Continuation from Part I.
Thank God for baby carriers! During my two weeks trip in Europe, I relied a lot on my Baby Bjorn to carry Aidan around. We actually rented a compact stroller but he didn’t like to sit in it. We figured out as much, since the weather was cold Aidan would much prefer to be cuddled closely for warmth. It was easy, breezy and I wore it every day during our holiday. My husband and I would exchange duties of carrying Aidan, because no matter how ergonomic it’s supposed to be, it was definitely straining to be carrying Aidan for hours… towards the last few days it took a toll on my left shoulder and I find myself in pain and was unable to carry Aidan for long.
You can actually see how much I depended on my baby carrier when you see me wearing them in all of my photos. So much that it looked like a fashion accessory!
In terms of medication, I brought tons of pills (minus a cough syrup), Aidan’s fever and phlegm medicine. Dealing with fever + cold + cough in cold weather was extremely difficult. Aidan, my husband and myself had a coughing spell that was very persistent which took us almost a week to get rid of. Aidan also had an on and off fever so I was very cautious. I gave him his medication whenever needed and thankfully it didn’t grow serious.
Always prioritize. I ditched my handbags and carried a bag pack filled with Aidan’s stuff instead. I stuffed diapers, nappy, wet wipes, hot water thermos, milk powder, feeding bottle, baby biscuits, extra fleece jacket, extra clothes, umbrella and an iPad into my trusted Kipling bag pack (aka poket Doraemon). It was definitely helpful to have everything placed into one bag as opposed to having several others. I just thought it would be more practical to be holding less things, so I decided to just leave my handbag behind. Which was an achievement for me, because everyone who knows me knows I never leave anywhere without my handbag.
Me and my poket Doraemon aka fashion faux pas
Plan ahead and always expect the unexpected
Realizing there might be a lot of detours in our planned itinerary, we maxed out the hours at each location. True enough, we managed to stick to our planned timings. Travelling with a baby can be quite tricky and unpredictable, and you always have to expect the worse. I’ve had to queue for about 20 minutes to use the toilet in Primark to change Aidan’s diapers. Worse, I even had to change his diapers in the men’s toilet without the baby changer table and at that time I had to clean his poo. I also had to go around cafés and bakeries asking for hot water to make Aidan’s milk and had to stop in the middle of a hike to feed him milk.
When Aidan gets fussy in his carrier I let him roam around by himself (under careful supervision of course)
Travelling with a baby also means you will be short of manpower. When we were moving from one location to another, I couldn’t help my husband much with transporting the luggage. I could only help with one small hand carry, while my husband and in-laws had to push our luggage from one point to another because we were constantly on the move (we were visiting 11 cities within two weeks’ duration).
End of the day all I can say is, travelling with a baby is tremendously exhausting. It gets harder when you least expect it. It’s definitely different from those days when it was just the two of you (obviously). So different that you had forgotten how it felt like to have everything go as smoothly as you planned.
But despite all that, I feel blessed to be given the opportunity to go through this experience. It taught me a lot, including new mommy skills that could earn me some brownie points. As rookie parents we get thrown new challenges every day, and I’d say this is one of it. Because we went through all these never-before-experienced moments, it made our holiday more memorable.
It also changed my perception about bringing babies for holidays. People tend to exaggerate, making it seemed impossible and unbearable. It’s not all that bad, honestly. But of course, each to its own.
Some of the moments I loved about the trip: Having Aidan close to me all the time, seeing how his cheeks grow rosy because of the weather, seeing how much he hates taking a bath because of how cold it was, and seeing how much he enjoyed learning new stuff (aka getting super close to huge swans and ducks and geese). All these things really made me feel ultimately happy. I would do it again and again without missing a beat.
So next holiday, please come fasssssssssst.