18 months after our baby was born, it’s an opportunity for us to share our travel experience with a baby. After lots of time spend in trains, a few hours by car, a first on a plane, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to tell you about holidays with a baby! Not to mention, during these year and half, we bought two travel cot and tested three baby carriers ! So, how to travel with a baby from birth to 12 months and even 18 months? Which trips with a baby of 4 months, 6 months or 12 months? In this article, we tell you our tips and tricks for a successful trip with baby! Where to go on a trip with a baby, how to travel with a baby? And of course, the essential list for baby’s travel bag!
Travelling with a baby is certainly not easy, but with a little pragmatism and organization, you can fully enjoy your stay. Don’t miss these special moments far from everyday life. So, follow our advice to enjoy your holiday with baby !
Can we travel with a few months baby ?
Unless the maternity ward says otherwise, you can travel quite quickly with an infant! Airlines accept babies over 14 days of age. You can bring two baby items for free in the hold and a couffin will be lent to you for the flight. Additional cabin luggage is also allowed (read our paragraph: how to travel with a baby on an airplane?).
With a few months old baby, pack light ! A couffin, a sling or a baby carrier and you can travel anywhere. When you’re breastfeeding, you only need diapers and wipes, in addition to baby clothes! It’s ideal for travelling light with a baby. During the day, your baby will sleep being carried around. This way you’ll be able to go everywhere you want.
We preferred to wait for the first vaccinations before travelling with our two months old baby, especially since our baby was born in winter. For a trip with baby abroad, we waited for his one year anniversary to have done all the vaccinations. This is our opinion and each parent is the decision-maker on this point.
Where to travel with a baby?
The first question you will ask yourself when planning your trip with a baby is where to go ? How to forget the sleepless nights, your pale complexion and the stigma of pregnancy ? Which destination is compatible with traveling and baby ?
One this point, you will get lots of advice. Some will tell you that with a baby, holidays are easy, you can go anywhere in the world! Others, on the contrary, that you have to be careful and forget travel now you have a baby. From now on, you’re the parents, you decide! Nevertheless, for our first year together, we did not want exotic places for our travels with baby. In short, you have lots of choice among numerous destination as long as you are careful and listen to your baby’s needs.
Short trip with baby in a city
In my opinion, for the first holidays with baby before six months, the ideal is to leave on a short trip to discover a city ! The advantage of this type of destination is that you can travel light! As you will find everything in any city! If you forget a garment, a soother, a bottle, and so on, you can easily buy some! Forget the cosy, or the stroller, just carry the baby carrier and the cot and enjoy your well-deserved vacation.
Beach and travel with a baby
Going to sea with a baby is a great idea. No more everyday worries ! Hello beach towels, flip-flops, bathing suit! But beware of the sun which is harmful for our little ones!
Also, no sunbathing on the beach between 11am and 4pm ! Or bring the necessary equipment to protect your baby from the sun!
Going on holiday with a baby in the mountains
Holidays in the mountains with baby, it is a good way to cut daily life and to share very early the joys of nature with your infant ! You will discover that babies love trees, flowers, vegetation from a few months. Just beware of the altitude! Do not take your baby over 1500m before they reach their three years anniversary. Also be careful to protect your baby from the sun!
Once you’ve taken these precautions, enjoy your holidays! Hiking is an ideal way to get together, let your mind wander and enjoy the calm of nature. If we did not live so far from the mountains, we would clearly have gone to the Alps for our first travel with a baby.
How to travel abroad with a baby ?
Our first trip with baby abroad was to London for ten days. London is a great destination with a baby: there are plenty of high chairs in all the restaurants, changing tables everywhere, and more. People are adorable, especially in the subway where I always had a seat even during rush hour. Anyway, traveling with a baby in London, we recommend it!
The real dilemma abroad is baby food. For baby water, we bought bottles of Evian. Attention, some bottled waters are not suitable for children under 36 months. And for the baby food, we found the brand Hipp everywhere pretty easily. As I breastfeed, we had no issue with the milk during our travel with a baby.
For diapers, forget your usual favorite model and everything will be fine. We had carried enough diapers for the night because we often have leaks with some brands.
Travel with a baby : car, train or plane, how to go on a trip ?
Don’t be afraid to make a long trip because of your baby! Luckily, no matter how you get on a trip, baby will fall asleep. When traveling by car, most babies will be used to it if it is your daily mode of transport. For the train, get your baby used to public transport and you’ll travel easily !
Here are our tips to travel with a baby by car, train or plane!
How to travel with a baby by car ?
We don’t have a car so. We traveled with baby by car when staying with family or friends. The advantage of a car : you can drive away with all equipment you need and whenever you need. Plus, babies tend to fall asleep easily in the car!
But, when driving, you can’t stop immediatly and only one parent can take care of baby. And who said it was easy driving with a crying kid?!
Leave early in the morning or just before a nap. Usually, babies under 12 months take a nap in the morning and afternoon, which leaves a lot of time to drive. One of the parents can stay in the back to reassure baby in case of distress. Finally, bring only the essential equipment for baby!
How to travel with a baby by train?
Travel by train with a baby is the easiest and most pleasant way to be transported! Train with a baby allows you to take care of your baby together. No need to stop for to change diapers or the meal! It’s very easy to feed your baby on train. You can breastfeed at any moment without showing anything. Personally, one shawl is enough to cover. To change baby, no problem! The seats will suffice! I promise, we did it several times, nobody saw anything! If you travel in France with a baby, you can easily warm your bottle in TGV. And you’ll find a changing table area with paper and a changing mat.
Tips to travel with a baby on a train
With our long experience, here are our tips for a successful train ride with baby: take a train 30/45 minutes before the usual nap time. In order to avoid any stress, bring large, especially in water and diapers, in case of delay. For the journey, think of toys as books to keep baby busy. If you’re going to change baby together, make sure all your valuables are with you. Also, put all your valuable stuff in one bag!
My advice : breastfeed your baby directly in the sling or baby carrier and baby will fall asleep easily and for a long time! I even managed to take a nap during ride by train !
The most stressful moments are getting on the train and the connections! Anticipate and travel light and you will spend these moments without difficulty! For the ascent, I went directly to our places (or I looked for some) with the baby in baby carrier + the cot in one hand and a tote bag on my shoulder. And my husband was in charge of putting away the suitcase. One suitcase for three, no more! Take a look at our advice to bring only necessary stuff for baby when travelling !
How to travel with a baby by plane ?
Travelling with a baby on an airplane did not reassure me at first. I was worried about the pressure on my baby’s ears. In the end, the takeoff, flight and landing went very well! He drank, slept and drank. Not a cry, not a single discomfort! Whatever its age, it is essential for your baby to drink during takeoff and landing.
To travel by plane with a baby: you can carry two baby items in the hold, free of charge : between the cot, stroller, baby carrier and/or car seat. As for us, our light and compact travel cot fits in the suitcase. You also get one extra piece of carry-on baggage, for us it was the ultra compact stroller.
In the cabin luggage, we had the baby jars to give during the trip as well as a bottle of water. During security checks, the contents are checked. If you go through checks with your baby inside baby carrier, expect to have to remove it. At Gatwick Airport, strollers were also checked apart Some airports offer a separate line for families, which is a real plus because you are inevitably slower than a other passenger.
For boarding, you will be allowed to board after the “premium” passengers. If the flight is long, give your little one time to stretch his legs and board late. On low cost flights, get on early so you have time to settle in and make sure you have room for your carry-on baggage.
Finally, once on the plane, your baby will be attached by an extra belt to yours. For my part, I kept the baby in a sling, while tying him up, to reassure him and allow him to fall asleep peacefully. As a result, he slept through every flight.
For our first flight with a baby, we had a 5 hours delay… Thank you Easyjet for this first time. Waiting 5 hours in the tiny airport of Nantes… An horrible moment. Always plan a late scenario with water and extra food!
Travel with a baby : where to stay ?
Future or young parents, you probably imagine it is easy to find an accommodation when travelling with a baby! You just have to rent a nice house to have a perfect stay with your family! You are mistaken! Despite all our anticipations, we made the biggest mistakes whend we booked our accommodation for holidays! And that’s the kind of mistake that can ruin a vacation!
Booking site is great if you specify you travel with a baby as the establishments that will go out first will be the hotel-apartments and apartments!
Make sure the cot fits in the bedroom
If the cot does not fit in the bedroom, you will end up sleeping with baby in your bed or baby in the living room… We can hope for better on vacation! With baby in the living room, forget any nice dinner between husband and wife.
Don’t save on housing and its size when you travel with a baby, and you will enjoy your stay better! If you can book a two-bedroom apartment, don’t hesitate!
Before booking your holiday home with baby, always make sure the cot fits in the bedroom!
It is sometimes possible to book a cot with your holiday home. Attention, in France, the mattress will not be provided. That’s why we preferred to buy our own cot.
Choose accommodation with a room separate from the living room
Because if you don’t, forget the one-on-one dinners while baby sleeps peacefully! It’ll be more like baby in the living room and mom and dad in the hallway or bathroom! There’s a better way to enjoy and relax after a day of visits!
Always book a holiday accommodation with a room separate from the living room!
Same for naps, while your baby is sleeping in the afternoon, it’s very very annoying to have to stay in the dark next to your baby without making any noise for three hours…! Even if you think you’ll be out all day, sometimes baby will get tired and need to take a real nap in bed in the afternoon.
What type of accommodation should I choose to travel with a baby?
A hotel with a baby is possible, but an apartment or a house is better! This will make it easier for you to feel comfortable! We prefer to rent an apartment on vacation and thus have a kitchen to cook our baby’s meals like at home. This also makes it easy to wash our clothes and therefore to load less luggage. Although I have to admit, we kind of miss the hotel on vacation.
So, if you want to go to a hotel, here are our tips:
As long as baby drinks only milk, the hotel remains a very easy accommodation with a baby especially if you are breastfeeding: no bottles to heat, teats to wash,.. There’s almost nothing to take! On the contrary, when baby starts eating solid, you have bring baby food or cook it ! But, baby food you buy in the supermarket will easily be warmed up with a kettle. Buy dishwashing liquid to clean baby’s cutlery, plates and other table utensils. There you go, you can have a nice stay in a hotel!
How it’s going to travel with a baby ?
Now that we’re done with the trip, accommodation,…, what happens when we arrive on vacation with baby? You’ll see soon enough, traveling with a baby disrupts holiday habits. But forget those who say you’ll move your home every time you travel with a baby! Your baby doesn’t need much, except a comfortable bed to sleep in! Traveling with baby is an opportunity to share a passion with your child! With a baby, everyday life passes very quickly, so quickly that it is difficult to capture memories. On vacation, it’s the perfect time to create memories you’ll never forget.
If you’ve always enjoyed travelling before having your baby, go on! Of course, it’s sometimes a little more tiring, so don’t expect a relaxing holiday. But it’s worth it! And even if you never travel before having your baby, follow our advice and everything will be fine!
Travel with a baby : how will be your day ?
You will often read: forget the days of visits to stroll you all day. That’s not true! Every baby is different and will let you know his preferences! Our baby loved spending whole days outside when we were in South France! He fell asleep peacefully in the baby carrier against mom or dad while naps were complicated at vacation rental ! In London, he was the one showing the door to get us out! And travelling with a 16-month-old baby didn’t stop us from discovering London the way we wanted and walking more than 20 km every day!
What really changes when you travelwith a baby is the difficulty of going out early! Without organisation, it can take easily two hours to go out of the holiday rental (literally)!
Pack your bag every evening! And, as soon as baby is awake, dress him, give him breakfast and let’s go for the day! If you leave too late, he will already be too tired when you leave but will not always be able to fall asleep and so will be grumpy. (with our baby, it worked that way).
Baby’s sleep when travelling
We’ve always been careful to respect the bedtime ritual! For that, no restaurant in the evening! From 7pm, we always do like at home even when travelling with baby. The bath, the meal, the bedtime ritual and finally bedtime…! Then, know that baby is less likely to sleep well than at home despite all your precautions! On this point, we don’t really have a solution, except co-sleeping if your baby doesn’t sleep…! Stay calm and reassure your little one, the night is always a scary time for them.
Many awakenings at night, up very early in the morning! None of our stays have been easy. We forgot sleeping in and enjoyed our days to the fullest! The opportunity to admire the magnificent colours of the sunrises! And for the bed of baby, choose a light travel cot !
Should I take a stroller on a trip with baby?
We wondered for a long time if we should take the stroller on a trip or not! And then, after two stays with grandparents and friends to find a place on the train for the stroller and the suitcase, we left the stroller at home.
Many parents appreciate the stroller for baby naps while strolling, our baby never falls asleep in the stroller unlike the baby carrier! For a long time, stroller rides would end in tears after an hour! And carry around an empty stroller… It’s really not ideal when travelling. In addition, the stroller cannot go everywhere and often requires many detours or being able to carry it. Also, taking pictures with a stroller isn’t very practical either. So carrying our baby is what the mostly prefer when traveling with our baby.
Of course, if you think about eating out often, the stroller makes it possible to install baby and not to have to look for a high chair.
The baby carrier is still very useful for us to travel with a baby of 16 months and 10 kilos. While we used to leave without a stroller, we have recently opted for an ultra compact stroller for travel with a baby. It’s just in case, if we’re too tired from the night before. Moreover, when it is very hot, the baby carrier reaches its limits.
If you are looking for a compact stroller to travel with a baby under six months, only the Yoyo from Babyzen will be suitable! After six months, many brands offer practical strollers to travel with a baby! It is from 15 months that we bought an ultra compact stroller to take everywhere on a trip.
Baby’s meals when travelling
Since I’m breastfeeding, I never had to ask myself the question of baby milk to travel! This saves money and saves space in the luggage. Breastfeeding while travelling makes days easier. No need to carry bottles or milk in your diaper bag. And it can be discreetly fed in the sling or baby carrier while walking. To tell the truth, until he was six months old, apart from his clothes and toiletries, we didn’t need anything to travel with our baby and not even a diaper bag. For baby milk, you can find it at the supermarket, ask your pediatrician for advice on milk equivalents.
As soon as baby gets six months old comes the baby meal puzzle! You will wonder if you cook, if you buy baby food. When we were on vacation in the South of France, we had an apartment. Also, we chose to bring a small blender to manage the purées of our baby who was starting to eat solid.
For our holidays in London, we only brought baby food for the first evening and for the first midday. Then, we bought big international brands like Hipp or English brand. Every country has his own baby food habit, so you will have to adapt a little!
Then, to make your baby eat: forget the high chair! If you have the stroller, it’ll be a baby chair! Otherwise, on Mom’s or Dad’s lap, that’s fine. Often in restaurants, you can ask for a high chair. When you take a snack on the go, even on your own, if I don’t have a stroller or high chair, I choose a bench to sit baby next to me.
Must you know, in France, it’s not that easy to find a high chair in restaurants compare to London, for instance.
Changing baby’s diapers when travelling
How many diapers to take on a trip? And how do you change your baby on the road? No stress, it’s very simple! For diapers, we take for four days of diapers in the bag and then we buy on the spot! However, we take our usual diapers for the night in sufficient quantity for the duration of the stay.
We changed our baby everywhere: on a bench in a park, on a picnic table in the forest, on the seats of a train, in the hall of a station, etc.. Be organized, get a clean diaper, wipes and garbage bag and everything will be fine!
In your holiday home, change your baby on the bed, only put towels on both sides of your child to protect the duvet of the bed…!
Wash baby when travelling
When it comes to baby’s toilet when you travel, there are several options: invest in an inflatable or foldable bathtub. Otherwise, if you have a bathtub in the holiday home, here is how we proceeded: mom would get in the bath with baby on her lap and dad would help wash the baby!
If you only have one shower, wash your baby with a glove! One parent can sit with baby on the tub while the other washes him with the glove. Fill the sink if you do not have another water container. Remember, baby will be slippery with the soap!
What you always need in your suitcase is the bath thermometer! The travel bathtub is practical but not indispensable! The ideal is to book accommodation with a bathtub but even with a shower, you will manage to wash your baby while travelling.