Weddings are great. Holidays are great. So a wedding abroad where you can tie in a holiday too should be double great, right? However, if you’re jetting off with a new baby in tow to celebrate a loved one’s nuptials in a sunny climate, you may be thinking otherwise. But fear not – my good friend Gemma has been there, done that and got the ‘I survived taking my baby to a wedding abroad’ t-shirt. And she’s very kindly compiled a list of 14 packing essentials to help ensure your journey and wedding abroad with your baby goes smoothly.
Going to a wedding abroad with a baby
Having never ventured more than 200 miles from home with our 11-week-old baby, a destination wedding in Corfu seemed like a daunting prospect – especially with temperatures set to reach 34-38 degrees. However, a wedding abroad with a newborn can be a fun and relatively stress-free experience with just a little extra planning. Here’s my list of packing essentials to help you have a seamless trip.
1: Getting comfortable on board – pack a small pillow
Airlines are generally pretty good at accommodating babies. Under 2s can sit on your lap for a reduced fare. Take a small pillow to pop under your arm and a blanket for baby in case it gets cold. It can be a long flight if you aren’t comfortable! Otherwise, you can pay for a child’s seat for your baby, but they will need to sit in a car seat.
Travel tip – The change in air pressure can be painful for little ones’ ears. Feeding during take-off and landing can give them some relief – and hopefully a tear-free flight.
2: Travel light – take your pram cot
With both fare options, you get a pretty generous luggage allowance. Check the airline’s policy, but you can usually take a hold bag, hand luggage, a pram/pushchair and a car seat. Just remember that you’ll need to be able to carry everything with you once you arrive, and think about whether it needs to fit into a hire car! Our pram doubled up as a bed, so we didn’t need to pack an extra travel cot. Airlines will let you take your pram/pushchair right up to the gate, so take a case to pack it into once you board the plane. If you want to check it in earlier, a baby carrier might be a good idea for wandering around the airport.
3: Keeping cool – pram fan, 4: Sun canopy and 5. Clip-on shade
Your baby may not be used to such warm temperatures, so it’s important to keep them cool. Most prams will have the option to fit a summer hood or sun canopy with extra vents and UV protection. We also invested in a little pram fan. It clipped onto the edge of the pram to circulate some air even when the hood was pulled all the way down. We could relax knowing she wasn’t overheating while napping during the day and at the wedding. Make sure it has soft blades and is safe for use with babies. We also found a clip-on shade handy for when we needed some extra coverage or to protect her from the sun in the hire car.
6: Mosquito patches and 7: Mosquito net
Mosquito repellent is safe for you even if breastfeeding – but always follow the instructions and avoid putting it anywhere in contact with your little one’s skin. We didn’t find much that was suitable for under 2s. If there are going to be lots of mosquitos where you’re headed, one option might be to buy repellent patches that you can stick onto clothing. Again, not many of these are suitable for babies so we stuck a couple of these on the outside of the pram. A mosquito net is also a must – our summer hood for the Bugaboo pram had one built in, which was great.
8: Dress code – take options
There are lots of gorgeous wedding outfits for babies – but dress codes don’t apply for tiny guests. If it’s going to be a hot day, then dress them for comfort. We ended up putting her in just a vest at the wedding – if anything, the adult guests were jealous of her light attire!
9: Sleeping bag
You should also remember to pack some long-sleeved sleepsuits for night-time. If you’re lucky and the air-conditioning is effective, your baby will need some extra layers to keep warm. We took at 0.5 tog sleeping bag too.
10: Ear defenders
Your little one might be used to loud noises and sleep happily with the music blaring. But having been to two weddings now with a newborn, there are quite a few events that can startle or frighten them – from applause and cheering at the speeches to fireworks and a live band. You’ll want your little one to sleep once the party gets going. We took some Ems for Bubs mini ear defenders that are suitable for young babies’ soft heads.
11: Self sterilising bottles / travel sterilising bags
Even if you are breastfeeding, you may want to give your baby a bottle, or some water, while away. We packed some travel sterilising bags and took a couple of MAMA bottles as they are self-sterilising in the microwave.
12: Thermometer for the pool
Whether staying in a villa or a hotel, you might be excited to take your little one for their first swim. However, it’s unlikely the pool will be heated so it’s important to check the water temperature. It is recommended that the water should be at least 32 degrees for babies under 3 months old as they can lose body heat quickly. The bath thermometer helped us to make sure it wasn’t too cold.
13: Sun tent
It’s nice to have somewhere for your baby to stretch out other than their pram while on holiday. We found a pack flat sun tent from BabyMoov that we could take with us to the pool, beach or just on the floor in the villa. It has UV protection and a handy mosquito net to keep your little one covered. We’ve also used it a lot in the garden at home.
14: Disposable changing mats
Baby changing facilities can be variable when out and about, so we found disposable changing mats a godsend. They are also great for letting your little one have a little nappy-free time in the heat without the risk of any accidents.
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