Baby travel essentials

Face it, travelling with a baby means you have to carry a whole bunch of extra crap.

When we travelled to Ireland in March we brought 20kg of baby ‘must haves’; Google, you can expect a bill from my physiotherapist. Learn from our overpreparation, this is a list of essentials you really shouldn’t travel long haul without.

A compact baby changing mat finding baby change facilities in Europe can be tricky.

Phil&Ted’s Traveller Portacot This travelcot is so compact (just like Italy’s tiny hotel rooms) and weighs only 2.8kg. For us this is perfect, four months on the road changing beds every few nights would be too much inconsistency for Eleanor. This cot has allowed us to keep some familiarity to our baby routine.

Ergobaby 360 This baby carrier is amazing. We can wear Eleanor in this bad boy all day without getting a stiff back. The carrier can be worn in for positions, front-facing, chest facing, on your back and on your hip.

Mountain Buggy Nano We wheeled this pram right up to the airport gate and took it onboard as hand luggage.

Minimonkey Chair Harness Cafés and restaurants in Italy are super small and highchairs are scarce. This nifty little product turns any chair into a baby safe chair.

Ziplock bags We use these for everything, storing food, spare clothes and bibs, really whatever fits. They are so handy at keeping your backpack organised.

Do yourself a favour don’t overpack. You won’t need as many baby clothes as you think, just buy washing powder and do a quick hand wash before bed every night. Leave the baby bag at home and use ziplock bags to store wipes, nappies, a changing mat and spare clothes in your everyday travel backpack.

We brought two suitcases and two backpacks. That’s it. The Ergobaby 360 Baby carrier and the Phil&Teds Traveller Portacot fit inside our suitcases. Travelling light has allowed us to use regular public transport and get around without too much stress.

What is your long haul must have?

 

 

 

Travelling around baby’s schedule

That horrendous 5am wake-up call your baby insists on giving you makes for a perfect start to your touring day. No, seriously, to get a local’s perspective in a busy city like Rome it’s best to explore at sunrise.

Start your day with the most popular tourist attractions. You will get the best travel photos before 7am, when very few tourists have hit the streets with their selfie sticks. Plus, the morning sun warms your photos with perfect lighting; after your early start good lighting is your friend.

Daniel and Eleanor infront of the Trevi Fountain, Rome Italy

Keep an eye out for busy cafes, local Romans’ know good coffee. This is not a lingering affair in Rome. Get in, drink your coffee at the bar and get out. Perfect for those of us with babies attached to our torsos.

Ruth and Eleanor, Spanish Steps Rome

When your baby starts getting grizzly stop by the supermarket to pick up breakfast and lunch. On the menu for us this morning is a ham and cheese panini. Head back to your hotel for baby’s morning nap and enjoy your store-bought brekkie (unless you have kid like ours where you’ll eat to the sound of a small banshee protesting nap time).

Lunchtime is a picnic in a local park to give baby some space to roll around on the ground and connect with nature. This is a calming meal for mum and dad too, who get a break from carrying/pushing your little tourist. One restaurant meal a day is enough for our little lady, who doesn’t enjoy being strapped in.

Afternoons in Rome are hot during the summer. To protect baby from the burning sun head to a museum or indoor attraction. It’s best to carry baby in a baby carrier as prams are restricted in some museums. Galleries and museums are nice, quiet hosts for baby’s afternoon nap.

If you subscribe to the ‘dinner, bath, bed’ routine like we do, you might want to continue this with a twist. Feed and bath baby in the hotel, dress her in pyjamas and pop her in the pram. Book dinner at a restaurant for around 8pm, arrive to your dinner location with half an hour to spare and walk around the area until baby is asleep then pretend she isn’t there and enjoy a grown-up meal. Bliss.

Postcards from Italy

“No regrets”. What a ridiculous statement. I regret plenty; those hideous skirt/pant combos in the late 90s, 40 percent of the sentences that fly out of my mouth, heck that burger I ate for lunch. All of us lucky enough to be born into the free world have one liberty that governs how we live – Free choice. Yet, if we’re honest most of us regret. We regret things we chose not to do and plenty we did.

I’m a mum. I never thought that would be a noun that I would use describe myself and yet here we are. I hate to be one of ‘those people’ but I fucking love my daughter. She has changed my outlook on relationships, life and how I view myself. I feel grateful to this small blob of flesh for waking me up from the bored, narcissistic stiff adulthood encouraged me to morph into.

My new perspective raised questions, ones that I had asked myself before but now had new meaning. Mainly, why do we live the way we live? You know; the standard routine, wake up, go to work, come home, watch TV, sleep and repeat.

My husband, Daniel and I love to travel and we’ve done plenty of it. This short stint at home with my little human (aka maternity leave) has me questioning why I’m so eager to race back to work and not take advantage of life. Don’t get me wrong, I do find fulfilment in my job but it’s not going to be the experience that I am most thankful as I lay on my death-bed.

So, when Daniel came home from a long day in the office proclaiming he was moving to Italy, I don’t think he was too shocked when I wholeheartedly took his statement as an invitation. And with an enormous, FUCK IT! We’re moving to Italy with our seven month old in toe.

This is one decision I know I won’t regret.