A holiday abroad with a baby – what to pack

Following from my “flying for the first time with a baby” (historically one of my all time most commented, clicked and shared posts – THANK YOU!), it taught me that perhaps more of those kind of informative posts could be of help and interest to fellow newish mothers like me, especially when it come to travel.

For that reason I want to share with you my baby packing check list when going on a (summer) overseas holiday with a baby. I’ve shared this list already with a few friends (who know I have a spreadsheet for everything in life!) and I also received DMs on Instagram from those replying to my Instastories with questions during our recent (and first family summer) holiday to Menorca.

I hope you or a friend/relative find this useful and please let me know if you have any suggestions to add. I’ve linked to some of the products (not sponsored!) for ease for you to click/browse/purchase.

So here goes, my checklist for going on a summer holiday with a baby…

Me and Henry on our first summer holiday recently to Menorca

CLOTHING

  • Daytime outfits (for Henry we took cotton shorts, vests and t-shirts)
  • Evening outfits (for Henry we had a few pairs of denim shorts and smarter tees and a couple of shirts mainly for photo opportunities!)
  • Vests (sometimes in the heat babies just needs to be in a vest and a nappy)
  • Socks and shoes (though rarely worn tbh!)

From day… Hat and tee from Mark’s & Spencers, swim shorts from John Lewis

To night – shirt from Next, shorts from John Lewis

FEEDING TIME/EATING OUT

  • Bottles
  • Bottle cleaning brush
  • Formula – ready made bottles
  • Formula – powder (in Menorca I chose to boil bottled water and use this for making his powdered bottles. I chose to only boil the water once after what I researched and it is your choice what water to use and how, there is lots of advise online you can look up. Just remember to make the bottle in advance for when you need it, I used to make mine a good 45-60 minutes prior to allow time to cool)
  • Formula powder pots (handy for when making up bottles when out and about and if you choose not to use premade bottles)
  • Baby food bowl and spoons (we use Munchkin’s Love-A-Bowls set. The spoons change colour when it’s too hot to serve and the bowls come with lids. This I found useful when I wanted to take fruit, vegetables etc from the buffet to give Henry for his lunch/dinner/breakfast at his next meal time).
  • Cool bag + ice blocks (great for keeping certain foods and drinks cool. I even kept food pouches – designed to be served at room temperature – in there to avoid getting baked in the heat)
  • A selection of suitable food pouches (our favourites currently are Babease and these came in handy when we didn’t feed Henry in the restaurants)

This mini cool bag was a last minute thought but turned out to be really handy for carrying food and drink for Henry. And for keeping suncreams cool too.

Henry is loving the 100% organic food pouches from Babease

FOR THE POOL/BEACH

  • Swimming outfits (all in ones and shorts – we didn’t know how cool/warm the water would be – Henry happily wore both)
  • Sun hat (take a few as Henry’s got wet, dirty, sweaty, covered in sun cream etc)
  • Swim nappies (so important, pools won’t let babies in without wearing a swim nappy)
  • Hooded towel (depends if your accommodation includes beach towels in your package)
  • Baby sun cream (I took Childs Farm, Soltan Baby lotion and Nivea Sun Baby lotion. From all of these the ONLY one that Henry got on with was Nivea (which for some reason surprised me)! It didn’t dry or irritate his skin – and I did apply Henry with suncream about 10 times a day!)
  • Parasol for buggy (invaluable when you’re not quick enough in the morning to get sun loungers with a parasol and when the buggy’s sunshade cannot doesn’t quite stretch over your baby’s fast growing legs!)
  • A swimming aid (pictured below) was useful to start with but to be honest, Henry much preferred being held by either me or Daddy and able to kick and splash!

Swim outfits and hats like this set from Debenhams provide UV protection and help to keep baby’s skin warm in unheated water – especially the sea!

ENTERTAINMENT/TOYS

  • Variety of toys & books (remember to consider the size and weight for your luggage allowance)
  • Foam squares or blanket to use as a play mat (be prepared for hard flooring – common for Spanish villas! We took our foam play mat squares from John Lewis – they lay flat at the top of the suitcase)
  • Comforter and favourite toy (especially needed at bedtime when baby needs their memorable comforter in foreign surroundings)

We bought our foam squares from home to create a safe play area for Henry at our apartment

A makeshift play/snooze area in the shade by the pool

OUT AND ABOUT

  • Lightweight buggy (so much easier than a heavy duty pram once your baby is 6 months+, we decided on the Maclaren Quest)
  • Stroller organiser (I LOVE my Skip Hop storage organiser – this, plus the underneath basket and pouch on my Maclaren buggy sometimes meant I didn’t need to take a bag out with me at all)
  • Tote Savvy inserts (these were AMAZING for packing my carry on handbag and our pool/beach bag)
  • Pram fan (you may get through a few batteries but this fan is worth everything on a hot day with no breeze or air!)
  • Cooling water spray (great for cooling down your baby and even applying to heat rash. Check the brand you use is suitable for all ages)
  • Milton mini portable soother
  • Milton mini sterilising tablets
  • Travel changing mat
  • Nappy bags

I LOVE my Skip Hop stroller organiser for those essentials when out and about

Cooling water mist – this one by magicool can be used on infants and expecting mothers. I even used this on Henry’s heat rash!

HOME FROM HOME ESSENTIALS

  • Nappies
  • Wipes (LOTS!!!)
  • Muslins
  • Bibs (including wipe clean bibs – so much easier when babies are on solid foods!)
  • Dummies & Teethers (Henry’s first tooth cut whilst we were away – therefore teething gel on his dummy or his teethers chilled from being in the villa’s freezer were a blessing)
  • Teething gel/powder
  • Milton steriising tablets
  • Baby carrier (we took our Baby Bjorn – great for those beach walks and for walking round airports etc)
  • Calpol/medical kit including a thermometer
  • Grooming kit (or just a nail file if nothing else – I cannot believe how quickly and how sharp Henry’s nails grow!)

BATH TIME

  • Baby bath and shampoo (I always use Neal’s Yard Remedies – it’s so gentle and kind on Henry’s eczema prone skin, needed even more when skin is exposed to sun, salt water, chlorine etc)
  • Baby body lotion (Neal’s Yard Remedies for me is the best. Their baby products are soothing, gentle and contain lavender and chamomile which have calming properties)
  • Sponges (most hotel rooms will have flannels but I’d rather take my organic sponges for Henry)

BED/NAP TIME

  • Sleeping bag (we bought a lightweight Grobag sleeping bag – a 0.5 tog one from John Lewis)
  • Short sleeve sleep suits
  • Nursery thermometer
  • Monitor
  • Ewan the sheep and/or night light/music box (whatever you’re used to)
  • Cot/bed sheet (as we learned at Center Parcs, not all holiday destinations provide linen for cots)
  • Blanket (just in case you need to take the edge off the air conditioning, and baby can kick it off if they need to)
  • Blackout blind (especially if your baby doesn’t fall asleep easily when it’s still light outside. The Gro Anywhere Blind is a good option)

Henry in his Grobag “Beside the Sea” 0.5 tog and with his favourite comforters – Bunny 1 & Bunny 2!

OTHER

  • Rain cover (it does rain in Spain after all!)
  • Sun and blackout shade for pram/buggy (I can totally recommend the SnoozeShade – it’s UPF50+ and has a zip you can peep on the baby without waking him/her. I love the mesh material making this breathable for your sleeping bubba.)
  • Plug adapters for your UK electrical appliances (monitor, night light etc)
  • Tupperware with lid (just big enough to sterilise dummy, teats, teether and 1-2 bottles)
  • Case/carry bag for pram/buggy/car seat (gives it *some* protection!)
  • Washing up liquid and scrubber (important for bottles and feeding equipment)
  • Antibacterial surface wipes
  • Laundry detergent or gentle hand wash tablets (great for any leaks/spillages/stains from either of baby’s ends!! If you don’t have a washing machine, soaking in the sink can take the stain and aroma ‘edge’ off.)

The Snoozeshade is a great sun, shade and blackout option

Don’t panic if you forget something or run out, the chances are you are holidaying in a resort/town where there will be shops nearby to pick up any essentials you need.

And when it comes to packing, if your baby’s luggage allowance is a lot less than yours (Henry’s was 10kg vs mine which was 20kg) just remember to pack the heavy items (i.e. ready made bottles of formula, cartons of formula powder, wipes, toiletries etc) across yours and any other adult traveller’s luggage, and pack lighter items such as clothes in the baby’s case. Thomson’s check in desk at Gatwick were very strict at our luggage drop off point, so much so we had to do some shuffling of items across the cases at the desk.

Speaking of Gatwick airport – get there early if you are taking a buggy. They make you go through a different security queue which was slow and under staffed and took nearly 2 hours. Our gate closed as we were finishing at security – the staff didn’t care and so many of us had to sprint through the airport to get to the gate!

Thanks for reading. I hope this has been useful for you.  If you have any comments or other suggestions to add please let me know.

Enjoy the rest of the summer – what’s left of it!

XCamilla

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2 thoughts on “A holiday abroad with a baby – what to pack

  1. Nancy Settergren says:

    I’m pretty much beyond this from a traveling with baby perspective (my young adults have finally learned to pack for themselves and live with the consequences!). Love the photos! Such a well dressed boy and mama. Hope you had a wonderful time and hope you enjoy the rest of your summer as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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