Going Away with a Baby!
Being a mum, let’s face it, is one of the most exhausting things you’ll ever do. Pre-baby, if you needed a break you might have poured something cold and relaxed with a film, maybe indulged a spa day or even booked a holiday. But now? Now that there’s a very small, albeit important, person in your life with their own needs to be met, taking that much needed break requires a lot more planning than just what seat you want on the plane.
Some mums out there might have already hopped abroad with their little ones and are probably wondering what all the fuss is about. Others who have done it might be thinking the opposite! So, whether you’ve already had a holiday with baby or are still thinking about it, one of the big questions is, is it worth it? Before you make up your mind, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of travelling with tots.
Airports… I must admit, airport queues, passport control, having to remove your shoes…all of it puts me off going abroad. But now that there’s a small, but heavy wriggling bundle in my arms it’s even more off putting. However, I am aware that there are those of you who actually love the airport experience and chances are your enthusiasm will rub off on your little one resulting in an exciting few hours before boarding. I suppose it all depends, like everything, on your frame of mind!
Aeroplanes… We’ve probably all shared a flight with a baby or toddler who wasn’t too happy at some point during the flight. And as much as it isn’t anyone’s business how vocal your little one needs to be at any point on the journey, it can cause a lot of stress for parents trying to calm and soothe their fractious fidgeter. Generally, the shorter the flight, the more chance you’ll have of arriving at the other end relatively smoothly. It’s when the boredom, hunger, tiredness, or all three set in that things can start to spiral. Fortunately, there are a few things that can really help keep the flying experience a pleasant one for everyone involved. Snacks like crackers, dried fruit and cereal bars will help keep hunger at bay. If you are still breastfeeding, this will without a shadow of a doubt be your biggest ally. Food and comfort on tap without fear of running out – perfect! Entertainment in the form of a few small board books and a couple of their favourite toys will keep them occupied for a while. Toddlers might like a colouring or activity book. Keep some things back so that you have something ‘new’ to present them with towards the end of the flight when tiredness and boredom might be setting in.
The car… Even though it may be a more convenient and private way to travel, allowing you to stop when and where you choose to stretch cramped legs and get some fresh air, a journey is still a journey so you’ll need to make sure you’ve packed enough snacks and toys that can be grabbed without having to open the boot and trawl through a load of bags. Keep some stashed away in the glove compartment or a separate bag so you know exactly where to look when hunger and/or boredom looms.
The Destination… Balconies, marble or tiled floors, too soft bedding – luxuries that perhaps once gave us our holiday glow. Now, however, that glow is mere panic at the thought of your little one being anywhere near them!
Yes, holidays with tinies can be a lovely way to bond and share new experiences that last a lifetime, but it might be a slightly different holiday to the ones you might have been previously used to. Instead of relaxing with a book on the sun lounger, you might find yourself splashing about in the pool making bubble sounds that your little one loves. Instead of meandering around the local town at your leisure, you might find yourself seeking the nearest shady spot as your little one tries to nap. Long evenings spent over dinner and cocktails are now early dinners your little one will be awake to enjoy. So whether you’ve decided to holiday abroad or stay closer to home, it’s worth remembering that, no matter how much you really need a break, you’ll still be doing all your mummy things, just in a different location!