The stress! The packing! The luggage! Nothing is easy when you have a little one to pack for. You need to take outfits, pajamas, nappies, socks, shoes, singlets blankets, towels, face washers, car seat, port-a-cot, pillow, change table, wipes, food, toiletries… The list goes on! And depending on how you’re getting to your destination, you must pack as lightly, and as compactly as possible.
If you’re going on an airplane, you have to adhere to weight restrictions, size restrictions, and make sure that you have not packed any dangerous or hazardous items. Why just yesterday morning I had to surrender my tiny pair of nail scissors because they were too sharp!
NOTE: Some new mamas may not know this, but you do not need to pay extra luggage costs (for most if not all mainstream airlines) to take a car seat, port-a-cot and/or pram on the plane.
Often when you get to your destination, people demand your attention. Visit me! Come to my house, meet me downtown… Etc. I find myself getting frustrated. Do they not realise how difficult getting around can be with a baby? Most of the time their houses are not child-proofed either. Sharp edges, high staircases without gates, ceramic decorations within reach of chubby little fingers…
Here are a couple of suggestions for holidaying with a little one:
-Probably the most important point: arrange to visit somewhere or someone that won’t stress you out. Go to a place that you feel comfortable with. Visit someone who is understanding and considerate. There is nothing worse than saying with someone who is inconsiderate! It will do nothing but aggravate you, and you’ll vow never to visit or holiday again.
-Write a list of things you NEED before you begin packing for your trip. Cross each item off as it is packed. Keep it with you, so you can ascertain whether or not you have left anything behind when you leave your holiday spot.
-Pack some snacks to tide bubby over between trip stops. I like to pack a banana or two, some dried fruit and these yummy almond meal crackers.
-Figure out what will keep bub happiest while travelling. Some toys, some music, a DVD player… My son loves listening to us sing him nursery rhymes. Especially when he is a bit tired and cranky. When my throat gets too tired, I simply record myself singing and play it back to him. He loves it!
-As my baby only eats certain foods (and has never eaten from a jar) I often freeze his food for the entire trip and heat (without the use of a microwave) it up when it’s needed. I put all of this in an esky or cooler bag (depending on how long the trip is, or how much baggage you are allowed) and take it with me.
-If you are unable to take food with you, then take some freezer trays, and allocate a day at the beginning of your holiday to go shopping and then prepare your baby’s meals for the duration of your holiday.
-If flying, breastfeeding, bottle-feeding or sucking on a dummy will stop your baby’s ears from hurting. If you don’t have anything for bub to suck on, try giving bub a snack to chew on.
-As tactfully as possible, let people know that you would prefer to meet them in a spot that is safest/easiest for bub. If they truly want to enjoy your company, it shouldn’t matter where they see you. Suggest a house that is childproofed (most likely the one you’re staying in) or a fun park for a picnic.
-Most of all: try to enjoy yourself! You are likely to fall out of routine, but as long as everyone’s having fun, it shouldn’t matter. You have all the time in the world to get things back to normal once you’re home.