Travelling with a newborn will entail careful planning and a large bag. Airlines could ask for a doctors letter stating your child is healthy to fly if they're under a week old but airlines vary with the information they may need. Make sure baby’s vaccinations are up to date.
With effect from 1 June 2015, parents travelling with children into or out of South Africa may be asked to show the child’s full birth certificate, and where only one parent is accompanying, proof of parental or legal authority to travel with the child.
Here is a simple checklist of things to take which you can personalise:
- Pushchair - Most airlines will allow you to travel with a fully collapsible pushchair and a car seat, in addition to your free checked baggage allowance. Pushchairs will fly in the aircraft’s hold. Car seats can be used on board. Please contact your chosen airline for help and advice prior to travelling.
- Car seat – Some car seats can be used on board. Please contact your chosen airline for help and advice prior to travelling.
- Baby sling – Being new to an area, you may find terrain that does not accommodate a stroller.
- Travel cot – unless this is provided by the place you are staying in
- Passports - Everyone travelling will need a valid passport, including your baby. If possible, make sure all passports are valid for six months after your return date. You should also check whether you need a visa to enter the country you are visiting.
- Holiday insurance.
- Bottles and teats
- Pre-mixed formula - Pre-mixed cartons of formulas would be the best to travel with as there will be no worry about mixing powder with sterile water. Airlines will warm baby’s milk for you in flight if that is what you require.
- Breast pump
- Blankets - If you are breastfeeding then be sure to also take a wrap or muslin cloths to cover yourself while feeding if you want privacy.
- Plenty of outfits – Try to pack two complete sets for each day unless you can do laundry where you are staying.
- Vests and Baby gros
- Nappy changes – Wipes, nappy rash cream, nappies, nappy bags
- Cool clothes - Choose long-sleeved tops and long trousers or dresses to keep the sun off your baby.
- Warm clothes - Take clothes that are easy to layer so that your baby will always be comfortable.
- Sleep suits or pyjamas
- Swimsuit, Swim nappies
- Sun hat
- Bed and bath supplies - A universal travel bath plug fit any plughole and are useful for turning any basin into a baby bath. A pair of socks over the taps will prevent your little one from turning them on.
- Toiletries - Sponge, baby wash, shampoo and lotion.
- Sunscreen - Pack a sunscreen of at least SPF (sun protection factor) 15 and make sure it is effective against UVA and UVB. If your baby is younger than six months, keep her out of the sun completely.
- First-aid kit - Be sure to take all the important first-aid supplies for you and your baby. Include useful phone numbers in the kit, such as emergency contacts, insurance helplines and the number for your accommodation.
- Plug-in night-light - Useful for night-time feeds and nappy changes.
- Baby monitor – Useful if baby is sleeping indoors while you enjoy the evening on the terrace.
- Plug adapter - If you're going abroad, you'll need at least one of these so you can use your baby monitor or night-light, and charge your phone.
- Camera – To capture memories of baby’s first family holiday. Remember to take your charger and an extra memory card too.
Image courtesy BeSafe