In conversation with Millie Poppins

Travelling with baby

Educational Series

Millie Poppins is a leading Baby Expert & Motherhood Mentor based in the UK and working internationally. Millie encourages and supports women and parents, when they welcome a new baby, to lean into what feels right for them and to care for their baby intuitively (without any 'shoulds'). Blending her 12 years experience with babies and families across many countries and cultures, Millie is confident in all aspects of caring for a baby in their first year of life. 

The thought of travelling with your baby over the summer months may feel exciting but can also be quite daunting! What if there are delays? What if they cry on the plane? What if the hotel room is not baby proof? What if they get sick? 

I have spent the last ten years travelling with families and their babies all over the world - from hotels to airbnbs and long layovers at airports all over. And I am here to share my top tips and must-haves before you venture on your own family holiday this Summer.


Pick the right stroller

My first must have is a lightweight travel stroller. You can take this with you through security at the airport and push it right up to the gate where they often stow it for you and have it ready for when you disembark. Travel strollers usually fit in the overhead compartment too. Look for one that has a reclining seat (for easier naps on the go), a large canopy for sun protection and sturdy wheels which are ready to tackle the cobblestone streets of Europe. I absolutely love the Bugaboo Butterfly. 

Think about the time of the flight

If you can, I would plan to travel when your baby is usually asleep. This could mean booking a flight for the mid afternoon or an evening flight. Professionally I have always found this easiest when traveling with a baby and I would recreate their bedtime routine on board. This might mean bringing a story book, their comfort toy and sleeping bag. If you have a younger baby I highly recommend bringing your baby carrier to wear on board. You won’t be able to use it during take off as the crew will give you a seatbelt for your baby but once the seat belt goes off you can tuck them in there and have your hands free.

If your baby cries on the plane. Try to stay calm and accept that it’s just a moment in time for memories on the other side.

At this point I just want to say that it is okay if your baby cries on the plane. Sometimes it is unavoidable when they are tired and overwhelmed. Try to stay calm and accept that it’s just a moment in time for memories on the other side. The staff and other passengers are probably more understanding than you think.

Liaise with the hotel

Hotel rooms often provide the basics of baby equipment but I would email them well in advance to secure what you need. I always ask for a cot, steriliser, kettle and play mat. At the time of booking I ask about the room and if it has black out curtains or shades. This can be game changing when travelling to different time zones and will help everyone adjust. If the room is set to be quite light when you need it to be dark then I would take a Snoozshade deluxe travel cot cover (you can use the code MILLIE10 on their official website). 

Be prepared

If your baby is in the early stages of weaning or is eating consistent meals each day then please take an antihistamine, such as childrens Piriton, with you. I would be cautious about giving your baby any food that they haven’t had previously whilst abroad. It is so tempting when faced with a huge buffet of lovely fruits, spreads and snacks but if your child were to have an allergic reaction abroad it could be very dangerous. This is also the case for different types of grass, pollen and insect bites. Best to be prepared and I also head to the pharmacy at the airport, once through security, and buy a Calpol, an Ibuprofen and a Piriton. Mosquito patches and bands can be purchased on Amazon but these should not be placed directly against your baby’s skin. You can attach them to the carrier, stroller or change bag. The stickers can be stuck to your baby’s nappy under their clothes or on the back of their shirt. 

Before you start your holiday it is a good idea to research where the closest children's doctor or hospital is. Take your thermometer from home as a raised temp can be the first sign of illness.

If you plan to swim with your young baby in a public pool abroad I would recommend not submerging their head and being cautious about splashing their face. Most hotel pools are perfectly safe but often in the large establishments the chlorine chemical concentration is much higher to accommodate the huge number of guests. 

Most importantly enjoy your holiday 

And lastly, and this one seems obvious, but enjoy your holiday. Forget about the routine or schedule, take your baby for a late dinner instead of sitting in the room. Sit by the pool for their morning nap even if this means it is shorter than usual. I promise you can get back on track once you're back home and it is much more important to lean into the holiday vibe and experience than be stressing about baby sleep. 

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