Before we become parents, we loved to travel together. We had so much fun so we kept booking a trip after trip. When Amelia came we knew that we didn’t want to stop traveling until she grows up. In fact, I dreamt about creating family moments in new places and showing her the world. Her first trip was when she was only 40 days old to Dimitri’s brother wedding. She was so tiny and stress level so high. We stopped every hour to check her, so an actual 3 hour distance we did it for 8 hours. Since then this little girl has gone to so many places in Greece and abroad.
I don’t know what it is but we travel even more since we had her then we did before. Maybe it’s because we cannot go out that much anymore during the week as we used to. So we make up with traveling. Our people think that we are out of our minds and this poor baby is only getting so tired. But the truth is that she is the happiest and the most excited kid when on a trip. However, keeping her well rested and happy doesn’t come just like that. There are challenges so we make sure to follow some rules.
- Keeping her on a schedule. Babies thrive when are in a routine. They have to eat and sleep when they need to. In every trip we make sure we return in the hotel room for her main nap. This usually happens at 13.00 pm to 16.00 pm. This is also the perfect time for us to have that much needed rest. Before Amelia we would walk and walk all day to explore every spot, but this is a small sacrifice we have to make. Adaptability is the key!
- Food. I know this is the main worry for parents. Babies until the age of six months usually only have milk. This is actually the easiest period to travel, because all you need is the bottle or your boobs. I was breastfeeding so the baby was fed at any time. After six months we did baby-led weaning so she pretty much was eating what we were eating, without any sugar or salt. For the babies who eat pureed food I would suggest bringing a small mixer with you. This is not necessary because usually all restaurants and cafés are glad to help you with the baby’s food. But sometimes you may not find an appropriate place to do it, mainly when you have doubts about the hygiene. You don’t wanna risk your baby’s health especially when you are not home. When you are back at the hotel for nap time, you can order something there for your baby to eat. There is also the choice of baby jar food. I only offered her twice but she didn’t like them. I am a huge advocate for fresh homemade baby food and I try to keep that in travels too but sometimes it is difficult to find something fresh and healthy, so baby jars are an easy choice for once in a while.
- Baby carriers. I can’t say enough about them. If you plan to travel with a baby go and get one. You will thank me later. I can talk for hours about carriers, but I will do it in another post. When you are in a new place there are spots that a stroller can’t go through. For example, I had to ‘wear’ her in order to visit the Dubrovnik walls when we were in Croatia. It was the most beautiful thing to see, but so many stairs. She slept the whole hour on me and we enjoyed the view. I even nursed her and nobody noticed it.
- Accept it. Last but not least, is to accept the fact that traveling as you used to is over. It won’t be as relaxed as it was before and you may not get the chance to experience everything you planned to. I remember how excited I was for our summer vacation to getting some sleep on the beach, or having a dinner where I could actually take a conversation with my husband. But that was impossible with a 14 months old toddler. I got myself thinking that this was a mistake. I can’t lie, it is not always easy. But it is OK. Family time, creating memories and bonding together is worth it!