This post has been written for almost a month now, but needed finishing and pictures. Sorry for being so absent, but we’ve been traveling quite a lot, sick a bit and as you’ll see from the next post… I’ve had other things on my mind. Be well…
I haven’t been posting for ages at a time but, well, you know… it’s summer and all. We’ve been outside and away from Brussels quite a bit. Sprout is quite a traveled baby, with some 10 airplane rides under his diaper already! And more planned before the year is over! People often ask if it’s hard or even worth it, and I used to wonder myself. The truth is, it’s not so hard. You just have to pack smart and be VERY flexible. If you’re the type of person that has absolutely everything planned out and scheduled before leaving, well… it might be a bit harder.
Of course every family is different, so I’ll share what it’s like for us.
Up until now, we’ve gone on vacation only to Portugal. The other trips were Rod’s business trips we tagged along on. There IS a difference. When you’re ALL on vacation, both parents share the parenting. Business trips mean I will be off alone with Sprout, or will stay back at the hotel when dinners are involved(boohoo). It’s easier on vacation, needless to say!
We’re lucky the flights have been short and we’ve managed to book them to coincide with a nap time (Sprout still has 2) which means he’ll sleep for most of the trip. For when he’s awake, we have a couple of books, a small quiet toy, a soft ball and crayons. That’s it. Those are the toys we take. Usually, he looks through a book and then mostly prefers exploring new things, looking at new people. For take off and landing he has a choice of breastfeeding or using a soother, though he’ll sometimes prefer to go without either. I also take meals for the day (he won’t have jars or other baby food and is a picky eater). I also take disposable diapers because the logistics of doing cloth abroad seems overwhelming.
What we always try to do is follow his rhythm. Naps aren’t as regular, but are a must. The ergo carrier is great for this, and lately we’ve also been using the stroller (it’s hard to eat out with a toddler sleeping on you!). We also forgo late nights because he won’t sleep if there are exciting things around.
We always try to build in activities for him and are always on the lookout for parks were he can run free.
Food is sometimes a problem. I’ve mentioned before he’s not a very avid eater. He’ll get enough though and has never lost weight or anything from traveling (unlike the week he spent at the crèche not having mama milk) so we follow his lead. If all else fails, there’s bread, yogurt and avocado. Lol.
Portugal is fairly easy to do because we stay with family and it’s laid back. However, for some reason it’s where we’ve had the most problems with him eating! My sis says it was always the same for her kids as well. This last time he almost completely refused lunches… Makes you feel horrible with the family insinuating you’re starving him!
Geneva was very easy; a calm, quiet city with many green spaces and very kid friendly. Supermarkets with organic offer and Eco disposables were easy to come by. Barcelona was good, but a bit harder on the food front and very noisy, so hard to get him to nap. He’d wake up constantly. But the city is easy to navigate with a stroller, except some of the hilly parts like Park guell. For an excellent guide to Barcelona with kids, check out delicious baby. I was out with Sprout quite a few times and people were helpful, no struggle getting in and out of places or anything. Florence was hell! Beautiful city, but crazy traffic, not stroller friendly and no green spaces to speak of.
We also just got back from Bulgaria’s resort town of Nessebar. It was very kid-friendly and we had a lovely time there and once I download pics, I’ll put them up.