As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex prepare for their royal tour with Archie, here's how to travel with a baby

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are about to head off on tour with baby Archie [Photo: Getty]
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are about to head off on tour with baby Archie [Photo: Getty]

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are going on royal tour to South Africa on Monday and they’re taking baby Archie with them.

The trip, which starts in Cape Town on September 23 and finishes in Johannesburg on October 2, will be the first royal tour for the family of three.

Earlier this month Prince Harry expressed his excitement at the forthcoming tour via social media and revealed to fans that he “can’t wait” to introduce his baby son and wife to South Africa.

And the trip will certainly be history-making. Prince George undertook his first overseas visit to Australia in 2014, when he was just eight months old.

While a super cute Princess Charlotte accompanied her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and big brother George on a royal tour of Canada in 2016, when she was just a year.

At just over four months, baby Archie will therefore be the youngest royal to carry out such an ambitious tour.

READ MORE: Archie will be months old when he goes on royal tour, but when is it safe for babies to travel?

If the royal couple are feeling daunted about flying with such a young baby, they certainly wouldn’t be alone.

Recent research by The Baby Show has revealed that a third (36%) of new parents have decided not to travel far because of their baby.

The most popular distance that new parents would fly with is three to four hours (31%), followed by two to three hours (25%).

Just 14% would fly five to eight hours, although 22% said they – like Meghan and Harry and baby Archie – would fly 8 hours plus!

The biggest worry about travelling with their baby is him or her crying and being loud on the plane (28%), followed by the baby being stressed in new environments (21%).

“Lots of parents are wary of travelling with little ones, with the biggest concern being their baby crying, plus the fear of what other people might think, especially on a plane, with limited resources to stop this,”explains Lucy Shrimpton, The Sleep Nanny® and sleep expert at The Baby Show.

Though it can be difficult to soothe and calm an upset child especially when in a confined space, Shrimpton says travelling with a small baby is survivable.

“I urge parents to be confident in their ability to deal with their little ones. Don't be afraid, just go for it. Lots of people do it and are fine. Always make sure your child is well and safe to fly. But life is for living, so go for it!”

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That’s something echoed by family travel expert Katie Ellison.

"Baby Archie and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are used to travelling in style - but even flying first class doesn't mean you're immune from the stresses of travel with a tot,” she says.

However with a little forward planning, roaming the world with your baby, like Harry and Meghan, can be a big adventure.

Tear up the rulebook

You may have spent months getting your baby into a routine, but travelling is the time for rule bends.

“The idea of sticking to your normal routine is often impossible so don’t stress too much,” says Shrimpton.

“Try to eat at the correct times but when it comes to sleep, the general motion of travel – whether on a boat, a plane or a car – will naturally lull your little one to sleep.

“During your journeys make sure you all keep hydrated, well-fed and rested. If you or your little one feels the need for a nap and it’s not technically ‘nap-time’ don’t stop it, travelling is tiring business!”

Travelling with a young baby can be daunting but it doesn't have to be [Photo: Getty]
Travelling with a young baby can be daunting but it doesn't have to be [Photo: Getty]

Switch to local time straight away

For Harry and Meghan this will mean just an hour’s difference. “Try your best to adapt to your destination’s time-zone as quick as possible,” advises Shrimpton.

“By getting into the rhythm of the day with correct meal-times and bedtimes, your little one will adjust more quickly.”

Turn to travel hacks

Anything that is going to make your life easier is worth a whirl and tips to make the journey stress-less include feeding on take-off and landing and packing a sling for hands-free travel.

“Try feeding your baby during both take-off and landing as it’s a good way to ease earache and distract them,” suggests Shrimpton. “You may also want to use a baby sling, as it is an easy way to carry a baby and keeps your hands free, which is ideal for holding passports and tickets.”

Pack cabin-light

Yes, we know babies come with a whole host of baggage, but try to travel as light as possible. “Unless you are jetting off somewhere very remote, only travel with what you need in the cabin,” suggests Ellison. “You can buy extra nappies and other bulky items when you arrive. Or pack them in a case to go in the hold.”

But don’t forget the wipes (and nappy sacks!)

“Not only are will you be prepared in there's a poonami on board, they are also useful for clearing up any other mess around your seat,” advises Ellison.

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Create a familiar environment

And make your holiday home a home from home. “Your little one might take longer to get to sleep as they’re out of their comfort zones,” explains Shrimpton. “Try bringing things from home with a familiar scent, such as a pillowcase or sheet. There are lots of things you can bring with you to help, such as a black-out blind, a nightlight and a sleep clock.”

Adopt a Holiday ‘Routine’

Don’t fret if you can’t do your normal routine when you’re on holiday, especially if you’re with family and friends.

“However, babies are very sensitive so it’s important to keep their usual bedtime routine if possible, even if that means settling them in the pushchair when you’re out for dinner,” advises Shrimpton. “Be sure they get their required amount of sleep each day. You can easily fall back into your home routine when you get back.”

Prep for warmer or colder weather

Wherever you go it will probably be a slightly different climate from the UK (most likely warmer!) “Your little one might find this challenging at first so make sure you pack well when it comes to their clothing,” Shrimpton says. “Think about what you’re feeding them too; the right foods and drinks can help regulate body temperature and energy levels.”

Meghan will no doubt be prepping to fly long-haul with baby Archie [Photo: Getty]
Meghan will no doubt be prepping to fly long-haul with baby Archie [Photo: Getty]

Pick your seat carefully

Ellison suggests asking for an aisle seat near the toilet on a flight. “It may not be your usual choice, but it will help if your baby needs changing,” she explains. “If you have a very young baby, request a bulkhead seat with a bassinet and extra room.”

She also suggests pre-booking a baby cot for the flight.

Plan your travel wardrobe

The Duchess of Sussex may look immaculate on official royal duties, but on mum duty on tour she’d be advised to pick her outfits carefully.

“Wear clothes which are comfortable for you but won't show food and milk stains,” advises Ellison. “You'll be trying to keep your baby happy in a small space which isn't always easy.”

Accept help

“Cabin crew and other travel staff are trained to deal with young families and usually offer extra help like priority boarding,” says Ellison. “Take advantage of it as it will make your journey much easier.”

Lower your expectations

Travelling with little ones can be fraught but it is also an amazingly rewarding experience. “The more easy going we train ourselves to be, the easier things will become. Just go with the flow and don't worry about routines too much," suggests Ellison.

“Feeling stressed? Look at the positives. Babies under two are usually free, they sleep a lot and are very portable.”

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