Baby, Family Travel, Parenthood, Pregnancy, Travel

Bringing Your Newborn On Holiday

It’s true what people tell you about having babies. You can plan and prepare till the cows come home but it really is a learn-on-the-job type of affair.

To a certain extent you have to “wing it” for the first few months. There is a lot to be said for trusting your gut feeling and doing what just feels right. An example of this for me would be the decision to take our sixteen week old newborn on holidays with us.

Would you think I was a bit mad if I told you that I booked the holiday before I gave birth? Well there you have it. At thirty five weeks pregnant I saw a holiday offer I could not resist. I knew that the next few months were going to be challenging and fairly sleep deprived and so the thoughts of having a holiday to look forward to made perfect sense to me. I will admit that booking a flight for a baby that was not yet born felt a little odd but the airline, resort and everyone in between assured me that it was unbelievably common. I literally booked the flight in the name “Baby” with our own surname as the baby’s surname. The date of birth was simply my due date. It was a simple case of making a quick call when the baby was born to confirm gender, name and actual date of birth. It couldn’t have been easier.

I was a bit apprehensive about taking a newborn on a flight. Even more apprehensive about how he would cope with the weather change and different sleeping arrangements. I need not have worried though. It was one of the most relaxing weeks of my life and I will never forget it.

IMG_0797Here are some of the reasons why I would highly recommend having your first family holiday before your baby is six months old.

– The flight is surprisingly relaxing. They are still at the squishy stage where they can find comfort in the oddest of positions. Once they are close to their parents they are happy. I would recommend a sling for the airport. It was an absolute God-send. We shopped, ate breakfast and got comfortable on the plane while our baby was snug as a bug asleep in the sling.

– You don’t have to think about food. A baby under six months will not yet be consuming solids so it is one less thing to have to worry about or think about packing. Even better if you are breastfeeding. No matter what happens with flight delays or plans changing you will always have access to exactly what your baby needs nutritionally. I found the experience of breastfeeding in Europe to be totally refreshing. I fed my baby on the plane, by the pool, at the beach and in every café and restaurant we visited. It was unbelievably convenient and easy.

– Babies under six months nap a lot. My son was having long luxurious naps throughout the day which we coincided with our own lunch (or nap) times. This gave us some really nice blocks of time to go for nice walks, have nice meals or relax by the pool.

– There is a lot less worry in terms of sunburn. When your baby is crawling and walking you will be a lot more vigilant and concerned about applying sun cream and keeping your child in the shade as much as possible. A baby under six months is happy to relax in their pram or sling. They are also less likely to protest when wearing a sun-hat.

– Routine can be adjusted. At this age your baby will probably have a loose routine (if at all) so flight times and a change of environment and routine should not affect things too much.

– You can pack incredibly light. Your baby will spend most of the day in a light vest and sun-hat. It is refreshing to not have to worry about layering up your baby for a couple of days.

– You will feel connected to lots of other families who have brought their own babies on holiday. Every restaurant, shopping centre and park we visited had several small babies.

It was a really lovely way for us to kick off our family holiday adventures. As a couple we have always enjoyed travelling and we hope to share this experience as much as possible with our son. Taking him on his first holiday before six months could not have been any easier. Give it a try!