Relaxing Breaks with Babies & Toddlers: a How-to Guide
Babymoons have been a big buzzword for several years now – sold as a parent's last chance to grab some R&R before the years of broken sleep and general exhaustion begin.
But what of breaks with a baby or very young child? It may seem pointless to spend money on going away only to experience more of the same – after all, sleep deprivation hurts whether you're at home or in a luxury hotel.
But it doesn't need to be so. Read the following tips for our suggestions for a truly relaxing break with a newborn or a toddler – one that will benefit all of you, for a tired parent is a parent who is missing out on much of the fun.
• Do your research and think through your options. One way to get a break is to take along grandparents or to go on holiday with friends who will do a bit of free babysitting. The Lodge at Ickworth with its apartments with up to three bedrooms is perfect for extended-family holidays or breaks with friends.
• If holidaying with family or friends is not an option, devise a loose rota with your partner so that each of you gets some time off. But also look into a holiday option that includes childcare. Many luxury hotels with crèches, including Moonfleet Manor, take babies from just a few months old.
• On the subject of 'us time', also look out for hotels offering children's high teas and baby-listening via the telephone system. This means you and your partner can opt for a quiet evening meal in the hotel restaurant without having to pay for a babysitter.
• On the other hand, if you do want to go out and sample a local restaurant or bar, most hotels will arrange babysitting either with a CRB-checked staff member or via a local specialist agency. Just remember to ask how much advance notice is required (usually 24–48 hours).
• If you're nervous about using childcare for the first time, put your mind at rest by choosing a hotel with an OFSTED-registered nursery/kids' club.
• Think about choosing somewhere not too far from your own home. Driving may be the least painful option with young children, but long journeys can be tiring – and you don’t need to travel far to get a real break.
• Tread warily when it comes to self-catering holidays or you'll find yourself doing much of what you do at home – that is, shopping, cooking and cleaning. Or if you do choose to self-cater, think about finishing your holiday with a night or two’s splurge at a luxury family-friendly hotel.
• Find out what amenities a hotel can provide before you spend time loading the car to the hilt – truly family-friendly venues such as Luxury Family Hotels provide cots, baby baths, bottle warmers, sterilisers and other essential equipment, allowing you to travel light.
• Use time when your offspring are in childcare or when your partner is spending one-on-one time with them to your best advantage – whether it's to go for a run in the countryside, have a swim, be pampered in the spa or simply lie in the bath with a good book or even take a nap.
• Lastly, don’t forget to take advantage of the Sunday Morning Breakfast Club offered by Luxury Family Hotels including New Park Manor and Woolley Grange. Children are collected from guestrooms, leaving you to enjoy something you thought was a thing of the past – a weekend lie-in!