ecostore New Zealand Blog

Plan your holiday with little ones
Posted On November 22nd, 2016

babyholiday

With summer upon us, we’re likely to be planning for the festive season and more outdoor activities. Warmer weather, ‘staycations’ and trips away are all part of this season and with them come lots of things to think about if you have a baby or toddler to take care of. That’s why I’ve compiled some advice I hope will make your holiday a safe and fun time with little ones.

In the sun

It is the time to remember that car seats and buggies do not have great air ventilation and are often hot spot. The result is babies can overheat while out and about.

Sun protection is important for all ages, however it is recommended not to apply sunscreen to babies under six months. Some of the reasons why is that babies can lick the product off their skin, and some of the chemicals that are in products can contribute to skin issues.

It is recommended that babies under six months are not in direct sunlight, but please remember they can burn in the shade from reflective heat. In my experience if I need to use sun protection on babies I will dress them as much as possible in the UVA clothing and wear hats with the flap that covers the back of their neck. I will also apply protection to the parts of their body that are exposed, but firstly will skin test on a patch of their skin to ensure there is no reaction.

If you are carrying a baby please put a hat on them – so many times I have seen parents with sunglasses and hats on and the babies’ heads are bare.

Out and about

I tend to recommend having morning or late afternoon walks, and to keep babies inside for the hotter part of the day.  This also depends on what country you are in.

For walks in buggies I tend to use the UVH covers. Unlike a blanket or muslin, the UVH covers protect the babies/toddlers from the harmful sun rays but it also acts as a blackout cover for when it is time for the baby or toddler to nap and allows better air ventilation.

Remember buggies are very hot so don’t overdress babies when taking them out.

Cars in summer heat up very quickly and when shut up for a period of time they are a lot hotter inside than outside. When leaving the car for a period of time I suggest covering the car seat with a blanket or car seat cover so that on your return the buckles are not hot.

When rear facing car seats it takes a while for the cool air from the cars air conditioning to reach. I tend to switch the air conditioning to high and as cool as possible so by the time you are cold in the front the baby is probably just feeling the cool air. I always envisage the cool air hitting the back of the car and then coming forward to where your baby is. Even rear air conditioning vents aren’t aimed at babies when they’re in rear facing seats.

Today many car seats come with sun hoods or shades to protect babies as well – if yours doesn’t or you have a toddler in the car you can purchase shades to go on the side windows.

At home

In summer it is very difficult to keep a baby’s room to the recommended temperature and we spend most of our time trying to work out how to do this.

Here are some of the tips I recommend:

  1. In the morning close blinds or curtains, in particular in the rooms where the sun is heating up the house.
  1. Open windows and doors to give good cross ventilation
  1. Turn off any electrically powered equipment during the day if it’s not needed.
  1. Electric fans help cool the air, and you can place frozen containers of water in front to help cool the air as the fan circulates.
  1. If you don’t have a fan then place frozen bottles of ice or a bowl of ice in the room – as it melts it helps cool the air in the room down.

6. Ensure fans are safe from little fingers. If you’re using a blade fan, make sure they’re on a stand or on a piece of furniture so that little fingers won’t be caught in them.

7. A large percentage of heat comes through the windows, and to help reflect the heat I suggest using aluminum foil. To put foil on your windows firstly dampen the windows and then stick it on.

Camping, travelling and holiday homes

Using tank water for babies or toddlers isn’t recommended, so if on holiday remember to boil your water to their tummies safe. Here’s a good article to read to check how to keep your water safe.

Sleeping arrangements

My favourite travel cot is the NUNA SENA travel cot, as in my experience it is the easier to put up and fold away.

To go with the travel cot I recommend the travel cot black out tent so there is no need to worry about how to keep the door dark to ensure good sleeping habits.

For toddlers to sleep in the daytime I tend to make their naps straight after lunch – rather like the European way of life with a siesta after lunch.

Babies and toddlers sleep better in the daytime if their room is dark.  My suggestion is to stand in your child’s bedroom and flutter your eyelids (don’t close them tightly) and see if you can see any light – if so, the room isn’t dark enough.

What to pack

For a long haul flight, work out the time it will take from door to door, then double supplies. How many outfits you pack depends on how often you change your baby, but the goal would be to change their clothes only if necessary and avoid being too fussy, as this will make them irritable.

Take two bags for long haul travel – one wheel on (this will carry all the excess and you can reload the nappy bag at the destinations you stop at).

Here’s my recommended packing list:

Nappy bag

Everything should be zip locked to make it easier to get through security and check-in, and it saves anything leaking into your bag.

  • Nappy sacks – fold and put into zip lock bag
  • Baby wipes (1 packet)
  • Nappy balm – in case their bottom flares up while flying
  • 10 nappies (if using disposables)
  • Change mat
  • Pamol
  • Nurofen
  • Dummies/pacifiers – zip lock. I would take about six, as they may drop on the floor or get dirty another way.  I just put the dirty ones loose into the bag as I go.
  • 3 burp cloths (they will bulk up the bag) -and one that you will be carrying with you.
  • 6 bibs (if you use them)
  • Clothes

In each zip lock bag, pack the following – I would tend to have 3 sets in the nappy bag

  • 1 cotton undershirt
  • 1 outfit
  • 1 cardigan
  • 1 hat

Additional

  • 2 large muslins
  • 1 pram blanket

Wheel-on bag

Everything in the wheel-on will be a replacement for the nappy bag contents, and it is a good idea to always have a spare of products that you are going to use a lot of.

  • Nappy sacks
  • 1 packet of nappies if using disposables (maximum you will use for the whole trip will be 48 nappies – working out to 16 nappies per 24 hours)
  • Change mat

In each zip lock bag pack the following – I would tend to have up to 6 sets

  • 1 cotton undershirt
  • 1 outfit
  • 1 cardigan
  • 1 hat
  • 4 large muslins (120 x 120)
  • 2 small blankets
  • 6 burp cloths (you will not be able to carry enough for the trip so just use sparingly)
  • 6 dummies/pacifiers (in zip lock bag)
  • If you are using bibs then take 6 extra

On the aircraft, I either use one of the blankets I’ve packed, or airplane blankets to make a roof over the bed area where baby is sleeping.

When you’re going through the airport, use a stroller. It’s so much easier and also you have somewhere to hang the lighter bags. But remember if you do this, don’t let go of the handle of the buggy as it will tip over. I also tend to take a baby carrier so I have two choices while at airports.

Hand luggage

I would advise keeping this to a minimum so you can keep your hands free. I tend not to use handbags etc. when travelling with a baby as it is just another piece of luggage that gets in the way. I would suggest sharing one hand luggage bag if you’re travelling with someone else, and having two for your baby.

With using zip lock bags, you just take the clean clothes out and put the dirty ones into the bag to keep everything contained.

Packing for a summer holiday

Night time/bedtime

  • 2 sleeping bags
  • 2 fitted sheets
  • 1 blanket
  • 2 large muslins
  • 4 burp cloths
  • 1 cuddly toy for sleeping
  • 3 outfits
  • 6 long sleeve undershirts

Stroller

  • 1 sun cover
  • 1 rain cover

Changing supplies

  • 2 large packets of nappies (if using disposables)
  • 1 packet of nappy sacks
  • Change mat
  • 1 large packet baby wipes
  • 1 packet cotton wool

Swimming

  • 2 packets swimming nappies
  • 2 swim suits
  • 2 swim tops
  • 1 swimming suit
  • 5 sun hats
  • 1 pair sunglasses
  • sunscreen

Feeding

  • 2 tins formula
  • 2 bottles (large)
  • 1 cup
  • 1 bottle brush
  • 1 small bottle washing up liquid
  • 1 bowl and spoon
  • fruit squeezer
  • 1 blender
  • 9 veggies
  • 2 fruit
  • 1 packet rusks
  • 1 baby rice
  • 1 baby muesli
  • Sunscreen
  • Bath for body and shampoo
  • Cotton buds
  • Tissues travel packs
  • Nappy balm
  • 3 x facecloths
  • Panadol
  • Nurofen
  • 6 bibs

Inflight bag – door to door 5 hours

  • 10 nappies (if using disposables)
  • 2 small packets wipes
  • cotton wool squares
  • tissues
  • nappy sacks
  • creams bottom x 3 types
  • Pamol
  • 3 bibs
  • 2 burp cloths
  • 1 face cloth
  • 3 spoons
  • muesli with apple
  • baby rice
  • 2 packets veggies
  • rusks
  • 2 fresh veggies
  • 1 finger food capsicum slices
  • 1 bottle
  • 1 cup
  • toys
  • baby carrier
  • ziplock bag
  • 3 sets of clothes
  • 1 cardigan
  • 1 warm hat
  • 1 light blanket
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