Over Easter we took Little Miss on her very first family holiday. We haven't braved international travel yet (or airplanes) but instead went to a holiday cottage in Cornwall from the company Cornish Gems. The cottage was a converted cowshed near Portscatho, on the Roseland peninsula. We had an amazing time and were really disappointed when we had to come home (although it has been nice getting Little Miss back into her usual routine).
Although we didn't tackle flying, the six hour drive came with its own challenges and we were quite apprehensive beforehand. We got REALLY lucky and Little Miss was amazing, sleeping most of the way and playing with her Freddie the Firefly (or her socks for some strange reason…) whenever she woke up. We had plenty of stops along the way so that she could move about a bit and have a break from the car, but the whole journey was a far cry from the nightmarish twenty minute journeys we used to have in her old car seat, where she would SCREAM at the top of her lungs for the whole journey, even though she wasn't hungry/sleepy/cold/hot/in need of changing etc. We credit the amazing difference in our car trips with her new car seat (we went with the AxissFix in the end. It's worth every penny just to have her happy in the car).
The cottage we stayed in was gorgeous. Cornish Gems specialises in luxury holiday homes, however, they have a range which they advertise as 'baby friendly' as they come with features like cots, stair gates, sterilisers and even baby monitors. This made travelling with Little Miss so much easier and also gave us the chance to road test a video baby monitor for the week, which we now think we might buy. They had a Maclaren stroller at the property, but we worried Little Miss might be a bit too small for it, so we still took our normal pram, as well as our brilliant new baby carrier, which was ideal for coastal walks. Although the Cowshed had a lot of baby friendly features, it wasn't 100% childproof. Most of the property was on one level, but there were some tiled stairs down into the kitchen which didn't have a stair gate and we had to block them off with the shoe basket for the week. It also wasn't ideal for a baby who decided that she was going to learn to crawl properly and start pulling herself up on everything in sight while we were away and we had to keep a very close eye on her at all times to make sure she didn't hurt herself on sharp corners!
Although Little Miss has never been a great sleeper, we had managed to get her down to only one or two wake ups a night before we went away. Unfortunately this was not the case in Cornwall. She clearly didn't like being in a new place and woke up and cried inconsolably every few hours. It probably also didn't help that she was learning to crawl and pull herself up, and her top teeth were starting to cut through - the odds were very much NOT in our favour. As a result, she ended up sleeping in our bed most of the time, which we panicked would give us even more problems when we got home, but she seems really happy to be back in her own room and is sleeping better than ever (until I post this, of course, at which point I can probably expect hourly wake ups…)
Little Miss seemed to really love her first holiday, encountering lots more 'firsts' while we were there. I can't wait to take her somewhere else, although we are just starting the process of moving house, so it might be quite some time until our next trip away! I'm conscious that this post is getting quite long, so I'm going to write another one soon on some of the things we got up to while we were away.