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The perfect holiday with a baby under one

13 replies

Carriel · 12/06/2002 18:24

I have lots of great stuff on travel with babies for the mumsnet book -what to take etc - but just wondered what people's thoughts were on the sort of holiday you should attempt with a child under one. Don't really want specific place recommendations more like types of holiday. For instance one of my top tips would be to consider going by train or putting the train on the car. When our youngest was a baby we were both so exhausted by lack of sleep that driving long distances was nigh on dangerous, whereas on the train you can take it in turns to play, cuddle, amuse the child, there are toilets (of a sort) you can eat, we put the baby car seat on the table in the middle so the baby could see out (we held on to the seat - just in case)and arrived refreshed - ish. We also considered a sleeper when she was in a Moses basket but never quite managed it - did anyone else? My other suggestion would be to find a room with an ensuite large bathroom big enough to take a cot so you can read (oh how exciting) at night....anyway... any other thoughts on what you wish folks had told you about where to go with a baby much appreciated.

OP posts:
Lollypop · 12/06/2002 20:48

We took our dd away in a caravan at 12 weeks It work out really well. It was like a home from home, you can do what you like when you like and to save on cooking you can go out for meals or get dh to BBQ (they usually like doing that).
We stayed at the same site as other family members so there were plenty of baby sitters.

SofiaAmes · 12/06/2002 22:24

Beach holidays to places with calm warm seas. But stay in a self-catering apartment, not a hotel.

Marina · 12/06/2002 22:52

Self-cater, and DON'T go with friends who have a baby the same age, as your routines are bound to be different...
Ahead of you lie numerous holidays where plastic, chlorinated water and pizzas will figure prominently. If you want to see the Prado/Neuschwanstein/the Louvre/Prague by night/whatever under 40, do it now, with your baby in a backpack/sling.

CAM · 13/06/2002 09:46

for me, staying in the best hotel you can afford, getting the largest space you can afford, preferably a suite, so child is "separate" at night. I would rather do this for a shorter length of time than self-cater. Driving no problem with frequent overnight stays, also in luxury hotels. Having the room cleaned, beds made, room service. That's my idea of a holiday. Even 2 nights away like this recharges your batteries totally.

Lindy · 13/06/2002 15:03

We camped in France last year with a six month old - it worked really well (luckily he is a good sleeper at night) but this year we are doing Eurocamp as it was hard work setting up the tent etc whilst looking after the baby.

We've always loved camping & found it really easy & relaxing with baby, especially bathing him in a washing up bowl!

Always book a cabin on the ferry though - even for a day crossing, it doesn't cost much extra but gives you some 'space'

Philippat · 13/06/2002 15:19

I'm definitely a luxury hotel kinda gal too (self catering just doesn't seem like a holiday!) but rooms have to have a kettle, a minibar (storing milk and food in) and ideally be close to lift (we once had to drag baby, buggy, 4 bags up what felt like 15 flights of stairs) and have room service (then you can still eat in your room but you don't have to cook it yourself). Even better are some places where they have a microwave in the lobby/vending machine area (particularly in US) which works great with our 2 bottle travel steriliser. Throw in DH taking the baby while you have a facial in the beauty salon and your holiday is perfect!

Travelling by car was harder than I anticipated - I'd recommend holidays within a two-hour drive, or face the fact that travelling takes up the whole of one day and you must stop a lot. If you drive for too long baby will get bored stuck in the back on their own so one of you really needs to sit back there with them. And if you want to fly, go somewhere you can get to from your local airport. The whole airport/flight thing is traumatic enough without a three hour drive to Gatwick first.


LKM · 13/06/2002 16:35

Try and fly in and out of small airports where queuing is not a big deal. Drive to the airport if at all possible. Ask if you can get three seats even if the baby doesn't get one as of right - with a fold-up changing mat this makes nappy changing mid flight in the seat between you and dp much easier than struggling in the toilet (and babies always seem to do giant poos mid-flight - something to do with pressure reduction I think!). Take your carseat with you rather than rely on hiring one along with the hire-car. That way you can be sure baby will be comfortable right up to the steps of the plane (with any luck will continue to sleep after the drive to the airport) and will have something to sit in in your hotel room. If baby is too small for an "umbrella buggy" just take a baby sling (and the carseat).

Bozza · 13/06/2002 22:07

Phillipa and Cam's idea of a luxury hotel sounds lovely however I'm sure a lot of people with a new baby (and the consequentially stretched finances) would not be able to afford this. I would recommend self-catering. This gives you the freedom to fit around the baby. Also for those of you returning to work and possibly putting your baby onto a bottle (not suggesting you do this, but it must be fairly common) go before you give up breastfeeding/start weaning. There's nothing more transportable than a breast fed baby.

In fact I think in a lot of ways the younger the baby is the easier it is - so don't put it off!!

Lindy · 14/06/2002 19:29

Good point about the breast feeding - nothing worse than having to faff around thinking about sterilising in a tent etc! if you do give the odd bottle, consider those 'disposable' ones, not cheap (50p each from Boots) but better than having to worry about sterilising.

LIZS · 14/06/2002 20:16

Re: Sterilising on holiday.

We have found the disposable cold water sterilising bags (Mothercare/Tommee Tippee) very useful when travelling - just fill up with water and attach to shower or bath tap etc. You just clean the bottles etc and leave them to soak until you're ready to use them. New bag required every 24 hours. We've use them on canal boats and in hotels.

If you are planning to stay where you can access a microwave there are microwave sterilising bags (Lindam) but these have a limited capacity and you need to use things immediately afterwards.

Do remember that it is not common to sterilise in parts of the continent so can be tricky to find equipment. So much easier if you're only breastfeeding!

nics1stbaby · 19/06/2002 13:18

We're about to go on holiday with our good friends and their new baby (4months). We're off to Crete, and my friend is worried about keeping their daughter entertained as they won't be able to carry the bulky mobiles, activity centre, etc.

Does anyone have any ideas on what to take? They are on a budget.

Ems · 19/06/2002 13:27

nics, when we went away when baby was 6 months, we survived on very little, ELC or Woolworths stacking cups, pack away easily and great for bath and on the beach.

Wooden spoons and things from home, that pack easily into luggage. We had a bag of crisps that came everywhere with us, just to scrunch and bash the bag (he didnt know it was crisps!)

A small inflatable ball to watch and roll by both inside and outside.

As baby is still so young and not sitting up yet, how about some new dingly jangly things to hang from bed and pram to keep amused.

There is a thread somewhere about what household items our children play with as opposed to all the massive amounts of toys we give them. I could take the remote control from home and mine would be happy all holiday!

Crete sounds lovely, have a good holiday.

nics1stbaby · 19/06/2002 15:10

Thank you, brilliant advice Ems.

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