So last week mummytravels took us on a Caribbean Cruise, this week its back to me and the toddler terror and we are also headed to sunnier, sandier climates.
Picking the story up where I left off, following on from our first adventure to the Christmas markets in Belgium, we had our second trip. This time a 12 hour plane ride around the world to Mauritius with my Mum, the Husband, the Toddler (in baby form!) the Brother and the soon to be Sister-in-Law.
The reasons behind the trip were simple, the original plan before my dad died was to go away on a cruise in the January as a family to celebrate my 30th and my dad’s 60th later that year. However, with my dad dying it became a remembrance trip (as well as having my 30th out there!) and we did consider the cruise still. Then the toddler appeared on the scene. And babies have to be at least 6 months old to go. The toddler was only 3 months when we went, so the cruise went out the window and Mauritius happened instead.
So, what do you pack when you are taking a baby away for the first time?!
Well the baby obviously!
As we were travelling as a larger group we stole some of the others luggage allowance and we ended up with THREE massive bags to take, plus one big ass travel system pram!
In our bags:
- Enough vests to be able to use 2 per day
- An outfit a day
- A baby grow per night to sleep in
- One lightweight sleeping bag
- One pack of swimming nappies
- A rubber ring
- 2 baby hats
- A swimming all in one suit
- A breast pump
- The monitor
- A bottle
- Bottle brush
- Cold water sterilising tablets
- Baby towels
- Baby bubble bath
- Baby lotion
- 3 bottles of baby suncream
- Nappies for the week
- A medical kit including teething gel, Calpol, saline spray…..
We were a little over zealous, and here are some of our lessons learned from hauling all of this:
- Nappies; instead of packing them in your luggage try ringing the airport Boots (if flying from the UK) and arrange to collect once you’ve checked in at the airport. This is a fab service and means you have extra checked luggage space for your clothes maybe.
- Suncream; babies are small. Even applying once an hour all day every day for a week or 2 you won’t go through a whole tube. Let alone three. Save space take one! Also be wary about what you put on your baby, often being in the shade, or inside is a great alternative as some suncreams are full of additives and bad stuff. We personally use Banana Boat SPF50+ Natural Reflect Baby
- Baby bubble bath; you might not have a bath. Bubble bath not great for babies anyway……
- Don’t go overboard on the clothes. Chances are you will just have baby in a nappy if its warm, or maybe a vest
- Take a flat sheet with you for the travel cot, it feels like home then and often the sheets in the cot will be folded down to fit so I felt a lot better having one of our own with me
- Take a mosquito net to cover the pram!
So us and all the luggage met the family at Heathrow and away our journey began!
12 hours later, we arrived, unscathed. We did follow some of the travel tips I’ve mentioned before on the blog with the life saver for our sanity being hour on hour off!!!
Our hotel, an all inclusive resort called Verande aux Pointes Biches, was lovely, right on the beach, a family friendly pool as well as an adult only area, a bar (yippee!), a spa and a buffet restaurant as well as the option to go alacarte (but pay for it) in the adult only area! It may not have been the most glamorous place we’ve ever stayed, but the 2 weeks there with the toddler terror was great family bonding time for the 3 of us, as well as great Grandma time so Mummy and Daddy could go on a couple of date nights!The staff were attentive, even more so that we had an adorable 3 month old with us, everyone wanted to talk to us (or him) and speak to him and try to make him laugh which was just lovely, it also meant we never waited at the bar!
So what do you do with a 3 month old in a resort?!
Well you go swimming….
The rubber ring was actually a fabulous investment, it saved our arms, he was happy bobbing around between me and the husband and his little legs got a great work out. Now not useful for actual learning to swim, but a lovely holiday tool! In fact he loved the swimming pool so much that we then enrolled in lessons when we got back in London (also useful for when we came out to Dubai)
You play with toys while relaxing on a sun lounger….
I loved Freddie the Firefly, he got lost in the hold as we took a trip to Oman, but that’s a story for another day! Please also note, that despite the million vests and outfits we had, he is wearing just a nappy…..
You nap (in the bar!)…
This was back in the day where he was the king of the 30 minute naps, you could set your watch by him, he’d close his eyes and 30 minutes later he would be awake! Ahh I had forgotten the hands above the head pose! And he still had his dummy then….enough reminiscing from me there!
You go out late at night with Mummy and Daddy to have drinks with Grandma and Uncle and Aunty…
You go in the sea with Mummy….
And while I don’t have photographic evidence, Mummy and Daddy also got to enjoy a couples massage, overlooking the sea, in the wonderful spa while Grandma babysat, as well as a yummy 30th meal in a la carte restaurant on the beach, very romantic with champagne and a brand new dress that I got for my birthday!
We had the set menu and it was delicious! So delicious that later in the week I left the husband on baby duty and off I went with my mum for a mother-daughter bonding session.
So after 2 full weeks of sun, sea, sand, drinks, it was time to fly home…
And we managed the 12 hour flight just fine!
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