Desperate Housekeeping for busy mums and dads

From one mother to another

Going out with babies/toddlers

Me and my husband are totally oriented to ‘Be Allways in Family’ and ‘Do Everything in Family’. Basically, we go everywhere with our child, except if it is an adult only activity, of course! 🙂

But we have a rule: we won’t tolerate public tantrums! Other people haven’t to be disturbed with our kids, right? So, we continuously do some research and work with him in order to find solutions that will better entertain him every time we go out.

In our first weekend out with our little boy, we were very anxious as we had no idea of what to expect from his behaviour in outdoors.

He was only 4 months old. Of course we’ve been out with him before, but allways for shorter periods of time, just a few hours to a full day. I planned all the details for days! All the things I would need (and a lot more of unnecessary items, of course!). The best of the best: I was breastfeeding my baby. And, if you are breastfeeding your baby, at least until he is 6 months old, you can go everywhere you want and not worry a bit with his meals! Amazing!

So, this post is dedicated to those who love to go out with their children, and those who want to but are so scared of doing so!

Rule #1: Do Not Stress

If something has to happen, it will happen! No matter what!

I remember once we’ve been out for 2 weeks. Our little Gus was 8 months old. We went on a car trip around the north of Portugal. On the 3rd day, Gus started crying and nothing would stop him, specially at night. We were so embarrassed… And worried…

Tip: Try to calm your child (and yourself)
Firstly, to calm him in public areas, I was allways carrying him in my fantastic baby sling. This, of course, will only works with babies up to 2 years old. 20121011-121545.jpg

If you have a toddler, you should try to comfort him in your arms and a very low tone of voice.

Tip: Try to understand your child
If you have a little baby, check his temperature, his diaper, his clothes… You would find more tips in this post. In our personal episode, we found that our baby started to reach high temperatures, and we needed to see a doctor. It turned out to be an otitis (his first one, just in our vacations!)

If you have a toddler, try to understand if it’s just a tantrum, or if he’s hurt or sick. If you found out it is a tantrum, try to apply Dr Harvey Karp method from ‘The Happiest Toddler on the Block’. I really recommend it!
20121011-121744.jpg

Rule #2: Find the best solution to your needs

If you’re planning to go on holidays, try to follow some of the following ideas.

With little babies, you don’t have to worry too much with the hotel infrastructures, as they’ll want to play more in your lap than in a playground! And as you already know, I’m a huge fan of baby slings, so do not forget your babysling! 🙂

With toddlers, it’s really important to have some playgrounds or at least public parcs where they could run freely.
20121011-122753.jpg

Don’t forget to bring a ball to play and some beach towels to play in the ground. Also, a soap bubbles toy will entertain them a lot.20121011-122544.jpg

It would help if the hotel/restaurant has a baby corner where you can prepare your baby’s food. It would be even better if the hotel has prepared meals for babies and toddlers! Some years ago, we went on vacations to Italy and stayed at a Club Med. It was the best decision ever, as Gus was only 9 months old and the hotel was full of little details for families with little kids: we had a 24-hour opened room with microwave, sterilizer, yogurts, cookies… At the restaurant, there was a fantastic baby corner with 2 options: daily prepared food for babies up to 1 year or baby canned food. There was also a doctor prepared to attend your kid without additional costs (english/french/german/italian spoken – fantastic!). Not to mention the various adult/kid activities you could choose to do! I’m wondering to have the opportunity to stay at other Club Med again! 🙂

Of course, there are other children-friendly hotels available around the world, and cheaper! Like the ‘Riu’ spanish hotel chain, for example. It’s just a matter of looking around, do some research on the internet, and ask other parents, of course!

Please tell me about your experiences! Have you ever stayed in a really family-friendly hotel you recommend? I’d really like to hearing from you!

Rule #3: Don’t be scared of flying

Travelling by plane isn’t so scared as it my might seem to be. Some years ago, a friend of mine told me about her secret tip: a portable dvd player! 🙂 It was the best tip ever! Gus has travelled a lot by now and fortunately we hadn’t have those incredibly plane tantrums yet. Not even once, when he was a little sick and we had to travel from Menorca to Lisbon (about 2 hours and a half, by plane).20121011-123601.jpg

Rule #4: Having a box of entertaining items ready-to-go

Every child is different, and you have to do your homework and find what best entertain yours. However, there’s some toys that will maintain your kid entertained for once a while. Here are some ideas:

-A colouring book, a chalk board or self-erased board
-Some crayons, wax or chalk pencils
-Stickers
-Little puzzles
-Mini figures of his favourite cartoons20121011-124856.jpg

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