Thoughts on European vacation...baby or no baby? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 08-05-2012, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, so I have been given the opportunity to attend a wedding in Paris where we will stay "free" at the chateau and then travel around France for about ten days. It's a once in a lifetime trip, but I'm nervous about LO. Im nervous leaving her and I'm nervous taking her on a trip like that. She would be 15months. I'm starting to think I won't go, but I feel torn...my WHOLE family is going, but not with babies. My aunt (who I supremely trust, but havent been around much as an adult) has offered to keep LO if I go.

What would you do? My family has made it clear that they don't want small children on the trip bc it adds a layer of stress...they did take my brother on a trip like this when he was 9months, but he was not mobile at all and was either in carrier on my dad or stroller the whole time. So, climbing stairs of a castle and visiting museums, etc. was not hindered by him.

Okay that's the background...what would you do. I just don't know that I want to leave her, but traveling with a toddler also does not sound that appealing. Obviously it's a ways off, but planning starts early.

Oh and I am single so it's not like me and a DH would share carrying her or caring for her on the trip.
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#2 of 21 Old 08-05-2012, 11:26 AM
 
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Wow. Well, I recently went on a two-month work trip, when my son was 17-19 months old. I took him with me, and DH stayed at home to work and look after the animals. The thing that surprised me was that DS, who is normally super resilient and bubbly and easy to be with, was not himself at all the whole time we were gone. His sleep routine went straight to hell. He wanted to be held or carried or have my undivided attention all the time. He really, really, really missed his dad. After about day 3, he was just DONE with this whole experiment. He was so little, I couldn't explain to him that we were going to go home and see daddy again, and it was all going to be fine. Even once we came home, it took a long time for him to seem settled and solid. 

 

I know that two weeks is really different from two months, but for a little one, it's all the same. They don't have much sense of time. 

 

This does sound like a super amazing chance...but if I were you, I probably either wouldn't go, or would find a way to bring her along. Is she a pretty good traveler?


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#3 of 21 Old 08-05-2012, 11:40 AM
 
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We traveled to the uk with our kids when they were babies and toddlers and it went fine. They weren't leaving a parent behind, and we were visiting family who adored them and helped a lot. It was exhausting for me, but I had plenty of help from their aunts and cousins.

Since this is a trip with family, would they help or just be put out that she requires care?

Their sleep schedules did get totally fried because of the time change and overnight flight to get there.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#4 of 21 Old 08-05-2012, 03:59 PM
 
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Will there be another opportunity to take this sort of trip in the future?
I think I would lean towards not going. It would be one thing if you were staying in the same spot for the whole time, but all that traveling around sounds like it will be challenging. How is your family getting around France? By train or car?
My DD is 15 months now and I don't think traveling with her at this age would be feasible.

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#5 of 21 Old 08-06-2012, 06:15 AM
 
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We travel with our baby all the time! It's always gone okay. Except we've travelled with family who are delighted to see our son and happy to accomodate him, and you'll be travelling with family who are grumpy about having a toddler around. Boo on them for making this whole trip seem stressful when it should be an exciting prospect.

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#6 of 21 Old 08-06-2012, 07:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm going to bring it up to my parents, who absolutely love taking care of all their grand kids...at home.....but I have a feeling it's one of those things where they wouldnt have an issue with DD coming along, bc she is an excellent traveler, super laid back and always smiley), though she will be mobile which would be nerveracking for me. But then it opens the door for all the grand kids to join...who are not all, well let's just say some are super high maintenance in terms of tantrums, sibling rivalry laden, asserting independence types wink1.gif
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#7 of 21 Old 08-06-2012, 07:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MichelleZB View Post

We travel with our baby all the time! It's always gone okay. Except we've travelled with family who are delighted to see our son and happy to accomodate him, and you'll be travelling with family who are grumpy about having a toddler around. Boo on them for making this whole trip seem stressful when it should be an exciting prospect.


It sounds like you're the only one in your family with a baby and the OP says she has lots of much younger family members.  Everyone else going on this trip has made it clear they want to have a grown up trip and they've done that by making arrangements to leave their kids at home.  I would not want to make a big trip like this with a bunch of kids...a few kids, sure.  But just thinking about how stressful it is when all the grandkids are at my mom's on a Sunday, and then taking that act on the road?  No thanks!

 

OP, I would probably skip it.  I wouldn't want to be THAT far away from my child for that long, because I am a worry wart and if something happened it would take days of expensive  travel to get home.  That's the kind of thing that makes me nervous.  I wouldn't want to take her because if things don't go well, you have a lot of resentful grown ups on your hands and one unhappy child far from home.  My daughter was not a good traveler at that age, even with both of us there.  She was in prime time for wanting to be HOME. 

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#8 of 21 Old 08-06-2012, 09:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by smiles2012 View Post

I'm going to bring it up to my parents, who absolutely love taking care of all their grand kids...at home.....but I have a feeling it's one of those things where they wouldnt have an issue with DD coming along, bc she is an excellent traveler, super laid back and always smiley), though she will be mobile which would be nerveracking for me. But then it opens the door for all the grand kids to join...who are not all, well let's just say some are super high maintenance in terms of tantrums, sibling rivalry laden, asserting independence types wink1.gif

 

If she's a good traveler, then, by all means, try to take her! Even though she'll be mobile, I think it's manageable. At that age, my son loved to be on my back in the Ergo...which was nice, because we could go to museums and stuff and I didn't have to worry about him climbing on priceless sculptures. He actually had a great time in an art museum, pointing out every puppy in the paintings (more of them than I would have expected). Now, at almost-2, he knows that the Ergo is mostly about keeping him out of trouble, and he tries to climb out of it when there's any priceless artifacts to destroy.


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#9 of 21 Old 08-06-2012, 09:52 AM
 
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My DD is 16 months old and LOVES her routine. Anything that has us late for bedtime more than half an hour results in misery. She started walking at 13 months and now is DONE with strollers eyesroll.gif . Grocery shopping is a two parent tactical exercise and she loves walking but has her own idea of where she wants to go. In the car she is done after about 30 minutes these days. I can't imagine traveling farther than grandma's house with her right now. We've been invited to overnight visits only 100 km away and I just can't do it. She used to love the car, sleep anywhere, and be super portable. Past about 14 months though, she is really developing her sense of independence and thrives on routine. I would stay put myself, especially if the extended family isn't going to be helpful. I don't want to dissuade you from doing something that would mean a lot to you but I wanted to give you a glimpse into early toddlerhood in my family. If you go, be prepared for the possibility of sleep setbacks, clinginess, crankiness, and accommodating LO's choices as much as you can to help her have a little control. Also be sure you look into medical services in case you need them and be prepared to pass on day excursions here or there if she is having a particularly tough time. Good luck
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#10 of 21 Old 08-06-2012, 10:29 AM
 
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I wouldn't consider it for a second.


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#11 of 21 Old 08-06-2012, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I'm definitely considering it.

Talked to my brother and they are definitely not bringing his children ( he says he and his wife want a vacation for themselves), and the in-laws will watch them... which does open the door a bit further for me and DD without it meaning a stampede of children are going wink1.gif
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#12 of 21 Old 08-07-2012, 06:24 PM
 
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I wouldn't go if it meant leaving my baby at home.  No way.

 

I would probably do it with the baby.  I wouldn't want to be 100% solo though, so I would make sure my parents were willing to help me out when needed.


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#13 of 21 Old 08-07-2012, 06:34 PM
 
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If it were me, I'd probably go. I traveled with my DD when she was 14-15 months and found it easier than I expected. We did go at our own pace when needed. If you and your extended family are all staying in the same place, can you do things with the whole group sometimes and then have some time with just you and your DD sometimes?
 

ETA: I think this is one of those things where any decision could be the right one and it's really about finding what's right for YOU. smile.gif


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#14 of 21 Old 08-07-2012, 07:53 PM
 
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I would probably skip it. I wouldn't leave a baby that age that far a distance for that long, but I wouldn't bring the baby if it had been made clear she would not be welcome. If she were welcome, I'd be fine with bringing her.
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#15 of 21 Old 08-07-2012, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would probably skip it. I wouldn't leave a baby that age that far a distance for that long, but I wouldn't bring the baby if it had been made clear she would not be welcome. If she were welcome, I'd be fine with bringing her.

This is pretty much how I feel. I'm not about going on every excursion, its easy for me to be part of the group at times and it just be just me and DD, and I know I wouldn't get any flack for that. but I want to make sure she is in fact welcome in general. I'll find out soon and if so, we will go!
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#16 of 21 Old 08-12-2012, 09:22 PM
 
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We took our first son to France for two weeks when we was 11 months old and it was amazing! He wasn't walking yet and was still nursing so it was really easy. We went from plane, to train to car for a total of 16 hours of travel time In getting there (lost luggage and all) and he was a champ. It helped that he wasn't mobile and I wore him the whole time. The time change must have really affected us all because we all slept about 12 hours a night for the first week and he had never slept more then 8 hours at night. It was awesome!!!

We never considered leaving him and it was a once in a life time trip for us as well. We take our kids everywhere with us though. My oldest has more stamps in his passport then most adults. I even take them with me on work trips because I hate being away from them more then I have to. We constantly field snarky comments about us bringing our kids with us, but we don't care, they deserve those amazing memories as well. I'd highly recommend bringing her with you, those memories will be amazing!!
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#17 of 21 Old 08-14-2012, 11:07 AM
 
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We took our DD to France for two weeks when she was 16 months.  It was an amazing trip, and she was a champ.  I carried her in the Ergo and nursed her.  I had DH, my mom, and in-laws to help me, though.  If you can identify a few family members who are willing to step in and offer help, I'd go.  If not -- if people are expecting a 100% grown-up trip -- I'd stay at home.  I wouldn't have been able to leave DD at that age, but that's just how we were at the time.  If you want to go and family want to be child-free, could you take a nanny with you?  I have friends who did this in college; they went to Europe with families who needed help with the kids in exchange for the plane ticket, room, and board.
 

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#18 of 21 Old 09-22-2012, 08:46 AM
 
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One thing to point out is that when I was in Paris this May, there were plenty of babies around. :) Funnily enough, I only saw one stroller.


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#19 of 21 Old 09-22-2012, 03:23 PM
 
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Could you go for a shorter amount of time?  Maybe the wedding and then a few days for sightseeing?  I don't think I could leave my kids for that long until they were two, but for a once in a lifetime trip I could probably leave them for 4-5 days.


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#20 of 21 Old 09-22-2012, 04:05 PM
 
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I'd go and I'd take the baby.  I would not leave a baby that young for that long, and I would not want to miss out on a trip like that.   At 15 months, my kids were all still pretty portable, and could  sleep on my back in the an ergo, nursed, etc. 


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#21 of 21 Old 09-22-2012, 04:27 PM
 
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Barring any serious family resentments (in which case I'd totally skip the trip) I think it sounds amazing for your lil crew! smile.gif  We haven't taken DS overseas, but he's been in many a long road trip (including the every night another town type).  The most recent he was 15 months and he did awesome (he's a very spirited kiddo, so we weren't sure how it would go)!!!  Being mobile, he walked until tired or until we were somewhere he needed to be in the Ergo.  There is so much to see, so many new and exciting sights, he was never bored! It really broadened his lil world - even if he won't remember, it made a big impact, you know?  And DH and I enjoyed it so much more, both knowing he was safe AND being entertained by his reactions. orngbiggrin.gif  I'm also big on teaching him from a young age that the world is his home, and that he can trust that we travel in a pack. earth.gif

 

Practically, I would consider whether your lil one likes babywearing (love Ergo for this - can switch to back carry so they can see or front to nurse on the go) and how flexible she is about when/where she'll nap.  Also, if you'll have some down time from activities to process your day.  IME, many home routines can be preserved pretty well to give security as well (bed/bath routines, etc.).  Good luck!!!! thumb.gif


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