One of the questions I get asked all the time, but especially during the summer, is what to do about weaning your baby if you go on holiday. As you will know from my 5 tips to starting weaning and my guide to getting prepared for weaning, the ideal start to weaning your baby is to begin at home in your baby’s familiar environment. But despite the best-laid plans, life doesn’t always work out that way. So how do you go about weaning your baby if you end up going abroad right at the point that they reach this milestone? And what should you do if you have started weaning your baby and then you go on holiday soon afterwards? This blog answers all the questions you have about weaning your little one whilst you are away.
My baby is due to start weaning and we’re going on holiday: should I postpone?
In many cases, it’s not the end of the world to delay. If your baby isn’t quite six months yet, a few days here or there, or even a week here or there, isn’t going to be a major problem in the long term. Simply begin your baby’s weaning journey once you return home. At the same time, it’s really important to start weaning your baby once they start showing signs of readiness. And ideally, we don’t want to delay it too long once baby seems ready. This is because there is a window of opportunity when babies
are can be really willing to accept and try new foods at around six months. In this case, if your baby seems truly ready to start weaning, it’s best simply to begin – even if you’re not at home.
If you’re worried about offering baby’s first foods when abroad there are a few things you can do to help you feel more confident. Firstly, call ahead and speak to the hotel, resort or holiday home where you’re staying. Sometimes hotels and self-catering apartments may have provisions for babies – baby food areas, special equipment or can simply make up some food fresh for them. Remember that right at the beginning of weaning, all you really need are simple vegetables that you can blend with your baby’s usual milk.
You can potentially take a portable hand blender with you if you are self-catering and then you only need basic pots and pans for steaming the veg, which you will almost certainly find in most self-catering kitchens. A hotel can potentially do all this for you so definitely check before you leave. You can also take a chargeable portable blender e.g. itsy blitz with you that doesn’t even need plugging in. All you need then is access to a few different veggies whilst you’re away, along with spoons, a bib and lots of wipes! Remember, you’re not expecting your baby to eat huge amounts of food initially so just try and give them a few regular first tastes.
Should I pause weaning on holiday if I’ve already started your 30-day plan?
No, definitely don’t pause. Try and carry on through the plan in How to Wean Your Baby as best you can. Don’t worry about switching around the days and foods on the plan, either – just treat it as a blueprint rather than a set-in-stone guide. Try to continue offering variety and single-taste veggies initially, and start to explore a little bit more, depending on what ingredients and produce you can get hold of during your holiday. It might actually be a good opportunity to introduce some new flavours to your baby. If you are early into my 30-day plan, I wouldn’t recommend redoing week one, either. Just carry on exploring simple tastes with your baby and try to stick to your routines where possible. Above all, don’t worry too much – you are only away together for a few days and your holiday won’t have a big impact on long-term feeding patterns for your baby.
Should I offer allergens to my baby on holiday?
It’s absolutely fine to offer allergens that have already been accepted by your baby at home but I wouldn’t advise offering any new allergens for the first time on holiday, especially if you’re nervous to do so. Either introduce these before you go, or wait until you get home again. If you are particularly worried about introducing allergens, you can consider taking a first-aid for weaning class before your trip and you can also pack a first-aid kit with you when you go. If your baby does have a confirmed allergy and you have any concerns at all about going on holiday with them, speak to your healthcare provider and ensure you have read my post on food allergies and weaning before you go.
I’m nervous in general about feeding my baby on holiday
Try not to worry about going abroad with your weaning baby and instead think of it as a really good opportunity to potentially introduce your baby to some delicious new flavours. My food tips for feeding your baby on holiday offer practical tips and reassurance as does my blog post on eating out and about with your baby. You might like to watch my Reel of advice for weaning your baby on holiday, too. It’s also a good idea to read all about water for babies: this post includes guidance on how much water baby should be drinking, alongside advice on things like bottled water abroad.
Stick to your routines as much as possible but accept in advance that some things will be different from home. Go slowly with feeding your baby on holiday and don’t fret if their appetite seems altered whilst you’re away. This is completely normal. Remember: it’s only a short time away from home and once you get home from holiday, things will adjust and get back to normal again.
I hope this post has reassured you and answered any questions that you might have about weaning your baby whilst you’re on holiday. All in all, enjoy this time away with your little one and try not to worry unduly about their eating. You can pick up routines again once you get home and, in the meantime, you can enjoy a break and have fun together somewhere different!