People keep asking me how our baby travel adventures started. Almost a year on, I thought I’d dig out the photos of our first trip and stroll down memory lane with a long overdue post about it. Jeremy and I both love to travel and were determined to bring our baby along for the ride when she was born. Friends and family thought we were crazy when we applied for her passport at a mere 5 days old. Her passport photo is hilarious: eyes closed, chubby cheeks and mullet-tastic. One Thursday evening as we were chatting about where to go that weekend, my proposal being another walk at Wisley Gardens and a pub lunch, Jeremy suggested hopping on the Eurotunnel and spending the weekend in Boulogne-Sur-Mer. And why not?! The weather forecast looked good, the cost to the take the car from Folkestone to Calais was pretty reasonable so we booked it on the spot. Sophia was in a predictable routine and was beginning to sleep through the night by then so we found a last-minute hotel deal, packed the pram and an overnight bag then set off to the land of wine and cheese. Ooo la la.
Leave behind the kitchen sink
We definitely travelled ‘lightest’ on this trip and had rather a relaxed approach. Perhaps delirious, sleep-deprived or just in denial about reality, but we wanted to go on a holiday not try to transport all of our baby gadgets to a different location for the weekend. I’m sure that we would have found somewhere that sold nappies, wipes and baby grows if we had needed something urgently. We literally just packed the nappy bag as normal, threw in extra nappies, a couple of buggy toys, a few changes of clothes, my feeding hood, a sleeping bag, a swaddle and the pram. And bibs- they save loads of changes of clothes! Job done. The overnight suitcase that we packed for ourselves fitted neatly in the buggy basket and off we went.
There were lots of things to see and do in Boulogne-Sur-Mer and we particularly enjoyed exploring the old town, the Saturday market and La Porte de Calais (the Calais Gate). Sophia was very portable at this age and slept the day away, so we could stroll up and down the Saturday markets sampling local dishes. Culinary delights included: French onion soup, croissants, citron crepes, beef bourguignon, oysters and mussels….Glad we packed those extra nappies! Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all sunlit strolls down the promenades. Babies all scream, but there is something about being out and about in the fresh air that can help keep everyone sane: baby gets a change of scenery and well, let’s be honest- the screaming seems less deafening when you’re outdoors! There were so many little cafes around that when we needed to make a pit stop for a feed or a change there were plenty of patisseries to choose from. And I could stuff my face with guilt-free pastries claiming that I needed the calories to breastfeed. Jeremy joined in for moral support 🙂 Too kind.
Our Uppa baby travel system has a Moses basket attachment which we used as our pram until Sophia was about 3 months old. We had requested a travel cot in the hotel but as it didn’t look in particularly good nick so Sophia slept in the pram instead. We took her out and enjoyed a three-course meal as she snoozed in the buggy. I did get a few strange looks breastfeeding her at the table but my nifty little breastfeeding cover meant that I could be discreet and Sophia didn’t get distracted as she was enjoying her meal!
We made sure to book a hotel with a lift to avoid having to carry the pram up and down the stairs but when we got there the lift wasn’t big enough for the pram to fit in! Never mind. Jeremy was ever the gentleman and wouldn’t hear of me carrying heavy things up and down the stairs having just had Sophia, so he kindly did multiple trips to and from the room for Sophia and the buggy each time we left the hotel. However, it just so happened that there was a wine and cheese festival in the town that weekend which was a great incentive to get out and about. And yes we did take Sophia wine tasting….and it did unintentionally turn into a bit of a booze cruise! Oops! When in France… 🙂