5 tips for travelling abroad with a newborn this summer
If you have a holiday booked or are visiting family overseas, you may be wondering whether it’s possible to go abroad with a newborn. In this article, Imran Sattar from Baby Planet share their tips for travelling with a baby less than three months old.
When you’re a new parent, you have to learn a lot of things very quickly — and there’s so much to remember, too! When you add travelling long distances to your itinerary during the first few months, there is so much more to organise that it can seem like a big challenge. Fortunately, with the right preparation and travel essentials, going abroad with your little one doesn’t have to be too difficult. Below, I’ll share a few tips that will allow you to travel safely while ensuring you have everything you need to care for your baby on the go.
Tips for traveling with your baby
Your baby can travel from as little as one week old, however it is advised that you keep travel times as short as possible and that you don’t travel long distances with a newborn for the first 3 months or so, until their immune system is better developed. If travelling by car, newborns should only spend a maximum of 30 minutes in the car seat (this increases to two hours as they get older), but if you’re travelling by plane or train the time you spend travelling together can be longer. This is because on a plane or train you are able to pick up and interact with your baby, whereas in a car they will be strapped in.
Before setting off, inform your paediatrician of your travel plans so they can share any concerns with you or simply give tips and advice, such as staying out of the sun and ensuring your baby is hydrated.
Baby travel accessories
In addition to all the necessary travel documents, booking confirmations, and passports, you’ll need a few other travel essentials on hand when going on holiday with your newborn. For getting around, you may find it useful to use a sling or switching to a more lightweight pram — if the latter, ensure it can be fitted with a parasol to help keep the sun off your baby. If travelling by car, you’ll need a newborn car seat plus a window shade for safety, and if travelling by plane, train, or boat, a lightweight yet secure baby carrier. A 2-in-1 pram and carrier can help reduce the amount of equipment you have to take with you.
Other travel accessories you may need on your trip include a pop-up tent so that your little one can stay out of the sun when you take them to the beach or on a picnic. At night, your little one will need a travel cot to sleep in if your accommodation doesn’t provide one, and don’t forget to pack their baby monitor too.
How much clothing to pack
Wearing light, breathable layers can protect your baby from the sun as well as being comfortable to wear in warm temperatures. Toby Tiger’s sustainable and GOTS-certified baby clothes have a bright rainbow colour palette, fun and friendly appliques, and timeless designs that are perfect for summer holidays, and they’re made from the softest organic cotton which perfect for delicate skin. So, you can rest assured that your baby will be comfortable while you’re off on your adventure.
Make sure you pack enough baby clothes for each day you'll be away — two outfits per day, plus a few additional extras just in case. A mixture of cool and warm clothing is recommended, so your little one can stay comfortable even after sunset or if the weather turns. Accessories such as sun hats and UVA swimsuits are essential for keeping harmful rays off your little one while you explore the world together, and don’t forget to pack breathable nightwear too!
Food and drink on the go
Most babies don’t start weaning until six months of age, but if your baby is weaning already, ensure your little one has everything they need at mealtimes by packing any beakers, bottles, baby tableware and utensils, bibs, and cups they require. You will also need a bottle warmer and sterilising equipment — you can ring ahead to see if your accommodation has these, but you might want to pack your own anyway for peace of mind. Decide whether you will pump in advance or take your breast pump with you — the length of your holiday will also influence this decision.
Finally, remember to bring enough food, snacks, and drinks for all your baby’s meals if they’re of weaning age. Again, you may be able to find these things easily on your holiday, but it’s better to be prepared. You may want to look up some simple DIY baby food recipes that you can whip up in a pinch, just in case you don’t pack enough and struggle to find a shop that sells baby food nearby.
In your baby changing bag
You will need to bring everything you’d normally expect to take with you in your nappy bag, such as nappies, wipes, nappy bags, a travel changing mat, nappy rash cream, and a change of clothes. When travelling, you’ll also want to include toiletries such as hand sanitiser, a bath sponge, baby shampoo and body wash, baby lotion or talcum powder, and a toothbrush and toothpaste if they’re teething already. Other holiday essentials include special swim nappies for the pool, sun block, after sun, and insect repellent, all of which should be baby-safe if possible. Top tip — you can use talcum powder at the beach to help easily remove any sand that’s stuck to your baby.
The tips in this guide can help you begin to plan your trip abroad with your new baby. Remember to get advice from the paediatrician before you travel with a newborn and to ensure you are covered for emergency healthcare while you’re overseas — your family doctor may be able to help you organise this.