Top Ten Tips For Travelling With Baby

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Travelling with a baby is like moving an army! Whether you are going away for a weekend, a week, to a strange place, or to friends and relatives, it’s all the same (more or less) when it comes to taking a baby with you! We have been to stay with friends and relatives, and even managed a weekend away in the Forest of Dean, but this summer we braved a week long trip to France with our 10 month old little bundle of fun!! I had learnt a few things from previous trips, but it was a little trickier as I was not 100% sure what we could get from where in France if we forgot it! So, I pass on my top ten tips of things to take when you are travelling with a small!

  1. Familiar cot or cot bedding – we are still co-sleeping, so took our Chicco Next to Me, which we love, and is so easy to move! It didn’t take up too much space in the boot, and meant that the little man had something familiar. If you don’t need to take a cot, then familiar bedding means it smells like home and can make baby feel safe.
  2. A stroller – we have a lovely Cosatto Travel System (so, bright and pretty – it features on my Instagram page a bit!) but it was just too big to get in the boot along with everything else. We took the plunge and got a stroller that would fold down smaller and was easier to fit in the boot of the car. We went with a Silver Cross Pop stroller, and it was fabulous and easy to use.
  3. Medicine (and thermometer) – remember to take things like Calpol, Ibuprofen and Piriton. Despite the little man being absolutely fine when we left home, and on the ferry (mummy was seriously not so fine!!) on our second day there he had a slight temperature, was snotty and not very happy! Calpol was needed! Piriton was useful to have because of the itchy (oh so very itchy) mosquito bites!! (Again, mummy was worse off, but the little man did get bitten!) It’s useful to have these medicines to hand!
  4. Nappy rash cream – nappy rash can strike at anytime and it is important to keep on top of it, I tend to keep a tube of Sudocrem Care and Protect in my changing bag! It’s so easy to use, gentle on the skin and helps clear up any rashes quickly. The tube is a great size to keep in your changing bag so it’s easily reached in an emergency! When you are travelling nappy rash cream is an absolute must!
  5. Teething gel! – oh teething gel! I forgot teething gel, what a mistake!! Fortunately my sister was travelling a day later, so I asked her to bring some!! Was an absolute must! You never know when those pesky teeth are going to cause problems!!
  6. Bathroom items – it’s pretty easy to remember to take the wash items, but sponges, bath toys and most importantly the bath thermometer are items that are easily left behind! Again it’s about keeping familiar things and routines around for little ones, to make your life as easy as possible! I also took a bath towel with a hood, one we always use at home!
  7. Box of toys – This was just so much easier to transport!! We have a box of toys in the living room, that occasionally get tidied back into it! There are lots of his favourite toys in it and a mixture of textures (wood, plastic, material) which he really enjoys. We use the Drona box from ikea, which fitted perfectly in the foot well of the car behind the carseat. This meant, not only did we have toys to play with when we were there, but I had plenty of toys to entertain him whilst we waited in very long queues to get on and off the ferry!! Perfect!
  8. DVDs – We haven’t yet upgraded to having a DVD player in the car (although, I think it is in our future!!) but we did want to take some favourite shows as an extra, sort of an ‘in case of emergency’ item! Of course my little man’s absolute favourite show, by a massive stretch, is Hey Duggee so we made sure to have some DVDs with us!
  9. Favourite stories – We find stories calming in our house, and often use them in the bedtime ‘routine’. We have a few books he loves – Usborne’s “That’s Not My…” books are a firm favourite! Also, some lift the flat books are very much loved!
  10. Washing powders – Even if you think you have packed enough clothes, clothes for every weather and loads of bibs, chances are your baby will catch you out by making more of a mess than normal! It is worth checking if there is a washing machine/tumble dryer so you can wash them whilst you’re away! If not, washing in the sink will certainly do!! I did one wash load mid-week and still had another full wash by the end of the week! How do they make so much mess?!

Have you been away with a little one? What would you have on your list? Have I missed anything you thought was essential?

Disclosure: I was sent Sudocrem Care & Protect free of charge but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Family Fun in the Forest of Dean

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This year is full of big birthdays in my family and we are celebrating with lots of big family holidays and breaks. It is exciting! Last weekend was the first celebration and for it we didn’t venture too far, but far enough to feel like a break, all the way to Forest Holidays. I was so excited! After packing all the “essentials” for travelling with a 9 month old, the car was full to bursting. Seriously. Super full. Those days of throwing in a toothbrush and a pair of pants for the weekend are long gone!! Even with such an overly full car, we still managed to forget things! Still, I digress! We all jumped (try tetris style squeezed ourselves round, next to, on top of, inside of, etc etc) into the car, and headed off to the Forest, Sat Nav on to guide us there.

We found it no problem, and thankfully the boy slept the whole way! It immediately seemed so relaxing and we were surrounded by trees. Just what we wanted! We were staying in one of the cabins, the Luxury Family Treehouse. This cabin has an additional ensuite room away from the main body of the house. It was beautiful and had lots of space. We had arrived first, so after a mad dash round, we chose the upstairs bedroom and began to set up shop! Not long after the rest of our family arrived, unpacked and all chose rooms. All in there was 7 adults, 2 teens, 1 tween and a baby. You would think that it was going to be a squeeze, particularly as my lovely Mother in Law brought enough food to feed a small army!! It wasn’t though, it felt big and spacious. The cabins are scattered around a field surrounded by the woods; ours faced directly onto the woods which gave us a great view from our bedroom, through the huge window.

We had paid for the entertainment package, which meant that there was a wide selection of films we could watch too. I finally got to watch ‘Inside Out’ which was brilliant! Having so many members of family round meant that the little man was not short of people to play with and have cuddles with. It also meant that me and the husband got a break! It had been such a long time since we watched a film together, we really enjoyed ourselves!! The lounge had enough space for everyone to sit comfortably and was even centre stage to some amazing performances for family charades! Highlights being L’s reenactment of ‘Jurassic world’, C’s epic acting for ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ and the husband actually having a go for ‘Top Gun’. Such a funny evening! We even moved to the large kitchen table to have a girls vs boys game of Pictionary! (The guys thought I was just being cruel when I had time to draw a mermaid before even drawing the crab my team had to guess! But I think they were sore losers!! Haha!)

The outside area was wonderful too, a giant table which could fit us all round, space to BBQ and most importantly a lovely hot tub which could fit lots of us! (Think we counted 8 in at one point!!) When we had first arrived the hot tub was empty, but they were quick to come over and fix it for us. The hot tub was definitely worth having, we all enjoyed some time in there! (Apart from the little man!) I even managed to sit in the hot tub for quite some time with a drink of fizzy pink wine! I did remember to use a plastic glass! It was so relaxing, like being at a spa! Really nice both in the summer and in the winter!……..Man I wish I was there now with my lovely Gin cocktail (my in laws make a mean cocktail!!) surrounded by the nature; trees, flowers, squirrels – yes very friendly squirrels too!

The weekend was filled with food too! I’d baked a birthday cake (only had a small disaster on the way there) and some of my awesome cookie bowls with just some normal cookies. My MIL had organised some amazing meals and yummy snacks and my sister in law had brought loads of chocolate (an absolute must to accompany Charades, Pictionary, conversations, drinking, sitting, well, most activities really!) The kitchen has the basics you need, so if you plan on making anything when you’re there (such as pizza bases – K’s pizzas were amazing!) you need to bring additional tools with you. Although, the wine bottle rolling pin did the job superbly!

Although some of the family went out on walks to explore the area, I only did a short walk with the little man to get him to sleep (I was battling a virus that made me feel like I’d been hit by a bus, although I didn’t realise that’s what it was at the time!!) There are endless walks and bike rides to do, also  Go Ape, pottery, a playground, the list is long! You can even get in house spa treatments, so they come to you!!! I honestly think you could go back every year and still have plenty to do! Fortunately I’m going back again for two more visits in the next year, so I will strive to try out some of the other things and get a bit further than the hot tub this time!! It was an amazing break and was a fantastic place to spend time with family! I would really recommend going and think it’s perfect for a large family or group holiday!

Have you been to Forest Holidays? What did you like most about it? Are there any other holiday’s you’ve done with a large family group? Where would you recommend going?

 

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