider what this holiday can offer you and then enjoy what you CAN do! Early morning walks on the beach; breakfast out with the family; lovely siestas while bub is napping … It’s all good stuff and you’ll treasure these memories in the years to come.