Here I am, sitting in the Côte d’Azur with my husband and Lady P, enjoying a crisp glass of vin blanc having just eaten the most awesome local delicacies in a French brasserie overlooking the marina.
Sounds pretty idyllic, right?
Well, yes – it is, apart from the small matter of trying to holiday abroad with a 7 month old baby.
First there is the flight to contend with.
This is actually Lady P’s second holiday (lucky baby), but last time she was about 16 weeks old, didn’t wriggle quite as much, wasn’t so nosy, and certainly couldn’t crawl, so the flight this time around was a whole different ball game.
The problem: The baby just won’t sit still.
The solution: Feed your baby on the way up to avoid sore ears caused by air pressure, and once the seatbelt signs have gone off, providing it is a shortish flight, get the Baby Bjorn (or similar) out and head to the front or back of the plane. You might spend the majority of the flight lurking around the bogs and having to answer the same questions over and over (how old she is and if it’s her first flight), but it will be better than your baby’s tiny arms and legs battering the person next to you after they have just picked up and given ‘Iggle Piggle’ back to you for the 23rd time that it has fallen into their footwell.
Then there’s the heat.
The problem: The weather is scorchio. The baby is scorchio.
The solution: Fill a paddling pool, washing up bowl, or baby bath with enough water to cool the little mite down, and give them some plastic cups to play with. You’d be amazed how long you can keep them entertained with just some supervision required.
Warning: Lady P seemed to like to ‘let rip’ whilst in her baby bath, so unless you want poopy water, put them in a swim nappy first. She’s going to love me for that when she is a teenager.
The swimming pool is great fun, but they don’t half wriggle a lot.
The problem: Your guns are looking rather toned since you’ve been lugging a baby elephant around, but sun cream and soft skin make for a slippery time.
The solution: Invest in an inflatable floaty seat thing. If your little one is anything like Lady P, she loves to be on her feet despite not yet being able to hold her own weight, so this thing is great. She can walk around in it in shallow water, or float about in deeper pools – generally entertaining the other French or German kids without becoming too frustrated.
And when they are out of the water, it’s too sunny for them outdoors.
The problem: The sun is too strong for them to stay out for too long.
The solution: Buy a UV reflective umbrella for them to play under on the beach, or if like us you’re hanging out around your self-catering accommodation for lunch and nap times, head inside and resort to the tried and tested method; cuddles and tellybox*.
*We’re not generally used to sticking our child in front of too much TV, but when the alternative means trying to keep a crawly baby from eating ants and/or flip flops, needs must.
We’ll just call it a holiday treat.