We have been travelling now for about 6 weeks and so far so good. Sleep is difficult but I think it would be whether we were travelling or at home. In fact the best thing about bad sleep while travelling is that there are two of us all the time. This means that if there is a bad night we know that there is someone who can take a turn on baby duty to give the other some nap time.
In between all of this of course, we want to be able to see something of the great cities that we are visiting. Finally after almost 2 weeks in Paris I think we’ve got the formula for a good day of sightseeing down.
- Routine – Usually a good day of sightseeing requires a degree of flexibility but a peaceful life with a baby requires as much routine as possible. The trick is to be able to combine the two. Because sleep is such a challenge for us at the moment it makes me feel much better if Baby B can have as regular a nap routine as possible. We don’t go out until he has had his morning nap so that there is something consistent in every day. We then try to get out and about as soon as he wakes up. That way we are out while he is awake and can go out for lunch. After that B is usually ready for his second nap of the day and he has that on the go.
- A Sleeping place – B sleeps relatively well on the go as long as there is some movement happening. He sleeps well in the ergo baby carrier and the pram and he will also sleep in the car. Because we have stayed in central locations so far we haven’t needed a car but the pram and ergo have proved invaluable. My personal preference is the ergo. I keep him outward facing for the first 2 hours or so while he is awake so he can see the world and be entertained and then after lunch when he’s sleepy I carry him facing in and he is usually out like a light within minutes.
- Be practical – This counts in two ways. First consider your equipment, if you are walking around your local area than a pram is probably the most convenient mode of transport for baby. However, for a day of navigating the tube or the metro a pram is just a hassle so you want to use the carrier. Secondly, you need to adjust your expectations. Around 4-5 hours of being out and about is realistic but much longer then that and you’ll all be getting tourist fatigue.
- Pack lightly – Back home we used our big nappy bag and brought everything under the sun that we could possibly need. Here I know that I’m going to be home within 4 hours so I bring just the bare essentials in my handbag. 2 nappies, wipes, tissues, a nappy disposal baggy and a spare onesie in case of an explosion. We always change B right before we leave. That way, if he doesn’t poo, we don’t have to change him until we get home.
- Relax – Some days there’ll be golden long stretches of sleep and a content happy baby peering out from the pram or carrier soaking in the sights. Other times there’ll be a meltdown just as you get to the front of the queue for that iconic site you’ve been dying to see. Worst case scenario you all jump in a taxi and go home (maybe covered in something unpleasant but you’ll be alive).
By using these guidelines we have found a really good compromise between the comforts of home and being able to enjoy being on holiday. I know that things can change so quickly with a bub but this is what is working for us at the moment. Please let me know in the comments if you have any tips for me for travelling with bubs as they get older – I’m happy for any help I can get.