Did you plan a holiday months and months ago? Perhaps you’re booking a bargain at the very last minute. But if you’re taking a baby abroad this Summer, there’s bound to be doubt in your minds – will you cope? How will you get on in a foreign country? What happens if baby is ill? Should you go on holiday at all when your little one is so little?
Stop worrying. As new parents you deserve a break from your normal routine, and there’s no time like the present to enjoy everything life has to offer. We’ve come up with five ways to remove a lot of the stress and the strain from going overseas with a little one…
Stay in control of your stayUnless you’ve booked a holiday on horseback in the Himalayas, there’s no reason why you can’t be specific about the accommodation you’re staying in. Ask questions. Be polite but firm about getting definite answers – it’s the best way to be sure you’re going to enjoy your break.
The larger chains and big hotels may offer all-inclusive snacks and drinks for you, but some of them may be set up to cope with your baby’s soggy nappies in the middle of the night. Smaller hotels may be better prepared and may offer excellent value for money, self-catering apartments or cottages especially.
Be realistic about what a ‘holiday’ meansIf it’s your first little one then you’re in for a treat. This an exciting time to get another new perspective on life as a young family. But let’s be realistic, going on holiday with a little one isn’t the same thing as taking time off from looking after your new baby. Unless you’re taking Grandparents with you (now there’s an idea), you’ll still be parents, 24 hours a day, wherever you go. So...
Agree when you’re going to have some guaranteed ‘me’ time every day – either on your own or both together. If your destination offers a baby-sitting service, think about taking advantage of it, even it’s just for half an hour or so.
Don’t be afraid to find out the factsIf you’d like to make use of baby monitors and high chairs that have been advertised, ask for the models and makes so that you can check them out online first. Reputable hoteliers will always be happy to find out those details for you.
When a hotel says ‘baby-sitting service’, ask about it in detail. Is it a regular team that offers the service, or youngsters earning pocket-money? Nappy disposal – is that in your room, or is there a communal bin that’s ten minutes walk away? Is there a microwave for heating food, will you need to take a sterilizer? When hotels say they’re ‘baby friendly’, it pays to be sure what that actually means.
Take a break from routine – really relaxIf you’re flying, baby is going to be slightly out of phase with a change in time zone. Don’t let that worry you, just go with the flow. Believe it or not, with a little planning, you can be in control of baby’s internal clock!
In the week before you leave, vary the time you’re feeding by 20 minutes or so – both ways. Build a little variation into baby’s routine. And (even if you’re breastfeeding), it’s sometimes a good idea to vary what baby’s eating and drinking during this time too.
Make a list, pack that listIf you’re going abroad, you’re probably going to take a small pack of travel documents with you. Something that holds your passports, insurance details, medical details, emergency home phone numbers and flight information. Now, make a separate pack for baby.
Include not only your home doctor’s contact details, but also a few clear handwritten notes about where, when and how baby was born. Look up your destination online: it takes no more than a few minutes to find doctors’ names and a hospital in the area. The truth is, you’ll probably never need these details. But if you have information about medicines and feed routines to hand, you’re one step ahead of the game, always. And this is a great place to keep that all-important extra pack of wet-wipes, too!
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