How Going On Holiday Can Impact Your Baby’s Routine
Going on holiday abroad for the first time as a family sounds quite dreamy and going while your baby is still quite little sounds easier than going with a toddler. We went on holiday to Mallorca when our first born daughter was almost 9 months and, though we had a lovely time, this holiday had a huge impact on our daughter’s eating, sleeping and walking — in a negative way.
Before we left, weaning was going really well and our girl would eat anything we offered her. Even though we’d brought baby food pouches with us, for some reason she lost interest in them during our one week holiday and we struggled to get her to eat much at all. She would eat a few bits from the hotel buffet (mainly red peppers!) but not much. I was still breastfeeding at this point so we knew she was getting the nutrients that she needed but it was a shame that our girl’s interest in food had changed so quickly. She was such an adventurous eater during weaning and came back from holiday a very picky eater and she still is now at the age of 2.
At home before our holiday, we had gotten into some kind of sleeping routine and though our baby girl didn’t sleep through the night, she did sleep in her cot all night when she wasn’t breastfeeding.
During our holiday in Mallorca, we borrowed a travel cot from the hotel and it was not great. The mattress was a bit too small for the cot and I worried about our daughter getting her face stuck in the gap between the side and the mattress. I couldn’t sleep so when I fed her for the last time before we went to bed, I let her stay with us. If the cot had been better, this could have been avoided of course but we couldn’t have taken a travel cot, a mattress, a pushchair and all our luggage with us.
At home we’ve been struggling to get her to sleep in her own cot all night and since the holiday she’s been sleeping in her bed for the first part of the night, then joined us for the rest of the night. It was only when we got close to her second birthday that she started to sleep through sometimes and in her own bed. She’s much better now at the age of 2 but still comes to sleep with us at some point most nights.
The last thing the holiday had an impact on was our daughter’s walking process. She had started taking a few steps when she was around 8 months so we expected her to be an early walker. In our hotel on holiday, all the floors were marble on the inside and stone on the outside so we couldn’t let her walk around and fall over on those surfaces. When we got home again, she wasn’t interested in trying to walk anymore and went back to crawling instead. She did start walking properly and confidently without falling over around her first birthday though.
All these things could just be coincidences but after this experience we will not be going on holiday abroad at this stage of development with our second baby who is due this May. I’d recommend to other parents to go abroad while their baby is still just a few months old or wait until he or she is a toddler. The best option is to go on holiday in the UK to a holiday cottage or something similar because you can take all the stuff you need (including your own travel cot and mattress) in the car and the change of environment will not be too noticeable for your little one.
Has a holiday had a big impact on your children?