Travel by Eurostar with a baby… It’s easy!

I’m currently in amidst of planning more adventures with The London Mum and her beautiful babies and we are debating to travel via Eurostar again. We recently embarked on a mini city break to Paris last month and if you follow me on insta I’m sure you saw some of my picks and stories with our 2 night adventure.


Not the best pic of her dodging the camera!

Firstly I would advice (if you are a bargain hunter like me) to book well in advance or better still, when you see the ads popping up with promotions of “£58 return fares” snap them up and you will have a little adventure to look forward to without breaking the bank. That’s exactly what we done. Another fantastic bonus, is traveling with kids under 4 means that they travel for free! As long as they’re on your lap and one child per adult, you’re on to a fantastic perk of family travel via eurostar. Plus pretty much unlimited baggage so no weight limit of petty rules of one bag, so you can pack all of your babies goodies without any weight/fluid restrictions again for free! 


On our trip, we requested a table seat. This gave us more room and there was no risk of our little ones kicking seats in front of us and passengers opposite are another helpful distraction rather than a plain back of a seat. 

The thing I love most about traveling by Eurostar is how quick it is and you get on in one country and off in another. It also opens up a whole possibility of adventures if you were to go longer and explore more by traveling via train. I have always wanted to do an Interail adventure round Europe rather than jumping on planes. Even more adventurous and another one for the bucket list is the Trans Siberian Express, the ultimate train adventure! Myself and the London Mum have been discussing both possibilities! 

With regards to the Eurostar, I would advise:

  • Book in advance to save money
  • Book a table seat for more space
  • Board early to ensure that buggy gets in the nearest luggage storage spot
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance – the steps boarding the train are very steep and the Eurostar staff and even other passengers helped lift the buggy in and off.
  • It has changing facilities
  • And a bar for your prosecco!

So get booking especially with the Christmas markets approaching and enjoy what Europe has to offer via Eurostar!

Advertisements

8 Essential baby items when traveling overseas

August 2017 marked the first time I would be going away with my daughter at just 4 months old. Ensuring you have all bases covered with the packing can be stressful (as I found) and overpacking is a simple mistake (as I did!). So I am sharing with you, 8 extremely useful items that I found very useful and wouldn’t travel without in the future with a young baby.

1. Calpol.


We were at Gatwick airport wandering round the shops in departures. Little one was getting grizzly, irritable and red in the face. At 4 1/2 months, teething was definitely happening and she started to cry. Overtired and refusing to nap was an additional bad combo but thank goodness I had packed in my rucksack Calpol. Gave her a dose and it helped to settle her before take off. You just never know when you may need it!

2. Sanitising Water 

Why have I not discovered this sooner? Don’t get me wrong I’m all down for a little germ exposure to help boost and build her immune system but obviously don’t want her poorly and so at times things need sanitising. Dummy. Hands. Sippy cup.. just simply spray this water onto whatever needs sanitising including hands, et voila! Well done Aquaint! Safe for in the mouth and germs are gone! Brilliant! Especially on those highly germ ridden planes. Can be purchased direct from their Website or simply from Boots.

3. Koo Di Travel Bassinet


I have both the bassinet and the cot. Koo Di Are a very clever company that have the most Lightweight, practical and handy travel sleeping bassinets and cots! They literally pop up and take less than 2 minutes to assemble. We travelled round Italy and slept in various hotels so I would have to take down and put up the bassinet on several occasions but I can say it honestly wasn’t a problem. The bassinet even has a mosquito net built in ideal for tropical climates! I honestly love their products and very affordable too.

4. Skip Hop Changing Station

Firstly why did I not purchase this before rather than having to always stick to my huge changing bag and plain rubbish free mat inside the bag? Not only is this Skip Hop changing station a compact bag filled with everything you need, it is light, easy, affordable and looks fab. I could change my baby in the smallest of areas hassle free such as on the plane and in the car. The great thing about this is that you are not always having to search through your bag for what you need, but you can transform any bag into a baby bag! Woohoo! It’s so good I think 4-5 of my friends have purchased since I have had it. Amazing!

5. Pampers

Obviously you need nappies. I am definitely one for reusable she where possible but when you are on the move with limited wash and dry facilities there is no better nappy than Pampers. From explosive poops to long sleepy nights we had no accidents at all. There are other brands that I am sure are fabulous however I love these nappies and have never had nappy rash. Says it all really. However I would suggest buying them prior to your trip as they were quite s bit more expensive in Italy. 50 nappies did us for the week.

6. Baby Banz Sunglasses

Most people don’t forget a sun hat for a small baby but what about sunglasses? According to Made for Mums babies eyes are highly susceptible to harmful UV damage from the sun and that children under 1 must wear them to protect their eyes. I understand that this can be tricky to keep on with little hands grabbing and pulling, but we defo found that Baby Banz we’re practical with 100% protection and comfortable and stay on snugly with the adjustable strap. Look how cute they are too!

7. Car seat check in bag

 

If you’re not hiring or using a car than you can skip this one, but if you are than this was so handy. With the need for a car seat for my little one on our Italian road trip I was worried our car seat would get completely destroyed in the check in luggage. We only have one! I invested in one of these red check in bags to protect the car seat and it worked! No spills, damage and came off of the conveyer first! You cannot miss it! I purchased mine from Amazon here.

8. Haakaa Silicone breast pump

This breast pump is awesome. I decided to take it away for a few reasons: to carry on practicing with her sippy cup and just incase I started to feel engorged at any time to prevent any mastitis when I could have just pumped a little to keep it at bay. It is small enough to be sterilised whilst away, it squeezes into small spaces and does the trick! I have recommended this product to friends that have amazing results too! Haakaa Can be purchased here.
So there you have it! Just a few essentials in my opinion that have helped with my travel experience with a young baby. It’s all about adapting and being flexible to enjoy it fully! We even bathed in a bidet! I hope this blog helps! Happy holidays!

How to survive your first flight with a baby!

I have recently embarked on my first trip abroad with a baby. As an avid traveler, I was keen to get back in the driving seat so to say and restart my travels after being heavily pregnant and learning to be a mum for the first few months of my daughters life. At 4 months old, I felt comfortable enough to be able to give it a go. What’s the worst that can happen? 🙄


Starting off gently (no 13 hours flight to Singapore just yet!) we opted to fly to Italy. We love the country, it’s beautiful, the food is incredible, friendly and no too far for our first flight. We also had a friends wedding so thought we could kill two birds with one stone.

 We chose to fly with Easyjet not just because we are frequent fliers with them pre baby, but because the flight went to Pisa our base for the trip. Being August one of the peak months to fly, we headed to the airport slightly earlier to allow time for security, food and all things baby if needed – feeds, poo explosions, you know the score!

In a nut shell we had two very different experiences on the flight out and inbound. So what is the worst that can happen? Screaming, uncontrollable child for the whole flight that was delayed, came with poo explosions and dirty looks from all directions. Yes. This was our flight to Italy. On the way back, we had a sleepy and giggly baby that was happy to smile at every passing passenger and I even managed to watch half of the movie bridesmaids! Result! After surviving my first flight, here are 10 tips to help you if you decide to go – which I highly recommend and encourage!

  1. Preparation 

Babies can be very unpredictable. Who is saying they won’t projectile vomit, be happy, be sad, struggle with their ears or decide to sleep for the entire flight (we can wish!). So pack your bag carefully. I had a rucksack type changing bag from Amazon by Bebemour. It’s fab and has loads of sections to pack everything you need for both you and baby. Think about changing mat, calpol, dummies etc – I will blog about essential travel items soon.

      2.   Take someone.

Obviously this can be impossible if you have to travel alone for whatever reason. If that’s the case, just bear in mind there are some incredibly supportive people out there that I’m sure will be in your flight. We had people asking to hold her, smiling, general distracting which is all helpful. If you can, take someone! I traveled with my husband and it helped to pass the baby when one needed the loo or carry a bag etc. It makes flying much easier!

      3.    Hygiene

A little extreme but on our flight home someone projectile vomited down the aisle. With no windows, I had to just breathe through my mouth and sit tight till we landed. That flying tube is FULL of nasty germs and with people sneezing, coughing and not washing their hands I defo don’t take risks even more so with the bubba in tow. I packed sanitising gel, wipes and ensured that prescious dummy was well attached to the little one. This tip is a precaution rather than having a sick bubba whilst you are away.


     4.     Temperature

Many planes crank up the A.C once you are airborne and the plane turns into a flying fridge. I definitely feel the cold so the baby is too. Layers and a change of clothes are a good idea with a thin blanket to keep snug if it becomes cool. Layers to peel off if you are like us and sit on the runway delayed for an hour sweating! Don’t forget those socks or babygrows to keep those tootsies warm! 

     5.     Check Baggage Allowance

Flying with easyjet meant that we were entitled to 2 extra items to check in plus a changing bag in the flight. We opted for the car seat (as we were hiring a car) and a stroller (with an ergo baby stuffed underneath!). The car seat was checked in and the stroller used around the airport and dropped at the gate – very handy! Check this useful guide by Sky Scanner that shows all the airlines and luggage for babies. A good tool!

     6.    Flight Time

Sounds obvious but we didn’t book a 6am flight. This would mean getting up at silly o’clock to drive there, check in etc and would result in super tired parents as well as a potentially grouchy baby. Bad combo. If there is a particular time that your little one turns into a little devil, avoid that time. Some say witching hour is around 6-9pm so if that’s the case for you, avoid. 

     7.     Little ears

Babies and small children have much smaller ear canals and do not know what to do if their ears pop on take off or landing. Swallowing is an easy way to pop ears back to normal so encourage this by feeding or using a dummy particularly when the flight is going up or down. This made a huge difference to us and I didn’t notice any discomfort from my little one. Another tricky one is if your baby has a cold. Flying is very uncomfortable for an adult when stuffy and can result in painful ears so just to bear in mind on your next flight. 

     8.     Distraction and comfort

Your baby is likely to be afraid or require more comfort than usual so don’t forget that favourite toy or comforter. We took her favourite Lamaze firefly toy as she can spend long periods playing, chewing and looking at it. I also downloaded a baby app on my phone called Baby View that is just high contrast images of ladybirds and butterflies that she is mesmerised by. Very handy when she decided that she wanted to scream and throw a tantrum before take off! Very useful! Just use anything! We even resorted to the inflight magazine that she found highly interesting! 


So definitely go for it! We are hoping to jet off on a long haul destination at the end of the year so it will be different again to this short 2 hour flight. Good Luck! ✈️❤️

Millie’s Beach Huts – A Fantastic Family Day Out!

I’ve not posted about anything travel related just yet and the fact that I gave birth to my first child in March, means I have been adapting to motherhood ever since. At around two months old I feel I am settling in well and have learnt about this motherhood lark so I feel a little more comfortable to venture away. As I am not going away till the summer, I decided to head to the coast to get a taste of summer (wheather depending) and have a family day out in a cute beach hut! Break her in gently! 

I stumbled across Millie’s Beach Huts based in Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex after a google search for Beach Huts. They look so cute and made me smile with their bright colours and seaside themed decor, I had to snap one up for the day. I have never been inside a beach hut or hired one, but decided to take the plunge and go for it! In fact, I had never even been to Walton-on-the- Naze but the beach looked very clean and quaint so it was a good location to try and hire a beach hut! 

It’s always a gamble booking things in advance when living in the U.K, as one day the weather in June could be torrential rain or gales, but I got lucky and it was a glorious 23 degrees with blue skies as you can see by the pics! 

The beach hut of choice (and availability as they get snapped up quick!) was Millie! Millie is based in Southcliffe promenade and was a beach hut of the year finalist due to its quirky and colourful pink and sea green decor! To be honest I was so glad it was available as it was my beach hut of choice! 




It’s a Cath Kidston paradise with vintage floral plates, cute polka dots and kitsch interior design. It is full with amenities too for you to use such as a whistling kettle, chairs, gas stove, umbrella and even the buckets and spades are included to use! Vicky (the owner of Millie’s Beach Huts) has pretty much thought of everything, so even if the weather was bad, there are board games, cozy blankets, colouring in (ideal for kids) and even a glass jar of doggy biscuits for your furry friend should you chose to bring them along as they are more than welcome! 


It was actually really warm inside the hut so even on a cooler day you wouldn’t be freezing but I spent much of the day relaxing on the balcony! Based on the second row and up 5 steps, you have an uninterrupted view of the sea and what a glorious view it was! I honestly felt I was away on holiday for the day! 


There were 6 of us in total (baby included) and it was just enough room for us to enjoy a cold drink and fish and chips before we left in the evening! The Huts are to hire for long hours in the summer season so you could stay from 9am till 8pm. Booking is simple and quick online and access is via a code and key safe attached to the hut itself so no faffing about before or after! It also is incredibly affordable so most certainly won’t break the bank!


My little one enjoyed her first day at the seaside and I highly recommend coming to Walton-on-the-Naze for your traditional British seaside retreat for the day and Millie’s Beach Huts are an ideal base for the day! 

22 Weeks: The bump is growing, aching back and a trip to Bath!

So the weeks at the moment appear to be flying by! Not sure wether it’s because work is busy or I have heaps on at the moment (including the stress of looking for a new house) that I can’t believe I am way over half way through my pregnancy. 


As you can see (I’m sure the dress accentuates the curves) that my belly has really decided to pop out. Along with the sudden growth spirt that I have noticed, my little girls kicks have been getting more and more obvious and less like “do I need to fart” feeling. Which is a good thing! Although she is very cheeky and plays games when I get people to feel the kicks, she simply plays musical statues and plays tricks on me! Along with the growth spirt in waist size, I have noticed that I am so god damn itchy. My stomach is so itchy and this is Aparantly a sign of the skin stretching, so I am applying yet even more oil to my skin and praying to stay clear of those pesky stretch marks. 

With working full time it can get extremely tiresome of the Monday to Friday grind and I have started to arrange my annual leave to take me up till my maternity leave. As a result I booked off a few days and originally wanted to hit Iceland for a three night break to see the northern lights. Unfortunately, weather was not on our side and we opted to cancel, which was a good thing as I felt poorly with a cold the few days leading up. Decided to chose a UK city that I have always wanted to explore and that I could drive to, so opted for Bath.

 I had heard some fantastic things about Bath and decided to chose a gorgeous early week one night stay from Booking.com to stay at the stunning Paradise House. It is a boutique B&B based just a short 10 minute walk from the centre of bath, so easy to explore on foot. The hubby and I were not disappointed with its personal service, attention to detail and gorgeous boutique four poster bed rooms! 


The views were stunning and can be seen right from our bed. We spent a few hours exploring bath on foot and discovering some really beautiful local shops and even went to see the traditional Roman baths in all their glory as the steam rose into the sky in the chilly November air. 









I started to have some lower back pain after walking for a few hours, which was a reminder of my bubba and that I needed to have frequent pit stops. I wasn’t complaining as I am working my way through this seasons costa and Starbucks hot chocolate range! Highly recommend the toasted marshmallow hot chocolate! After a short venture back to the hotel to rest before dinner, it would be rude to not have a bath in bath! (Well the hubby went slightly overboard with the bubbles that’s for sure!).



Our evening consisted of a lush Thai meal at a place called Thaikhun. As our wedding anniversary is shortly approaching and we got married in a cave in Thailand (yes I will blog about this!) we fancied some Thai food and my god it is good. Pure food orgasm and I definately am going to be going to another one before the year is out! The whole place is Thai themed like Bangkok even with a tuktuk! Delicious and whilst I write about this I could happily have some more spring rolls! 




After a leisurely lie in and a last venture out to Bath before our drive back, I had a lovely chill in this open fire area before a complimentary full English (all organic produce) and was as tasty as it looked! 



So week 22 was pretty cool. I’m having no heartburn (YET), I have a filthy cold sore and lower back pain when I start walking longer distances. I’m enjoying all the hot chocolate consumption and feeling so refreshed for the week ahead.

Week 14 of pregnancy and I’m off on a babymoon!

Well what can I say. It’s like a heavy cloud of constant hangover, exhaustion and nausea has been lifted. I never thought that this moment would come and I was actually used to the feeling of feeling unwell. The dry reaching had slowly halted and I began to feel more full of life. My appetite had gone into overdrive and all I could think about was food, the next meal and reminiscing of future meals! Nom nom nom!

I no longer felt like I wanted to quit my job because I felt so rough and couldn’t face seeing people and felt more focussed and less crazy. As an avid traveller, I felt like I could embark on a trip abroad to relax and celebrate conquering trimester one! The hubby and I embarked on a little Balearic number to the quaint (far from “shagaluf”) island of Majorca. I have never ventured there before and heard good things as long as I was away from the riffraff. So in true unconventional mum style, I booked the flights 4 days before I flew, nabbed up a cute boutique hotel in Palma and set off on a relaxing 6 night break.


I chose Majorca as it was a relatively short flight from the UK and knew that the weather wouldn’t be unbearable at a balmy 26 degrees. It was perfect. Lovely beaches, very nice hotel and lots of time to eat and chill! Great combo in the second trimester with a little culture as we spent one day wandering Palma.


Very quaint and nicer than I expected. It reminded me a little of Barcelona and thankfully it was cooler today with cloud so I didn’t get too warm. This was probably the most energetic day of our trip as the rest was spent lazing on the beach, pool or taking siestas in the cool room 🙂 Bliss!


I have started to get a small paunch. It’s kinda a combo of 14 weeks pregnant and have I just put on weight as my middle starts to expand! I had to be more careful in the sun than usual and made sure I drank heaps of water, had an umbrella and plenty of dips in the sea to keep cool. It’s amazing how much more sensitive your skin is.. Within 10 minutes of my legs in the sun they were looking a little blotchy and I kept factor 30 on the entire time with reapplying frequently. At times I forgot I was even pregnant, but than there are reminders such as the odd wave of nausea, realizing I cannot drink alcohol or eat shellfish or looking in the mirror and realizing my trim waist was disappearing before my eyes!! 

It was probably the laziest I have ever been whilst away. I am usually planning, seeing and cramming as much in as possible in with my time away. It was a very pleasant change that I think the hubby really appreciated! 


Ild highly recommend going away during this time in the pregnancy and I am already planning my next trips away before the little one arrives!