whilst on holiday. There is so much wrong with that theory that doesn't need spelling out but we definitely learnt a lot.
1. Flying with two babies under 2
On our flight we couldn't sit next to each other, the best we could do is sit either side of the aisle as there are only 4 oxygen masks on each infant enabled row so if two babies are sitting on two adults laps on one row there wouldn't be enough masks. That's a reason in itself to wait for your oldest to be two as there is a chance you could all be separated. Luckily we had
quiet flights before the school holidays so got aisle seats but it could have been horrible.
A major lesson is to only take one hand luggage bag to be carried by the one wearing the baby. A baby carrier was a necessity for us! It's a fact that toddlers are mental and run fast in crowded and dangerous places so someone needs to have both hands free and be unencumbered to chase and wrestle a writhing toddler as it legs it through passport control without understanding the requirement of showing a passport. We had way too many bags on the way out to deal with this situation very well and a stranger had to get involved.
A portable DVD player is a good idea but I reckon you should get your little one to watch the films you are taking before you go and monitor their reaction. Tarzan was put on for Booboo and in the opening frames the baby's parents die and baby Tarzan is rescued by a monkey. This blew my girl's mind and she sobbed uncontrollably asking why his mummy and daddy
had gone. This was an unexpected screaming fit that could have been avoided. We did all the other toddler advised things like take little presents, loads of snacks and drawing but the DVD player was all that was required so we will pack a lot lighter next time.
2. Breastfeeding on a plane
I dread to think how many people I exposed myself to? I had a thin scarf that did a much better job of covering me than a stupid muslin! I hate Muslins!! They slip off without warning,
I've only ever got a stained one and there is never one around when the big vomm happens! Grr! I also found feeding the Boy uncomfortable when people were next to me as there was nowhere near enough room and he is only 3 months. Any bigger and his legs would be kicking my neighbours gin and tonic (the drink I miss the most). So I think I would try and express if we go away again before weaning (unlikely unless we win the lottery). All in all
taking a little baby on a flight whilst breastfeeding was quite straightforward and involved very little crying but quite a lot of sick because I force fed to avoid crying.
3. Changing bums on the flight
The only lesson learnt was that it was relatively easy. Seem to be more room in a piddly little toilet cubicle than there is in Starbucks baby change.
We went for a villa and it was a good bet. At least I could watch everyone having fun in the pool from the sofa or under an umbrella if I was in a hotel room I would have been very depressed. The fact is a newborn shouldn't compete with you to get a tan and when it's hot will feed 20 hours a day so my best tip - spray tan before you go because you will not catch a ray unless your baby sleeps and mine doesn't do that very much.
If you stay in a villa try and find a local hotel that puts on entertainment for little ones call them and see if you can go. Any resort that's not all inclusive shouldn't mind as you're a paying customer. We went to the Princess Yaiza in Playa Blanca, Lanzarote and enjoyed the wonders of Kikoland and his various shows and the mini disco every night. Booboo loved it and the Boy just ate throughout. I think the villa and gate crashing hotel entertainment was a good mix and we will be doing this again. Anyone looking for a very, very child friendly and plush hotel should check out the Princess Yaiza.
5. Eating out
Eating abroad with a toddler is different from eating abroad with a baby. At 14 months when we took Booboo to Spain she happily tried anything and sat in a highchair and enjoyed the experience which in turn meant that we enjoyed eating food. This time no new foods were tried, her diet consisted of Weetabix, Pom Bears and bread. The unknown was refused or indelicately spat on the floor. Booboo must be have come home vitamin deficient!
6. Sleeping arrangements abroad
In my experience, however well equipped your accommodation is with cots, cribs, bed guards, you will always end up with one baby or child in your bed.
7. Never as bad as you think
For all the times I considered flying home early there were times when I thought 'we are actually doing this and everyone is alive and well', I really wish we had been more adventurous when we just had one child but this holiday taught me that it is possible to travel with babies and it can go ok. Flights, airport queuing, getting bags, forgetting my glasses on the plane out there and miraculously getting them back, car hire nightmares, my driving being described as go-kart driving, no air con in the villa, over tired babies and 30 degree heat were all dealt with and we had a good time. Booboo absolutely loved swimming all day, and the Boy loved eating all day. We had some really cool times and some pretty stressful times but it hasn't put me off. I do question those people who say that they could go travelling around the world with their children, not for me thank you very much.