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BABY | Everything You Need To Know About Taking A Baby On Holiday

Friday, 11 August 2017
There's a lot to think about when you're taking a baby on holiday and I know, because I worried about each and every one of them for months before we took Oliver to Portugal in July. I don't think I even got excited about our holiday until about a week before, as my mind was just totally consumed with everything that could go wrong.

Luckily, nothing did. We had such a lovely time, and everything just kind of fell into place. I have to say, though, a lot of it was down to preparation and taking on board all the advice from friends and other mums I'd spoken to about it.

So here's our holiday experience, bit by bit, covering all the questions I asked before I left and everything I think you need to know about taking a baby abroad.

For reference, Oliver is 9 months old - crawling, pulling himself up but not yet walking. He has 2 bottles of formula a day - morning and before bed, and sleeps pretty well (but he's an early riser).

With that said, grab a cuppa - there's a lot to cover...

TAKING A BABY ON HOLIDAY TIPS AND ADVICE FOR FORMULA FED BABY ABROAD PARENTING AND LIFESTYLE BLOG

Travelling: Airport Security and Flight
'What can you take through security for a baby?'

We flew with Ryan Air on an early morning flight at 7am. Ryan Air are pretty good in terms of what you can carry for a baby. We were allowed one fold-down pushchair, a car seat and a changing bag at no extra cost. We weren't going to take a car seat originally but our airport transfer company didn't have any seats for a baby under 1. I had already worried a bit about getting taxis abroad without a baby seat, so I was kind of relieved that we could take one with us. I knew it might be a hassle though, so when we were looking for a buggy to take with us, we went for the Mamas and Papas Armadillo as this one let us fit the car seat on top (with adaptors) which meant we wouldn't be carrying it around on our arm if we got a taxi somewhere. 

For the changing bag, we were allowed to carry on snacks and formula for Oliver. I phoned ahead to ask how much formula I could take in my carry-on luggage and was told that we were allowed to take as much as we needed for the onward journey (usually two for a short haul flight). We only needed one but I took two small ready made bottles any way, just in case. They took my changing bag to check at security, but I didn't have to taste the milk like some of the forums had warned. I think they just checked to make sure the seal wasn't broken. 

We gave Oliver snacks when he woke up at the airport - some bread and butter and a fruit puree, to try and postpone his first bottle of the day. A few of you had recommended giving him a bottle when the plane takes off to help ease any pressure on his ears and it worked, he didn't flinch at take off and the milk sent him straight to sleep. Although I'm not sure the ears popping would have been an issue anyway, as he landed without any milk and didn't flinch then either! Oliver napped for the first hour of our 3 hour flight, and for the rest of the time he ate snacks, and played with his toys. 

TIP: Take plenty of snacks and toys in your carry on luggage for the airport and plane. 

everything you need to know about taking a baby on holiday uk parenting bloggers maisy meow

Formula and Food
'How do you give formula to a baby on holiday?'

Oliver has two bottles a day and we use powdered SMA pro milk but when we're out and about, he has Aptimil ready made bottles (he hates ready-made SMA). I read initially that it's fine to take powdered formula and make it up with boiled bottled water while abroad, but then I realised I'd be doing this without a perfect prep machine and it would be a total pain (the perfect prep has made me lazy, I admit). I googled to check if you could buy ready-made aptimal bottles abroad but read that they don't sell them in Portugal. 

Note: If you do decide to give powdered formula with bottled water abroad, be sure to check that the bottled water you're using is safe for babies as some have a high sodium content. (more info here)

So then I considered taking ready made bottles with me. The most common advice given was to order formula and get it delivered to the Boots store past the airport security so that it doesn't go against your luggage allowance - great advice and totally makes sense. However, our airport was tiny and didn't have a Boots store so we ended up packing all 22(!) bottles into our suitcases. 

To my surprise, our local supermarket did actually stock ready made bottles - they had aptimil, cow & gate and a few other brands (although they were around 2/3 euros a bottle!). Oliver ended up having 3 bottles a day instead of 2 (mostly because I was worried he wasn't drinking enough) so when we ran out, we were able to stock up again easily (although it was expensive to do so). 

When it came to sterilising bottles, we used these sterilising bags and popped them in the microwave for 5 minutes. They're super lightweight and easy to use.

When it came to food, it wasn't much different to eating here. We took a supply of snacks from home like wafers but you could buy most of it over there any way. He ate scrambled eggs, toast, lots of fruit and we bought purees and snacks from the baby aisle in the supermarket which he loved. We also made our own ice lollies for him which did a great job of keeping him cool and hydrated!

TIP: Take a fruit popsicle maker so you can make baby-friendly ice lollies!

what to pack for taking baby on holiday uk parenting blog maisy meow

Packing: Clothes and Baby Supplies
What should I pack for a baby on holiday?

We did that thing that everyone told us not to and bought lots of cute 'night time' outfits for Oliver - lots of shirts and smart shorts that he could wear to dinner and cute little shorts and t-shirts for night time. It turns out everyone was right and he barely wore any of it. 

During the day, he mostly wore his long sleeve, long leg swimming suit as he'd be in and out of the pool. We took other swim suits but we always went for the one piece as it's easier to get on and off and in future, I won't bother with the sets that have a top and shorts. When he needed dry clothes, we'd put him in either his one piece romper or a t-shirt and cotton shorts. 

At night time, it was roasting and it didn't feel right to put him into a shirt or smart trousers so he ended up wearing his super comfy clothes at night too. I wanted the option of being able to put him straight to bed if he fell asleep on the way home as well. 

I assumed he'd sleep in just a vest at night but in fact, we always had air con on and the room was quite cool so he actually slept in a baby grow with a blanket over him. If I'd realised the room would be a cool temperature, I'd probably have brought his normal sleeping bag but we just used a blanket instead. I'm so glad we brought a couple of blankets with us as we used them loads!

In regards to other baby supplies, I can only speak about Portugal but my goodness, baby stuff is expensive in the supermarket. We took one pack of nappies and two packs of swim nappies and luckily only had to buy one large packet of normal nappies while we were away. Nappies were twice the price over there so I'd recommend taking as many as you can fit in your suitcase!

TIP: Pick long-sleeve, long leg swimsuits - you'll appreciate something that's easy to put on when it's boiling hot and your baby has sticky, sweaty skin! It also means less skin is on show, which means you need less sun cream! 

TIP #2: Forget the shirts and smart clothes and take comfy, light weight clothes. 

TIP #3: Remember sun lotion can stain clothes yellow, so don't splash out on expensive clothes!


Sleep and Routine
Will going on holiday ruin my baby's routine?

The villa that we stayed in provided a travel cot for Oliver which was in our room, and we just brought our own sheets for it and gave it a wipe down before using it. I was a bit worried that Oliver wouldn't sleep in a different bed but he settled fine. Our normal routine went out the window obviously, but we came settled into a new mini routine for while we were away. 

Oliver would wake at 6am, have a bottle and then all 3 of us would go out for a walk to the beach. You'd think that sounds crazy going out at 6am, but we'd often bump into other tired-looking parents and their prams! The beach is actually lovely first thing in the morning and it's a good time for babies to explore without you worrying about them getting sunburnt or lost in the crowd. We'd go for breakfast at a cafe around 7ish, then we'd walk back to the villa and he'd be ready for his nap. 

He'd normally have a long sleep in the afternoon too and for that nap, we'd put him into our bedroom with the air con on and a blanket which kept him really cool and let him sleep for hours. We were in a villa, which meant we could lay by the pool while he napped indoors and we could keep an eye on him using our baby monitor. 

When we went out for dinner, we'd go at around 6.30/7pm and Oliver would have already eaten by then. We actually came up with a genius little system (if I do say so myself) that let both me and andy eat our dinner in peace and quiet, while it was still hot! We'd go to the restaurant with Oliver in the buggy, order our meals and then me or andy would take oliver for a quick walk in the pram. The combination of the bumpy cobbled streets and the snooze shade meant that Oliver would fall asleep quickly and he'd usually last an hour or so while we ate our dinner! It was so easy! 

At night, he'd go to sleep after a bottle and our room had black out blinds so the room was pitch black until morning. We did bring this portable blackout blind but obviously didn't need to use it! 

Once we were home, it took no more than one day for Oliver to settle back into his normal routine.

TIP: Bring your monitor so you can relax on the balcony/poolside while the baby sleeps!

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Sun Protection
What's the best way to protect baby's skin on holiday? 

This is very much a 'learn from my mistakes' section. Well, it was a mistake on the first day anyway. I was really worried about Oliver getting sunburnt on holiday so the minute we arrived, I covered him in Boots Soltan Sensitive sun cream for babies and within half an hour, he was crying uncontrollably as he'd rubbed his eyes in it. He cried for hours and rinsing his eyes didn't seem to help. Oliver has never had sensitive skin, and for some reason I didn't even think about it going into his eyes! I felt so guilty.

The next day, we went to the pharmacy and they recommended Avene sensitive sun cream - this was thicker and absorbed much better (I put on a lot less too). I made sure that I put a  small amount on but covered all his skin and when it came to his face, I only put it on his cheeks as he had a sun hat covering most of his face and to be honest, he was almost always in the shade. 

We took this pop-up beach tent so that when we were hanging out by the pool, Oliver could play in his tent and watch us while still being in the shade. Sometimes we'd put a little paddling pool inside too so he could splash around, or we'd set up some sun umbrellas outside it with some towels and blankets so he could crawl around for a bit. He came into the pool with us too in his little rubber ring.

When we went out walking, we'd always put up our snooze shade over the pram and this kept him out of the sun (and usually sent him off to sleep too!). 

TIP: Buy a good sun cream for babies, and use it sparingly! Use clothes and shade to protect. 

uk parenting and family bloggers maisy meow

Well, I told you it was a long post didn't I?

This may look totally overwhelming but in all honesty, everything was so much easier than I thought it was going to be.

I think I've covered everything but please let me know if you have any questions or if you have any further advice on what I've said above - I'd love to add some of your tips to this post too!

What's your top tips for taking a baby on holiday?





Vlog | A Mum on Maternity Leave

Tuesday, 1 August 2017
One of the main reasons I started vlogging again was to record all these early memories of baby Oliver. I want more than just the family album and the milestone photos - I want to remember all the little things like our maternity leave days that seem uneventful at the time, but ones that I'm sure I'll look back on fondly in years to come. 

With that said, I'm going to start vlogging at least once a week. I'll try and pick a day that's not just me and Oliver rolling around on the rug but I can't promise that won't feature at some point on most videos. That's life on maternity pay, after all. 

Lifestyle and parenting blogger and vlogger uk glasgow scotland scottish

I really hope you enjoy watching these too and seeing the day in the life of a mum on maternity leave.  I love watching daily vlogs and seeing what other mums like me get up to and how they fill their days with a young baby. Plus, in this video there's some Primark shopping and who doesn't enjoy a bit of that? 

Make sure you're subscribed to my channel so you don't miss any videos.


Do any of you vlog as well? Leave links to your channel below if you do!

BABY | Oliver's 9 Month Update

Wednesday, 26 July 2017
I've not been around much on my blog recently - which is pretty evident given that I'm currently writing Oliver's 9 month update and the last post on here is his 8 month update! My bad. I have good reason for my absence though, we've been on our first family holiday in Portugal and we had the best time ever. I'm going to be making a video all about that on my youtube channel - so make sure you're subbed if you want some tips and advice on taking a young baby on holiday! 

While we were away, it felt like Oliver aged way more than 2 weeks. He's came home much bigger, more mobile and he just looks like a little toddler now. Here's all the developments of the last month.. 

Lifestyle Parenting Baby Mummy Blogger UK Maisy Meow

Crawling and Pulling Himself Up 
Oliver has been army crawling since 8 months and he's now super quick and mobile. In the last few days, he's progressed to crawling up on his knees although he still reverts back to his army crawl for quickness! He pulled himself up for the first time the day before we went on holiday. I was sitting on the floor in his room drying my hair while he played in his cot and I could see him grabbing the bars of the cot and pulling a little. Then, as if he knew exactly what to do, he lifted on hand and pulled up even further and then before I knew it his little face was peaking over the top of the cot with the biggest smile I think I've ever seen! We both just stared at each other with open mouths trying to work out how he'd managed it so perfectly first time! He kept practising on everything in sight while we were away, and since we came home he's on everything - the couch, the fire place (baby proofing required!) and he's keeping himself up for an extra half hour each night practising climbing the bars in the cot. I must admit he's harder work now that he's on the move - he can't be left for a second and he's always desperate to get onto the floor so he can keep practising! 

Reflux - We've ditched the Dairy Free diet
I mentioned in Oliver's 8 month update that we were trying a dairy free diet to see if his reflux was the result of a lactose intolerance. We were prescribed Nutrimigen but after 2 weeks it was clear it wasn't helping the reflux and in fact, it was making him really windy and uncomfortable too. After another visit to the doctor, we went back to SMA pro milk and we're now using gaviscon sachets in every bottle which helps a lot. He's only having a bottle in the morning and before bed now too and having less milk definitely improves the reflux. We've been trying to stick to more solid foods too as they seem easier for him to hold down - scrambled eggs and sweet potato fingers are his favs! 

Lifestyle Parenting Baby Mummy Blogger UK Maisy Meow

Sleep - Controlled Crying (kind of)
I've always had to put Oliver to bed when he's already sleeping - whether that's because he's fallen asleep on his bottle or because I've rocked him back and forth for 10 minutes. If he woke once I left the room, I'd always have to start again - exhausting! I'm going back to work in a few weeks time and I knew I couldn't expect my mum to go through this process every time he needed a sleep so I decided to try a bit of 'controlled crying' to see if he could send himself to sleep. The good thing is, there wasn't really much crying involved. I started with his naps, when he's usually really tired, and I put him in his buggy with his blanket and faced it to the wall as I normally would. Then I left him and sat on the couch behind to see if he'd fall asleep. He moaned a little but didn't properly cry and within 10 minutes he was sleeping - I totally wasn't expecting it to work first time! Next, we tackled the bedtime routine and couldn't believe it that after 20 minutes of him crawling around the cot, babbling and being full of energy, he face planted the mattress and fell straight asleep. I could have cried with happiness, in all honesty. I think he probably could have done this months ago if I'd just left him long enough! Our controlled crying attempt ended before it really began - he's now a champion sleeper and we put him down awake every night now. He's still an early riser though - 6am is our wake up call and that's fine with me, really, because it means that when I'm back to work, I'll get an hour playing with Oliver before I have to get ready in the morning. 

Teeth 
He still has just two teeth on the bottom but given all the red cheeks and drooling, there's definitely more on the way! Calpol and teething powders have been our friend this month, and everything else that he can chew on .. including my shoulder and neck. He's secretly a vampire, I know it! 

Lifestyle Parenting Baby Mummy Blogger UK Maisy Meow

Oliver is still a super happy, cheery little boy and he loves when people chat to him. He's always got the biggest open-mouthed grin on his face when he's getting attention and he lunges towards people when he wants a cuddle/grab of their face. His favourite toys this month are mobile phones and tv remotes - he's not picky, he'll take any that are going as long as he can chew them. 

So many people have commented on how much he's grown recently, and you can totally see it in these photos I think. I took these in Portugal, on the day that he turned 9 months and it's the biggest change I've seen in him month-to-month since the newborn days. I must admit that the chunky baby stage is a firm favourite of mine - I just can't resist those chunky thighs and that double chin! 

Happy 9 months Oliver! 

 

Olivers 8 Month Update | Dairy Free & Crawling

Sunday, 2 July 2017
8 MONTH OLD BABY DEVELOPMENT UPDATE CRAWLING SITTING UP DAIRY FREE DIET

It's probably been his biggest month yet. In the last 30 days, Oliver has transformed from a little baby to a big boy that sits up, crawls and flashes two big teeth every time he grins. I really feel like this was the month he changed into a 'big baby' if that makes sense. He almost looks like a tiny toddler now, especially when he holds onto his daddy's hands and practises walking. It's the funniest thing watching him lift each foot up to waist height before slamming it down to the ground - you'd think he was doing the hurdles rather than going for a little stroll. 

Shortly after his 7 month 'birthday', Oliver started sitting up unassisted. He'd been able to sit up for a while, but had never been steady enough to sit without a few cushions behind him to soften the blow when he lost his balance. He doesn't need them now, and he's finally stopped throwing himself backwards! 

Oliver's crawling started around the 8 month mark. I'm not sure if you can call it a 'crawl' yet, to be honest. It's more of an army crawl than a baby crawl, but he's putting in the practise and his technique is getting better by the day. Gone are the days when I could leave him on the rug, knowing he could only roll side to side. He can now go side to side, and forward at a quick pace, meaning before I know it he's managed to reverse himself under the chair. It's the cutest thing to see his little face peering up at me, waiting for me to spot him hiding in the corner! 

BABY UPDATE 8 MONTHS DEVELOPMENT CRAWLING SITTING UP DAIRY FREE DIET FOR REFLUX

When it comes to sleeping, we've managed to phase out the Sleepyhead in the last month. It took a good few nights of broken sleep, because he kept rolling over and waking himself up but now that he's used to it, he rolls over at the start of the night and sleeps on his side or his tummy now. He's still an early riser, waking at 6am most days. If you'd have told me a year ago that 7am was a lie in, I'd have laughed but I live for those mornings now!

Oliver's settled into a routine with his naps during the day now too. Before now, he'd have a long nap in the morning then kind of sleep at different points during the day when he felt tired or when we were in the car. Now, though, he has a 1-2 hour nap at 9am, a quick nap at 2pm and then he'll always sleep for an hour after his bottle at 4pm. That's the time I always look forward to because I normally make up his bottle, pick something good on the telly and let him nap on me while I have a wee cup of tea and chill out. I'm really cherishing moments like this just now, as it's not long before I return to work and I know I'll be looking at the clock at 4pm every day and missing those naps. 

Reflux is still a big problem and we're in the middle of a dairy-free diet just now and nutrimigen milk. The doctor wants to rule out any kind of intolerance, since we've noticed his reflux is amplified after cheese and yoghurts. In all honesty though, I don't think he has an intolerance and despites some good days at the start, the dairy free diet hasn't improved anything so far. I think I'll write a post on it at the end of the trial to say how we got on, but I can't say I have high hopes. 

Oliver is the happiest, sweetest and friendliest little guy at 8 months. He loves to 'roar' like a little lion, to wave at everyone he see's (including blank walls, which freaks me out!) and he's at his happiest when he's splashing around in the sink with lots of bubbles. Of course, I'm going to finish on the same note as I always do with these monthly updates. 8 months is my favourite age so far!

Watch Olivers 8 Month Video Here ---> 8 MONTH OLD BABY UPDATE

Have any of you put your baby on a dairy free diet?

Instagram: How to Get Your Creative Spark Back

Wednesday, 28 June 2017
Instagram is my favourite social media platform. I love looking at the beautiful pictures on my feed and reading little snippets of what's going on in everyone's lives that day. I've met some lovely friends through it and over the last few months, I've been using instagram a lot more - working hard to improve my feed, build my following and working on my photography skills in general. Despite that, I find myself in an instagram rut every now and then. For a few days, I'll have absolutely no idea what to post.

For those few days, I fall out of love with instagram. But all is not lost, because I've found the best way to get that creative spark back.

Here's my tips for regaining your insta-inspo:

Instagram how to get out of an instagram rut lifestyle blogger maisy meow insta tips

Take more photos 
When you're stuck for inspo, take photos of everything - even if you don't think it's an instagram moment! The more photos you take, the more ideas you'll get.  This photo above was on one of my 'rut' days, playing Oliver on the rug like we do every morning and I took a couple of photos from different angles and, it turns out, this is one of my favourite photos now.

Get inspo from your favourite accounts
I often use the new 'save' button on instagram if I see a photo that I really like on my feed. Whether I like the angle they've used, the colours in the picture, the way it's edited - anything! When I'm looking for inspo, I'll scroll back through my saved pics and try and get some inspiration. Of course it goes without saying that you should never copy another account, or if you want to do your own take on a unique idea then be fair and credit your inspiration so they see it too.

tips to inspire creativity on instagram maisy meow lifestyle and parenting blogger uk

Think outside the box - look around!
Maybe it's just me, but I definitely have my go-to spots where I take photos. Most are places where the light is good, or where I know there's a nice background. In a rut, these places aren't appealing and instead, I'll normally take a minute to properly look at my surroundings and see if I'm missing out on a photo opportunity somewhere. My instagram is family/lifestyle and interiors based, so thinking outside the box, for me, means moving some items around and creating a new little space for a cute photo. Thinking out the box can also mean trying out a new camera angle - a birds eye view can make a simple set up so much more interesting!

Get inspo for your own account
You might have forgotten about some pics you took months ago that you really liked. Look back through your own feed and see if there's any that stand out to you, or ones that performed really well and see if you can do an updated take on it. If you're like me and take loads of photos every day, there's probably a few in there that you really loved but have totally forgotten about! 

How do you get out of an instagram rut?





Mamas and Papas Sales Haul

Sunday, 25 June 2017
SUMMER SALES HAUL MAMAS AND PAPAS HAUL BABY BOY OUTFITS

I challenge any of you with babies or young kids to walk past the Mamas and Papas sale without 'popping in' for a quick look/shopping spree. It's just a couple of weeks until we go on our first family holiday to Portugal so I felt some holiday purchases were justified, and I'm so happy that I managed to get so much stuff for half price. 

Here's a quick video showing you all what I got - the sale's still on so be quick and go shopping! 






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