First vacation with baby ... a complete failure!
Updated: May 13
Potete leggere questo articolo in Italiano qui.
Before having our baby our holidays were “a thing”! We were always on the move, waking up pretty early and coming back to the hotel after 12am, able to walk even 22km a day as we wanted to see as much far and wide as we could.
One holiday in particular made us laugh, the one in Mauritius. We went there for one week and we barely saw the Ocean for how much we were busy visiting attractions on the island.
Well, when our baby came into our lives our holidays completely changed. Of course, we miss being always on the move when travelling but on the other hand we are curious to explore this world in 3 from now on.
Our first vacation in 3 was when my son was 9 months old and turned out to be a complete failure. We learned a lot from that vacation, from our mistakes.
In April 2019 we decided to visit Tuscany which is located in central Italy and is well known for its marvellous landscapes, breath-taking valleys, for its history and artistic heritage.
Usually, when you talk about Tuscany you think about Florence, Pisa, Siena and of course... wines!
We had visited Florence and Pisa years ago, just the 2 of us, and this time we decided to focus on Val D’Orcia: Siena, Montalcino and Montepulciano. In those particular days my son was teething, refusing to eat solid food and of course it was a bit chilly. We couldn’t cancel the stay so we decided to go anyway, knowing that we would not be able to see everything that was on our list but at least, we thought, we would relax a bit.
We took many things with us, especially for the baby, so that our car looked like a relocation van: travel cot, light clothes, heavy clothes, creams, cleansers, nasal aspirator, milk, food, toys, etc… We even took the cordless vacuum cleaner with us to use it with the nasal aspirator (Baby Vac by Arianna) but we forgot the charger as we never actually thought that we would use it that often.
The way to Tuscany by car was smooth as our baby slept for a good part of the trip. The next days we visited Pienza, Montepulciano, Siena and the countryside. I will post some photos so you can see the beauty of these places!
In Pienza, a peaceful town on the Val d’Orcia, we had a walk in the Pio II square, visited the Duomo of Santa Maria Assunta, Palazzo Piccolomini and walked on the panoramic walkway Via Santa Caterina.
In Montepulciano, which is known for its worldwide renowned wines, for its beautiful Renaissance architecture and for being the set for Twilight’s – New Moon, we had a walk in the Piazza Grande, we visited the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the Church of Sant’Agostino.
Then we visited Siena, a town rich in history and art. Unfortunately having just one day to spend in Siena was not enough. We walked in Piazza del Campo, Piazza del Duomo, we visited the Duomo of Santa Maria Assunta – built in a Romanesque-Gothic style – and the Baptistery.
On day 3 while we were visiting Siena, our little one started feeling worse, he barely drank his milk, he was actually vomiting almost everything he ate for he was coughing heavily. Most of the time I took him in the carrier (we had the one by Babybjörn, One Air 3D Mesh).
On day four, we resorted to go to the Emergency Medical Service, where we waited for hours before seeing a doctor which btw was not able to help us as he was not a paediatrician. The situation was getting worse and worse so in the afternoon we decided to return home, one day earlier than planned, and to seek help there the next day morning. We actually ended up in the Emergency Room as our baby kept coughing heavily, cried desperately for the sore throat and vomited every single piece of food he ate.
In the end, we returned from this vacation more stressed than relaxed. What did we learn in those days?
when the baby is not feeling well we must temper our desire to visit, there forth we better stay home or in the Hotel/B&B
it’s a must to respect baby’s resting hours
if baby falls asleep in the car then we must wait until he wakes up, rather than move him into the stroller
if we take any electrical items, we need to take also the chargers 😊
check for a private paediatrician, close enough to the place we are visiting, before going there.
As to accommodation, a new world opened up in front of my eyes! You know? I never thought how difficult it is for parents to find accommodation properly fitted for a baby. I will write a separate post about it, cause there are many things to say. I will try, after each vacation or city break, to give my opinion regarding the accommodation from a parent’s point of view.
Also, it embittered me to discover that there are many touristic cities, visited by a lot of families, that are not ready to welcome babies. There are a few places that provide a changing table or a clean restroom, large enough to be accessible with a stroller, so that the baby could be changed there should the changing table be missing. Several times I found extremely dirty changing tables. And mostly all the time I had to change the baby in the stroller outside. What should a parent do if it were cold or raining?