Managing a honeymoon when you have a baby can get tricky but never impossible. Young parents deserve a post-wedding getaway, too.
Your honeymoon experience will undoubtedly be different, but whether it will be excellent or awful depends solely on you.
The key to a great family honeymoon is finding a balance between romance and your kids’ needs. You never stop being a parent, but you don’t stop being a loving partner either.
Some parents decide to leave their baby with a caregiver and head on a honeymoon as a couple. That’s a reasonable solution, but it also has its pitfalls to consider.
Regardless of your chosen destination, planning is crucial for your comfort and peace of mind. Think through every point ahead, and your honeymoon will be perfect.
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Honeymoon for Two or for Three?
The first step in managing a honeymoon with a baby is deciding whether to take the baby along. Should you spend your first vacation as newlyweds without kids, enjoying your life away from responsibilities?
Or should you embrace the family spirit and build memories with your toddler? Obviously, you shouldn’t leave a ten-month-old at home while going on a two-week-long vacation.
Babies build a strong attachment to caregivers and constantly develop new skills. You likely don’t want to make your child feel abandoned, just like you don’t want to miss significant milestones in their development.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t go on a vacation without a baby. How long to leave a baby when going on vacation depends on their age and whether you have a reliable caregiver.
The general recommendation is not to leave a baby for extended periods until they reach one year old, but some parents argue that the child must be at least two, three, or four years old.
You’re lucky if you have a helpful family willing to take care of your toddler while you’re away. Of course, you may leave your baby with someone non-related to you, but evaluate how much you trust them critically.
Some parents can’t imagine leaving their kid for a day, while others insist that getting time off helps to develop independence in the little human. That’s a valid argument – playing and doing basic tasks on one’s own is a vital skill.
Often, unwillingness to leave a baby alone isn’t caused by worries about the baby but rather by the parents’ attachment. There’s nothing wrong with wishing to spend time with your baby, and if that’s your case, a family honeymoon may be a perfect idea.
Furthermore, the duration of a honeymoon with a baby can be longer than without them. You can leave a baby for 3-5 days tops, but you can escape home for weeks if you take them along.
Consider Your Comfort
Parents rarely get time off. Evenings and weekends stop belonging to you after you decide to have kids. Every parent loves their little one to bits and is ready for sacrifices, but you shouldn’t neglect your own comfort either.
Being a parent of a baby is tiring, and it doesn’t get much better over time. If you feel that you need time off but are worried about leaving your baby, remind yourself that a week-long vacation is insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
Your child is unlikely to change drastically in a week, while you will undoubtedly relax and return home glowing. Happy parents mean happy kids; a honeymoon away from home may make you a better parent and partner.
If you decide to bring your child along on the honeymoon, ensure that the trip doesn’t revolve around your parental duties.
Perhaps, you may find a trustworthy daycare for when you go to a restaurant, or you may book two hotel rooms and change shifts to ensure everyone gets enough sleep.
You can’t expect your kid to stay in daycare all the time while you’re enjoying your time in a tropical paradise, especially if they can already walk and comprehend clearly. However, you should dedicate enough time to what you genuinely love.
Parents tend to put their kids’ needs before their own; that’s normal. But make sure that your honeymoon trip doesn’t turn into an ordinary family vacation, and you get enough quality time together – remember the reason for your getaway.
Plan some romantic newlywed affairs in advance – book a restaurant, a spa day, or get concert tickets. You will be less tempted to stay in a hotel room with your baby if you have the time planned ahead.
Pick a Child-Friendly Destination & Hotel
If you decide to go on a honeymoon with a baby, you will have to consider their needs before picking the destination and booking the hotel.
On the global scale, you can go anywhere you wish to – after all, babies are born everywhere in the world. However, think about how you want to spend time in your dream destination and whether it’s suitable for children.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to climb Mount Everest with your partner, but you certainly won’t do it with a baby.
Maybe you want to visit southern Africa, but extreme heat may be dangerous for a baby used to a different climate, and the flight is too long.
Pick a destination with a selection of child-friendly accommodations and activities, and consider any potential hazards, including extreme temperatures, disasters, and venomous insects.
Many families prefer to book apartments or villas instead of hotel rooms because they offer more space, more facilities, and more flexibility.
Furthermore, a vacation rental gives you more privacy and typically costs less than a conventional hotel.
Regardless of your preferred accommodation type, pay attention to the room configuration, facilities, restrictions, kids’ activities, and dining options nearby.
You can research online guides on the best accommodations for kids in your dream destination. Many parents are vocal about their family vacation experiences.
Learning about the benefits and drawbacks of accommodation from people in a similar situation is always helpful.
Check whether an accommodation is located near amusement parks, children’s museums, daycare facilities, water parks, or the beach.
Ensure that the accommodation welcomes babies. Most do, but some hotels are adult-only, and some vacation rental hosts may be concerned about children leaving a mess – as if adults are always neat and respectful to rented property.
If the hotel is very quiet and romantic, it may hold a negative attitude towards children even if there’s no explicit child ban. Hazards such as open hot tubs and balconies are also good indicators of accommodation targeting adults.
In contrast, some accommodations offer discounts for kids, free daycare, special kids’ menu in the hotel’s restaurant, or fun activities.
If you plan to stay in a hotel, consider booking adjoining rooms or a suite. Ensure there’s a private area for rest or work if you go on an extended honeymoon.
The best honeymoon destination for a family with a baby is an easily accessible destination. Toddlers and young children don’t handle long flights well.
Frankly, we can’t blame them – adults don’t like to sit in a tight plane seat for ten hours straight either. Furthermore, a crying baby may distract other passengers.
Consider the flight duration when picking your destination. Perhaps, you may even find a beautiful destination that doesn’t require flying and go by car instead. Remember that traveling may also involve delays and traffic jams.
Take plenty of distractions for your baby for the duration of the trip, including toys, books, snacks, and drink.
Expect a Different Experience
While you should allow enough quality time for the two of you when going on a honeymoon with kids, you shouldn’t expect your trip to be the same as without a baby.
Regardless of your efforts, you won’t be able to free your mind from your baby. Being a parent is a full-time job, even if you’ve left the baby in a daycare.
Don’t dream about a stress-free, quiet getaway, and don’t build expectations. Time with kids is always full of surprises.
However, a different experience doesn’t equal a worse experience. A honeymoon with a toddler is an excellent opportunity to bond and create new memories as a family.
Be ready that your child may behave differently during the vacation. Some become more active, others calmer, but rest and fun always positively impact both the child’s and the parents’ nervous system.
Pack Your Necessities
Traveling with a baby requires planning, and the younger the baby, the more preparation is necessary. Make sure to pack all essentials your baby will need throughout a holiday.
Depending on your child’s age and needs, you may need to bring nappies, formula, baby food, pacifiers, toiletry, and medications – you likely know the necessity list better than anyone else.
You never know whether the items your child needs will be easily available at your destination. Distances often seem off on a map, some stores or facilities may be closed, and you can’t know a store’s assortment in advance.
In other words, don’t rely on locally available items. Parents traveling with a toddler should be proactive, think ahead, and plan for the worst situations.
Of course, finding enough space for a month-long napkin and baby food supply in your suitcase isn’t simple. You can order all the necessities online with a delivery to your holiday destination.
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