Travelling to places such as Marutitius, Tobago or Morocco may seem laughable to many new parents but, believe it or not, holidaying to somewhere ‘grown-up’ before a baby is six months old is the best time to travel.  Indeed, going on holiday with a newborn, or before baby can crawl, is probably the best chance of a relaxing break any new parent will get until the child is at least 5 years old. Think about it; babies can’t move, are easily portable, and spend their days sleeping and drinking. So, with the help of Bilia Baby UK, the home of handmade and eco-friendly colourful moses baskets, here’s 7 IDEAL tips for a stress-free holiday with a baby.

ALWAYS BOOK APARTMENTS RATHER THAN HOTEL ROOMS

Whilst hotel rooms can be great when it’s just the two of you, when you’re travelling for a week or more with a baby, you’ll come to realise that the extra space an apartment has is an absolute godsend. You’ll be able to spread yourselves out a little more, with special spots that are dedicated to baby changing, feeding stations etc. You’ll feel more like you’re in a home-away-from-home than just a room with a loo and tiny sink for prepping everything, and more often than not, you’ll have your own laundry facilities, a separate area to relax in the evening without disturbing a sleeping baby, a kitchen area for washing bottles, and more.

BE MINDFUL WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR FLIGHT

Depending on what your baby is used to, their moods throughout the day, and your regular routine, you’ll need to book your flight according to when your baby is generally the happiest and most content. Whilst it may be cheaper to fly at night, it’s worth paying the extra to fly at the most appropriate time of the day for your baby. Whilst you’re booking, request a baby bassinet. You won’t always be able to get one, but when you do, it can be a real lifesaver, and beats having to spend the whole flight unable to move with baby on your lap

DO OVER PACK YOUR ON-BOARD BAG FOR BABY

Everyone knows that babies are messy – it’s natural. However, being caught off guard ten minutes into a flight will be a disaster if you don’t have everything to hand. Make sure that you have extra outfits, wipes, dummies, bottles, and nappies in your carry-on changing bag, with everything you’ll need. Another little tip is to dress the baby in layers that can be taken off if they get too hot, or layered on when it gets cold. Airplanes have a strange climate, so you’ll be ready for every eventuality if you pack more outfits than you think you might need. It’s worth packing a few extra tops for mum and dad, too. As for luggage, only pack your necessities that you know won’t be readily available at your destination, such as medication, teething gels, formula. Nappies are readily available in every country, so think twice about packing more than two days’ worth.

DON’T OVER PACK YOUR HOLIDAY ITINERARY

We’re not saying you can’t do the adventures you’ve had planned for months, but take into consideration that you probably won’t be able to fill your holiday with days full of expansive trips across islands with baby in tow. Consider keeping your days split in half – try planning a morning or afternoon activity, whenever you’re baby is usually on their best behaviour, and plan to relax and enjoy the time together chilling for the rest of the day. You’ll appreciate the time you’ve spent together going at a slower pace.

EAT EARLIER

Most people eat later than they would normally eat at home whilst on holiday because they’re out and about, enjoying a full day of sunshine – however, with a baby, it’s difficult, but don’t think you can’t dining out at all! You can still enjoy a fancy meal together, just make sure you head to the restaurant as early as possible. You’ll find that the restaurants are much quieter, you’re likely to be served faster, you won’t find yourself sat next to the young, newly-formed lovebirds trying to enjoy a romantic meal away from children, and your baby won’t be as tired as if you ate later

TAKE A WHITE NOISE TOY

If you’re baby relies on something day-in, day-out to feel comfortable and content – take it with you. It may be news to you, but so many babies rely on white noise machines or toys to get a good sleep. They really can be a lifesaver when staying somewhere new, with different sounds, sights, smells and temperatures that all send your baby into alert mode. White noise, especially if they are already used to sleeping using it, can block out the sounds you’re making in closer proximity than you’re used to at home, and the noises of other guests on their holiday too. Some of our #BiliaTribe mothers favourites are the ‘Ewan the Dream Sheep’ and myHummy’s ‘Sleepy Head’ and ‘Snoozy’ – myHummy’s are great for travelling, as they have handy little straps and loops that can be attached to something next to your baby, and aren’t too big – Don’t forget to take extra batteries, or stock up on your first day, just in case!

CHALLENGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS

The most important tip we could give to travelling new parents would be to understand your new routine, and be ready to make some changes to your expectations of what you’re used to in a holiday. There will still be night feeds, naps, and early morning starts, but it will still be a magnificent experience. Plan way in advance, and give yourself plenty of time at the airport so that you don’t feel rushed, overwhelmed, or stressed. Once you’ve reached your destination, notice how baby changes your perspective, and how much joy you’re getting from watching them enjoy their first holiday with you. You’re life, and the way you holiday may have changed, but what’s most important is the time you’re spending together.

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.