Mum vs Baby: First Holiday and creating those precious little moments
Planning a holiday for the very first time with your new bundle of joy is very exciting. But #letsbehonest, there are so many “to plans”, “to considers” and “to ensures”, that it is bound to get a little bit stressful.
Which is why I have put together this post. Three (3) key tips for you to take with you to make sure your first holiday with your new baby, is not only enjoyable, but also memorable.
Before I start, just an FYI and a PSA that there is no sugar coating things on Aniky. Honesty is vital, and I feel there is just not enough of it in the baby world. (For example, natural pain free birth is a big fat lie.) From mum to mums, Aniky is a platform where I want to openly share stories, inspirations, as well as tips that I have learnt, as a young mother. There is no 101-guide to “how to raise your child”, but I firmly believe that with a few tips up your sleeves, you can be better equipped to combat those foreseeable or even unforeseeable mishaps!
Ok. Time to get started.
- Being prepared for those long road trips
When it comes to long road trips, avoid the traffic. If you are going away on a long weekend, take an extra day or half day off and leave earlier. Sitting in traffic and going 5 kilometres per hour is not going to be fun, and your little bundle of joy will probably also not find this very joyful. If extra time off is a no-no, then leave early in the morning. I mean really early. Pack the car the night before, and have everything ready when your alarm goes off at 4:30am. You want to be on the road before it strikes 5am, and pretty much before the rest of the world is awake.
This has worked an absolute charm in my family. Once I am up dressed and ready to walk out the door, I go and gently wake my little one up and put him in the car. Although he will generally stay awake for around 30 minutes, he is usually pretty snoozy, and the rocking motion of the car works to drift him back to sleep! Yep. Success. My little boy usually snoozes for an hour or two, and that works perfectly, because by the time he wakes up, it’s is time for breakfast, which for you, makes for a perfect time to take a fuel stop and stretch those legs, my friend!
If all else fails and taking a day off and/or leaving early in the morning is a no-go, then I would suggest leaving one hour before your child’s next sleep. Make sure your little one has a full dummy, because this should help them sit happily for a while, which in turn may or may not help them fall into a nap. That way you should get at least two hours of happy drive time. Yippee!
One thing I would avoid would be to make a stop when your child is sleeping or are giddy and happy, (unless they need to do a number two!), and limit to only having a quick pit stop when they get a bit grumpy and restless.
Traffic sometimes however, is unavoidable, which is why this next part is crucial. Put together a survival kit/bag filled with: babies’ music, their favourite dummy, teething toys, pain relief, drinks, multiple types of their favourite food that they can easily eat E.g. rusks, fruit bars etc and if your baby is old enough, get involved and play games such as eye spy. If all the above doesn’t work for you then whip out your favourite baby’s videos on your trusty phone or iPad. This is particularly helpful for those long trips, we don’t want no sookie baby crying and screaming, making fellow plane passengers annoyed or the driver distracted!
- Mimicking your baby’s sleeping environment at home
What is the lighting like at home? – try and match it. If it’s not the same, then it’s time to get creative. A simple black rubbish bag stuck over the window will help keep out that pesky light. What mattress will they be sleeping on? – keep in mind port-a-cot and hotel mattresses can be hard and uncomfortable. I personally have a lamb’s wool underlay on my son’s mattress at home, so I take that, the water proof underlay, and his sheet. This not only makes him comfortable, but it also smells, looks and feels like home and this is key to helping him sleep better.
If your baby sleeps with white noise, I would suggest downloading an app, which can convey this same noise. If the environment is nosier than home and you can’t control it, use the white noise. This is going to help combat the screams from the excited children next door or even the rowdy group that are drinking well into the night.
You want to create an environment just like the one they would have at home, so that means using (if possible) the same blanket/sleep suit, and the same bedtime routine. If they sleep with Mr Teddy, then you are going to make sure you bring Mr Teddy!
- Safety is key, bring a highchair if you have room!
A lot of us don’t think about this, but being on holiday, not every restaurant, or hotel will have highchairs, making it stupidly difficult for when mealtime comes along. Bringing your own will not only makes meal times easier, but it is also extremely handy to have, as it serves as a pretty handy thing to have for when you want to just put your child down, but safely, or when you’re wanting to unload without having to carry your little one around in your arms. If they get a bit needy, whip out that survival bag we talked about in Point 1 and bring those toys or food out to entertain or calm them down.
You are in a new environment where cars, open water, power cords are only metres away. Safety is key!
A large chunk of how to have an enjoyable and memorable holiday with your baby is about your mindset. Be realistic and acknowledge that whilst it is not going to be poolside cocktails all day and night, and that this is totally okay! You have a new member of the family now and their needs need to be considered.
Remember to make the most out of little things like when your little one naps (perfect time to spend quality time with your partner or read that book that you have been meaning to start), because you know what!? Nap-time is your time! Don’t spend that time cleaning or cooking, just kick back and relax because after all you are on holidays!!
Be smart about your choice of holidays too. Camping, boating, staying at a resort is possible but just try and do the family friendly version. Make sure your hotel room has a kitchen or kitchenette. If you are camping stay close to the showers and toilets. Trust me, it will make your life a little easier!
Lastly, remember that things will change, schedules will be off, and the little one may tend to be a little fussier than normal. There are simply things you cannot plan or be prepared for, and that is fine. You will just need to take a deep breath, and go with the flow. You are on holidays to have fun, relax and spend quality time as a family. So make the most of it and don’t forget to take some happy snaps so you can record it in Precious Little Moments to treasure those memories for years to come.
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