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Vacation with Toddler and baby - more work than staying home?

  1. #1
    Biggie is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Hong kong island

    Vacation with Toddler and baby - more work than staying home?

    I would like to ask those who have taken two small kids/baby on vacation to share their experience.

    We have a 5mth old and a 28 mth old. With just one kid, we used to go to Phuket every few months. There's a condo we can stay, with a kitchen, pool, and close to the beach. Some nights, we can get a baby sitter to watch our boy and we can go out (we've known her for many years and can trust her completely, but she has a day job and a young daughter so can only baby sit certain nights). Even then, it was more work for me while we are "on vacation" than staying at home, without our helper. My husband can play and swim with our boy but not really good at "caring" for him, like feeding, putting to sleep, getting dressed etc.

    Now, we have another baby and we are thinking of going to Phuket for a week in the summer. On one hand, I like the idea of going away and my boy loves seeing new things and it was a good chance for him to bond with Daddy. On the other hand, I can't imagine how we can handle the two of them with no or little help. Things like preparing some meals (at least breakfast/cutting fruit), putting the two to nap and to bed, bathing each of them etc etc.

    My older boy could be clingy to me sometimes, and Daddy is not very good at soothing the 5mth old -- plus I'm still breastfeeding.

    How did you handle a toddler and a baby on vacation? Taking the helper is an option but accommodation is an issue and we will also need to find boarding house for our dog....or we can just stay home all summer....

  2. #2
    Neha is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mid Levels, Hong Kong
    If u can then take ur helper lots of people with small kids travel with helpers so they can go out at night, have a break in a different place

  3. #3
    ozmerc is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Hong Kong
    I know what you mean about vacations being more work with kids, especially if you are used to having a helper at home. We have done both - taken our helper on shorter, more local trips especially within Asia (where you don't usually run into any visa issues, at least with a Filipina passport) and also done lots of trips without helper. Both have their good points and sometimes it's nice for you to have an extended break from each other.

    I think what it comes down to is 1. Cost - do you mind forking out the extra on accommodation, flights & food to have someone to help you? We always get our helper a separate room for privacy purposes. It may mean you have to upgrade your existing accommodations if space is an issue, or rent an extra room nearby. 2. Do the benefits of having a family holiday alone outweigh the benefits of having help? I've always enjoyed the time away, even with the extra work that it entails. That said, I am about to have baby number two so I may change my tune a little! Also my husband can look after our son by himself no problems.

    Or, try a short break close by i.e. at one of the Macau resorts for a night or two, as see how that goes. We are going to try one of the new hotels at the Galaxy resort this summer as we will have a newborn soon and don't want to travel. I know it's not thailand but maybe check that out.

  4. #4
    canadianinhk is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Sheung Wan
    We have a four month old and a 26 month old and have now been away with them twice. We love going away with them but it is a lot of work. For me it is worth it because I really like the family time away from all the day to day stuff. We don't take our helper. I am also used to taking care of both kids on my own though because helper doesn't work on weekends or evenings.

  5. #5
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    biggie, what you are describing is how most of the world deals with "parenthood", bathing, preparing meals, entertaining the kids. you can do it without a helper, people all over the world do it. yes, it is hard work. yes, it can be tiring, but it is worth it. and if you have the opportunity to do it while on holiday, you're very lucky indeed. the great thing about that age is that they still nap, so if you are tired, then take a nap yourself!

    can i trade you places? my helper left last december, i opened a new playgroup centre, run my first one plus we also have a dog boarding business.... all of this without any household help. (hubby does have someone to help him with the dogs, though).

    good luck and have fun!

  6. #6
    pixelelf is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2008
    we have a 6 month old and a 3 year old. when we go on vacation or helper-less, we try to do the "hard" things "easy". "hard" things being, feeding, bathing and sleeping routines. these are our major tantrum triggers.

    feeding. we pack or buy milk, loaf of bread and cream cheese and "cut free" fruits. "cut free" fruits like bananas, kiwis, strawberries, grapes. saves loads of time. when our older kid refuses food or meals, we just make a sandwich with milk and fruits. it's a no brainer meal prep, that even the dad can do it. for baby, she nurses wherever we go in the ergo. now that she's on solids, i just bring avocado/ banana and cereals whenever we go out.

    bathing and sleeping. my husband is pretty good at taking bath and dressing our older child. then he gets to read with his dad while i bathe and nurse the younger one. we have worked out some magic between husband and i. he loves listening to stories, gets to have an extra story read by my husband + a dr seuss story downloaded on my husband's phone.(that's the magic, only with dad, he gets to have that application on his phone) that helps to give me some time with baby. when baby is asleep, i'd take over from my husband if our child is still awake.

    nap time, if baby doesnt sleep, dad takes her out to walk while i read to our older child and put him to sleep. sometimes he requests for his dad to do it. so we swap around. sometimes, we just hang out in the room together. with the baby lying beside me with her toys while our older child and husband cuddle to sleep. and if all cant sleep after 30mins, we just get up and go out! baby always ends up sleeping in the ergo!

    with these areas covered, we just kick back relax and enjoy!

  7. #7
    Gracey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Hong Kong
    People all over the world vacation without a helper!
    If you're on vacation, and don't have anything to do but relax and care for your children, I don't think a helper is necessary. Though, if you have the extra money, you can of course bring her along to make it easier.
    Have you talked to your husband about pitching in? Honestly, cutting up a piece of fruit or dressing a 5-year-old shouldn't be very hard for anyone.
    Last edited by Gracey; 06-08-2011 at 03:15 AM.

  8. #8
    KeHK is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    West Kowloon / Olympic
    Agree, people all over the world vacation without a helper AND believe it or not, people all over the world have 2, 3 or even 4 kids and no helper at all and they manage just fine.
    Having kids is a "package deal". Feeding them, bathing them, changing their nappies, dressing them, playing with them, etc. is all part of the deal, whether you're on a vacation or not. Also, I don't see why the dad is not helping out, after all, you're on a family vacation. Plus, it's a great opportunity for him to spend some quality time with the kids.
    We don't have a helper, but even if we had one, I would never ever take her on vacation with us!

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