So you’ve tied the knot and are now ready to be whisked away for a romantic honeymoon. The only glitch is you have baby in tow. Perhaps, you cannot bear to be away from your little bundle of joy or don’t have a suitable babysitter, so taking them with you may be the best solution. Honeymooning with an infant can be tricky, but doable - so don’t let the responsibilities of parenthood deter you from planning your ultimate lover’s getaway. While you may feel that having a baby will curtail any exotic honeymoons, with timely and knowledge based planning you can have as romantic a time as ever with the little one under foot. Here’s 9 ways to have a very baby friendly honeymoon:
1. Choose a suitable destination
Give careful thought to your honeymoon destination. This includes asking yourself a few critical questions including: How much time will you be able to take off for the honeymoon? When should we go? What kind of honeymoon do you want to have? And in answering these questions, you must of course consider how this will affect the baby who will be tagging along with you. If you’re planning to go to a destination that will take a while to travel to, but you can only manage a week off work, you need to think of the time it will take to get to your destination and plan accordingly. Also you will have to consider the possibility that your chosen destination may have some restrictions to you travelling with a baby. Perhaps the country may require immunizations that would not be suitable for very young babies.
2. Consider the Weather
Think about the time of year you are going and what the weather is like at this time. If you have a baby, going somewhere very hot (or very cold) may be problematic. While you may like the idea of lazing on the beach with your spouse, having a crying infant on the blanket next to you is not ideal. If the weather is manageable, but hot, have the appropriate sunscreen lotion and hats to protect the infant.
3. Limit the distance you have to travel
To minimize stress, especially on a honeymoon where the idea is to experience a fun romantic getaway, stick to a destination only a few hours away by plane, train or car. Adults get restless and cranky travelling long distances. So imagine how a baby will react having to be cooped up in a car, train or plane for long periods of time. Agitated dad, frustrated mom and cranky baby are a recipe for spoiled fun.
4. Wisely choose mode of transportation
Getting yourself, spouse and baby (and all necessary luggage) from home to the airport and then abroad without having a complete breakdown, will pose challenging. All airlines and destinations have different guidelines, so research the airline you are going to use and the destination very carefully. If you are using a taxi company to get to and from the airport you will need a car seat for the baby. As for long train journeys, you can fold up and store the pushchair in the luggage rack at the end of the carriage. Or you could wear your baby in a sling. If you decide to drive to your destination, a long car journey becomes less wearisome for you as well as the baby if you pack appropriate entertainment.
5. Get baby passport and travel insurance
Babies do need passports for international travel, so if your destination is out of the country, you need to start the paperwork to get a passport for the baby if you don’t already have one. You will need passport photos of your baby, their birth certificate and a co-signatory. Plus they take a few weeks to process once you’ve completed the application form, so doing so a few months in advance of the trip is a great idea. Also just to be on the safe side, ensure you have travel insurance not only for you and your spouse but for the baby as well.
6. Choose child friendly resorts
Travelling with a cot, highchair, sterilizing equipment and so on may be difficult. In which case, choosing a child friendly resort will ease the hassle. Most of these resorts have a wealth of facilities and activities to suit children of all ages as well as offering fabulous excursions for all the family and restaurants/nightlife for adults. You can also book a baby-friendly holiday cottage/villa/house where you know there will be a cot, a highchair, safety in mind, and so on.
7. Don’t forget to pack necessary supplies
Plan and pack all the supplies you will need for your baby over the course of your honeymoon. This might include diapers, formula milk (you may prefer to take the brand your baby is used to) and baby food if you’d prefer not to rely on locally available products. It’s difficult to know what will be available when you arrive or even if you will like the brand.
8. Expect a different experience
It’s important to acknowledge that travelling with a baby is very different to travelling as a couple. If your idea of an ideal time with your spouse is taking long day trips, with lots of walking and a variety of museums and shops to explore, you may need to do it all at a slower pace with more rest intervals and factoring in naps, meal times, bath times and early bed times for the infant. On the other hand, if you like to spend your days relaxing by the pool and doing lots of sunbathing, you will need a few more ideas to help entertain the baby and keep them out of the sun.
9. Be realistic
Parents with newborns are usually plagued with fatigue; they are sleep-deprived and irritable, so you have to be realistic and accept from the onset that travelling with a baby won’t be easy. You must be prepared for crying jags, those unsympathetic fellow travelers who seem generally peeved by the mere presence of an infant and the simple hassle of moving from point A to point B with a baby in tow. There is always the possibility that the baby might get sick (with an ear infection or the likes) or even you or your spouse might get sick. Thus, it is extra important that you be extra vigilant.