Archive for the ‘Zellie Adventures’ Category

How to make your baby sleep when travelling abroad

Sleep. It’s a major issue when you’re travelling abroad with a baby in tow. Will your little one nap on the plane or will they cry and disturb other passengers? How will they cope with a different cot and an unfamiliar room?

That’s why we’ve come up with seven simple strategies that will soothe your baby to sleep while you’re away…

Preparing to fly

1. Choose your time carefully

Quieter midweek flights make travelling during term time the ideal option for babies. So if your tot doesn’t have any older siblings at school, make the most of this opportunity. The tickets will be cheaper too.

Not sure what time of day to travel? If your baby has settled into a routine, we suggest taking their feeds and naps into account when you book your flight.  Nine am flights can work well, as your little one should be ready for a post breakfast nap during the flight. Early afternoon is ideal for babies who snooze after lunch.

It’s also worth considering an overnight flight. If you pop your baby into their pyjamas, allow  them to nap and wake them just before you leave the house, they should stay awake while you check in and crash out after takeoff.

 

2. Request a bassinet

A baby bassinet is a basket that can be hung from the walls of an aircraft or placed on a specially designed shelf. Hiring one allows your little one to lie down and sleep safely during your flight.

While bassinets are available from most airlines, you’ll need to check that your baby fits the age and size requirements before you book one. We also recommend taking a bassinet cover or swaddle blanket with you, so that you can block out any light from the cabin.

Fidgety babies might need to be settled in their parent’s arms before they’re transferred to their bassinet and if you encounter any turbulence during the flight, you’ll be asked to remove them.

 

3. Take a baby carrier

If your baby won’t settle at all during the flight, popping them into a carrier or sling will enable you to walk around and gently bounce them to sleep. Taking a baby carrier also makes carrying hand luggage, boarding and exiting the plane much easier, especially if you have to retrieve your buggy from the luggage carousel.

Once you arrive at your destination, transporting your little one in a front carrier will help them to feel secure and free up your hands for taking those all important family photos.

 

4. Establish a routine

Establishing a bedtime routine before you travel abroad will help you to recreate it while you’re on holiday. Does your baby have a favourite lullaby or song? Try singing it just before bedtime, so that your little one associates it with going to sleep.

If your baby’s bedtime routine also includes a story, we recommend sticking to a handful of favourite books before you travel. Read the same stories while you’re away and your baby will be comforted by their familiarity, making it easier for them to settle.

 

When you arrive

5. Recreate familiar surroundings

Your baby will sleep better if you add a few familiar touches to your hotel bedroom, so why not pack their usual sleep sack, a couple of their crib sheets, a few favourite teddies and a selection of bath toys? ,

If you’ll be taking your own travel cot on holiday, getting your baby used to sleeping in it before you go should make a real difference when bedtime arrives.

 

6. Stick to the schedule

While travelling with a young baby is generally easier if you prioritise their naps, there will be times when this isn’t practical. Thanks to the fresh air and stimulation of being on holiday, your tot will probably snooze while you’re out and about, but we recommend keeping an eye on this. Allow them to sleep for too long and they simply won’t settle at night.

If you’ve travelled to a hot country in the summer, expect to get a little less sleep than you would at home. To combat exhaustion, try napping with your baby, as even a twenty minute catnap can work wonders. If you get desperate and end up with the baby in your bed, don’t beat yourself up. Simply enjoy the rest and reintroduce your normal routine as soon as you arrive home.

 

7. Create good sleeping conditions

When bedtime arrives, it’s a good idea to keep the lights and your voices low. Bring a book to read while you wait for your baby to settle and consider packing some temporary blackout blinds, which are cheap, portable and easy to put up.

Hotel a little on the noisy side? How about downloading the Sound Sleeper: White Noise app, which uses familiar sounds and sounds from nature to soothe baby to sleep?

We hope our tips help your little one to sleep soundly while you’re away. After all, when baby sleeps, everybody sleeps. Here’s to a relaxing time abroad!

Do you have any sleeping suggestions to share? We’d love to hear them.

Tips for flying abroad when pregnant

Planning a trip abroad while pregnant? Prepare properly and there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a safe relaxing flight.

From choosing your destination to keeping comfortable on the plane, here are our top tips for flying abroad when you’re expecting a baby.

Time your trip well

If you’re feeling well and you’ve discussed your plans with your GP or midwife, it’s perfectly possible to fly during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. However, many women feel nauseous and exhausted during this period, so if that’s you, why not wait until you can really enjoy your holiday?

If you’ve experienced spotting, high blood pressure, severe morning sickness or a previous miscarriage, your doctor will probably advise you to avoid flying for now.

During the second trimester (14-27 weeks), nausea usually subsides and energy levels increase, giving you the perfect excuse to enjoy a trip abroad. Make the most of this opportunity, as you might find flying uncomfortable and tiring once you reach the third trimester. Most airlines won’t allow pregnant women to fly with them after 36 weeks, although this drops to 32 weeks for multiple pregnancies.

 

Choose your country carefully

Because vaccinations aren’t always safe for pregnant women, it’s best to choose a holiday destination where you won’t encounter any dangerous diseases. Malaria and yellow fever pose a particularly high risk, as some anti-malarial medication isn’t safe for mums-to-be and the yellow fever vaccine contains a small amount of potentially harmful live virus. If you really need to travel to an affected area, ask your GP for guidance.

You should also consider postponing your trip if you’re travelling to a country where the Zika virus is active. Talk to your GP and check out the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s website for detailed advice.

Travelling in the summer? Then you’ll want to avoid uncomfortably hot countries, particularly if you’ll be heavily pregnant when you travel. It’s also worth remembering that your risk of suffering from blood clots and varicose veins increases slightly on flights over five hours.

Wherever you decided to go, always check that your holiday insurance covers you after 28 weeks and that it includes medical care if you go into labour unexpectedly.

 

Carry key information

A copy of your maternity notes is essential hand luggage if you’re flying while pregnant. We also suggest noting down your blood type, any allergies to medications and your doctor’s contact details.

Once you’re 28 weeks pregnant, you’ll need to carry a letter or certificate from your doctor or midwife. This should confirm your due date, as well stating that you’re well enough to travel and that there are no complications. It’s worth asking your airline whether a prewritten letter is available, although your GP may still charge you for signing it.

Don’t forget to apply for an EHIC card, which entitles you to free or reduced cost emergency medical care while abroad. If you apply via the official website, the card won’t cost you a penny and you’ll be covered for five years.

 

Prepare for take-off

Frequent trips to the toilet are an unfortunate side effect of pregnancy, so why not reserve an aisle seat when you book your flight? You’ll be able to nip to the loo without disturbing your fellow passengers and it will be easier for you to move about, reducing your chance of developing varicose veins and blood clots.

Talking of blood clots, don’t forget to pop your compression stockings on before you fly, as these will improve your circulation and prevent swelling. Flexing your foot, rotating your ankles and wiggling your toes at regular intervals can also help, but you should always seek help if you notice any redness or tenderness in your legs.

To make sure that you feel relaxed throughout the flight, it’s best to wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes with adjustable straps. Position your seatbelt under your bump, make sure you have plenty of water with you to avoid dehydration and pack some energy boosting fresh or dried fruit.

Finally, don’t worry about going through airport scanners, as they use a low-frequency electromagnetic field and are safe for pregnant women.

Take our tips on board and you’ll find that your flight is the perfect opportunity to relax, enjoy a snooze and get lost in a good book. After all, once you’ve had your baby, flying will become a completely different experience!

Tips for camping with babies and children

Camping is a great way for children to appreciate and enjoy the great outdoors by taking part in activities that bring you together as a family. Here are some tips to help you plan a fun camping trip and ensure that everybody stays safe.

Finding a Family-Friendly Camp Site

Although many campsites are child friendly, not all will meet your specific needs. Find a camp site that has good reviews for family-friendliness and that fulfils all of your requirements. Coolcamping.com is a great place to start, offering sites that only accept tents and campervans, and which offer separate camping areas for families. With generous pitches your family can enjoy the space without feeling like they’re camping on top of each other. There are sites that offer hot showers all day, which is a must for many families with young children, and grounds which are in a great location for walking and cycling activities.

Packing for Children

Making sure that you’ve packed the essentials will help your camping experience run smoothly. Here is a list to help you pack successfully for a camping trip with young children and babies.

  • Layers for colder weather
  • Woolly / Sun hats, depending on the forecast
  • Thermal wear to keep children and babies warm
  • A sling carrier for babies
  • Swim suits and life jackets, if appropriate
  • Nightlights and some glow sticks to keep an eye on your adventurous children
  • Travel beds and bassinets for colder evenings inside a tent
  • A training potty if one is still needed
  • A family cutlery set, preferably one that’s specially designed for camping
  • Easy meals that don’t need to be cooked in case rain prevents a campfire
  • A drinks cooler
  • A booster with a tray for meal time with a baby
  • A thermos to keep a warm feeding bottle at the ready
  • Buckets and spades, fishing nets and other toys/tools for fun activities
  • A pop-up beach shelter or canopy for relaxing in the shade
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Tissues and wet wipes
  • Anti-itch and antiseptic creams for bites, cuts or rashes
  • A first aid kit, including plasters and bandages
  • Children’s antihistamine for any allergic reactions or hay fever (make sure you ask your GP or pharmacist for advice on dosage and side effects).
  • Backpacks for activities away from the site

 

Making Your Camp Site Safer for Children

Camping is a great way to have some family fun, but with it come a number of risks including trip hazards from cables and scolds from campfires. Here are some ways to make your campsite safer for children.

  • Make the tension cables on your tent more noticeable by marking them out with visible material, such as coloured flags and tinfoil, or by choosing cables in a colour that contrasts with the colour of the ground.
  • Keep a bucket of water near any lit fires and make sure that children don’t go too close to any open flames. Avoid activities that require a lot of movement if there is a campfire nearby.
  • Mark off any areas that pose a significant risk to children with visible ropes, such as areas with poisonous plants or dangerous terrain.
  • Mark out nearby holes and dips with flags or noticeable poles.

 

Camping Games and Activities

Here are some ways to encourage young children to embrace the outdoors by keeping them entertained with fun games and activities.

Scavenger Hunt

Have your children collect items such as pine-cones, shells, flowers of particular colours, feathers and leaves. Create a checklist and have them compete to be the first to find all of the items.

Campfire Story Game

Gather round the fire and take it in turns to come up with one sentence that progresses a story. Children get very creative and will have a lot of fun using their imagination to conjure up some great tales.

Nature Trail

Stretch your legs and get some fresh air by heading out onto a nature trail. Using a guidebook create a guessing game to play with your children. They can have some competitive fun and learn about the different wildlife around them.

What to pack when flying pregnant

Pregnant and flying abroad? Packing your hand luggage carefully is the best way to ensure a comfortable, safe and trouble free trip. But what if you’re not sure what to pack?

Don’t despair, as we’ve come up with a handy guide to the travel essentials that will make your flight an enjoyable one

Keeping comfortable

  • The rapid changes your body undergoes during pregnancy can result in sore muscles and an achy back, so it’s worth packing a small cushion or pillow in your cabin bag. If space is tight, why not buy an inflatable version? You could also consider packing a lightweight bump band, which wraps around your bump for extra support.
  • Because flying during pregnancy can slightly increase your risk of blood clots, your carry-on luggage should definitely include a pair of compression socks. These will help to keep your circulation flowing during the flight, meaning that you’re less likely to suffer from swollen feet or ankles.
  • When it comes to your outfit, go for comfortable but versatile options like leggings or a maxi dress. Add a cardigan or jacket in case you feel cool and wear a pair of flat supportive slip on shoes, as these will be easy to remove when you go through security.
  • Flying is the perfect opportunity to rest and unwind, so why not use the time to get lost in a good book or record your thoughts in a pregnancy travel journal? Alternatively, pack an eye mask and enjoy some well-deserved shut-eye. After all, growing a baby is hard work!

Health and beauty

  • Having a baby on board means taking extra care of your health and wellbeing, so pack accordingly. Make sure you pop some hand sanitizer and wipes in your hand luggage, as these will enable you to stay clean and fresh on board.
  • Moisturiser, lip balm and a spray mister will also come in handy while you’re flying, because air conditioning can dehydrate your skin. And don’t forget to take blister pads for your feet, as even well fitting footwear can rub.
  • If you’re travelling to a hot country, it’s a good idea to pack some high factor sun cream in your cabin bag. This can be applied shortly before you arrive at your destination. You could also consider packing some insect repellent, as mosquitoes love mums to be! While Insect repellents containing up to 50% Deet are considered safe for pregnant women to use, natural alternatives containing citronella are also available.

Food and drink

  • Your travel bag should always contain a few nutritious nibbles, so that delays or tasteless airline food don’t leave you feeling hungry. Dried and fresh fruit, cereal bars, nuts and biscuits make ideal snacks. If you’re still battling morning sickness, try eating little and often and if you’re suffering from heartburn, don’t forget your antacids!
  • Staying hydrated is very important when you’re pregnant, so pack at least one bottle of water in your hand luggage once you’ve passed through the security scanners. If you’re taking vitamins, bring these with you too.

It can also be useful to carry a list of foods you should avoid eating in order to protect your developing baby. These include unpasteurised cheeses like Brie and Camembert, undercooked meat, raw fish and pate.

Whether the tap water is safe to drink depends on your destination, so check this with your travel agent. If you have any doubts, always buy bottled water and avoid eating salads washed in tap water.

Travel documents

  • Suffering from pregnancy related forgetfulness? Then we recommend double checking that you’ve packed your passport just before you leave home. If you’re hiring a car, you’ll also need to bring your driving licence.
  • As well as packing your holiday insurance documents, it’s worth making a separate note of the insurer’s helpline number. Keep this in your travel bag and give a copy to your travelling companion, just in case your luggage gets lost en route.
  • If you’re flying while pregnant you’ll also need to carry your maternity notes with you. After 28 weeks, most airlines will require an additional letter from your midwife or doctor confirming that you’re fit to fly. If this applies to you, ask your airline whether they have a standard letter you can print out for your GP to sign.
  • It’s also important to find out which number you should call if you require emergency treatment while you’re away. Your travel agent will be able to give you this, as well as details of local hospitals and doctors.

Finally, don’t forget to bring a list of key contact numbers, so that you can inform family members, friends and pet sitters about any travel delays.

 

We hope our packing tips have helped you to feel fully prepared for your flight. All you have to do now is kick back, relax and enjoy the journey.