1. Cleaning Equipment!
It’s really annoying when you finally reach the hotel, settle in for a relaxing trip and then realise you have nothing to clean the bottles with. You know you’ll have to clean the bottles 3-4 times a day – you can ask the hotel staff or restaurants to clean the bottles (but that will mean actually speaking to people and who wants to do that on holiday!) – and anyway, room service might cut it during the day but you feel bad about calling them in the middle of the night, and it’s just another thing to think about when you are meant to be relaxing. Keep your life easy by packing either (i) a sponge and washing up liquid or (ii) a small bottle of Nimble bottle cleaner and a bottle brush.
Tip: If bottle feeding, take Mam bottles which will allow you to ask restaurants to sterilise your bottles in advance.
2. Travel buggy
What’s the point of shelling out another amount of money on a travel buggy? Wait until you reach the baggage claim at the airport and hear a sickening thud as your top-of-the-range, plush, costs-as-much-as-the-whole-flipping-holiday buggy hits the metal side. Not to mention tearing your hair out as you witness the baggage handlers throwing each bag onto the plane as if they were playing a game of basketball. Not only are travel buggies lightweight and therefore easier to carry, you won’t spend your entire holiday worrying about whether it gets scratched or not – you already have one baby to worry about.
We recommend the ZetaVoom, which is cheap and lightweight, but very sturdy, with a padded seat for baby’s comfort and reclines fully flat which allows baby to sleep well. Many people end up using this as their main buggy even when they get back from holiday. Alternatives include BabyZen Yo-Yo which folds up into the airport hold.
Tip: Don’t forget, you can take the buggy right up to the plane doors for most airlines, but you will most likely have to wait for baggage control on the other side.
3. Sunshade/nightshade for Buggy
A happily sleeping baby makes for a happy holiday. Avoid the tantrums and the tiredness (and that’s just from the other half) by investing in the Snoozeshade. Not only does it provide up to 99.5% UV protection for baby during the day without overheating the baby (and beware – using a muslin as sun protection risks trapping heat and overheating the baby), more equally importantly it provides a safe, dark, breathable area for baby to sleep in – this means that you can spend time with the other half snapping instagrammable pics of your romantic lunch/dinner whilst baby comfortable sleeps in the buggy. Buy it for holiday, use it for life – even when you are back home, you will continue to use this as a way to get out for dinner.
Tip: 99.9% of people who use the Snoozeshade would recommend it to other parents.
4. Entertainment for the evening
Sorry, the entertainment of the kind you’re thinking of is out of the window. Once baby is asleep in their cot for the night, lights are off and you and the other half are basically sitting in the dark in your room whispering, telling each other off for the slightest noise and trying your hardest not to move any limb in case it awakens baby. Take a laptop, a headphone splitter and two pairs of headphones and make sure you download both of your favourite programmes before leaving (or just download your favourite ones – this is your chance to force the other half to watch that romcom/horror (delete as applicable) film you’ve been dying to watch). This will allow you to make the most of your evenings.
Tip: If you are one of those couples that enjoys talking, ask the hotel if you can have a room with a balcony.
A holiday is for relaxing. But how can you relax with baby screaming, the other-half asking where you packed the nappies (it’s at the top of the suitcase, how can (s)he not see them!), the sun being too hot, the airline queues, people staring at you in the plane….just take a breath. You are on holiday. A healthy dose of patience is needed. It will be challenging. But it will also be relaxing, refreshing and you will create some amazing memories together. Just breathe. Just relax. Just enjoy.
Tip: Pack together so both of you know where everything is. Set designated times for you to relax and for other half to relax.