Travelling light and having all the essentials that are needed for a little baby or young children is a challenge larger than Everest in my opinion… ok maybe not that bad – but it certainly requires a lot of thought and organisation so I’ve put together a little list of items which I don’t go away without in case of medical emergencies or minor ailments. As for the number of bibs, nappies, soothers, outfits, wipes etc to bring…well if anyone has a list for that I would love a look!!
Ok so unfortunately even when going on holidays or planning a trip to relatives or friends houses you do need to think about all the bad stuff which may happen… not obsessively – just sensibly! I suggest packing a small first aid kit with the following items in it with the hope that if you have them you won’t actually need them…sods law and all that!
- Basic first aid supplies – such as plasters, antiseptic cream, saline etc See my blog on preparing a children’s first aid kit here: https://wonderbaba.ie/2015/01/25/childrens-first-aid-kit/ available to purchase here : http://www.milltownpharmacy.ie/p/wonderbaba_first_aid_kit
- Pain and temperature relief – I suggest small bottles of calpol and nurofen, or suppositories (paralink and nurofen). Suppositories, whilst not everyone’s preference, are actually really handy for travelling as you can just pack a strip of each in your suitcase to save on space!
- An antihistamine cream such as Anthisan which can be used two to three times a day to relieve pain, itching and inflammation from insect bites, stings or nettle rash. It is suitable for all ages for a maximum of three days.
- If your child is over two years you may consider bringing an antihistamine liquid such as Zirtek oral solution (suitable from two years – see dosing info on pack) which is non sedating, or Phenergan oral solution which is also suitable from two years (see dosing info on pack) but can cause drowsiness. Both are useful for itching from bites, hives or allergies. Phenergan can actually also be used to prevent travel sickness by administering the medicine the night before travel and repeating 6-8 hours minimum after on the morning of travel – however drowsiness may occur so please supervise your child at all times after giving this medicine during the day. For more information on antihistamines click here!
- Brolene eye drops – suitable from birth for the treatment of minor eye infections.
- Saline – you can get this in small sachets to bring – these are useful to use as an eye rinse in case of dirt in the eye – they also can be used to clean cuts or wounds and don’t take up a lot of space!
- Burnshield Hydrogel 50ml – this handy little tube is great to have as a part of your first aid supplies but also in the case of bad sunburn (prevention, prevention, prevention, when it comes to babies in the sun though!! Hats, long sleeved UV swimwear, keep them in the shade when possible and lots of factor 50!) This stuff is all in the first aid kit we make up so click here to get great value if you are putting a kids kit together!
- Sun cream – La Roche Posay have a lovely new one out for babies called Anthelios dermo kids 50+ Baby. It is non perfumed and paraben free. Load this on at the start of the day and frequently throughout! This is my favourite for babies as it comes out a little white at first so you can see where you have put it! It absorbs nicely after that. La Roche Posay sun cream is all available here!
- Diarrhoea and constipation – the heat can affect tummies of all ages and if your toddler also has a change of diet they may end up affected by gastrointestinal disturbances. Children over one year suffering from diarrhoea can use Dioclear sachets in addition to rehydration treatment (dioralyte) http://www.milltownpharmacy.ie/p/dioclear and children over two years can use laxose liquid for constipation, but actually glycerol suppositories would be more convenient to travel with and work just as well! Click here for my blog on diarrhoea and you can click here for my blog on constipation!
- Dioralyte – This brilliant product needs to be made up appropriately in accordance with the information leaflet in the pack for it to work and it really helps to restore lost salts and prevent dehydration in children (they must be over one year – otherwise you must seek medical attention). If you have any suspicion your child may be dehydrated then you can give this and seek medical attention.
- Sterilising – If your baby is under one year it is recommended to sterilise their equipment before use – rather than having to bring a steriliser with you I recommend using Dr Browns microwave steriliser bags or if you won’t have access to a microwave then use Milton cold water sterilising tablets! If you are travelling within Ireland its sometimes as easy to pop a microwave steriliser in the boot as you can sterilise more bottles at once! This tommee tippee one is available here!
- Formula – If travelling with a baby on formula remember to bring what you can
with you – even though some brands are available in other countries there can be slight differences in the products – this is really only important for babies who suffer with digestive issues and have finally settled or are well managed on a particular formula. If bringing ready to pour cartons or bottles through the airport bring extra as when you are going through security they often ask you to open one and ask you to taste it – this is not a problem but it means that the particular carton or bottle must be used within two hours or dumped! I think these powder dispensers are great for this reason (http://www.milltownpharmacy.ie/p/brother_max_millk_powder_dispenser) so you can just bring your bottles filled with boiled cooled water and then just reheat and add your powder when you need a bottle!
- Saline nasal drops like nasosal to relieve congestion! Available here !
- Tip for the plane – try and plan a feed for young babies to be due about the time of takeoff or landing – breastfed or bottle fed babies will be greatly relieved and reassured by having a feed at this time and the sucking motion can relieve ear pressure. Soothers are also useful for this if a feed or bottle does not work out!
- If your child doesn’t like water near their ears or is not allowed water near their ears for medical reasons I cannot recommend this product enough – a real lifesaver for holiday time as it can be so hard to try to explain to a child that they cant go in the water for fear they may get their ears wet! Some kids just don’t like the feeling either and this can be just the trick to get them feeling comfortable and happy when having a little swim! They are known as Ear Bandits! Read my full review here!
- Pack a few empty plastic bags to put soiled clothes etc in if needs be. This is actually so important… have you ever heard of the term pooplosion…?
- Always pack a spare ‘spare’ outfit!! I’ll just throw the in term pooplosion again…
- Bring twice as much baby food as you think you will need in case of delays so that you have time to get some if needed.
- Familiar blanket/toy etc from home can help children feel safe and calm if they are on the move a lot!
- A sling or carrier can be a life saver! Some places have a lot more steps than the pictures would have you believe!!
- New little toy or sticker book for toddlers is great for plane or train journeys – and ipad etc if you have one to watch cartoons etc!
- Remember cutlery… I always forget to pack weaning spoons..
- A face cloth or sponge is handy to bring for washing your little ones! Ask your local pharmacy if they have any little sample of child suitable washes or creams to save on space – we are always delighted to help if we can in Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy 🙂
- Tip – Wipes and nappies can generally be bought where ever you are going so that will save on space – I still pack enough for about three days so I’m not under pressure to pick some up the moment you get to your destination.
This list could go on and on forever… I advise repacking after you have packed to whip out all the unnecessary items you panic packed… maybe that’s just me..sometimes it takes a third attempt if i’m being honest!
At least you will have all of the essential items with you which you can use to treat your baby with if needed until they are better or until you can seek medical assistance if appropriate.
If you have any questions about any of the points raised in this blog or if you would like any further advice from a Pharmacist mum please don’t hesitate to get in touch through the WonderBaba facebook page at www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare or phone me (Sheena) at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262! I’m always happy to help!