My brother, his wife and their 9-month-old recently visited me in Austria, and kudos to them for undertaking such an adventure with a young baby! After spending a week at home (which, let’s be honest, is more than enough for my small town), we all headed off on a road trip through Slovenia and Italy.
Travelling with a baby presents its own challenges, so now add to that the fact that we also had a cripple on board (that’s me and my bulging discs), which made life even more interesting.
I wasn’t allowed to lift anything, which obviously included the baby, so not only was I useless at helping out with her, it also excluded me from carrying luggage whenever we went anywhere.
First up I realized that while I had put a lot of thought into the accommodation (booking 2 bedroom apartments with a suitable ‘common’ area to all hang out in if we had to be inside while baby was sleeping), in retrospect I was still slightly clueless about what travelling with a baby really involved. Secondly, I hadn’t considered that paying attention to the quality of the beds, given the situation with my back, might have been worth paying extra for. Instead I just ticked my list off, 2 bedrooms, kitchen, common room, location – pics look ok – booking done!
Neither of the apartments I booked were terrible, and it all worked, but if I could turn back the clock I would definitely go for something a little bigger and a little more expensive. Our common room in Ljubljana was a tiny kitchen with a table, only a slight improvement in Italy, and none of the beds were really ideal for my back.
One bonus about having a cripple on board was that when the other three took off for their daily run, I, not being allowed to run, could be happily left behind to look after sleeping baby. Of course, it had to be timed correctly – if the baby woke up while they were still out and about, I couldn’t pick her up to comfort her!
There’s definitely a different travelling pace with a baby. With morning and afternoon naps on the cards, we had the choice of either leaving someone behind or all staying behind (no one wants to be the next Madeline McCann). But it wasn’t a bad thing to be forced to take an hour or two and just sit and read or relax. We did push through a couple of days, attempting to force her to nap on the run – it wasn’t overly successful but then again she didn’t get overly crabby about it.
Thank goodness my niece is a good baby!
And regardless of the slight inconveniences of taking a baby and a cripple on a road trip, it was awesome to finally meet my niece in person and explore the surrounds – waking up to her smiling face every morning certainly made my day – especially since I wasn’t the one that had to look after her and could just do cool ‘auntie’ things like reading to her, playing on the floor, and running away when she started crying. Cause that’s what cool Aunties do!