Travel isn’t always easy, is it? Throw in children and things can get even more complicated. After nearly four years of travelling with one child in tow, we set off as a family of four when our youngest daughter, Cheeky, was just six weeks old. I admit, we didn’t make it easy on ourselves: a 2,000 mile road trip, two countries and one flight in the space of two weeks.

Rewind four years and it was simpler. My eldest daughter, Mrs T, went overseas for first time when she was nine weeks old. We went to Portugal, exploring the Duoro valley and Porto. She was so portable and well-behaved, it almost felt like we were travelling as a couple. We wandered Porto and its famous Port houses with her tucked into the baby carrier and even managed a Michelin-starred dinner while she was asleep in her pram.

Travel with a baby: In Porto as a family of three in 2012
In Porto as a family of three in 2012

Fast forward to summer 2016 and with two children it was tougher (no real surprise there then) especially with the eldest still getting to grips with her little sister. She loves her but she also loves poking her, pulling her and shouting loudly in her face. Sibling love, ay. But what is the reality of travelling with a six-week-old baby and how did we cope on the road? Here’s what we did and some of the practicalities of travelling with young children.

Travel with a baby: Wander dad, Cheeky, Mrs T in Lyon
Totally fine with daddy holding Cheeky!
 

Where did we go?
We travelled by car to France under the Eurotunnel. Our first stop was an overnight stay in Troyes and then Lyon before getting a flight to Rome. We hired a car and drove to the Marche region of Italy for a villa break with a big group of friends and their children.

After a four-night stay in Italy, we flew back to Lyon and continued our road trip, exploring a few different places in Provence. We stayed in three different hotels in Jucas, Castillon du Gare and Uzes and did day trips to Avignon, Roussillon and Pont du Gare to name a few. Rather ambitiously we headed to Morzine in the Alps at the end of the break where we saw family and watched one of the final stages of the Tour de France. Our journey home took us via Beaune staying there for one night. As we were travelling in Europe we didn’t need any injections beforehand just her passport which we got very soon after registering the birth. Read my post for tips on applying for a child passport.

Roussillon, Luberon, France
The picturesque town of Roussillon

Journey
At six weeks old when we left, our youngest was still at the sleepy stage. She slept a lot in the car and ensured we got her up and out of the car seat every few hours (which we had to do to feed her anyway).

Our eldest (who was nearly four) was happy playing ‘I spy’ and watching a film/TV shows on the iPad. But being cooped up in a car did mean she got a bit grumpy every now and then. On the whole she was really good but perhaps a bit more attention-seeking when we stopped (and having a baby to feed at the same time can be exhausting).

Wander Mum, Cheeky, Mrs T in Troyes

We managed to tie in most of our baby’s feeds with service station stops when we could also use the toilet and have lunch. When it was clear she was hungry (crying) we made some unplanned stops. There were a couple of occasions when I had to jump in the back of the car and squish in between the car seats in an attempt to console her. Cozy! I also had to sit in the back during the three-hour journey to our villa in Rome. Our hire car was tiny so the buggy got the passenger seat.

On the short flight from Lyon to Rome, Cheeky was well behaved and I used the KangaWrap (see my review here) which she fell asleep in. It was also good for looking around some historic buildings on our day trips, for example the Palais des Papes in Avignon.

Wander Mum tries out the Kangawrap at Popes Palace in Avignon

Sleeping
At only six weeks old Cheeky wasn’t yet in a good routine. She struggled to sleep on occasions and there was a fair bit of the ‘witching hour’ with us walking up and down with her in the pram. We had a few lovely evenings with them both asleep while we had dinner though. Hurrah!

The KangaWrap came in handy for a couple of the nights when she was struggling to sleep. I popped her in and had a wander and she nodded off. As always the problem is putting them in the cot/pram without them waking up. On one occasion I just ate with her in the wrap!

We took the Koodai travel bassinet with us and she slept on the floor in our bedroom. It needed a bit of extra padding underneath (a blanket or large changing mat). At the time she was waking once or twice in the night to be fed. Fortunately Mrs T is a deep sleeper and didn’t wake up when the baby woke in the night. During the day, she would nap in the pram, in the shade by the pool or in an air-conditioned room. Young babies sleep a lot! During the day, she didn’t seem to mind where she slept.

Cheeky at 6 weeks old

Eating
I breastfed her which was very easy, no need to take any bottles, but if you do, Milton tablets are brilliant for sterilising. The great thing about travelling with young babies is that they don’t need much. Very few toys required and no food other than milk. With my eldest daughter being nearly four years old, she was able to stay up and eat with us some of the evenings (with us getting an early table) and Cheeky in the pram or we got a babysitter. For lunches, especially when travelling, we would often make sandwiches from the breakfast buffet.

Weather
We went for two weeks in mid July. In France’s Luberon valley where it’s a bit higher, it was cooler and could get rather windy. In other parts of France and in Italy it was hot, around 32-35 degrees celsius. For some of Cheeky’s day naps I would take her into an air-conditioned room and if I saw she was getting too hot would do the same. I kept her in the shade all the time.

Activities
Getting out and about wasn’t too bad. It may take a bit longer than normal to get out the door but once we were out we had fun. Mrs T enjoyed looking around some of the small towns in Provence. There were a couple of days when she could just enjoy the swimming pool.

Hotel in Castillon du Gare
Enjoying the sun in Castillon du Gare, Provence

Our day trips included a visit to the Roman aqueduct, Pont du Gare and to Avignon where we arrived in the midst of its music and arts festival. See my photos from the visit here.
Avignon Festival, France

We enjoyed looking around the different towns in France and if Mrs T was getting a bit fed up there was usually a carousel or ice cream to keep her spirits up. Watching the Tour de France was also fun. It was raining but we took shelter in a nearby pub with some friends and their children.

The toughest day was in Lyon when it was very hot and we were staying on the outskirts of the centre. You can read about our experience here and watch my short vlog below.

Spending time with friends in Italy was great for Mrs T who could play with children her own age. I could focus more on Cheeky and the feeding and sleeping. We crammed a fair bit in, especially with the flight over to Italy, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend adding a detour like that in.

The biggest issue at the time was the relationship between the two girls which was still in its infancy with a bit of jealousy manifesting itself. It was fine when we were active and Mrs T was entertained but at times was a bit testing. Mrs T just wanted to pick her up and play with Cheeky when she was just too little to do anything.

This made it different to Mrs T’s first trip abroad to Portugal. It was a lot easier when we only had to cater for one child’s needs. I would advocate travelling with a young baby especially if it’s your only child. They sleep so much and are very portable so you get time together as a couple (if they settle alright). There may be the odd stressful time but looking back at my photos I can only see the happy times with the negatives almost forgotten. We’ve made lots of happy family travel memories which has helped me to recall a lot of events in those early baby days when it can all become a bit of a blur.

Travel with a baby: Wander Mum and family at the Pont du Gard, France

Practicalities
Having a car helped with all the baby paraphernalia. Our large car easily fitted the pram and our luggage. The issue was when we got to Italy and had to use a hire car.

Road trips with kids

The Koodai travel cot is very compact and was an important accessory. The KangaWrap came in very handy as did a roll-up travel mat which cheeky could lie on around the pool. The Babybjorn bouncer let her sit up and see what is going on.

Verdict

Travelling with a six-week-old baby had its challenges at times and being in a hot country can add to it. But babies can be tricky at that age anyway, can’t they? No matter where you are. As they sleep a lot, you can do activities and chill out by the pool at times. Having your partner around also helps! Getting children used to travelling from a young age has also worked wonders. My two girls seem to enjoy the experience and are great on aeroplanes and in cars. On the whole, young children are incredibly portable and adaptable so getting away when they are young is very doable and there are a lot of positives! Go forth and holiday!

When did you first go away with your children? What challenges and advantages did you experience?

Linking to #fearlessfamtrav with Wander Must Family

Why not pin for later?

The realities of travel as a family with a young baby

Untold Morsels

”Capturing

41 Comments on What’s It Like To Travel With A Six-Week-Old Baby?

  1. Avani
    April 29, 2017 at 9:43 am (3 months ago)

    Thanks for the wonderful article.

    Reply
  2. Tania @ Larger Family Life
    April 30, 2017 at 2:32 pm (3 months ago)

    We’ve found that the worry beforehand is far greater than travelling with kids actually is in practice. Plus, once you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone and actually done it, you know the things you would do differently and more importantly, you know that you can do it!
    Tania @ Larger Family Life recently posted…The Problem With Travel…My Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      April 30, 2017 at 6:40 pm (3 months ago)

      You’re totally right Tania! Once you get going you’ve got to get on with it. I try not to overthink it beforehand

      Reply
  3. Pat the Mum
    May 1, 2017 at 12:40 am (3 months ago)

    Still haven’t quite made it outside the UK with our kids. All that stuff to take on a plane – the buggy alone is a bit enough headache, or transporting the car seats. Our littlest, who is now 13 months, doesn’t even have a passport yet. (The shame!)

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 1, 2017 at 9:34 am (3 months ago)

      I know what you mean. The road trip element of this trip definitely made all that easier. Hope you go soon!

      Reply
  4. Wandermust mummy
    May 1, 2017 at 8:34 am (3 months ago)

    It’s great you travelled with such a little one and I can’t imagine dealing with sibling envy on the road. We couldn’t travel till our lo was 3 months as we had to organise passports and Qatari residency permits but I hope when we have another we can travel earlier #fearlessfamtrav
    Wandermust mummy recently posted…Fearless Family Travel #4My Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 1, 2017 at 9:35 am (3 months ago)

      You’ve more than made up for it since Leona!

      Reply
  5. Baby Loves Travel
    May 1, 2017 at 9:38 am (3 months ago)

    Inspiring post. Lots of people seem to think travelling with a baby is impossible. But as you say, 6 week olds can be challenging regardless of where you are, so you shouldn’t let that put you off travelling. #fearlessfamtrav

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 3, 2017 at 2:52 pm (3 months ago)

      Thank you so much. Yes, it is totally doable and if I can help inspire other parents in anyway to keep traveling, that means a lot!

      Reply
  6. Melissa Conn @ The Family Voyage
    May 1, 2017 at 7:36 pm (3 months ago)

    That’s an aggressive trip with such a wee one! We flew from California to Europe when our second was only a little bit bigger and so much of that trip is a blur for me 😛 But I totally agree that a cozy wrap and breastfeeding make travel with a newborn manageable (even if it isn’t as enriching as it would be with an older baby or child).
    Melissa Conn @ The Family Voyage recently posted…Travel Capsule Wardrobe: What to Pack for Ireland in JuneMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 3, 2017 at 2:51 pm (3 months ago)

      Thank you! It does feel a bit of a blur…glad I took lots of photos!

      Reply
  7. Nanouk
    May 1, 2017 at 8:40 pm (3 months ago)

    Traveling with a baby is much easier than traveling with a toddler, is our experience 😉 Both our kids were around 12 weeks when we took them on their first trip. A carrier is a live saver 🙂 And a big car comes in handy as well, it sometimes feels like moving all your stuff. The sibling envy seems hard dealing with, hope it will ease in the near future! #fearlessfamtrav

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 3, 2017 at 2:50 pm (3 months ago)

      I agreed with you! Toddlers can be a much bigger challenge. The sibling envy has definitely subsided now.

      Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 3, 2017 at 2:48 pm (3 months ago)

      Thank you. Well done to you too Jonny! That’s quite some distance! Do love a road trip!

      Reply
  8. Jane @ Raincity Librarian
    May 3, 2017 at 4:48 am (3 months ago)

    This is actually very reassuring – I love to travel, and one of the things I’ve worried about is how we’ll be able to manage when we have babies in tow! It’s always lovely to hear from mums who’ve made it work!!

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 3, 2017 at 2:32 pm (3 months ago)

      Oh, great, glad to have reassured. It is a bit different but totally doable and lots of fun too. Children do help give you a different perspective on a place.

      Reply
  9. Annabel
    May 3, 2017 at 8:14 pm (3 months ago)

    Wow, what an amazing trip! It just shows what kids are capable of if they assume travelling like that is the norm. im really looking forward to taking my boys on family adventures in Europe, your post is great inspiration! #familytraveltips

    Reply
  10. Love Arts Berlin
    May 3, 2017 at 8:23 pm (3 months ago)

    I’m so impressed that you travelled at 6 weeks, very inspirational. We didn’t go away with our boy until he was 6 months but if we ever have a second and we can, I’d love to go away sooner! Thanks for some great ideas and tips. I loved reading this #fearlessfamtrav

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 9, 2017 at 5:33 pm (3 months ago)

      Thank you so much for your kind words. It means a lot and so glad it can help and inspire.

      Reply
  11. Wherejogoes
    May 4, 2017 at 6:46 pm (3 months ago)

    I’m totally in awe of you I think I just about managed to get dressed when mine were 6 weeks old. If I left the house that was a bonus! Packing, travelling, being away from home would have made my mind boggle. Huge respect for you #awesome. And you all look like you are having a great time! It can be done clearly! #FarawayFiles
    Wherejogoes recently posted…PORTO – JARDINS DO PALACIO DE CRISTALMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 15, 2017 at 4:22 pm (2 months ago)

      Thank you Jo! That’s lovely to read. It’s all seems a little bit of a blur now but we seemed to have a great time despite the odd challenge!

      Reply
  12. Elizabeth
    May 4, 2017 at 6:53 pm (3 months ago)

    That is awesome! We also traveled a lot when my son (I only have one kid) was an infant, but looking back, I found it really difficult to enjoy the sights because I was so tired from lack of sleep at night and being on the go all day. You look amazingly refreshed and energetic in these photos, so it sounds like you don’t struggle with that problem! Also, your littlest (and older daughter) is adorable, congrats on the healthy, happy baby!

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 15, 2017 at 4:27 pm (2 months ago)

      Thank you Elizabeth. I think most of the time I was faking it! Hehe. The sun helped a little with me looking refreshed. It was definitely difficult at times but we managed to relax a little too!

      Reply
  13. Urska - Slovenian Girl Abroad
    May 5, 2017 at 2:10 pm (3 months ago)

    Almost all my friends with the babies stopped traveling. I don’t have kids yet, but I would hate if I would have to put my passion of travel on hold just because of the kids. It’s reassuring to hear your positive experiences. #FarawayFiles

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 15, 2017 at 4:28 pm (2 months ago)

      So glad it has been reassuring. My ethos is to show you can still travel with children so it’s great to read your comment Urska. It can be done!!

      Reply
  14. Katy Clarke
    May 5, 2017 at 5:41 pm (3 months ago)

    Road trip is definitely the way to go. We drove 10 hours to Adelaide when the twins were 4weeks old. I wouldn’t have attempted flying due to all the stuff and feed timing. The drive was pretty easy in hindsight although trying to tandem feed in the car was ..comical to say the least!! Thanks for joining #FarawayFiles

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 15, 2017 at 4:32 pm (2 months ago)

      Haha! Yes, it would be. Incredible! Road trips are perfect to sling all the baby stuff in…even more so when you have baby twins!

      Reply
  15. Hilary
    May 5, 2017 at 6:24 pm (3 months ago)

    Wow! This is impressive! I really admire, that you weren’t intimidated by having a small child. If I had it to do over again, I might have done something like this, but probably not with the first one… Both my boys traveled abroad when they were 3 years old, and first flew at under 5 months. #farawayfiles
    Hilary recently posted…10 things to do in New Orleans with KidsMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 15, 2017 at 4:36 pm (2 months ago)

      Thanks Hilary. We wanted to try and give the second child a similar experience to the first. It was different and a bit tricky but a great experience.

      Reply
  16. Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles)
    May 6, 2017 at 6:56 pm (3 months ago)

    I’m very impressed you went on a road trip as one of your first trips with two small children. We went travelling soon after our second was born but we opted for a more relaxed stay in one hotel. Taking them roadtripping so young will certainly mean both girls grow up to be competent, experienced travellers though so all credit to you. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles
    Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles) recently posted…Faraway Files #27My Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 15, 2017 at 4:38 pm (2 months ago)

      Ha! Let’s hope our love of travel filters down! The relaxed stay in one place would have been rather good to be honest. We didn’t make it easy on ourselves with our itinerary!

      Reply
  17. Trish @ Mum's Gone To
    May 8, 2017 at 3:55 pm (3 months ago)

    In the pre-school days we had a mixture of UK trips, the odd Eurotunnel trip to France and flights to Mediterranean beaches where we could stay put for a week or two. But we only had one child so I’ve never had to manage the requirements of two children!
    I have to say, your two girls are just adorable – but then I’m just looking at their lovely photos, not trying to stop one sibling from poking the other!
    #farawayfiles
    Trish @ Mum’s Gone To recently posted…Unlocking the secrets of Bletchley ParkMy Profile

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 15, 2017 at 4:40 pm (2 months ago)

      Hehe! Yes, all sweetness in the photos. Ah, they are pretty good really and the oldest is brilliant with the youngest now she can poke back!

      Reply
  18. Oldhouseintheshires
    May 10, 2017 at 8:20 am (3 months ago)

    Looks like a great trip! Travelling with such a young baby is easier than with teens I think! At least they stay where you put them! What a fun blog you have. I have enjoyed taking a look around.

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      May 17, 2017 at 7:35 am (2 months ago)

      Haha very true! Thanks for checking the blog out, so glad you enjoy.

      Reply
  19. Maria Hughes
    July 1, 2017 at 5:24 pm (3 weeks ago)

    We first travelled with Lily when she was 8 weeks old and whilst it did feel like we were taking half of the house with us (we *may* have overpacked!) it was great fun and we all really enjoyed it. Your holiday sounds like great fun & im also easily cheered up with an ice cream!! Thank you so much for linking up to #HMCapturingMoments x

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      July 1, 2017 at 11:45 pm (3 weeks ago)

      Thanks for hosting. All the baby ‘essentials’ definitely mean overpacking but it’s such a special
      time to all spend together!

      Reply
  20. Sarah
    July 2, 2017 at 12:56 am (3 weeks ago)

    I love this post, so honest. And well done you for succesfully managing it! #HMCapturingMoments

    Reply
    • Wander Mum
      July 4, 2017 at 10:53 pm (3 weeks ago)

      Thank you so much Sarah! We certainly took a lot on but was worth it.

      Reply

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