For as long as I can remember I have loved to travel.
I suffer from acute wanderlust, always dreaming of my next adventure.
There’s just nothing quite like taking that first step off the plane and gulping down the air of a new world. Whether it’s cold and dry, hot and steamy, or warm and thick with spices, the first taste of a trip is always the sweetest.
I was a little concerned that I’d find myself landlocked after having a baby. I didn’t know what life would be like, if we’d be able to travel or would find ourselves just too exhausted with nappy changes to even leave the house. But as with everything in life, the things you worry most about tend not to be a problem when it comes down to it.
Lily is now two months old and we thought it was high time for her first adventure. So while she snoozed, I schemed.
I found our spot and booked the trip. Which turned out to be the easy part, as the following weeks were spent obsessing over what we should pack! Trust me, there have been major military operations which have involved less planning.
Thankfully I had you lot to help and it turns out you’re pretty good at the whole advice thing!
So one sunny morning, we set off with everything but the kitchen sink. Ready for an adventure!
Here’s what we packed…
- Car seat. Most places you go you can hire these at your destination, but I’m not the world’s most trusting person so wanted to take our own.
- Much like helmets, if your car seat is involved in an accident you need to replace it. I was worried that being bumped around in the hold would be akin to an accident, so this was our solution (one that my husband is rather proud of!) A very deep suitcase lined with egg crate foam. Which we used to check the car seat in.
- A baby carrier, for baby wearing.
- Nappy bag + insert, doubling as a handbag with our passports, phones etc.
- Fold away pram that fits in the overhead locker of the plane, so we wouldn’t need to gate check it.
- Handluggage. Nothing to do with baby, our laptops & camera.
- Mum’s suitcase.
- Dad’s suitcase.
- Lily’s suitcase, filled with travel cot bed, nappies, clothes, pump, etc.
It may look as though we’re about to set off on an arctic expedition, but amazingly I feel like we always travel with a similar looking pile. So it didn’t feel particularly excessive.
Thankfully Heathrow have a porter service to help get you stowed away.
You already know it’s my favourite airport but it’s particularly great for travelling with littles.
There are play areas in all of the terminals.
Baby changing stations galore. Before and after security.
You can take up to 2 litres of pumped milk or formula through security, but if you need more you can reserve and collect prepared baby milk & food to pick up after security.
Lots of baby friendly restaurants and kids eat free in many of them. Not relevant for us yet but won’t be long!
If you’re taking prams & car seats or just fancy luggage, you can get them all wrapped up before you fly.
Once we’d checked in the car seat, I slipped Lily into her carrier. Where she promptly fell asleep.
Silk shirt (old, similar here)
Wearing natural fibres is so important with baby wearing, or you’ll both melt!
Baby wearing is ideal for travelling at this age.
You can keep them close, there’s no need to remove them to go through security, they sleep through anything, and no matter how flustered things get, they hear your heartbeat and know everything’s ok.
It also leaves your hands free for more important things…
Like picking up those last minute… ahem… essentials.
Heathrow has a way of making you feel like your holiday’s already started.
After a relaxed stroll around the shops, we settled down for a nice cup of tea.
While little Lily was really flat out…
This pram was a last minute purchase and proved to be the best piece of kit on the entire trip. So so light and easy to wheel around, it folds down in the blink of an eye and gave Lily somewhere to snooze while we at lunch or reading beside the pool. I added a thin sheepskin liner to make her feel more at home and she loves it! It fits in the overhead locker and unlike other travel prams there’s no extra newborn insert to buy, so works from day one. A brilliant piece of engineering.
Just my cup of tea!
Finally there was nothing left to do but strap Lily back in and go up, up & away!
I unclipped her in the aeroplane (you have to for takeoff and landing) and buckled her into her teeny tiny seatbelt!
I attempted to feed her for takeoff (to help with ears popping with the pressure) but she slept right through. I kept her cuddled on my chest for the duration of the flight, passing her over to daddy for loo breaks and we took it in turns to eat lunch. She fed during landing and didn’t grumble once. Clipped her back into the carrier before we got off the plane and jiggled her through security.
We lasted all the way to the car before one slight hiccup, so I tucked her into her car seat and changed my shirt (always carry a spare shirt in your nappy bag!) and we set off on our first adventure.
Turns out we have a little traveller on our hands!