Taking a baby on holiday is enough to scare the living daylights out of new parents. And understandably so. Because for some people, the act of frightening first time mums and dads seems to be a favourite hobby. (Or should that be blood sport?)
In my case, the minute announced I was expecting, the action I’ll describe as Patronising Head Shaking began. It seemed to come from everyone.
“Oh all those trips abroad will have to stop,” some would say in their pitying tones.
Others would chime in with, “The amount of stuff you need for a baby is too much to take on a plane.”
And let’s not forget the odd chorus of, “It’s just not right to travel with an infant.”
Well guess what? It takes more than that to scare me! (Aside from my irrational fear of ET the Extra-Terrestrial, but we won’t talk about that right now.)
Much as the UK is full of lovely places to visit, there’s no guarantee of the lovely weather to match, so local travel alone will never cut it for me. I yearn for the sun regardless of the fact that I only ever really come into contact with its rays through the medium of linen.
So anyone who told me I wouldn’t be able to fly off to a Mediterranean beach with a baby got my best stink eye on the sly. I grinned through gritted teeth at them and bit my tongue. I’ll show ’em. I thought. I knew full well I’d be buying summer holiday flight tickets before my maternity leave was over. And buy them I did.
I can’t deny that travelling with a baby is a daunting prospect, though. If you’re thinking about taking your first family trip you will be apprehensive. Accept it. But remember, a holiday gives you quality time with your family. It’s about making memories. And warm sunny days by the sea are just what weary parents need to put the smiles back on their faces.
Be prepared (I’ll be posting packing lists and tips for flying over the coming weeks) but above all, be brave and just book your trip. Everything else will take care of itself. After all, they have babies all over the world, and yours will be just fine.
If, however, you still need convincing, know that I enjoyed the best week of sleep I’ve had since Holiday Baby was born while we were in Menorca. The first night we were away, I woke up every couple of hours amazed to see him still sound asleep. I even woke Mr Holiday Addict up just to physically show him that this was the case (NEVER wake a sleeping baby, but a sleeping husband? Different kettle of fish). The wee man then woke up at 7 am bright as a button.
This went on for the next six days, and consequently I slept longer and more peacefully than I had for months. We all knew we were on holiday, baby included. It was bliss, and ignoring the naysayers was the best thing I’ve done since I became a mum.