Barbados… the place the celebrities go for sand, sun, and a bit of R & R so not the first place that normally springs to mind to take an active 12-month-old however too take her we did! Barbados itself is stunning I, myself, have visited a few times with family and always enjoyed the warmer climate despite the mosquitoes. In terms of a family holiday, Barbados is fairly easy going, the locals are super friendly, it’s clean and lots of beaches to explore, however the food is incredibly expensive, asparagus (yes who needs this on a holiday) setting you back £10+. Thankfully the water is safe to drink straight from the tap, and is considered by the locals as some of the purest water in the world.
I had so many reservations about boarding a plane with a baby who doesn’t sit still on laps for more than 5 minutes but as I am still on maternity could not afford (more like refused to pay) the price of a seat for such a small bottom. The holiday has now been and gone but Flossie blew our expectations and created some lovely memories, unfortunately, came back to typical English May weather so hiding the sun-kissed glow under many layers of clothing as adjusting to 30degrees less.
You may asked what possessed us to choose such a long haul flight as our first experience with a baby and in typical fashion, I blame it on the mother! My mum had this dream of a big family holiday all together before my maternity ended and felt safer in a place we had been before that speak English, do good food (must try the macaroni pie and Bajan fishcakes) and warm weather so settled on Barbados. I think once we had decided we spent a large amount of time Googling where to stay, hotels vs rentals vs
I probably spent (wasted) days researching flying with a baby, and I think after half scaring myself to death that I would have this incontrollable baby screaming with ear pain for a whole 9 hours I succumb to the fact that anything less would be a bonus. Honestly, I don’t know what the worry was as everyone said lots of snacks and some great toys (see my post on best toys for travelling) we had a stress free, quiet journey.
For the first time ever we stayed in an Airbnb place, when we initially booked it I had a mild panic attack that Flossie was going to break everything in sight or worse fall off the balcony as health and safety is non-existent out there it seems. Would the pool be warm enough? Would there be a travel cot suitable for her? Would there be enough space in living area for 5 adults and a baby but thankfully on arrival all those fears quickly vanished. A massive bonus of Airbnb is not only the price saving but the freedom you have, a home from home environment for a little one, and with a baby with allergies abroad was a great way to have control over food cooked and eaten.
We didn’t venture to much on holiday spent many days relaxing at the beach, Flossie found a love for eating sand and sea water and we visited a few sights of interest such as an awesome cave with a baby who slept the whole way in a sling – a must for a holiday. Leisurely days spent by the beach and pool was just what the doctor ordered for the end of maternity, not sure how my husband declared he lost weight on holiday I definitely did not, everything feels a little tighter! Everything went so quickly but as cheesy as it sounds the holiday has a whole new perspective sharing it with Flossie, showing her all the new sights, sounds and smells. I think for daddy it was an extra special time to spend two uninterrupted weeks with his girl who just simply adores him crawling round calling out ‘dada’ it also meant I got some ‘me time’ to read not just one but two whole books!.
In relation to eating this was my BIGGEST FEAR with Flossie’s known cows milk protein allergy and soya allergy, we find it hard enough eating out in the UK let alone abroad. We found that most people did not understand the concept out there of how you could be allergic to all milk protein and unfortunately as we discovered to her poor gut’s detriments they use soya oil as the main frying oil. Thankfully her reactions to this oil were mild just a more upset tummy but this could be the heat and the fact two teeth erupted on holiday as well. The food out there is beautiful fresh fish, scrumptious fruits and vegetables (who knew there was such a thing as breadfruit) and an abundance of chicken! I thought I would never cope without ice cream on holiday but the last year of breastfeeding an allergy baby has proven my persistence and maybe just pure stubbornness in life and thankfully coconut and rum is free flowing on the island along with a few cheeky lollipops.
We landed back in the UK with a bump with hubby thinking it was a grand idea to order the massive amount of wood, sleepers and decking needed for the garden for the day we arrived back from an overnight flight, needless to say I left him on his own to bring it all through the house to the garden. Only a few days of catching up with unpacking, washing and cleaning then a huge new adjustment…. I start back at work after 14 months off. Roll on our next holiday!!!