Leyton’s Mumma Says…
We’d planned our holiday for when Leyton was 10 months old for a sunny European destination. Some would say that’s too early to try and do anything. Some may say why wait that long, I’m sure! But there’s no denying it, going away anywhere with a baby takes a lot of planning, and we’d found even for UK trips it had always taken longer than we thought to prep and pack. For our first holiday abroad, I was pre-emptive and made a few lists and designated specific days to do jobs and packing on the lead up to departure day.
Below are my findings:
We have pretty good routines at home for naps, meals and bedtime and a friend had recommended sticking to what we normally did as much as possible when on holiday, explaining how a different climate, timezone and even bedroom is enough of a change for a little one to adjust to.
So we tested it out on the first day and went from there…we got up, gave Leyton milk, had playtime then breakfast, more play and they took him to our darkened room in the villa and settled him for his 10 am nap. We’d taken blackout blinds, a few teddies and downloaded an app with his cot mobile song on to make him feel at home (and took the baby monitors etc), and he went straight off for 1 1/2 hours. This gave us chance for a sneaky bit of tidying and then sunbathing under his window until he woke. Bit of lunch and by the time we headed out to play in the shade with his factor 50 on it was after 2pm and the sun wasn’t at its hottest.
We did adjust his routine in the evening as we would eat out at nearer 7.30 not 6 but we just made sure we did bathyltime before and took plenty of toys, then ordered quickly and were back by 9 for milk and bed…and then he’d sleep in later each morning.
We counted out how many nappies we averaged along with vests/bibs etc and took enough for the week. In fairness because we went to a friendly part of Europe there was a shop nearby which did stock a lot of items but I just didn’t want to come a cropper if they didn’t have his size, or only had a poor quality brand. Obviously things can be pricier too, but this is probably outweighed by the increase of luggage weight if you take your own anyway!
*ASK YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY FOR ADVICE
There may be a nugget of info which makes a lot of difference. A friend mentioned she took lots of snacks to feed her little one on the plane especially on take off and landing to help with their ears popping – which worked brilliantly for us. We emptied baby crisps and snacks into a plastic tub (was concerned about the air pressure of the crisp packets), and we also took jars of food instead of pouches for the same reason. Because Leyton did baby led weaning the jars we took were yoghurt ones which he didn’t mind being spoon fed!
Ok so this sort of contradicts the earlier point about routines but all I mean is ‘go with the flow’. I always think people should just do whatever works for you, so if routines stress you then don’t do them, but we do them as it helps us plan our day to run smoothly and manage Leyton’s expectations on when things happen. On the same note, when you’re on holiday things can take longer or not quite to plan so sometimes you have to just take a deep breath and Go With It. Take extra nappies/spare vest/bottle of water and box of snacks/suncream….and just enjoy where the day takes you. If you are prepared incase you’re out that extra hour or so, you’ll find you’ll be able to be a bit more flexible. Don’t listen to horror stories about a ‘few late nights on holiday ruining bedtime routines forever’…. or whatever… just go with it, and when you get back home get straight back to your normal daily life and the chances are after a few days there will be no lasting consequences of the holiday!
And remember that if you’re going away, this is a prime time to just enjoy being on holiday with your family, and slowing down to appreciate what you have grown and nurtured. Don’t feel pressured to plan trips every day, dress up every night or have an immaculate hotel room/villa/apartment etc or spotless baby. Who cares! Just take a few minutes a day to breathe it all in and let that munchkin of yours do the same!
STAR HOLIDAY PRODUCTS FOR LEYTON’S MUMMA!
*Koodi UV Pushchair cover – keeps your baby protected from the sun in their pushchair. This meant if we went for a walk and he seemed tired we could rock him to sleep in it,knowing that along with his factor 50 and sun shade (OTT mumma moment alert) that he was protected. £7.49 at amazon Koo-DI Sun and Sleep Stroller Cover (Charcoal Grey)
*Mothercare insect net – this fits over the pushchair or travel cot. We didn’t use it the first time Leyton had a nap as had the plug in insect repellent, only to get him up with 3 bites! So from then on we used it every day! £5.99 at www.mothercare.com
*Calomine and Glycerin Lotion – Suitable for babies according to the pharmacist I spoke to at Boots, and recommended for sunburn, windburn and insect bites. There is no baby sunburn cream I could find (as you’re not supposed to let a baby get sunburnt!) so I felt a bit better haveing this in my bag just in case. £1.60 at http://www.boots.com
* Booster Seat – Most places had highchairs, but for the cafes and airport restaurants that didn’t, it was very handy!! £17.99 at www.mothercare.co.uk
* Travel Blackout Blinds – Our villa had shutters so we didn’t need these, but a friend found these super useful. I’ve since used these staying at families houses. £24.99 at www.mothercare.co.uk
* UV Sun Tent – This one we bought pops up , easy to pack up, and is perfect at creating a shaded area on any beach or garden. If you can put toys in to keep your child from crawling out! £19.99 at amazon Nursery Sun Tent
* Koodi pushchair carry case – To take the stroller onto the plane and help prevent the stroller getting battered in the cargo hold. £17.99 at amazon. Koo-DI Travel and Storage Bag (Grey/ Purple)
* And: take some spare sunhats as we lost a few, swim nappies, factor 50 sun lotion, sandals as walking/ standing outside near the pool is often hot for little feet, 0.5 or 1 tog grobags and some talcan powder to rub over bare legs on the beach – it helps if there’s wet sand stuck to your skin.
Good luck and we hope you have a lovely time!! If you find other tricks and tips that work, don’t hesitate to leave a comment and share your findings!!