Friday, 12 July 2013
Thank you to all my readers who emailed me with various questions regarding traveling with the baby. I remember our first trip abroad with Little Miss S (post here) and how nervous and apprehensive I felt. Very soon (hooray!) we are off again and by this stage I am starting to loose count of Little Miss S's trips abroad, but that doesn't mean that I stopped panicking before we leave (Little Miss S has now decided that airports are boring - and who can blame her?!).
Anyway, I already wrote about packing and flying, but there is another aspect to a holiday with the little one - the holiday itself. I've come to a conclusion that in order to have a relaxing holiday with a baby or toddler (yes, I did say relaxing!), you have to establish a routine. I am a great believer that good routine equals content baby and (not a rocket science) content baby equals very happy parent! Therefore, if you have a routine at home, then it's a good idea to carry that through to your holiday. Yes, I know that words 'routine' and 'holiday' should not really be put together, because after all holiday is there to 'rescue' us from the routine, but when you become a parent routine becomes your good friend. And anyway, lets be honest, it's not like you get a chance to sunbathe on the beach everyday.
This was our holiday routine:
- Wake up at 9am (thank Goodness for time difference +2hrs), milk for Little Miss S and coffee for parents. Quick shower, lots of Factor 50 (for Little Miss S), pack beach bag (this task always takes forever as we had LOTS of stuff) and off we go to the beach.
- On the way, stop at our favourite café (same one every day) for breakfast. If we do fancy a long(ish) relaxing breakfast, then our friend iPad comes out to play. We sip our coffee to the sound of sea and Baby TV. Bliss.
- Set up camp on the beach. Prime spot - right on the water , so we can play and relax (yes, it's possible) at the same time. Little Miss S 'formed' a little group of friends who were also there every day. It kept her occupied for hours.
- Snack time at 12.30 and then nap time in the tent. SunSense is one of my best buys for holidays. She had her naps in there last year as well. It protects her from the sun and heat. What a better place to nap than beach. I even had a snooze with her in there once. It's very cozy.
- Nap time for Little Miss S means uninterrupted tan time for mummy and daddy. Or a book, or an ice cold beer! Or a nap too.
- 3pm is food time. We head off to the same tried and tested restaurant. Before Little Miss S came into this world, Hubby and I would try out different places everyday, but now I like to know exactly what we are going to get. I want to be sure that the food is fresh and good quality. Last thing you need on holiday is for your little one to get food poisoning.
- After late lunch we take a stroll down the road to grab some ice-cream and then back to the beach to play and swim. My favourite time on the beach is either early mornings or after 4pm when the sun is not so hot.
- Around 6pm we start making a move back to the apartment. Quick coffee (or rose) on the terrace and the preparations for the evening begin. Once showered and dressed we finally venture out at around 7.30.
- Stop over at our favourite tavern next door (we have been going there for three years now). It only opens at 7pm. It is family owned and Mama spends the whole day preparing food for the evening. All ingredients are from their garden! Time for Little Miss S' dinner. Lamb or beef stew with fresh long beans, stuffed courgette flowers, tzatziki...delicious. Hubby and I have some too as it's impossible not to eat, but our dinner will be at around 10pm once little angel is asleep.
- After dinner, it's time for the long walk through the town, along the beach and maybe some shopping!
- Now then, here is a 'crafty' little idea for you how to go out for late dinner and some wine with a toddler. By around 9pm we get back to the apartment and get Little Miss S ready for bed. Put her in the cot and chill out on the terrace for a bit. Once she is deep in her sleep (after so much playing on the beach), we put her in her pram and venture out next door for some food and wine. We always have our table in the corner, a little away from everyone, so that she can sleep peacefully. Spend there a few hours and then back to the apartment to sleep. Little Miss S is completely unaware that she has been out 'partying'. Two good things to pack if you are taking your little one out in the pram in the evening: mosquito net for pram (there are lots of these little buggers in hot countries) and a dark cotton sheet, so it stays nice and dark in the pram (I've heard that SnoozeShade is good so might try that next time). We were lucky to have our favourite family run tavern right next door to our apartment, as they are extremely accommodating and family orientated.
We had utterly relaxing holiday. Little Miss S was very content and happy. She ate well and slept well. I mean what more can a parent possibly want? Remember, it might take a couple of days to get into a holiday routine, but once it's done, it's great!
So enjoy your holidays wherever you are off to and make some lovely memories. These are the most special moments.