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      As appears monthly in VIP. Alison and James are taking off, but will our intrepid mum lose her nerve? It’s over to her…

      I thought traveling with James would be a breeze. After all we traveled when he was 5 weeks old to Spain and he’s also a great sleeper. He goes down at 7 and not a peep till 5AM. From the moment I stepped on the plane my nerves were shattered. Numerous kids crying and James did not want to be on my knee so he joined them. He was like a wriggling worm trying to escape. Confined spaces simply don’t work. I just felt like bawling crying through sheer exhaustion and feeling so helpless. James did not like his new travel cot when we got to the apartment. To be honest I could see why. From a soft cosy cot to a hard mini prison. Out of desperation my boob became his only source of comfort and yes I let that happen because I just didn’t know what else to do. He slept soundly on my boob but by god when you took it away he roared. By the 3rd day he began to acclimatise and I began to feel a bit more human again. I had been dying for this holiday and really needed it between work and being a new Mum I had this vision of tranquillity and peace. Am I insane?? I now have a baby so I clearly need to change my expectations.

      With a bit of mourning for the old days: lying on the beach till 7 reading a crappy but fantastic book, getting drunk and not having a care in the world, it was yet another episode of grow up now you’re not 21 anymore! I began to work around James’ schedule. We went to the pool from 9-11 and he was fantastic. Then we took a break from the sun during the hottest time and went back late afternoon. I also went for dinner earlier so as not to have him so overtired. It worked a treat for both of us as I do love my bed these days too. Mind you it was 10 days into the holiday before we achieved any of this.

      I usually make my own food but I took some Ella’s which were a dream as they’re fresh with absolutely no preservatives and handy when you’re out and about. I ran out though and the baby food in Spain I wouldn’t feed to a dog. It meant cooking and blending which was a bit of a pain on holidays. It took a while to ease James into the pool but after a few days he loved it. You’ll find inexpensive baby swim rings on eBay and amazon. They’re fantastic and ease the baby in slowly making them feel safe and easier for you as a parent to manage, as I was quite nervous I’d let him slip!! Disposable bibs are great as it lessens the washing and just makes sense. Take everything you need (nappies and wipes excluded) and don’t expect the same standard abroad. Also try to stay within your weight allowance. Aer Lingus informed me on the way out I had 10 kgs for a baby whereas Malaga charged me €15 per kilo as they said there was no allowance for babies. I had a going home gift of €150 so get it in writing!!

      All that aside James loved the freedom of less clothes. I haven’t been able to get socks on since. He loved swimming, the beach and the Spanish people love kids. While he acclimatised, I took another step on the adjustment ladder to my new life as a parent. It’s a huge learning curve but worth the ride.

      Welcome Distractions

      The Summer can be very long for parents and by August you might be tearing your hair out. It’s difficult to entertain kids all day every day but I have a few ideas. If you have a soccer mad kid look no further than FC Barcelona training camps who will come to Ireland for the first time ever in August. Their aim is to make a positive difference to kids and Irish soccer. Kids in Ireland can discover the FCBarcelona methodology and train like the best players in the world.

      The camp aims to let all participants express their full technical, tactical and physical potential no matter what their skill level is. Each day they will be stimulated to understand their own weaknesses and how to work to overcome them. The training sessions at the FC Barcelona soccer camps have a four word motto: Play, Try, Grow and Improve whilst enjoying.

      The FCB camps are 9+ hours over 3 days with 7 to 11 year olds being coached in the morning session from 9- 12 and the 12- 16 year olds being coached in the afternoon session from 2-5PM.

      To find out more go to and follow the link to FCB Camps or alternatively call 087 218 3838/ 085 8192 288/ 01 5252 921 for more information.

      Whether your kids like drama, arts and crafts, tennis, science or dance log onto

      Imaginosity is a child-centred creative, educational & interactive space for children and their families 6 months and up. Exhibits are educationally designed to inspire life-long learning through play, igniting imaginations on the journey from curiosity to discovery.

      If you’re a chocoholic like me look no further than for a fun and unforgettable chocolate workshop.. for the kids of course!!

      Mum’s Must Haves

      Baby warmer (€24) keeps baby warmer and helps her feel more confident in the water, and has UV protection. From Mothercare.

      This ingenious change mat clutch looks good and saves space. A must for every Mum here or away, €30 at

      Save space and money with the reusable Bambino Mio swim nappy. Lightweight, comfortable and available from or McCabes pharmacies nationwide. 9.95

      An essential: ‘Koo-di Pack-it’ Universal Sun & Sleep Shade, €19.99 at

      Disposible bibs, absorbent, waterproof backing and catch all the crumbs! Available from mothercare nationwide.
      A box of 20 is €3.99

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