Traveling with Baby: Meet Karen Edwards, The Travel Mad Mum

Karen Edwards is the blogging mama behind the Travel Mad Mum blog. She lives with her husband and their daughter Esme, and is expecting a new addition to the family this summer. In the 8 years she has been travelling, Karen has visited over 60 countries, and little Esme has visited over 20! In her blog Travel Mad Mum, Karen documents her growing family’s adventures and offers tips for traveling with baby & while pregnant.


1)      First off we have to say, your blog Travel Mad Mum is such an inspiration! Can you tell us a little about it? Where did the idea come from?

I was on maternity leave and had already left the UK. We spent a few months in NZ. We soon realised it was quite unusual to travel during maternity leave so I thought the blog would be a good way to document our ten month journey. It was initially set up to keep our family and friend in the loop on our movements. I never anticipated it would gather such a large audience.


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2)      Little Esmé is one very well-travelled toddler! Do you know if she has a favourite destination so far? What about you? What’s been your best trip as a family of 3?

Its hard to say where her favourite destination is but she loved Bermuda and more recently Portugal.

My favourite destination as a family is most definitely Bali. We hope to spend some time there in the not too distant future and maybe even put Esme into school for a while. It has such vast geography for a small space and we just love the way of life.


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Get Karen Edwards’ Look: buy the Green Knot Front Maternity Dress


3)      Congratulations on expecting baby number 2! What are your top tips for travelling while pregnant?

Wow what a good question, I have so many. I wrote this a to z guide to travel during pregnancy.


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Get Karen Edwards’ Look: Buy the Off the Shoulder Black Maternity Dress


4)      What about traveling with baby? How did you manage when Esmé was tiny?

Traveling with baby is much easier than travelling with a toddler. There is a common misconception that you have to bring so many things for a baby. We managed with just one bag between three of us for the most extensive part of our ten month trip.

When they are not so mobile it’s less tiresome than when they are running around full of energy. Some may argue a baby is not going to remember the experience. For us, we feel it has shaped her personality and made her an extremely sociable little girl.


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Get Karen Edwards’ Look: Buy the Halter Neck Maternity Swimsuit


5)      Do you already have baby’s first trip lined up, or will you be taking it easy for a while?

Yes of course, we are off to Canada late August. We are leaving for another family gap year. Baby will be around 8 to 10 weeks old. I am really hoping his passport comes on time. We have an extensive year of travel planned. Starting in Canada and hopefully finishing at the tip of South America. The next biggest hurdle, after the birth of course is going to be getting our house rented out.


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6)      How do you handle long haul flights? Do you have any must-have products in your hand luggage for traveling with baby?

Yes my must have product is a Plane Pal. An inflatable pillow that fills the leg room space in front of Esme’s seat. It creates a flat surface and essentially a bed in an economy seat so she can lie down or stretch out mid-flight. It has been a game changer for long haul flights with her.


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7)      What about maternity clothes? What are your must-haves for dressing a bump abroad – especially in a hot climate?

Being a minimalist when it comes to packing, I need something versatile that doesn’t crease when packed and can be dressed up or down. The Seraphine knot front dress collection ticks all the boxes for me and of course it comes in lots of colours to suit everyone’s taste.


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8)      Do you have any favourites from the Seraphine collection?

I love the Seraphine maternity swimwear collection. I have got great use out of my swimming costume. It’s actually quite difficult to find maternity swimsuits that don’t make you feel frumpy so it was a great find. Many of my pregnant friends and followers ask where my Seraphine halter neck swimsuit is from.


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9)      What is your idea of happiness?

Being in a new place where all three of us are enjoying exploring and experiencing a different adventure.


For more from Karen Edwards and to find out more about traveling with baby, check out her blog at and follow her on Instagram @travelmadmum


Seraphine’s top 5 tips for stress-free travel with toddlers and tots

Are you taking the kids away on holiday this Easter? If you are, you may already be worrying about how you are all going to get through the flight! But travelling with little ones needn’t be a stressful experience; with a little careful planning you can make it into a fun way to start a big adventure abroad!

Here are our top 5 tips for simple, stress-free travel with toddlers and tots!


1) Plan ahead & take your time

Plan ahead and book everything well in advance to avoid last minute headaches, and aim for a flight at a time when your little ones are either at their most cheerful or when they are likely to sleep – only you can know what will be right for your children. If you have the option, go for allocated seats to make sure that you can all sit together.

Of course with little ones in tow, the most important thing you have to plan for is the timings. Calculate how much time you think you need, and then double it. What with one thing and another; toilet stops, tantrums and general travel-related disasters, if you plan to leave ridiculously early, you ought to get there just in the nick of time!

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2) Be prepared

The old Cub Scout motto ‘Be Prepared’ has never before been so relevant to your life as when you’re getting ready to venture abroad with young children. When packing your hand luggage; include everything you could possibly conceive of needing, and then pack some more. Snacks, wipes, plasters, toys, spare clothes for everyone – just in case – pick up a few spare maternity & nursing t-shirts at Seraphine!

Make sure you have everything covered, and check out this complete hand luggage kit list from Have Baby Will Travel!


3) Avoid ear ache

Unfortunately that irritating ear ache during take-off and landing is a fact of flying,  and for little ears it can be particularly painful. So what can we do to help them adjust to the changing air pressure?

For really little ones, the best thing you can do is to feed them during take-off and landing – whether you’re breastfeeding or using bottles, having something to suck will really help. For toddlers, having a drink is a good idea, but you could also give them a sweet to suck or (if you trust them not to swallow) some gum to chew.

If you’re planning on nursing on the plane, our Bamboo Breastfeeding Shawl is a life saver – it will provide a handy modesty cover up for discreet nursing, and will be an invaluable wrap to have with you in case it gets chilly in the cabin!

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4) Keep them entertained

As we all know, hell hath no fury like a bored, tired toddler, so plan ahead to keep the little ones entertained throughout the flight. Of course in an ideal world they’d nap through at least some of the flight, but just in case they don’t feel like playing ball, make sure you have plenty up your sleeve to keep them busy.

For a toddler, it’s a great idea to wrap up a few small presents for them to open through the flight – little things like re-usable stickers and colouring books, hot wheels cars or plastic animals are perfect, and if all else fails, ask one of the flight attendants for a cup of ice and some miscellaneous bits and pieces from the tea and coffee trolley – plastic spoons, wooden stiring sticks, serviettes and mini milks for tea – this could buy you a full half an hour of happy playing! As a general rule of thumb: If whatever is entertaining them is quieter than the sound of the plane’s engines, you’re doing a fantastic job!

Stuck for ideas? Check out these 50 ways to keep your toddler or preschooler busy on a plane by Katie at the Playing with words 365 blog!


5) Make Friends

Last but by no means least: Be nice to your seat mates and the cabin crew! It’s a great idea to get the people around you on your side early on – smile, be nice and make friends. You know they didn’t want to sit next to your toddler and they know that you know, but if you make a little effort at the start it can pay off later. If you really want to go all out, you could even put together little goodie bags for the people sitting around you with sweets and earplugs!


All images  by Alexi Lubomirski, taken from Vogue Russia May 2012


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