Yes we are crazy!!!
But we also live for holidays, I always have to have one booked wether its weeks, months or even a year away. I just like to have something to look forward too! So it will be no surprise that we had already prebooked our first family holiday as a four, moths before Monroe was even born!
It really was a no brainer as to where we would go, it had to be Gran Canaria. I have been traveling there since I was a little girl, it was always a family favourite and we actually took Carter here on his first holiday. So I feel like I know it like the back of my hand, its a baby friendly destination. I know where the shops, chemists and good restaurants are, which are all important things to know when traveling with a toddler and newborn – there could be a melt down at any moment so I need to know where the food and Calpol are at!!!
I am thinking this time around with two children to look after that it’s going to be more like team work than a relaxing holiday! I’ll likely be on toddler patrol, I deal with the tantrums and demands a little better! Then Denholm will take care of little Monroe, he is SO good with babies, literally laps up all the baby talk with random old women who want to talk feeding and bed time routines, at times I think much better at the whole motherly thing than myself!
I will write a little more about how we actually found it with two once we return, but for now I thought i’d share how we prepare to travel with two children under 3 years old (yes I repeat Crazy, but desperate for sun)
Here are my family holiday essential.
For a Baby:
Perfect Prep Machine – Yes it takes up room in the case but it is space well used. It makes the whole process of getting bottles ready for the day SO much quicker and easier. We are really lucky that both our babies have drunk their milk at any temperature, therefore we will get all the bottles ready for the day in the morning and just re do them again in the evening.
Formula – The chemists out there sell all the different brands, but there is something that just makes me really nervous about not using the exact one we use at home! We are using Hipp milk which actually come in concealed bags so we will just pack them like they are, for formula that comes in tubs we’ve always tipped it into large sandwich bags and sealed down with celloptape to prevent any spilling. I’ll pack about 3 containers full, yes this is a little over the top but at least we won’t run out and it will be used at some point!
Pushchair – We’ve got the My Babiie https://www.mybabiie.com/Billie-Faiers-MB51-Rose-Gold-and-Blush-Stroller-p/mb51rosebl.htm. Previously we had the much cheaper version of this which had always been great, however it just didn’t last and would be battered by the end of a holiday! So this time I went for the upgraded version, it feels a bit heavier and more sturdy, which I am hoping means it wont break so easily – i’ll update you on this! She still looks a bit small for this but once its laid down flat and she is strapped in she is content, it is actually suitable from newborn.
Sling – Because this is just the easiest way to carry them around, I LOVE our sling. My only concern is us getting a bit too hot wearing this, but then again we will be sat in the shade with her.
Sleepyhead – I WISH I could pack this but we wont as it is far too big to fit into a case. We will probably ended up rocking her to sleep and trying to get her down into the travel cot the hotel provides. Failing that, and I know this isnt recommended but sometimes needs must, we will probably pop her in the bed with me. I am so cautious when doing this, I remove all pillows and kick Denholm out of the bed (sorry hun). Its not something I like to do until they are older so I will avoid if possible!
Suntan Cream – We wont actually be putting any on Monroe as it isnt recommended, this something I didn’t actually know with Carter! The recommendations are to completely keep them out of the sun under 6 months old and not to put any lotions on.
Nappies – I make sure we pack enough for the entire week, when they are so little I don’t like changing which brand of nappies we use. I also find we need to change the nappies more often where it is warm, I don’t like the idea of a soggy bum in the heat – recipe for nappy rash so I pack cream too.
Wipes – Again I am a little fussy when they are so young so I pack plenty of our normal brand.
Muslins – Because not only are they great for wiping up sick! They also make soft blankets to lay on and are thin enough to cover little legs from the sunshine!
SnoozeShade – We borrowed one of these for Carters first holiday, so this time I have brought one! Brilliant for keeping babies fully shaded and also prevents them getting distracted by their surroundings when it’s nap time!
Other handy things to pack – extra dummies, nappy cream, baby wash, cellular blankets, hats, vests, baby towel, nappy sacks.
For a toddler:
Suntan Cream – I am so fussy with this. I am always checking the UVA star rating on bottles, they are so deceiving! Most of the big brands have terrible ratings yet you pay more for them and trust them because of the brand name! I actually find Boots Soltan the best https://www.boots.com/Soltan-kids-sensitive-protect-lotion-spf50-200ml-10245729. I always stock up before we travel, any thats left over can be used at home, thats if we get a summer this year!
Calpol – You can never be too cautious, and it seems these little people at some point on holiday always needs dose of the good pink stuff!
iPad – don’t forget the charger, this wonderful piece of technology is going to save your sanity! I used to be that person who would look at children on a iPad and think it was awful, i’d think ‘If I had children i’d take the time to talk to them’ turns out these little people don’t actually ever stop talking… and sometimes my little head needs a break, que ‘shall we pop the iPad on Honey?!’. Make sure you download plenty of Peppa Pig (and other awful cartoons a like), we once made the mistake of not pre downloading anything, to remember there is no internet on a plane – longest journey of our lives!!!
Nappies – No we haven’t potty trained and yes I am an awful mother. We will usually pack at least one pack of 56 nappies. After that its onto whatever Spanish brand we come across, Carters not fussy so we can just buy the rest out there!
Trunki – We haven’t actually ever used one of these before, but I have only ever heard good things so we got one for this holiday! We will fill up with Carters snacks, toys, dummies. We figured as we would be using the changing bag for Monroe that we would need extra luggage for all the things needed to entertain a toddler – thats a lot of crap needed.
Beaker – Because how many times can I watch him pour an entire drink down himself? I will pack him a sippy cup for water and juice in the day. Then a baby beaker for his milk before bed!
Inflatables – How expensive are these things at the hotel shop? I now just pack the ones from last year! I am sure there will be toddler tantrums over a giant inflatable dolphin, but I am adamant I will stick to my guns and reuse last years. (you just know there is going to be a bloody dolphin on Instgram with Denholm and Carter!)
Dummies – Yep he still has one of these too (someone call the Mum police immediately!!!) . Somehow these things disappear just as fast as you buy them, so I will be filling that Trunki full of them. I will probably pack around 8, purely for the fact nothing infuriates me more than a toddler having a meltdown over a dummy, whilst you have to frantically crawl on the floor trying to find the bloody thing… to find it caught under their top the whole time!
So they are all my holiday essentials, all that being said there is always shops wherever you travel to, so try not to panic there will be everything you need once you get there, but it does feel nice going prepared.
Holidays are NEVER the same after children, so you might as well accept that now. However they are full of beautiful family memories that will last you a life time, when do you ever get that amount of solid time just to be together? Some of my best childhood memories are on holiday! Also remember one day when your old and grey, when your children no longer come on holiday with you, that you’ll long for someone to drag you into the pool AGAIN or having someone to sneak off for an Ice Cream with!
Lastly, if you don’t take any recommendation above please then just promise to take this one…
CAMERA – These are the memories you’ll look back on for the rest of your life. The ones you’ll show the kids when they are older. The ones you’ll realise how fast time has gone. The ones you will see that it really didn’t matter you didn’t look like a Victoria Secretes model, because your child was smiling from ear to ear just because you are in the pool with them. Even if you have to force your husband to get the photo before dinner, do it because you can never regret having too many family photo’s, I know this all too well.
Wish us luck, and brace yourself for holiday spam!
Thank you for reading, Amberlie x