I won’t lie, I was a little nervous before we set off on our holiday. I had never been on holiday with a small child before (obviously…) and I was completely at sea as to what to expect.
Hubby and I had discussed it before we left and set some ‘ground rules’ if you will: We would stick as close to Willow’s normal routine as we could. We would stick close to the hotels in the mornings and evenings (when Willow tends to be a bit fractious) so we could make a quick escape to the suite if needed. We would have dinner at home so that she can have an unwinding period before bed.
As far as the almost six hour I was incredibly nervous about that! Willow has done long distance before, but nothing this long.
We decided to leave at nap time and hoped that would score us one and a half to two hours (it did). We then looked for a suitable place to stop within the next hour so we could have lunch, have a walk, maybe play a bit before getting back in the car.
Our strategy both for the car journey and the stay at the hotel worked like a dream. We didn’t have a single tantrum.
My top tips for going on holiday with a baby are:
- Stick to your routine as much as you can. Yes, it will require a bit of sacrifice, but a tear-free holiday with worth it. Babies need that predictability.
- Be a little more relaxed. I wasn’t so strict on time frames and schedules. We just kept to a general outline of how we wanted the day to go and allowed Willow to tell us when she was ready for sleep. As a result, she ended up going to sleep a little later than the norm, but it was fine and everyone enjoyed themselves. Most importantly I wasn’t stressing that the baby wasn’t asleep and I got to enjoy myself too!
- A break on the car journey is a must! Having a break was good for the whole family. Try stop someplace that has a playground or at the very least a patch of grass to crawl or walk on.
- Pack a bottle in the car. I made up a bottle of formula to have in the car (use whatever works with your feeding philosophy). I gave her the formula just before her second nap time and within 30 minutes she was asleep and slept the remainder fo the car journey. I call that a win!
- Rotate your toys. At the stop pack away the toys that baby had during the first part of the journey and bring out new toys. Boredom is a killer and this keeps things fresh.
- Buy the damn kids’ CD. I got one from Clamber Club aptly names Car Sanity Saver. The songs are stupid, annoying and get stuck in your head. But Willow loves them and they went a long way to helping her keep calm and entertained.