Extremely foolishly, Laura invited us alongside other friends to join them on their summer holiday. This seemed like a grand idea at the time – get a villa, hang out by the pool, take in some sites, all would be good. But as the time to go comes closer, I am filled with a certain amount of foreboding.
Firstly there is all the gear that accompanies a baby. We decided to fly BA in the hope that the experience will be less stressful than a budget alternative, but working out Elphie’s baggage allowance has felt akin to breaking the enigma code.
Her baggage allowance as an infant under two without her own seat is:
“One standard sized bag plus one fully collapsible pushchair (stroller) and one car seat”.
I took “standard” to mean the standard size for the hold, but oh no, on closer inspection a “standard-sized bag” is one you can take on as hand luggage, except this time it will confusingly be in the hold.
And hand luggage? They are allowed a cabin bag, but “only for items they may require during the flight”. So a changing bag then?
One cabin-sized bag is not a lot when you consider the amount of clobber Elphie requires! In fact this was my first attempt at packing:
Her stuff is basically taking up a hold-sized suitcase and that wasn’t even all the stuff! Fred and I will have to share a single baggage allowance – I hope no one we are going with minds us wearing the same clothes every day…
So what is taking up all the room?
I would be the first I am not the world’s most efficient packer: where others are easily able to pack for a week in a shoebox, I always struggle with the full allowance. Perhaps it is because I never properly backpacked around anywhere so I never learnt the skill.
I am sure you don’t want to hear about every item on her packing list, so I will focus on the interesting items requiring philosophical debate on their inclusion on the packing list.
How many nappies does a baby go through? I should have been paying more attention for the last week and actually counted them – I have no idea! She is way down from her newborn heights when 10 a day was probably the average, the significant change being the lack of poo in most nappies meaning you can wait longer to change her (until the blue line fills up on the Pampers or the whole thing feels full on the Natys). So I would guess she goes through about five a day normally, so for a week that is 35 plus some spares make it 45.
Then you have the swim nappies on top of that! Can I discount some normal nappies because of the swim ones? I wasn’t sure she would be in the swim ones for long enough for that, so have assumed not. We’ll have to see how many we return with!
Of course we could have just packed the minimum and bought them there… Pampers is pretty universal now so they should have them. Something to think about when we are in the jettisoning stage of packing that accompanies the realisation that we are way over the limit!
Laura has eyes on various boat trips around the island. This got me thinking about whether Elphie would be allowed on a boat without a life jacket and then if they would have one small enough for her (I suspect not in both cases). So we’ve bought her her own life jacket frol Helly Hanson that has the critical hood at the top to hook her out of the water with and which is apparently self-righting so she’ll end up face up. Maybe overkill but safety first and all that.