As some of my loyal readers (that might be ambitious, but I’m hoping you’re out there!) know we have just come home from a six-week journey overseas with baby. It was a big ask for a 10-month-old. Not only did she have to endure a 23-hour flight, but she also had to bed-hop for weeks, staying in a total of six different cots over eight different stops. What a trooper! She was truly amazing. For the most part we stayed in apartments, essentially replicating our family life at home with a few adjustments. The real challenge came at the end of the trip when we hunkered down at a resort for a week, restricted to a standard hotel room. I learnt a lot in that week, and I thought I’d share my tips so some of you don’t make the same mistakes we did! And, perhaps even learn a few helpful tips along the way!
Bring your own bedding
We did this for the whole trip and I truly believe it made a big difference in baby adjusting to a new environment. Every night, she had her patterned sheets (we brought two sets of the same sheets for consistency), rather than starchy hotel sheets. She had her sleeping bag and her bunny, and it felt like home. It meant that for the most part she was quite comfortable cot-hopping. We took it one step further and always washed her sheets in the same washing powder and fabric softener we use at home.
Get a balcony
If, like us, you are restricted to a single room and don’t want to splash out on a suite, make sure you have a balcony or garden in which to retreat. I didn’t even consider it when we booked, which meant that of an evening hubby and I were sat in silence on the bed, fearful of waking baby. That little bit of space will mean you can enjoy each other’s company, have a wine, maybe even get room service, without waking the baby.
Get baby used to sleeping with distractions
If you can’t do the above, it’s a good idea to get baby used to a noisy sleeping environment. Our precious little one wakes when a pin drops. Not exactly the best when you’re sharing a room. Sharing a room with baby before you go away to get both you and baby used to sleeping in the same room – and hearing the noises associated with that – can go a long way.
Make the most of the breakfast buffet
A downside to being in a hotel room is you likely have no cooking facilities. We didn’t have a microwave, which meant that baby was restricted to store-bought baby food for much of the trip, of which she isn’t a huge fan (that is not a brag about my homemade-food-loving baby, it’s just the truth and, to be honest, often quite irritating). We had a fridge, but the power turned off whenever we took the room key out of the power socket, so that had limited value. What we did have was a buffet breakfast included with our stay. It was fantastic! The buffet breakfast meant we could get fresh milk for her cereal every morning. She would eat her cereal (brought from home), then we’d hit the buffet, giving her fruit to munch on while we chowed down on eggs and bacon. We would bring her cereal in her cooler bag, along with a few empty containers and – I’m not proud of this, but hubby encouraged it and, let’s face it, I’m sure hotels expect this behaviour – we would load the empty containers with yoghurt, bread and the like so that missy had snacks for the day. It made a huge difference, especially staying in an area that had no supermarket to speak of.
Related: Purees on the go
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Sometimes I’m guilty of being too timid, afraid of rocking the boat and making someone annoyed by asking them for something out of the ordinary. On holiday, don’t worry about this. You’re unlikely to see those people again and, let’s face it, baby comes first. You’d be surprised the lengths people will go to when they take a look at a cute baby face. Don’t be afraid to ask for food off menu, extra linen, help carrying the bags, a high chair etc – anything you can do to make your life easier.
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