We recently went on our first holiday with our baby. It’s the first time we have taken Leo away and it’s the first time our 7-month-old baby has slept somewhere other than our home (apart from the hospital). Planning to take your child away for the first time is stressful so I wanted to share some tips for baby’s first holiday.
The first family holiday with your little one is always special, but it can be stressful! Ours was only a short holiday, three nights from Monday to Thursday, but I feel like the experience has given us a great idea of what we want out of future holidays and breaks.
7 tips for baby’s first holiday
1. Plan what you need to take
This one is obvious, but with a baby, there are more things to take on holiday compared to when you are packing for yourself. These small humans require so many things!
Here is what we took for our baby’s first holiday:
- pram and rain cover
- baby carrier
- high chair
- his spoons/plate/bowl
- his cups (one open, one sippy)
- 4 sleepsuits
- 5 vests
- 4 day outfits
- muslin cloths
- nappies/nappy bags/wipes
- changing bag
- toys – a bag of his favourite toys
- bath wash
- toothbrush and toothpaste
Sounds silly to take a highchair but we have just started weaning Leo so a highchair is a must. Some places may already have a highchair, but our cottage didn’t. We have the Ikea Antilop high chair that you can take the legs off, remove the tray and pack in the car. It came in so useful as we were able to put it in the courtyard one afternoon and have a beer, which was much nicer than paying to have a drink at the pub and have to hold Leo. He was happy playing with his toys in his chair.
We took a baby carrier as well as a pushchair as we wanted to be able to walk in some areas that aren’t pushchair friendly.
2. Think about sleeping arrangements
We were going to take Leo’s Next 2 Me crib but decided it was too bulky and would take up lots of space in the car. Plus he ends up in bed with me anyway so we decided that I would just sleep in the kingsize bed with Leo and my partner would sleep in the other bedroom. It’s the best way that we all get decent sleep as I can quickly feed Leo if he wakes in the night.
3. Location is worth paying for
We were in the centre of Whitby which was ideal for us as it meant we were always walking distance from everything. We didn’t need to take everything with us for a full day out, we just went out for an hour or so at a time, this meant we could come back when Leo needed breastfeeding and a nap.
Though it’s more expensive to stay close to the centre rather then on the outskirts, it was a cost worth if to use because it allowed us to relax and know we could nip back to our cottage at any time. We were never more than 20 minutes away. We also save some money with the tip below!
4. Have meals at home
Eating out home was much easier for us as we didn’t have to worry about if the highchair was suitable, or about the mess Leo would make. It also saved us on money. One night we had fish and chips, another night just a sandwich as we ate out during the day and on the last night we got some pizzas from the local co-op and had that with salad.
5. Eat out when it’s quiet
We ate out only once, we had a pub lunch one afternoon. I was a bit concerned about Leo eating out as it was a bit of an ordeal on my birthday. It wasn’t enjoyable as you have to entertain a baby the whole time! So we just ate out once and had a very typical pub lunch. I had vegetarian burger with chips which I shared with Leo.
Again, the highchair wasn’t suitable as it was one of those wooden booster seats for a chair so we just sat him in the corner of the pub bench and he had bits of sweet potato fries, bread and vegetarian burger.
6. Invest in a baby carrier
Our baby carrier was such a good investment. We only got a cheap one from Amazon. You can tell it’s cheap but it does the job. Other carriers are much more expensive but we didn’t to spend loads on one, it did take a bit of time to figure out and at first we thought it was just cheap crap that didn’t work (because the instructions were so poor!) but once we got the swing of it, it’s fine one. It’s probably the quality you would expect for what you pay. If I wanted a carrier to use more often, I would have gotten a more expensive one.
My partner and Leo strapped to his chest so he could look out and see everything which was a lot of fun! Leo loved it. We used it to walk up to Whitby Abbey and to walk on the beach. The longest he was in it was about 45 minutes and my partner said it felt fine and comfortable with our 20lb baby strapped to his chest.
7. Take a relaxed approach to sightseeing
You’re not going to see everything when you take a baby on holiday, so don’t try to pack everything in a short trip. Go with the flow and work around your baby’s schedule. I’ve learnt that you really need to have low expectations when you do anything with a baby otherwise you can end up frustrated and disappointed.
We had a lovely time on our holiday and it was very relaxed. We had a little cottage in Whitby and it was just what we needed. Everything was pretty casual and we decided what to do on the day, depending on Leo’s mood and the weather.
What are your tips for going on holiday with a baby?