Posted by: MummyTravels | March 15, 2012

The contented travelling mummy – according to Gina Ford

Along with bottle vs breastfeeding, working vs stay-at-home mums and Marmite (ick), even I know that one of the few things to incite immediate controversy is Gina Ford.

But leaving aside the latest ruffled feathers about post-baby sex, and whether you really should just grit your teeth and get on with it, her new book, The Contented Mother’s Guide (£11.99, Vermilion) does have some travel tips for mums.

And despite famously being an advocate of routine, the book’s suggestions are far from doom and gloom about jetting off with baby in tow. Hurrah!

Starting with suggestions to make it easy to actually leave the house at all, including leaving a packed changing bag by the door, to travel sickness tips (a joy I have to come), there’s lots of practical advice from mums who’ve been there, done that, and then sometimes worked out how to do it better.

Here’s a few of my favourites:

  • Why to escape the UK: Janie – “The great thing was that the attitude towards babies is so different in continental Europe; when we walked into a lovely restaurant with our baby in his buggy, diners actually smiled at us.” (And with a reasonable chance of my baby having blonde hair and blue eyes, at least to start with, I’m hoping this will get added brownie points around the Mediterranean)
  • Don’t pack everything: Do your research and work out what you can buy when you arrive (eg extra nappies) and what you can rent with companies like Tiny Tots Away, or see what the hotel will arrange, even if it’s not listed on the site. And keep a packing list – either on the computer or by the bed, so you can jot down the brainwaves that come just as you fall asleep – with grobags and blackout fabric (or bin liners and masking tape) for windows getting special mention.
  • Plane sailing: Use a sling for getting on and off the plane, as it keeps your hands free, and always have a change of clothes for yourself as well as the baby. Not only a good plan if luggage goes astray, it’s also a useful back-up in case you get thrown up on.

And with mums talking about hiking and camping trips, jaunts to Barcelona, and cruises round the Caribbean, I feel faintly reassured that at least I’m not the only madwoman planning to fill her hand luggage with muslins.

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