With the summer coming, people are planning where they are going on holiday. However, for new parents, it can be challenging taking your child on their first holiday. Your baby needs lots of attention so long distances can be difficult to manage and you are probably going to be exhausted. But everyone deserves a nice holiday and if you’re dying to get away, here are some tips that will hopefully make the whole experience easier.
Make a checklist
A baby needs a lot of things. Make sure everything you need is noted down. The best way to do this is to start writing the list about a week in advance. This way, as you use things throughout the week you can note them on the list. If you’re not using the object throughout the week, it is more than likely a non-essential for your holiday.
Some of the essentials include; clothes, nappies, wipes and their favourite teddy or toy. However, it is good to remember things such as; sun cream, a changing mat, a bottle steriliser (if bottle feeding) and consider a car seat as one may not be available if you’re hiring a car. This is just a few examples, you can find numerous packing lists on the internet, but you should be good with making your own list.
Travel to a child-friendly place
When preparing for your first holiday with your child, you may neglect to think about how child-friendly it is. From previous holidays, you may focus on the view, distance to the beach and room size. However, when looking for a child-friendly place looking for accommodation that comes with the essentials, e.g. a high-chair, cot and cooking equipment, and is safe, may result in sacrificing a pleasant view. A further sacrifice may be a hot, sunny beach. This may sound perfect for you; however, your child may not agree. ‘Goldilock zones’ are great for families, where temperature ranges between 20-25C during the day, so it is not too hot or cold.
Plan for the journey
If you’re planning to travel somewhere that is far away, plan in advance. If travelling by car, seek out service stations which may be nice to pull in and have a rest. This will allow you to feed your baby and have contact, which will prevent them from getting distressed. If travelling with slightly older children, plan regular stops as they won’t like being stuck in the car for extended periods of time.
It can be useful to plan when your baby eats and sleeps. If you feed your baby just before boarding your flight, you refrain from having to take all the products on with you, and the potential hassle of feeding on board. Also, by feeding just before you go on, hopefully, your child will then sleep for the majority of the flight or remain calm. If you are travelling by plane, feeding during take-off and landing can ease any earache.
Pack plenty of food and drink. If travelling by plane, you are restricted with what you can take on a flight. Airlines will allow you to take some on to the plane but may ask you to try some before passing through. If by car, take plenty. Service stations are expensive and do not always have a large variety of food suitable for your child, take plenty to keep them fall. Also remember that if you get stuck in traffic, you need to keep hydrated as well.
Plan to take plenty of entertainment. For older children, an investment in a portable DVD player may be beneficial. However, also take their favourite toys with you. Soft toys, pop-ups and plastic toys are great distractions. If you are planning on taking musical toys, be prepared for the frustration that may arise when you have to listen to it for prolonged period, take note of other people’s feelings as well.
Hopefully these tips have given you some help in planning your family holiday. Life with a baby is tough but there is plenty of ways you can reduce the stress and still enjoy your activities. The main piece of advice to take from this is to be prepared, if you plan and research well, this will ease the trip. All that will be left is to enjoy the holiday!