Just after Master R was born we received an invitation to attend one of T’s best friends wedding.
We were T was a little apprehensive about attending as it was on Hamilton Island – www.hamiltonisland.com.au and our baby would be a little over 3 months old when we went. I was excited! It’s only 2.5 hours away by plane, close to the main land, and warm. I was certain that celebrating such a beautiful occasion on a tropical island was going to be bliss.
I was very naive when it came to travelling with a baby back then. T and I had travelled through many parts of Australia and New Zealand, Europe, Asia and America together and it was fun the whole time. What was going to be different? Well, we had a few things going for us starting with my laid back attitude. Nothing really bothers me as long as I have my sense of direction. It was going to be a breeze – and it was!
Leading up to the trip I did a lot of reading about travelling with kids. I worked out that I didn’t really need to invest in an arsenal of baby products, just a few simple items. There are no cars on Hamilton Island, so a car seat wasn’t necessary. That just left sleeping arrangements, food and transport to consider.
The flight over was easy. As an exclusively breastfed baby I fed him as we left Sydney and again on our descent into Hamilton Island. T and I shared holding Master R on our lap who was happy the whole way. I took along our breastfeeding pillow which he found comfy and reassuring. We have discovered over the following years that we have been blessed with two children that can sleep anywhere and enjoy flights and long car trips.
The bride to be and her groom were amazing hosts booking us a great accommodation at the Whitsunday Apartments with a view over the ocean. Like many accommodation settings, a cot was provided. We found that co-sleeping was a much better method of ensuring Master R slept through the night.
So what made our trip so successful? To begin with, at 3 months of age all Master R needed was mum, milk and a safe place to sleep. He wasn’t bothered about the location. An investment in a good baby carrier (I highly recommend the Ergobaby carrier) kept him close all day, allowing him to sleep as he needed with me. Being an exclusively breastfed baby who was still too young for food , he could feed on demand making travel very easy.
I did make a few mistakes, or rather I encountered some learning experiences on our trip. As it was quite warm I thought a swim would be perfect on our tropical holiday and dressed our little man in swim ,nappies and a cool new Rip Curl rash vest. The pool was cool to enter and I quickly discovered that it made our little bub very cold. No pool time for us! Letting him splash on the shore line on my lap was a much better option, but even then it wasn’t quite warm enough for such a young bub.
On Hamilton Island transport is via foot or golf cart. Forgetting your baby carrier is not wise for the anxious parent. I quickly learned to keep it with us, plus it made everything so much easier.
So what did I pack? Well that’s pretty easy. We were away for 4 nights and besides clothing, all I packed was an Ergobaby carrier, a couple of muslin wraps, disposable nappies (they are so much easier for travelling with less worry) and baby wipes, baby panadol (just in case), his Taggie blanket, sunscreen, sun hats and our breastfeeding pillow. There is a supermarket on Hamilton Island if you forget anything, so don’t stress the small stuff.
Exploring the island was an adventure. There is much to see and do, although with a young baby soaking in the atmosphere and enjoying the serenity will make up much of your trip. We can’t wait to go back now that the kids are older and can enjoy everything it has to offer.