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Toddlers and holidays

(17 Posts)
Orissiah Fri 10-Jul-09 13:46:27

The majority of my friends who have taken their children on holidays abroad (children 3 and under) have returned to the UK with their children's routines disrupted - not being able to sleep for days to weeks, at night or during naps; and also didn't have the best of times during holidays either (bedtime battles, crankiness).

Is it really worth taking under-3s on holiday?

I am happy to go on shorter holidays just with DH until I know my baby is old enough to enjoy it. For me when I was little it was 6 years old!!!

At what age did travelling abroad pose few issues with your children.

Hersetta Fri 10-Jul-09 14:22:10

We've just come back from 2 weeks in corfu with our 22 month old. She had a fabulous time and settled back into her routine the same day we got back. i think it's much easier where you only have a small time difference. Whilst on holiday she would basically keep to her UK routine time, so she'd get up at 7.30 Uk time (9.30 in corfu) and go to be at 8.30-9.00 UK time. Only difference was she would have a longer afternoon nap - as she was exhausted from being in the pool and the heat but that was nice to as it gave as some 'quiet time'.

We've been travelling with her since she was 10 weeks old (as my mum lives in Spain) and have made at least a dozen return plane trips there and elsewhere on holiday and have never had a problem with her routine. i think people who have a very strict routine for there children perhaps have more problems where as ours always can be flexible which is no bad think I think.

GemBean Fri 10-Jul-09 14:30:11

We have taken our two to the Suuth of France twice now, DD1 is 3 and DD2 is 19 months. Its only an hours difference but I can honestly say it did not affect their routine at all and we had no problems with sleeping. We all had a really lovely time. This year the flight was a bit tiring as dd2 didnt have her own seat and is at that no sense just want to tear about and shriek stage, but its only 2 and half hours thank God.

I'd say go for it.

slowreadingprogress Fri 10-Jul-09 15:29:44

well, i guess it depends on the child (and the parent!) but no, we did not attempt a holiday with ds until his 3rd birthday; and all we did then was a week on the isle of wight, which is very close to us, so not much travel involved.

I have to say, it was a magical week, we had glorious weather, huge sandy beaches; it couldn't have been better if we'd flown three hours to get somewhere abroad!!!

But ds was a hyperactive extremely active toddler, plus a dreadful sleeper; it would have been pointless imo to take a foreign holiday just to transfer our tortuous routine elsewhere and have to pay money for the privelege and endure trying to keep ds happy on flights!

slowreadingprogress Fri 10-Jul-09 15:34:16

In our case it was not us 'having a strict routine' but ds having real issues with sleep; it was absolutely necessary to ensure he was in bed in a reasonable time to have about 10 hours kip as without it he became overtired, oversenstive, unhappy, and prone to tantrums. It's not as simple as people wanting to impose a strict routine for the sake of it, often; and for people like us foreign holidays at that stage would have been awful, as we did not have a child who 'settled back into their routine the same day' - if only life was that easy!

Sunshinemummy Fri 10-Jul-09 15:41:51

DS is 3 and he's been on holiday quite a few times. We've never had a problem with him. We relax a little when we're away but we've not had any major problems getting him back into the routine when we've returned.

DD is 10m and she's been away twice. We haven't had any problems with her either although we're travelling to the US with them both in August so may have some problems then due to time difference (although to be fair DS has been to US before and it was fine).

I guess it does depend on the children.

jarbelle Fri 10-Jul-09 15:46:20

I've been taking my ds to Spain to visit my parents every 6 months since he was about 10 months old and never really had a problem.

He sleeps much longer over there as the heat knocks him out and it takes him about a day to get back into his routine (as we always have to get the late night flight).

The only downside is trying to keep him occupied on the plane.

Rindercella Fri 10-Jul-09 15:49:33

We have been to Barbados when DD was 15 months old and Greece when she was 20 months. Both times she quickly settled back into her regular routine when we returned home. We have a fairly relaxed routine with DD anyway - we are quite relaxed about what time her actual bedtime is (we don't regularly put her to bed at 10pm though!).

Having said all that, at the moment we wouldn't chose to take DD any further than Europe for the next couple of years as the length of flight and time difference is really too much for her. When we were in Barbados, her sleep went from sleeping through for 12 hours a night to waking every couple of hours. It was a nightmare! Thank God it just took 1 night back in the UK for her to settle back to normality again! Also, we plan to keep foreign holidays just to a week long for the time being, as again I think 2 weeks is too long at the moment. All flights with DD have been a breeze though <proud mother emoticon> grin

MaybeAfterBreakfast Fri 10-Jul-09 16:03:23

I haven't enjoyed holidays with under 3s. Mine (routine loving creatures of habit, like myself) get upset at sleeping in strange rooms (so don't sleep), get grumpy from not sleeping, etc etc. We found that the days were fine (just about) but the evenings horrendous - we spent all the time comforting sleepy and grumpy children and trying to get them to sleep, not getting any time for just dh and I. I'm always exhausted after holidays and mightily relieved to get back to normal everyday life.

I think now 3.2yo ds1 would be fine, but my 17mo would be horrendous.

angel1976 Fri 10-Jul-09 16:09:23

DH and I are taking DS to the Maldives for two weeks when he is 18 months old (in about 5 weeks). He sleeps through like a trooper and loves his naps. He doesn't sleep that long in nursery during the day though... I have family in SE Asia as well so long-haul will be a regular feature for us in the near future. I do worry about disrupting his sleep BUT...

The way I see it, you can worry about routine and really limit yourself on holidays. DH and I love our holidays and seeing as our DCs (expecting number 2 at the moment) will be travelling lots in near future, we might as well get used to it (and get them used to it) young. I have a lot of friends with young children who travel lots (due to having families in two countries etc) and most are of the view that it's best to start them young and from about 3 onwards, they start to understand the routine whenever they go away and it does get massively easy then.

For me, worried as I am about DS's sleep (he doesn't sleep well in foreign places), I think I have done my best in enabling him to get the best sleep over and if now and then, we have to do something different that might disrupt his sleep for a short period, then so be it. You can't sleep your life worrying about their sleep!

angel1976 Fri 10-Jul-09 16:10:11

live your life, not sleep your life.

mumof2222222222222222boys Fri 10-Jul-09 16:12:08

We've been to France a lot (4+ times a year)with the DSs (now 2 and 4) and it has never been a problem. I also went to the Far East with DS1 when he ws a baby and that was fine too.

In Oct we're going to Middle East (3 hours difference) and it will be interesting to see how that works. We'll be staying in a friend's house - much much easier than a hotel (what do you do in the evenings???)

All children are different - so go with what works for you.

kwaker5 Fri 10-Jul-09 21:00:56

I think it depends on your child and how reliably they fit into a routine at home. Try and fly in the morning/middle of the day so you are not getting up any earlier than usual. If it's important to you that things aren't messed up on return then you will have to try and stick to their usual naps and bedtimes as much as you can. Just bear in mind though that they may well tire sooner than at home because there is more going on. On the plus side, this can means they sleep better (as long as they are not overtired).

We have always stuck to UK time, which means you get an extra hour or two in the evenings if you go to Europe. We tried to eat a nice meal at lunchtime then had drinks/snacky tea early evening and back in time for DS's bedtime. A world away from the holidays we used to have but worth it not to be trawling round with a stroppy toddler!

minxofmancunia Fri 10-Jul-09 21:23:34

It depends on the child in some cases and as to how routine bound you are as a parent in some, or maybe a mixture of the 2.

dd 2.9 has been on several European holidays with us, we wanted her to get used to it from a young age as we like our holidays and don't want to be restricted. Also when i was a kid we travelled round Europe and coped with it, end of. She'a always been fine and actually sleeps better on holiday! We don't mind her staying up a bit later with us either to eat etc. as they do with children in Europe because that's a "model" of childcare I much prefer to the uk one. We're lucky though that she will make up for it by sleeping in the next day and I appreciate a lot of parents don't have that luxury and will end up with a grouchy tired child.

However we never go anywhere more than 3 hours flight and only go away for a week at a time, will probaby try a long haul when she's a bit older, but I hate long flights too.

I would say go for it!

elvislives Sun 12-Jul-09 22:41:40

We took DD to NZ when she was almost a year and she was fine. We went to Holland when she was 6 mo and again when she was 15 mo and she was fine.

She is now 2.3 years and we've just been to Cornwall where she was a PITA all week hmm DH has said no plane journey until she can sit and watch TV for a reasonable length of time... (can't last ITNG yet so could be a long time).

NanaJo Mon 13-Jul-09 00:00:46

We've taken the boys (5.10 and 3.3) on several holidays since infancy; many camping excursions, visits to family in other locations of our province, renting a cottage by the beach, but these all involved road trips of varying lengths with lots of stops and no time difference. This coming Wed. we are doing something different for our two week holiday ... taking a flight to Ottawa from our city in B.C. This will require 2 different flights and 6 1/2 hours of flying time. Neither Ds has been on an airplane before and is very excited. I'm a bit nervous as to how they will cope, but have done some reading and will be bringing quite a few little seat activities for them to do. The time difference is 3 hours and I'm not sure how they'll handle this, especially Ds2, but I think they'll do just fine. Something we've always done while on holiday with the boys is to try and make the changes in routine/scenery fun and interesting.

UniS Mon 13-Jul-09 14:11:38

We have done 3 big trips in europe with our under 3 and its been fine, routine goes a bit different to normal and we tend to have a few days pay back on return till we get settled in again.
While he was napping he would nap in pushchair or bike trailer, last summer he wasn't really napping anyway but would accept a quiet time on his bed or in buggy on those afternoons when he needed an extra rest.
We do a mix of things he likes doing and things we like doing, with regular stops for food.

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