In April the four of us survived our first family holiday. I was working in Majorca so we decided to turn it into an excuse for our first proper trip away as our larger gang. I LOVE a good list, especially when it's an old-school list that I can strike things off with a pen as I go. After trawling through forums and articles online in the weeks before I came up with a list that I felt really covered everything; and, you know what, I think I did pretty well (if I do say so myself..)
Sylvie was three and a half months when we travelled, and she's exclusively bottle fed which meant extra planning had to go into formula, equipment, sterilisation and working out in advance exactly how we'd have the 'baby station' set up in our hotel room while we were away. We also had to consider what travel system we wanted to take, and how she'd sleep while away from home. Her being in a little routine for the first few months did help so we went away feeling like it was possible to get there in one piece and be able to set up a similar environment for her over there too.
Firstly, be prepared that getting you plus 'the stuff' over there is a full body work out in itself, and there was *a lot* to take (I genuinely thought we'd be able to get over there lighter than this, but we used 95% of what we took, the only things we didn't use were a few outfits).
We decided to take the pram top instead of just the buggy top as Sylvie is still little enough that it's recommended that she lies completely flat when she sleeps during the day and we felt more comfortable with her in the pram for this. It also provided her with more shade and we just angled her throughout the day so that she was never in direct sunlight.
We also packed the Sleepyhead baby bed, which we put inside a travel cot while we were there. It also comes in its own travel bag which is handy. I think we could have gotten away without it (she doesn't sleep with it any more) but we wanted her bed to feel the same for her so hopefully she'd carry on sleeping - which she did. I also packed extra elasticated covers for it so they were easier to change and keep it clean and she often dribbles where her head goes.
One of the best purchases I made ahead of holiday was for the self-sterilising MAM bottles. We took our Tommee Tippee bottles and Milton tablets too but these MAM bottles were amazing and Sylvie took to them really well. We sterilised them at mealtimes in a microwave in the restaurant and it was so, so easy.
Another amazing tip I found in a forum is to pre-order baby formula and have it delivered to Boots at the airport, through security in the lounge. This was a total game changer and meant we didn't need to worry about space and weight in our cases with 10 days worth of milk. We also took 8 bottles of the ready made 200ml bottles in the baby bag which they just scanned through without any problems.
So, here's the boring bit. The actual list. Obviously some of it is personal to Sylvie but it was generally quite comprehensive for a bottle fed baby too; we used everything here over the ten days, so, for us, everything on this list was worth it!
- Sleepyhead in its travel bag, with spare cot covers
- Comforter and a small toy (spot piggy above!)
- Baby 'GroBag' sleeping bag
- 7 x sleepsuits
- 5 x vests
- 6 x outfits
- Cardigan x 2
- Hooded sleepsuit for travel
- Summer hat x 2
- Nappies (we packed enough for the entire trip)
- Wipes and nappy sacks
- Bottle brush (we bought washing up liquid there)
- Milton sterilising tablets (we borrowed a basin from reception)
- Swim ring
- Milk powder (we packed one in case there were problems collecting formula from the airport)
- Buggy with buggy top and pram top
- Lightweight blanket
- Muslin cloths x 10
- Travel wash
- EHIC card for the baby
- Sun cream
- MAM self-sterilising bottles
- Socks x 4
- Swimming wetsuit and swim nappies
- Hooded towel
- Baby sling/carrier (this was a life-saver. When the buggy goes in the hold under the plane and you're out at the other end carrying your own bag and the baby bag, carrying the baby *on* you frees you up and makes everything so much easier. Also when we were getting through the airport on the way home, we loaded up the pram with smaller bags so they were easier to push and I carried the baby)
- Formula (collected at airport)
- In the baby changing bag we packed - 5 x Tommee Tippee bottles, 6 dummies with caps, 4 x muslin cloths, wipes, nappies, 3 x sleepsuits, 2 x vests, Baby Calpol, disposible changing mats and 8 x 200ml ready made formula bottles.