First holiday with baby
Baby basics

First holiday with baby

Your first holiday with baby is a very special time. Holding her in the sea, bringing her on a boat or plane for the first time, these are just some of the little experiences that make a holiday an exciting event for the family.

When can baby travel?

Three months seems to be an ideal time for babies to travel – they’re not as fragile as they once were and there isn’t too much of an established routine that could be disturbed. Make sure to check with airlines on their regulations about when babies can travel.

Keep them close

From delays to bumpy rides, there are a lot of factors that can stress you out and disrupt your baby, but you can help her during any challenging moments.

Bring her favourite toy as this can keep her distracted and entertained.

Keep your baby close to you to let her feel comforted and safe while you’re on the move. Baby slings are ideal as they keep your baby in skin-to-skin contact, and give you the freedom of your hands, allowing easy rest for your little one in times of rush or panic.

Accommodation

Check out your accommodation first. A hotel may not be for you; sometimes, when away from home, somewhere that resembles a familiar environment can be great for your baby and allows them to relax.

In any country, there will be apartments or cottages available to rent. If you do book a living space, make sure to enquire about baby facilities, as not all type of accommodation may have them.

Keep it light (ish)

When it comes to baby essentials, think about what you can buy when you arrive at your destination, such as wet wipes, nappies, bibs etc. Disposable items are great for when you’re on the go. Always pack a backup of nappy supplies, just in case.

Stick to the usual routine

If your baby has an established routine, it is best to try and stick to it as best as you can. Keep mealtimes and bedtime the same if you can, this will avoid disrupting your baby’s normal schedule.

Your essential packing checklist

Travel

✔ Fold-up buggy
✔ Baby sling
✔ Travel mat if baby needs changing
✔ Travel cot
✔ A changing bag

Clothes

✔ Bring clothes that are suited to the climate of your destination
✔ Keeping babies protected from the sun is essential – bring a hat to keep the sun away

Breastfeeding

✔ A shawl to keep warm and for some privacy
✔ A breast pump

Food

✔ Meals in tubs will be needed for travel – be sure to check airlines rules if traveling by plane.
✔ Snacks such as rice and cakes are good for when you’re on the go

Essentials

✔ LOTS of nappies
✔ Sponges, nappy bags, wipes and lotion
✔ Sunscreen
✔ Toys
✔ Blankets
✔ Bottles
✔ Steriliser
✔ An adaptor for a plug-in night light and baby monitor
✔ Blackout blind can prevent baby from waking up early if it’s sunny

More like this:

What to buy for your baby
Best baby changing rooms in Ireland
Best baby travel products 2016

Ask Tracey

Midwife Tracey Donegan answers your questions about pregnancy and birth

Q When should I have my first pregnancy scan? And how many scans should I get throughout my pregnancy?

A
Your first scan is known as your dating scan and is routine in all hospitals. Most mums will have this scan at their booking visit, which can be anywhere between 12-18 weeks. The earlier the scan the more accurate it will be. If you have experienced recurrent miscarriages some hospitals will scan you earlier. Contact your antenatal clinic for more information. In Ireland, most women will have two scans in a healthy pregnancy – a dating scan and an anomaly scan at around 20 weeks. However, some units provide a dating scan only. Private scans are also available in most cities and many parents use these services for additional reassurance and to find out the sex of their baby.

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Ask Sarah

Q I’ve heard a lot about the Paleo diet and as I am very interested in reducing the amount of processed foods and grain based meals my family eats, we are considering following this diet. From what I read it seems to be a back-to-basics type of eating. Is a Paleo diet safe for children? My kids are aged seven and nine.

A The Paleo diet is one of the most fashionable diets around at the moment. It is also known as the ‘caveman diet’ and is based on cutting out processed foods, starchy foods like bread and potatoes and eating more meat, vegetables and fruit.
As fad diets go, it is not the worst but there are some good and bad sides to it. Reducing the amount of processed foods we eat is always a good idea and by doing that you will usually reduce the amount of fat, salt and sugar you eat, which is a good thing! The problem with the Paleo diet is that it also cuts out dairy (on the basis that cavemen didn’t drink milk) and this means that the diet is very low in calcium. For this reason it is really not suitable for children who do need a lot of calcium for growing bones. How did cavemen manage without dairy? They ate a lot more food than we do (up to 10,000 calories per day compared to the 2,000 most of us eat). By eating that amount of food they were able to pick up just enough calcium from green vegetables and seeds. To put it in perspective, you would need to eat 16 servings of broccoli a day to get all the calcium you need. This is easier to do if you eat 10,000 calories per day rather than 2,000.
The other problem with the paleo diet is that it is not entirely based in science. Many of the Paleo diets out there say you should not eat wheat, even though we know that cavemen did in fact eat wheat and other grains. These diets also don’t recommend that you eat blubber and the big lumps of fat that were also a large part of the caveman diet!
A final problem is that many Paleo diets encourage people to cut out beans and lentils and to get their protein from meat and fish instead. Many studies over the last few years are clear that eating too much animal protein is linked with more cancer and heart disease. Eating some vegetarian meals based on beans and lentils is a great way to get your protein without always going for meat.
Is this a diet we should follow? I think there is a lot we can learn from the Paleo diets. We could all do with eating less salt, sugar and processed foods and adding in more nuts and seeds as well as more vegetables. However, I think following a strict Paleo diet could lead to low levels of calcium and vitamin D and so it is not suitable for children or teens and adults would need to think about a calcium supplement.