Our first journey to visit my parents in Norfolk resulted in a screaming baby covered in sick and two very shell shocked parents! Most babies love the motion of the car and will drift off to sleep very quickly.. Not our baby! We soon learned that it was best to travel at times she would usually be sleeping so when making a long three hour drive to Norfolk, we tended to do it around her usual 7 o’clock bedtime, putting her into her car seat ready for bed. Since our first trip Blythe has improved massively as a traveller. She’s still not a huge fan of the car but we know we can entertain her now with a combination of toys, books, singing and snacks so we are not always restricted to travelling in the evening.
Your holiday will undoubtly be different from holidaying as a couple because you have to incorporate your child’s needs into your desire to relax and unwind. Gone are the days of lounging on a sunbed all day only moving too ensure an all round tan! But don’t worry you can still get some relaxation, try and find a balance. Take it in turns with your partner to switch off and relax whilst one of you enjoys time with your little one. That way you both get the relaxation you need and can also enjoy one on one bonding time with your baby.
For our first family holiday we decided to go somewhere we had been before so that we knew exactly what to expect from the weather, hotel and flight. Mallorca is only 1HR40 away. It was a stress free experience with Blythe sleeping for most of the plane journey. We love the hotel we stayed in the Jumeairah Port Soller, it has amazing views of the mountain and sea. The only downside is it a has lots of steps and is built on lots of levels so navigating around the hotel can be tricky especially with a pram. Saying that, we had an amazing time and would recommened it to anyone looking in that area.
I would really recommend Mallorca for a first family trip, it’s very family friendly and the quick flight makes it so easy. Do some research before deciding on your destination, get recommendations from friends with kids. Our second holiday to Dubai was also great although it’s a much longer flight time at around 7HRS, it’s really child friendly. (Be aware though that some resturants don’t allow babies in the evenings) Most hotels in Dubai offer nannying and babysitting services although we didn’t try them out lots of friends of ours have done and say they’re fab!
There is often time to kill at the airport, but theres also lots going on that little ones will be fascinated to watch. Look out for family lounges in airport, something I never knew existed and stumbled upon by accident. Heathrow had a great one featuring a soft play area, TV, games room and a nursing room. It kept Blythe entertained and killed some time.
The younger the baby the easier it can be as they are happy to be in your arms and need a lot more sleep, at Blythes age she is on the move and wants to explore everything so it can be hard to keep her occupied! My advice would be to keep alternating your entertainment to stop them from getting bored. Take a few strolls up and down the isle for a change of scene. Babies can suffer form sore ears so sucking from a bottle, cup or breastfeeding can help calm them and lessen the pressure on their little ears.
On long haul flights a basttinet is usually available, even if your baby won’t sleep in this it’s great to have the extra space and leg room! Just as adults may feel more thirsty on a long flight, the same is true of a baby so make sure you are giving them plenty of fluids.
Airplanes are very quiet, something you probably never noticed before having a child. My advice is try not to feel anxious that your child is making too much noise, children will be children and babies especially have no concept of sound control. It’s never nice when you feel your child is disrupting the peace but try and remain calm.
Your baby will feed off your energy and if your anxious they often will be to.
Most of all try and enjoy yourself, you will be creating special memories you will cherish for years to come. Laugh off any disasters together. I would love to hear any stories from your first holidays with your baby!