After Matt Coyne, the blogger behind Man vs. Baby, got back from a trip to Cyprus with his 6-month-old, Charlie, he immediately shared his honest experience on the Facebook page for his blog.
He discusses the highs and lows of bringing a baby abroad for the first time. As expected, it was not without its challenges. But the new dad gained new wisdom from the experience and he’s taking all of it with a grain of salt and loads of sense of humour.
His goal was to debunk certain myths about traveling with a baby after some of his friends advised against it.
“One or two people reacted to us taking a 6 month old away as though we were planning a mission to Mars rather than a week half-board in Cyprus,” he told the Huffington Post.
After a week, his Facebook post got over 50,000 likes and was shared 16,000 times. And, with good reason. Because the post is as funny as it insightful.
What he learned about packing? Pack everything.
He also decided that baby passports are a “rip-off”. As for stroller tips: “Don’t take an expensive pram on a flight … The moment you check-in and that pushchair disappears behind that rubber curtain it is collected by two WWF wrestlers who smash it against a wall for half an hour … before it is transferred to the runway, where they reverse the plane over it a couple of times before placing it in the hold.”
As for their fellow travelers, Matt shared how he and his wife “hoped to be sat next to a kindly old Angela Lansbury type, with a soft spot for babies.”
Unfortunately, they found themselves seated to “sour strangers” who seemed like they didn’t like kids. It was a good thing, he shares, that they both had “thick skin”.
As for the dreaded in-flight diaper duty? He wrote: “When airlines say they have ‘baby changing facilities’ what they actually mean is: ‘a shelf. Changing a baby in a plane toilet is like the hardest round on ‘The Cube’,” he goes on. “Basically, imagine trying to carve a turkey in a phone-box … now half the size of the f*cking phone box, and arrange for an incontinent dickhead to bang on the door every five seconds.”
Find out what Matt realized once they got to their destination on the next page!
Once they got to their tropical destination, he was pleasantly surprised that the heat was not as horrible as they were expecting it to be.
He wrote: “People in scorching climates have babies quite a lot, so it’s a bit daft for us to think that if we take a baby to a sunny place they will suddenly burst into flames, like someone’s opened the curtains on a vampire,” he wrote.
As for avoiding sunburn, “common sense” is key: staying in the shade, avoiding midday, and strong sunscreen for babies.
He cautions parents, though, to “let it dry off before picking them up or anything, otherwise its like wrestling a seal that’s just left a massage parlor” and that little Charlie “was in less danger from the sun than he was from (Matt) juggling him like a bar of soap.”
Despite all of this, Matt still believes that traveling and going on vacation with your baby is an “incredibly special” experience he recommends other parents try.
“I will always remember Charlie’s face as he curled his toes in the sand for the first time,” gushed the doting dad. “His delight at being pushed around a hotel pool on the back of an inflatable crocodile… And, his fascination as we sat on a bench, hand-feeding a sparrow some crisps, overlooking the deep blue of the mediterranean sea.”
He further explained to the Huffington Post that spending time with your child away from your busy schedule is a “different kind of enjoyment” when compared to traveling as a couple.
“I don’t sugarcoat it,” he explained. “But ultimately I wanted to share our experience… that taking a baby on holiday isn’t without stress and hassle, but it’s worth it.”
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