We are NOT going to be that couple who says we can’t go anywhere because of our baby! Hubby and I are both avid travellers, so that was our first thought when we found out I was pregnant! And although it’s a challenge and sometimes seems undoable Minki has been to the Kgalagadi, Ballito, Sodwana, Pretoria and had countless Kruger Park visits, before she was 6 months old.
The best part: We actually love travelling with our little buddy…
But DO NOT be fooled by those cute little eyes and chubby legs. Travelling with a baby is difficult but surprisingly doable! These are my tips from personal experience.
15 TIPS FOR TRAVELLING WITH A BABY
1. About time
Everything takes longer with a baby! Always make sure you give yourself enough time. Enough time to pack, enough time to get in the car, enough time to stop for bathroom breaks. You get the picture?
2. The perfect diaper bag
I’m a planner. And a worrier. That equals = 1 crazy big diaper bag. But the upside? I always have everything in reach. Wipes, diapers, disposable bags, bum crème, lots of dummies, burpees, powder, medicine, extra sweater and a beanie if it gets cold, hat and sunscreen and more onesies, booties, books, snacks and toys… the list goes on…
I love my diaper bag from Colette Hayman!
3. Backpack diaper bag
I told you I’m a planner! This is like a mini diaper bag with just the necessities: 2 diapers, wipes and bum crème. It means you can bend, run and crawl and you have both hands available. Did I mention you will be the hottest travelling Mama, because backpacks are so fashionable right now!
Check out this pink quilted one at Mr Price!
4. Breastfeed anywhere!
You can’t be shy when travelling! I’m a breastfeeding-mommy and don’t know a thing about bottles. But Minki was breastfed in the car countless times. Next to a leopard crossing the road in the Kruger, on a campingchair while lions were circling our camp in the Kgalagadi, in a beach restaurant while I was eating hake bites and even (just one time) in a really long cue…
My point is: Don’t worry where you are, just whip it out and you will have a pretty happy (and healthy) baby!
Ps: I’m not a fan of those big cover-ups! They just draw more attention to your, well boobs. Dress smartly – think button up tops and wrap-dresses for super easy and stylish access!
5. Explosive pooper
It’s great to breastfeed anywhere, but it leads to well a lot of poop. Luckily breastmilk poo doesn’t smell as bad! The problem? Clothing! The poo would literally come out her back! I know it’s gross! So what do you do?
After an explosion (like the one above), I decided to invest in some cheap white onesies. After changing the diaper, you can throw the onesie away. It’s just so much easier and it smells a lot better for the rest of the trip.
Plus you are not gonna have to wash dirty, wet laundry on your first day on holiday! Bonus!
6. Less toys
Don’t overload the already packed to the brim car with toys! Babies are strange little creatures… they are interested in everything that does not remotely look like baby toys.
Speaking from personal experience the (expensive) Fisher Price singing buddy and designer toys were just taking up space. She ended up playing with her car seat belt, the window buttons, tearing magazines and of course putting on my lipstick!
Keep it simple! A Book or two will do! And of course your funny faces!
7. Less shoes
This breaks my heart but it’s true! Babies are not even walking, so you can safe luggage space.
But just because I love fashion, please invest in a pair of soft moccasins that can fold up small. But otherwise barefoot is the way to go.
8. More clothes
Yes please! No, not for you Mama! No matter if our destination has been the beach or the bush I always end up wishing I brought more clothes.
Babies go through clothes fast! When you think you have packed enough, pack some more and just one more and just one more…
9. Just enough diapers
Unless you are actually going to the desert (where there’s no place to buy diapers), do not load an entire Fortuner full of diapers. Take enough, you can buy more when you get there!
10. Be prepared
To change diapers EVERYWHERE!
When travelling you are not always going to be able to find a (clean) changing room. You are gonna change diapers on the floor, in the boot, in the backseat and when you’ve got an explosive diaper and there’s a traffic jam on the bridge because of a herd of elephants you change that diaper on your lap!
Been there done that! Ruined my T-shirt!
11. Think about what you wear
I like to look good. Even when travelling. I learned the hard way that a cute white dress does not look cute when you get to Ballito after 8 hours.
Covered in spit-up, breastmilk, purity, even a little bit of poo, I was no Marilyn Monroe! You can’t go wrong with a printed jumpsuit! Why? The busier the print, the less obvious the marks! And a jumpsuit is super comfy and of course stylish!
12. Baby put that record on!
We still don’t know why but Minki just love The Lumineers hit single Skinny Love. So whenever she gets agitated and wants out of her car seat we would press play.
The moment the guitar started she would calm down, sit back and look out the window. Amazing I know! Thanks Lumineers!
Find your baby’s favourite song and make sure it’s always in the CD player.
13. Get a tub!
Our first weekend away as a family Minki ended up having a bath in the sink.
She wasn’t that happy about it but for us bath time is crucial to help calm her down. So it was either the sink or a sleepless night. What would you have done?
So we invested in the Stokke-Flexi bath available from Kids Emporium. It’s from silicone, foldable and we take it everywhere! Definitely worth the money (R790)!
14. Remember the baby monitor!
Basic but a lifesaver. It means that when baby is (finally) asleep you and hubby can sit on the porch, listen to the sounds of waves crashing or lions roaring, sipping on a glass of ice-cold chenin- blanc, without constantly checking on baby.
We love our Angelcare Baby Monitor
15. Change your mindset
This is a cliché but its oh-so-true! Instead of thinking of baby as a burden, think of it as going away with your best buddy!
Take everything in your stride, because that’s what Moms do! Adjust your thinking! When you are stressed, baby will pick up on it and everything will get worse!
Don’t get too worked up about the small stuff and treasure each moment with your little adventurer.
You know that one episode of This is Us, where Jack and Rebecca are sitting on the floor, exhausted after finally putting all 3 babies to bed. She asks him: “How are we gonna get through this? And he says: “Pretty soon they will be of the college.” And it’s true! (Well, according to my Mum)!
Enjoy travelling with your precious baby – although it doesn’t feel like it right now, they do grow up! And then you’ll reminiscence about those travelling days…
Helene & Minki