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    Blogs — Travel

    Real tips from parents on what to carry in your nappy bag

    Real tips from parents on what to carry in your nappy bag

    It was always a bit of trial and error at the beginning but think I've got my list down to a tee now although my husband always says I overpacked everything - 'just in case'.  I always try to make sure my nappy bag is ready before I need it so that when you're running late getting you and your baby ready to leave the house - at least you know you have everything you need in your nappy bag.

    Here are some tips from my friends on what they pack in their nappy bags.

    "I always made sure I had a muslin/bib/burp cloth and spare change of clothes cos both mine were spewey babies and Max always had poonami's.  And of course their comforter toy, which in both cases were the Jelly cat bunnies." Teri K, Melbourne

    "Spare set of clothes and comforter."  PU K, Melbourne

    "Can't leave home without bibs and a change of clothes for life's unexpected accidents!" Thuc L, London              

    "Depends what age group we're talking about.  0-6 months: Nappies, wet wipes.  6-12 months: wet wipes, bibs.  12-18 months: water bottle, scissors, snacks, portable toilet seat!  18 months onwards: above + paper, pencils, books,puzzles (stuff to keep them entertained)." Ammy L, Melbourne.

    What to pack in your nappy bag

    What to pack in your nappy bag

    Do you feel like you need to pack a suitcase full of baby things when you leave the house? Even if it's only for a couple of hours?  Or do you wonder why you need to pack at all and surely only a couple of nappies will do.  Trust us – a well packed nappy bag will save your day.  Here's our list of what we think you should be packing for your baby and you! 

    For your baby

    • Nappies – pack one for every couple of hours you’re out and a couple extra.
    • Wipes – not only are they useful for nappy changes but sticky hands and surfaces too. Instead of carrying the whole packet, which can be rather chunky and heavy – you can put some wipes in a plastic bag.
    • Changing mat  -  some changing rooms have paper towels to cover the changing station but many don’t so having your own lightweight one is a must and it means you can pretty much change your baby anywhere.
    • Hand cleaning gel - to clean your hands when there’s no basin
      For cleaning your hands after diaper changes when there's no time or place to wash them.
    • Nappy bags – So useful for everything, dirty nappies, clothes, as rubbish bags
    • Bottle(s) of milk – if your baby uses the bottle (we recommend Pura)
    • Dribble bibs - if your baby is teething
    • Meals (if weaning)
    • Snacks (for older babies and toddlers)
    • Water bottles - we recommend Squeasy or Pura.

    Extras, just in case

    • Large muslin cloth – so versatile you can use it to cover your baby for warmth, as a shade, nursing cover, burp cloth.
    • Extra clothes including bib, vest and baby gro – just for those times when you have an accident of some kind.  
    • Dummy/Comforter -  if your baby uses one
    • Sunscreen or a hat to protect your child from the sun
    • Entertainment – a young baby may not need any toy whilst a toddler going to a restaurant will need more distractions – books, colouring paper, stickers and crayons will make your trip out much easier.
    • Medicine – plasters, paracetamol sachets and any other regular medicines
    • Sling or wrap for carrying your baby - sometimes your baby doesn’t want to be in the stroller, sometimes you need to park the stroller or for those times you just want to have your baby close to you.

     Don’t forget your own essentials too!

    • Nursing cover – if you use a breastfeeding cover then you’ll want to take this in your nappy bag
    • Breast pads if you’re breastfeeding

    Have a read of some real tips from parents

    How to stop your baby crying in the car

    How to stop your baby crying in the car

    My two kids are so different in every way.  When my oldest was in the car he would fall asleep within minutes, as soon as there was motion he would stop crying, we would often drive the long route to keep him sleeping.  We would sit in the car parked outside of the house until he naturally woke not wanting to disturb his slumber.

    When my little one was born it all seemed the same for the first few weeks but at 5 weeks the minute he was in the car he would start crying - screaming even at the top of his lungs.  The second his tiny body lay in the car seat he would cry.  It made even the shortest journeys unbearable.  Thank goodness it didn’t bother big brother.  But the thought of going in the car would send shivers down the back of my legs.  I would rather walk than use the car. Positives are that it saved money, I exercised and the kiddies got fresh air. But when it rained, when we had to go somewhere a bit further, when we went to Devon - there was no convenient alternative to the car and LO would shrill.  The easiest option became the dreaded.

    Fortunately there are a large number of mums who have lived with this issue and we promise you that they do stop crying and will like travelling in the car soon. After ruling out health issues such as reflux or infections - speak to your midwife or GP.

    Here are a few of the things I tried to stop baby crying in the car.

    1. Make sure your baby isn’t too warm or cold. The car seat is very insulated and the baby can heat up quickly.
    2. Make sure the sun isn’t in their face. A car sun shade can help shade the sun.
    3. If he’s big enough and able to support his head - perhaps the head support is restricting his movement.
    4. Make sure the car seat is comfy enough for your baby. Does he need more cushioning/support.  A rolled up muslin placed on the side could make him feel cosier.
    5. Time car travelling with naps - when baby is tired you might find the movement of the car will lull them into a nap
    6. Feed baby just before a car journey - a full tummy may calm them and give baby one less reason to cry
    7. Give baby their favourite comforter - can be in the form of a blanket, dummy or a toy.
    8. Use a car mirror - such as the Onco baby car mirror - this allows them to see your face and more importantly, you can see your baby.
    9. Play their favourite music in the car - this may distract them from the car journey
    10. Try white noise - this can bring on a relaxing atmosphere for them.
    11. Try new music in the car - this will give you a break too!
    12. Make a poster to place on the back rest for them to look at. Black and white or primary colours are best for little babies to look at.
    13. Print a picture of yourself for them to see.
    14. Place the baby’s car seat in the front passenger seat - make sure you turn the front passenger seat air bag off if you have one. The safest position for your baby is in the back but if this works and causes you less stress then your driving will be safer.
    15. Ignore the crying - they aren’t in any danger and you will be safer to reach your destination than to fuss or stress over your baby whilst driving.

    It could have been a coincidence but one day little one was given a Jellycat toy which we had in the car and as soon I I put the toy in his hands, he stopped crying. He was around 4 months old and I will always remember this day.  LO didn’t stop crying altogether but it definitely reduced how much he cried.  A couple of weeks later I realised that I no longer had that dread - he didn’t cry the minute I put him in the car seat, he actually started to enjoy the car rides.  We both enjoyed travelling in the car!


    How to survive long car journeys with young children

    How to survive long car journeys with young children

    From experience, travelling in the car on journeys of more than 1.5 hours is not something we look forward to. We often think how nice it would be to maybe do a driving holiday along the East Coast of America, drive through Europe stopping at the different countries along the way or even re-do the Garden route of South Africa. This is, until the reality of three kids screaming or crying in the back seats makes us realise there’s no way we will attempt a driving holiday until all the kids are old enough to sit quietly with the iPad for hours on end, or at least get through civilised conversations without one shouting at the other.

    We probably found the most difficult age to travel with a baby was between 0-12 months old. Understandably, a young baby/toddler is too young to comprehend why they are restricted in the car seat and why you are not able to pick them up and bribery at that age just won't work.

    Our eldest (now 6), I would say is at the turning point of when they become a ‘good traveller’, albeit, he's passed the age to fall asleep on car journeys, never stops talking or just wants me to keep changing radio stations, however, he knows to go to the toilet before a long journey, he doesn’t (always) whinge to get out of his seat, he doesn’t need me to sing non-stop nursery rhymes for 3 hours and he rarely spills his drinks. 

    We have made plenty of long car journeys, visiting family and travelling for holidays in the UK and Europe and so we have some tips and advice we’d like to share with you on how to survive travelling with young children - obviously our advice will depend on the age of your child.

    Our top 10 tips:

    1 ) Time your journey - I think my most useful tip is, if you can, perhaps leave in the early evenings so the children can sleep through most of the journey or time your car journeys for when your baby/toddler is most likely to nap if travelling during the day.

    2) Pack lots of clean snacks - by ‘clean’, we mean anything that doesn't cause lots of juicy mess - chocolate can melt, sugary snacks can make them hyper - so stick to fruit and healthy dry-ish snacks - food that they like and plenty of them. Use an Onco car seat protector to catch those crumbs around the car seat.

    3) Limit water intake - For children out of nappies, try not to give your children large amounts of fluids about 45 minutes before a long car journey. Use non-spill bottles (sippy or sports bottles) for water/liquids - we love the plastic free Pura bottles - beware not to give them free reign as you may find you make more toilet breaks than wanted - especially if one child wants to go and not the other only to find them needing it half an hour later.  Try to hydrate the kids 30 min before you plan to stop somewhere.

    4) Kids entertainment - audio books, CD of favourite songs, play games - I spy (for the older kids) is still a firm favourite in our car, first to spot a ..., be flexible with the use of the ipad/smart phone (remember to have it charged up!) - their favourite game/film or even a new film can save a bored child but save this for when it gets really tough as you might not get it back!

    5) Pack a travel toy bag for each child but choose the toys wisely.  Those that are loud with continuous repeating sounds may cause you more pain than the fight keeping it at home.  Reuseable/wipeable drawing boards, books, small items but don't overpack - you'll be able to pick up 'toys' from anywhere. Kids will play with anything even empty bottles/cups/etc.

    6) Allow plenty of time - If you have a deadline to reach your destination - set your sat nav and give yourself enough time for eventualities including frequent stops.  This will break the trip up for the kiddies and also in case you need to take unplanned stops for toilet breaks, change of clothes from spillages, food breaks,etc.  Even with sat nav - take a look at the route before you set off so that you have a rough idea of the major roads you need in case your sat nav fails.  

    7) An empty bottle or spare nappies is a must for children out of nappies for those moments when the next service station is 43 miles away and there are no safe places for them to use nature's land.

    8) Pack an extra set of clothes for those spillages and keep a sick bag at hand just in case they get car sick.  Keep a blanket for when they fall asleep in case it gets cold.  They'll feel more relaxed with a familiar item.  

    9) Keep wet wipes, tissues or even a roll of paper towels and a bin bag for the rubbish close by.

    10) Musical chairs - jump next to them for part of the journey if you are able to.  They will find this a change and the time will go quickly making eye contact with babies or chatting to older children about what you see outside or what you'll do when you get to the destination.  An Onco baby car mirror will let you keep an eye on your baby and allow your baby to see you whilst on the move.

    When all else fails - turn up the music to drown out the noise!  Ignoring the kids and even a crying baby won't harm them and will give you some peace - go ahead - we said you can do it!


    Where's my baby's suitcase?

    Some people would say the difficulty we had with LO's passport as a sign that perhaps you should give up.  And some people just see them as obstacles that you overcome to achieve your goal.

    So when I was sitting in the lounge enjoying a quick hot chocolate with Connie before heading to the gate I was able to take a deep breath, relieved to be on the other side of check in and security.

    At the departure gate we folded the stroller away and put LO in the baby carrier.  The airline staff then asked to check my hand luggage in as it was on the larger side and the flight was full. We just wanted to walk off the plane and head straight to our hotel which was in another town.  But as we had to wait for the stroller we thought it wouldn't make any difference so we even manage to check in Connie's luggage in too.

    Just before the aircraft door we left our stroller with the two suitcases and settled in our seats.  LO fell asleep and we 'enjoyed' the one hour flight delay! It wasn't so relaxed on the way down though. LO wasn't keen and made everybody aware of it!

    Finally we landed and peace at last.  

    We collected our stroller just as we got out.  I opened it and wheeled it along the jetbridge.  About halfway along - somebody was running after us - and gave us a wheel.  It was the wheel from our stroller. I was wheeling it along with only 3 wheels and hadn't even noticed. 

    Connie went ahead to the baggage belt as I wanted to change LO.  I then made my way to the belt and Connie was still there. Bagless!  The belt had stopped and she had already enquired that there were no more bags coming from the aircraft!

    What may be the worse job in an airport - the assistant who deals with lost luggage was just - the best word I can use is - gormless.  There was no sympathy, empathy, understanding in her voice.  I suppose she hears the same story all day everyday.

    She didn't know where our luggage was. And was just as surprised as we were that our stroller arrived but luggage didn't.

    We had just the clothes we were wearing on one of the hottest day of the month.  And a baby! The baby. Oh goodness we need baby supplies.  Thank heavens he didn't need anything just as we got off the plane! I would have been fuming otherwise.  I was actually finding this quite amusing as I did not imagine anything else that could stand in our way of this trip.

    The information the assistant gave us was - no information. She didn't know where our bags were, when they will find out or when we would get them.  Can we buy replacements? Will we get reimbursed? That depends she says. On what? Different circumstances? Seriously? What circumstances? Usually we can be reimbursed if the delay is more than 24 hours. But we have a young baby and business meetings to attend tomorrow morning!

    Does she know when we will find out any more information. No. 

    We were just sent away with a reference and telephone number.  

     We had to get basic essentials and at least a change of clothes AND baby things. Nappies, clothes, baby wipes. Luckily LO is still exclusively breastfed so no need to worry about bottles, formula, steriliser etc.

    But where can we get these things? It isn't London. Shops don't stay open late like London.  

    Do we go to the town where our hotel is (over an hour away) before it got dark and try to find something there? Or do we go into town here and get what we can before making our way to the hotel?  Where are the shops? Is it like London that it takes an hour to get to the shops? 

    No internet. Phones low on battery - we need a phone charger! We need to act fast.  Time is not on our side before the shops close in a couple of hours. We have no time for food just yet.   

    We decided to get as much as we could around the airport town then head to the hotel after.  

    Rushing to the train station we found it hard to decipher which train to get so actually missed the train that was sitting on the platform.  So with 20 minutes until the next train we walked (Connie ran) back to the airport to see if there was anything we could get from the airport shops.  It felt like supermarket sweep.  The slowest queue at the tills didn't help us.  

    We made it back to the train with toiletries and nappies.  Stopping in town we got off at the station and there were a few shops at the station where we found a supermarket and even managed to pick up breast pads.  When we were queueing to pay we received a phone call. 7.15pm.  They have located our suitcases.  They will be on the 10.30pm flight and will be delivered to our hotel by taxi. They weren't sure at what time but some point before the morning!  
    So do we continue buying the essentials for the evening as I really wanted a clean set of clothes to sleep in?  It depends said the assistant.  You probably can.  Regardless of reimbursement we needed a fresh set of clothes.  Luckily for them LO did not explode in his nappy as we could not find any shops selling baby items nearby.  

    We grabbed some food and headed to the hotel as LO was fussy, hadn't fed properly - this isn't unusual when we're out and about - he's more interested in what's going on.  

    We gave LO a shower as there obviously wasn't a baby bath available and the sink was too small.  

    As LO slept we caught upon the day's events waiting for our suitcases.

    10.15pm we received a phone call. It was the airline assistant.  

    I'm afraid all flights have been cancelled tonight and tomorrow morning.  We're not sure when they'll be flying again.  We will be in touch.  

    What?! OMG. We stopped buying things because you told us our suitcases would be with us tonight. It's too late now. We have no clothes for our business meeting tomorrow.  


    And you can't tell us when the suitcases will be with us. 

    With the use of google and emails to our kind host. We found out that the local shops only open at 10am.  There are a few random shops by the station that open at 8am so we had to have an early start to see what was available.  Dressing in our clothes from the day before was less than pleasant as we headed to the shops.  We found one store that we had to choose all our clothes from and you know you can never find underwear when you want them but at the very last minute we popped in to a coffee bar and of all places they sold random piece of clothing and we found underwear. We also had to buy make-up, shoes, hosiery.  But still no baby clothes. 

    At the end of the day - the airline called again and told us that we would get our suitcases that evening but again - were not sure what time it would arrive with us.  So instead of spending the early evening enjoying some dinner and the town we had to go in search of baby clothes.  We really couldn't let LO stay in his clothes wrapped in our cardigan for warmth for much longer.  We had to go in search for baby shops.  How much do we spend? There only seemed to be designer shops.  I had already had enough baby clothes and didn't want to spend too much if we were not going to get reimbursed - so after finding what seems like the German equivalent to John Lewis I bought the cheapest items we could find. LO had fresh clothes and dry bib and other essentials.  We could now relax after freshening up. Time for food. But LO was too tired for us to take out so poor Connie wondered the streets of Germany for take-out.  Don't get us started on ordering take-out online! That may be another blog!

    Lessons learned

    • Save all receipts on the essentials you buy whilst you wait for your suitcase
    • The procedure to get reimbursement is relatively simple and quick for British Airways
    • You don't need to claim this on your travel insurance
    • There is no excess to pay
    • Between the 3 of us we received back over £600 for the essentials we bought
    • We didn't receive compensation for inconvenience
    • Take the minimum baby essentials on the flight with you - just in case your suitcase is lost. Baby items are hard to find.