“ Passports. Tickets, Money. “
That’s what we always used to recite as we left the house for a holiday.
Well, it turns out you can add the kitchen sink to that checklist when you go away for the first time with a baby! In my last column, you’ll remember Baby Byrne got her first passport and I promised that I would give you an update you on her first travels abroad. Well, the first thing to say is, she needs a heck of a lot of stuff!
Once we got over packing for what really did feel like a military operation, our thoughts turned to the practicalities of the flight. We were heading for the Greek island of Crete - a long enough journey to properly test Jemima’s taste for the high life, but short enough to know there was an end in sight!
After all, on short haul, there’s no bassinet (the little basket at the bulkhead that babies get to sleep in) - so between her naps, Baby J was passed between our laps.
We survived our first flight with an infant with only one minor incident upon landing, which involved me having to use a large muslin cloth to fashion a makeshift sarong for her. Let’s just say, I’m not sure the changes in pressure agreed with her digestion!
And to add to the awkwardness, it was just as we all disembarked, that fellow passengers decided they wanted a little cwtch! I must have appeared terribly over-protective, as I tried desperately to save them from a messy encounter!
To the holiday itself though and, I can confidently say, this is a good time to travel with an infant. At 4 and a half months old, Jemima had not yet started to roll or crawl and she wasn’t weaning yet. We didn’t have to worry about her moving around and putting herself in danger and we only had to think of how to sterilise bottles in a hotel room, rather than packing baby food and providing meals.
And it turns out young Jemima is something of a Puddleduck! We’d been having baby swim lessons near Cardiff for a few weeks to get her used to the water and on holiday she took her skills to another level as Daddy Lee started her early on her road to Olympic glory, by taking her on laps of the pool twice a day. Turns out this was also the perfect solution to getting us some time to ourselves. Being pooped from all the paddling set Jemima up nicely for some long poolside naps!
When she wasn’t sleeping or swimming, Jemima easily attracted quite a holiday fan club. She rocked her pink baby sunglasses wherever she went and there’s little doubt she was the coolest - and I think the cutest - baby in the resort! Though, of course, I may be a just a little bit biased! All in all, our first family holiday was an incredibly precious time. Moments to be forever treasured.
News mums out there, however daunting the thought may seem, and however complex the preparation, it really is all worth it :-). And now we have a summer of family fun ahead in Wales to look forward to!