First holidays with baby: our advice
Where to go and with whom?
With a newborn baby, it’s often advisable not to go too far away. In fact, the whole point of your vacation will be to try and… rest! Or at least, not to come back from your vacation even more tired. Your watchword will therefore be “tranquillity”. We’d advise you to forget the long-haul flight to Thailand, the desert trek, the buddy tour or the roadtrip to South America – you won’t necessarily enjoy them. As a general rule, avoid major time differences, destinations with too much altitude, or countries with extreme climates (too hot or too cold). Renting a vacation home with a group of 20 friends isn’t this year’s idea of the century either. You run the risk of asking your friends to be quiet when your baby naps, and of being out of step.
Charlie’s advice: opt for a vacation home with your family who can manage the housekeeping for you, a hotel with a kids’ club if you have older children, or a fully-equipped rental.
What are the essentials to take on vacation with a baby?
A baby arrives with a whole range of equipment: cot, bassinet, playmat, diaper, toys… How do you carry all this equipment on vacation? First of all, we recommend that you make a list of the real essentials, then rent everything on site. Ask your rental company or hotel about it: they’re sure to have a cot and high chair for older children. Secondly, there are websites that make life easier for young parents by renting strollers, car seats and other essentials close to your holiday destination.
Finally, for all your travels, don’t forget to pack in your changing bag:
- A change of clothes
- A small toy
- A diaper that can be used for everything (bib, changing mat, comforter…)
- A pacifier
- Bottle with water and powdered milk pods
- Absorbent cotton with liniment
- A comforter
- A baby carrier
Charlie’s advice: learn to travel lighter. We often carry ten times too much equipment. And as for a bed, a bassinet is perfect for children under 6 months.
Car, plane… How do you go on vacation?
Each means of transport has its advantages and disadvantages.
The car lets you go wherever you want, with no baggage restrictions. Make sure you have the right equipment (car seat, carrycot, etc.) for everyone’s safety.
As for air travel, most airlines offer travel to children under 2 years of age when they travel on their parent’s lap. For toddlers, remember to let them suckle (pacifier, breast, bottle…) during take-off and landing, to relieve the pressure in their ears. Check with your airline to find out what you’re allowed to take into the cabin with you (“stroller or not stroller, that is the question”). We recommend that you opt for short flights, and take a baby carrier with you to walk your baby down the aisle!
What’s the best vacation program for an infant?
With a newborn, the program is simple: idleness. You’re still getting to know yourself and understanding your baby’s rhythm. Some young mothers are still recovering from childbirth. Plan simple activities that won’t be a source of stress or intense preparation for you: nature walks, naps, swimming if you can, picnics and games adapted to your baby’s age. Pamper yourself, book a massage, listen to a podcast on your deckchair… Take lots of photos of your first vacation with baby with our step-by-step cards. Because even if he won’t remember them, these timeless moments are essential to building your family.
One last piece of advice for the road: stay flexible and don’t try to do everything. Have a great vacation!