Travelling with a baby can be hugely overwhelming. What if they have a meltdown mid-flight? How will nap times work with the time difference? How do you keep your baby cool in the holiday heat? Tiffany Norris, aka The Mummy Concierge, has helped the Royal Family, the social set and the A-list with their newborns, and knows every trick in the book when it comes to travelling with a little one. Here she shares all…
Sterilise your bottles the easy way
If you’re bottle-feeding or expressing, pack some Milton tablets in your suitcase. These cheap portable tablets can literally be added to a hotel sink along with your bottles (you need to wash the bottles first with clean water and fairy liquid) and they are sterilised and ready to use in under 10 minutes.
Pack a spare change of clothes for the flight for the baby AND you
A poo explosion doesn’t need to end up on your white jeans. To make life even easier on the plane, pack each outfit in a drawstring bag so that they are easy to find. “I once worked with an A list celebrity who was determined to look stylish when she stepped off the plane in case she was papped,” explains Tiffany. “When I was sorting out her inflight bag I made sure I added a spare outfit – thank goodness I did as she called me when she landed to say her baby had had a poo explosion on the plane – all over her linen dress!”
Think about if you want to use a baby carrier in the airport or if you’d rather use a pram.
A baby carrier means you still have two hands-free for a bit of duty-free shopping, but the downside is that airports can get hot (and with a baby strapped to your chest you might too!) If you opt for a pram, there are lots of brands that are specifically tailored to travelling with a baby. Some of them even fold up neatly enough that they can be taken as hand luggage on the plane!
Dummies can be great for popping into your handbag and using during a flight.
Not only can they help calm an anxious baby but the sucking motion can help stop the pressure which babies can get in their ears on take-off and landing. Try and get your little one to suck on a dummy during take-off and landing, or alternately give them a feed. The swallowing motion will stop pressuring building up in their ears and hurting them.
When you book a flight, check with the airline about whether they have seats in the front row and request a bassinet.
You will want to try and do this as much as you can in advance of the flight as these seats are very popular. “When I work with families who travel a lot, as soon as they book their flight I will contact the airline to make sure they get a seat with a bassinet, “ explains Tiffany. “It makes all the difference, especially if you’re travelling with a newborn. The baby gets to have a comfortable sleep and the parents can relax for a few hours without having to hold a little one in their arms.”
Check to see if the country you are travelling to has any baby rental companies.
These companies will deliver all the baby equipment to your hotel or villa, so you don’t have to put it all in your suitcase. “I worked with a client once who flew me out to her holiday home in Ibiza three days before she arrived, so that I could ‘baby proof the house, “ explains Tiffany. “I set up stairgates, made sure the alarm on the pool worked, sorted out the newborn’s holiday wardrobe and made sure they had enough nappies/baby food to last them the month.” Some hotel also cater incredibly well for little ones, so it’s always worth calling them in advance to see if they can supply travel cots, sterilisers or car seats
Bring double the baby necessities in your plane bag.
Double bottles, muslins, etc… you can never pack too much when it comes to flying with a baby. “For the flight, I always advise my mummy clients to dress baby in layers as temperatures on place can be changeable, “ says Tiffany. “The last thing you want is a baby screaming their lungs out on the plane because they are too hot/cold.”
Try and schedule flights during nap times.
If you are really nervous about being on a place with a baby, book a flight with a flight time that coincides with your baby’s nap time. A sleeping baby is a happy one, and it means you can relax too.
Opt for the VIP services if you can
Get fast boarding, pay for an upgrade or hire a mummy concierge to help you get everything organised, so you don’t have to panic! “You’ll be surprised how many mummies come to me when they are due to travel for the first time abroad with a little one,” laughs Tiffany. “Thankfully I’m a bit of an expert in this so I can advise on the best holiday destinations, which villa companies come equipped with baby kit, things to think about to make your holiday as stress-free as possible, and also advise on baby kit that will change your life when you’re travelling.”
You can find out more about Tiffany’s services as a Mummy Concierge at themummyconcierge.com. Her book ‘Secrets of the Mummy Concierge’ is being published on the 24 June 2021 by Bonnier books.