This is our advice on taking the essentials rather than overloading with unnecessary items.
It’s all a question of balance: you are certainly not going to want to spend your time doing the laundry (especially if the place you are spending your holidays doesn’t have a washing machine), but neither do you want to take too much luggage! You can estimate a maximum of one outfit per day and one pair of pyjamas for every two days plus one or two warmer outfits as the weather can be unpredictable. Go for soft cotton clothing that does not need ironing.
It is difficult to do without a carrycot or travelling cot... If you are going by car, this will probably not be a problem, but if you have decided to go by train or plane it gets a bit more complicated! So in this case, organize in advance and hire or borrow what you need at your destination: most hotels can provide cots and there are many baby equipment hiring services.
Other essentials for a good night’s sleep include a fairly light sleep sack depending on where you are going, a cuddly toy if your baby has one and some dummy teats if he uses them.
If your baby is exclusively breast fed, it is very simple: you don’t need to take anything! You can do without your nursing cushion while you are away and make do with a pillow or bolster, which you are bound to find when you get to your destination.
On the other hand, if your baby is bottle fed, you will need to take two or three bottles, a bottle-brush to clean them and the powdered milk he is used to. Slip a few (easily washable) plastic bibs into the suitcase as well, or a few cloths, which are very handy for mopping up any little spills.
Finally, if your baby has begun to include solids, the best thing is to plan to buy some baby food when you arrive. If you want to purée food for him, simply take a small food processor that cooks and mixes food, which you probably have at home.
To avoid taking too many toiletries, take compact products or ones that cover several functions: all-in-one bath gel and shampoo for your baby, wipes for changing or cleaning, sachets of saline solution, nappy cream to prevent and treat any redness, samples of face and body moisturizer, etc. Mustela’s essential mini kits also come in very handy: “My first travel kit,” which includes everything you need for travelling with your baby, or “My first weekend in the sun,” which carries essential products for a summer break.
Also, you don’t need to carry all the nappies you will need for the entire trip: take a few for the journey then buy a packet when you get there. You should take a medical kit for your baby containing his usual medicines, if he needs any, as well as sachets of saline solution, liquid paracetamol, dressings, an antiseptic and insect repellant for infants.
Finally, summer holidays mean sun... and it is essential to protect your baby’s sensitive skin, which is particularly vulnerable! You must take: a sun cream with the highest protection factor (SPF 50+) specifically designed for babies, as well as sun glasses and one or two sunhats.
Buggies are particularly useful on holiday when taking your baby for walks, of course, but you can also use it as a substitute deckchair when he’s awake and at mealtimes if he is on solids. But it is undeniably cumbersome. If you want to do without it, you can always use a baby carrier or sling, which are a lot smaller and lighter. Meals can be given simply sitting on your lap.
Bags packed? All aboard and have a good holiday!