By the time your baby is 1 (and often a lot earlier than this), you and your partner will most likely be dying for a break of some sort. It’s quite likely that you haven’t been able to go on a break since early pregnancy or even longer!
Now that your baby is fully settled into his/her routine, it’s time to think about whether you’re ready to take a holiday.

Are you going to take your baby on holiday with you?

By the time your baby is 1 years old, he/she will most likely be comfortable with other members of your family, for instance the grandparents. If they’re willing to look after your baby for a short amount of time, then have a think about whether this is a viable option for you. If you leave your baby at home, will your holiday be ruined because you’ll be worrying for the entire duration of your trip? Rather than launch yourselves straight into a fortnight away from baby, maybe you could start out by leaving your baby overnight with your parents for 1 night, then for a couple of nights so that you can see if a) your baby is happy to be left in the company of others and b) if you’re able to fully relax.

If holidaying without your baby is completely out of the question, then don’t worry, there are lots of baby-friendly holidays that you can take. You’ll just need to put a lot of thought into the preparation of them, so that you are able to maximise the enjoyment of your trip and not be annoyed at having left some baby ‘essentials’ behind.

First of all, think carefully about where you might like to go.

If you live in the UK, then you could try having a short break at home before you venture overseas. But if you’re feeling more adventurous and would like to leave home soil, then there are many perfect destinations for you in Europe depending on what it is that you like doing on holiday.

Tips for flying with babies

  • If you’re flying on a budget flight, it’s often worth paying for optional extras such as ‘Speedy Boarding’ – this way you can skip the queues and get to sit in a row of your choice – e.g near the loo!
  • Hand wipes will be your most favoured possession – make sure you pack your hand luggage full of them
  • Try and distract your baby during take-off and landing by feeding him/her. The swallowing can help to neutralise the ears.
  • Take plenty of nappies and a change of clothes for your little one in your hand luggage
  • Make sure you’ve included some of your child’s favourite toys – it pays to make your child feel that he/she is surrounded by familiar objects. Although having said this, they might be equally as entertained by an airline sick bag or safety leaflet.

The next question you need to ask yourself is:

Should we stay in self-catering accommodation or a hotel?

Again, this is entirely your choice, but here are some things to bear in mind.
Self-catered accommodation allows you the option of being able to feed you and your family whatever you like, whenever you like. Foreign countries have babies in them too, so you should find that your local shop has all the baby supplies that you require. Self-catering does mean, however, that you won’t necessarily get the holiday you’re looking for if you’re still having to work every day to feed your family and then clean the dishes afterwards.
Some hotels on the other hand are extremely family-friendly and can offer room service, in-house babysitting whilst you and hubby go for dinner and even a children’s play area.

There’s a great deal to think about before you book a first holiday with your baby, but however daunting it might seem to you, remember that at the end of the day, your baby doesn’t have a choice where you take him/her. Don’t be bullied by a screaming child. If you start them flying and holidaying at a young age, then they’ll soon adapt and next year won’t be half as difficult!

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