The Travel Series 0 - 6 Months

Friday, 23 June 2017

As the warmer days are inching their way closer (hurray!) and our minds start to wander towards the summer months, it can only spell one thing . . . holidays!

While holidays are meant to be a time to switch off and relax with a Pina Colada, if you have little ones, the thought of travelling abroad might fill you with worry, dread and anxiety. If can feel like there is so much outside our control and comfort zones that it’s easier to contemplate a stay-cation.

But fear not! We have written a guide based on our experiences of travelling abroad with our boys.

This 3-part travel guide (0-6mths, 6-12mths, 12mths – 2yrs) will break down our hints and tips based on age groups so we hope you find it valuable.

By tackling some of the main concerns parents have about travelling, we hope we can help elevate some of your worries and give you the tools, hints and tips to get your family tribe overseas and to start making some precious memories.

Time for take off!


Travel 0-6 Months

Before we dive in, the first thing you need to consider is where you are going to be travelling to and if you need a passport for your baby.

Tip #1 – Passports
All babies are required to hold a valid passport to travel abroad. Be mindful of booking trips in advance and give yourself plenty of time to complete paperwork and send to the Passport Office. The months leading up to July and August are usually the busiest so Stress Buster #1 is to give yourself time and account for any potential delays. If you’re a travel vixen, maybe apply for a passport shortly after birth.

Also, note
If both parents are not from the country you reside in, your baby may not be entitled to a passport for the country they were born in. This was the case for us. Luca was born in the UK, but as I hold an Irish passport and Freddie holds an Italian passport, Luca could not claim British Nationality. We applied for Luca to have an Irish passport based on my ancestry via the Irish Embassy in London. Changes to UK Immigration laws in 2012 mean there are certain criteria you must meet to claim nationality.

Tip #2 - Passport photos for babies
You don’t need to take you baby to a professional photographer to have their photos taken!
Lay them out on a white blanket or sheet and take their photo from above. Stand on a chair if it helps. Get their attention by dangling a toy or have your partner make funny faces/noises. Try and take the photo with a clear photo of their face without shadows if possible. We used Photobox to have our photos printed and cut to size.

Preparing to Travel with Babies!

I first flew with Luca when he was around 8 weeks old. I was visiting my family back home in Dublin and introducing our little guy to extended family and friends. As it is one of the shortest flights I’ve ever taken (approx. 40mins from Birmingham to Dublin) I wasn’t dreading it too much. I had my brother flying with me for support for the first leg of the trip, and Freddie was with me for the return journey. However, as travel is a huge part of our lives, I wanted to have the confidence to fly with Luca whenever I needed to, especially solo. 

Naturally the first time you travel with a baby you are trying to second guess everything from what to pack, to checking in, security, and boarding and that’s even before you’ve left the country! Here’s the ultimate guide to travelling with a baby under 6 months.

Tip #3 - Packing
Babies are great to fly with! Their clothes are so small they hardly take up space in a suitcase! First time I travelled I checked a bag as my Mam had pre-warned me that I would be returning with a lot of gifts! But future trips I have travelled with a carry-on piece of luggage unless it was a long holiday. I find using luggage organisers super useful and I manage to squeeze in everything we need.

Tip #3 – Items you can fly with  
Between the ages of 0-2years infants sit on your lap during the flight. Despite this, you are charged approx. £20 for each leg of your journey or a percentage on the adult fare. The irony of this is that Luca’s ticket often cost more than my fare!

But it's not all bad news – most airlines include up to 3 pieces of baby equipment (e.g. stroller, car seat, travel cot) But note travel systems are considered as 2 pieces of equipment.

I travelled with my travel system the first couple of times but then switched to a stroller as I didn’t want my pram to get damaged. Most handlers treat them well but inevitably it will get bashed about. If your baby is under 6 months make sure the stroller is suitable for newborns. I recommend the Silver Cross POP – the extendable hood is great for nap times and protection from the sun!

Another thing to consider for getting around is a sling. Slings are fantastic for freeing your hands up and they help sooth babies. When you land, most airlines try to have your stroller at the bottom on the aircraft steps or just inside the terminal, but sometimes this isn’t possible and you have to go to Oversized Luggage to collect. In the meantime, you don’t want to have to carry your baby and bags through the terminal, especially if you’re flying solo! I loved the Caboo Carrier from 0-6 months.

Tip #4 – Nappies, Milk, Food
My general rule of thumb when travelling with a baby is to pack extras! Delays are a common part of travelling and the last thing you want to go is get caught out at the airport or on the plane!

Some pointers –

  • Consider how long you will be at the airport for (generally 2 hrs but it could be longer
  • How long your flight will be (how many feeds/changes will your baby generally have during this time?)
  • What will the local time will be when you land? (will there be shops open if you need them for supplies?)

When I travel home to Dublin I don’t take much supplies with me, only what I need for the flight. I can buy my usual items when I arrive in Tesco, Aldi or Boots. But if you’re travelling to Spain, France, Italy etc.… you might not be able to buy identical items, but you can buy alternatives. Aldi/Lidl do exist in Europe but they might not be in general tourist areas and will possibly require a car to get to. There are local supermarkets in most resorts and towns.

If you’re formula feeding I recommend sticking with your own brand and take it with you. Changes in formula can lead to an upset tummy (the last thing you need when on holiday) You’ll know how many tins you get through in a week so take what you need accordingly. You can take tins of formula powder in your hand luggage through security or put it in your checked baggage. If you do need to buy formula abroad (especially in Europe) you might have to go to a chemist/pharmacy to buy it rather than in a supermarket.

Super tip!
If you do have to feed at the airport or on the plane, you might like to have your formula pre-measured for ease. Try this travel formula dispenser which holds up to 3 feeds of 8oz. Just add warm water from a coffee shop or take some in a bottle warmer.

It’s free! No prep necessary!

Nappies are a little easier to come by and I’ve found Huggies, as well as other known brands easily enough. So, if you want to save on space take what you need for a few days and then buy top ups when you arrive.

If your little one is coming up the 6-month mark, they may have started to wean. You’re probably thinking how you can you blend and puree your way through a holiday!?

We’ve taken Ella’s Kitchen food pouches with us and some baby rice. We’ve also used the Nuby Nibbler and let Luca try fruits and veg. He loved it! Alternatively, if you are self-catering you can take a hand blender and cook/blend. Just ensure all food is washed beforehand with bottled water.

Airport Guide for Babies

 Tip #5 – Airport Security

I think this is one part that fills people with dread! Trying to get all your stuff into trays, while practically undressing and holding a baby! GAH!

The trick here is to give yourself plenty of time! Gone are the days when you can arrive 40 minutes before your flight and make a dash to the gate! Travelling with babies takes time. I enjoyed the experience so much more when I’m not rushing. Get there early and the stress levels won’t rocket too much when they decide to pull your bags apart!

If you do arrive and security is at a gridlock, splurge and buy an express lane ticket (trust me, it will be worth it) Unfortunately, travelling with children doesn’t give you VIP Jump the Queue privileges.

Super Tip:
Make life easier and have the items to need to remove from your baggage easy to access. As well as your normal liquids, you’ll also have to put any baby liquids into a separate tray. These include any pre-made formula, powder formula, yoghurts, water/juices, food pouches, jars of food etc…

I’ve never been refused any baby items when flying including pre-made bottles and airport staff have always been helpful and understanding, even offering to hold Luca while I got my stuff organised! They might randomly ask to do a check on one or more of your items. This involves them putting the item into a sealed container and placing it inside a testing machine. It doesn’t interfere with the food or drink in any way.

Tip #8 – Change before you fly

I always change Luca’s nappy before I fly. The facilities in the airport are bigger & usually cleaner than the toilet on the plane. Also, if it’s a short flight you might find it easier to stay seated unless necessary to change mid-flight.

As babies are prone to pooing ‘accidents’ take a spare set of clothes in your nappy bag for emergencies. As well as muslins for any spit ups. (Julia can verify this!)

Tip #7 – Take Off & Landing

We’ve been quite blessed that Luca has never suffered with his ears or popping when travelling. But when you do hear the blood curdling screams of a baby on a plane it’s probably due to their ears. For young babies the best way to avoid this is to have them suckle during take off and landing; do this by either breastfeeding, bottle feeding or providing a dummy.

Tip #8 – Travel Essentials

There have been a few products we’ve purchased since having Luca that have made travelling super easy and enjoyable.

Travel Cot – most places can provide a cot but check in advance. We were gifted the Chicco Travel Cot. It also doubles as a play pen and means safer play if windows/balcony doors are open.

Snooze Shade – a traveller’s dream with a sleeping baby! We use this quite a bit and it means we can stay on the move during the day. It attaches to most prams and strollers providing a nice darkened space to nap.

Car Seat Travel Bag – if you are hiring a car abroad make sure they provide quality car seats that are installed correctly. As it’s free to take a car seat we have always opted to do so (plus it’s cheaper than hiring) We bought the Venture Car Seat Bag and it’s been fantastic, highly recommended!

Ladybird Mosquito Repellant – this cute little device clips to the pram/stroller and it sends out little frequencies to warn off pesky mosquitos.

Silver Cross POP – as mentioned above, we loved the POP. It’s lightweight, suitable from newborn and the extended hood keep babies nice and protected from the sun.


Phew! Congrats if you made it to the end of this post, but we hope you've found it useful! If you ahve any other tips for new mums pop them in the comments below, and be sure to check back soon for our 6 -12 months  and 1 - 2 years travel posts coming very soon!

Love Jenn


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