Summer has officially started. Schools are done for the year and everyone is dreaming about vacations! Last week I shared tips on how to fly with a baby. This week I am going to talk about what to do when you get there! Vacationing with a baby is tough. I often hear from mommas, that they would much rather just stay at home as vacationing with a baby is exhausting. I am not going to lie, that can be true. However I do believe that taking ‘time off’ is good for the babes as well as mommas and daddy’s. Since Zara was born we’ve been on three Mexico vacations, once to Montreal and multiple road trips around BC. Here are some tips that worked for us to have a ‘real relaxing’ vacation:
1. Consistent Baby Schedules: Zara has always liked some consistency in her schedule. So when we do travel, we try to follow the same schedule as best we can. We generally keep naps and bedtimes consistent. I don’t mean follow the schedule to a ‘T’. There are times when Zara has napped in a stroller or car seat. We have pushed bedtimes a little later if we had a special event to attend. Babies can be very adaptable. It just takes a little bit of planning. If you are in a different time zone, it will take a couple of days for the kiddo to adjust. I always allow Zara to wake up naturally and then base naps and bedtimes off of that. Watch for sleepy cues. If they are starting to get cranky, it is time for some downtime. Keep your bedtime and nap routine consistent. Bring sheets from home for a pack and play or crib. The key here is to remember you are away from home and it’s ok if baby has two naps instead of one, or sleeps in a stroller. You deserve this vacation, so try to go with the flow.
2. Get a room with a view and patio: I highly recommend this! With a baby you will be spending more time in the room than you usually do. Splurge a bit for a view or a patio. When babe is napping or down for the night, this will be your sanctuary. Perfect for sharing a glass of wine with your hubby/partner at the end of the day!
3. Try to always book a suite if possible: This is always my first option. You will need that second room so that you are not tip toeing around in the dark when baby is napping or down for the night. I have heard of some parents eating dinner in the bathroom after putting the babe down!! So here is my suggestion: If a suite is not available put the pack and play in bathroom! No your child is not sleeping on the bathroom floor. No it is not unsanitary. We have done this multiple times and it has worked like a charm. If you need to use the bathroom while the baby is sleeping, use the one in the lobby.
4. De-stress: Bring a book, stock the room with your favourite drinks and snacks. Wine in the room? Yes please!Order room service? Definitely! Let’s be honest, like I said before you WILL spend tons of time in the room. Make the most of it!
5. If babysitting service is available use it: A lot of hotels and resorts have certified babysitters that you can use for a night out. Another great idea is to go with friends who also have kids. We did this a couple of times and took turns babysitting so Momma and Dada can have a night out.
6. Don’t over plan: Try to do one activity a day. This is crucial. Vacationing with a little one or two is tough but doable. Remember that a tired babe is a cranky babe and cranky babe means a very cranky Momma and Dada. So plan for one activity a day and tons of downtime. Trust me you will need it!
Stay tuned next week for more Vacationing with a baby: Part 3!
Happy Canada Day! I hope these tips will come in handy if you are away for the long weekend! Feel free to share tips and tricks that have worked for you while vacationing with a baby.