Our Big Girl Amy in Ibiza

Lots of families bring young infants on holidays, as they are easy to control and most of the time will sleep in their cot or stroller. I have seen infants as young as 6 months on holiday with their parents. It takes some organisation, care and planing to ensure that children under 3 years of age have a safe and enjoyable holiday. If a parent sticks to a few easy to follow guidelines then there should be no problems for baby in Ibiza.

Our daughter was nearly 1 when we first brought her to Ibiza, and we have returned with her twice a year ever since, as she loves the Island.

                                        HEAT AND SUN PROTECTION

The most import factor to be aware of when bringing a baby or young child abroad is heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Kids are naturally excited on holidays, and running about in hot sunshine and temperatures can quickly tire them out, more so than what they are used to at home, especially the under 3’s. Its a common ailment in Ibiza hospitals, as children with fair skin from countries not used to hot temperatures, become ill due to heat related problems. High temperature, drowsiness and vomiting are common signs of heat exhaustion which is a milder form of heat stroke.

Both conditions are serious and can end up in A&E if not noticed early or treated properly. Ensure that the child is kept in an air conditioned room or is given a bath in cold water to lower temperature. Give plenty of fluids with some electrolytes and keep the child indoors in shade with rest and relaxation, until the symptoms go away, usually after a day or so. Just keep a close eye on the child after that and ensure that they dont over exert themselves.

For all children and even adults, keep them out of the mid day to 3pm Sun in Ibiza. The harmful UV rays are at their strongest during this time and the temperatures are hot. This is why most Spanish people go to bed for Siesta, to avoid these hot hours of sunshine.

Make sure kids under 3 have plenty of sun cream (factor 30+) and protection like sun hats that cover the back of the neck and UV protected swimsuits. Ensure that the child is re-covered in sun cream every time they come out of the water, as it can be easily washed off in pools and the sea if not water proof. Get plenty of liquids into them especially water and not just fizzy drinks. Keep them in shade as much as possible so that they avoid painful sunburn.

A buggy or stroller with a sun hood is a vital “must have component” of a family holiday abroad, as it saves so much energy and gives protection form the sun while mobile at the same time. It is also helpfull to bring a stroller that has a seat recliner, so that the child can relax and go to sleep in comfort without bringing them to their room, allowing Mum and Dad to enjoy a meal or a drink together, while baby is next to them. Most Ibiza restaurants allow buggies and strollers and understand that Mum and Dad are on holiday too.

                                         FOOD AND WATER

Bottled water in Ibiza can have high mineral content, especially calcium and sodium, which can upset a delicate stomach especially in young babies. The brands that have a better distilled quality and lower mineral content are  5 Fuentes and Font Vella both of which are readily available in Ibiza.

We have found that for young babies, it is always better to bring the food that a child is used to eating at home as the selection available in the supermarkets is both expensive and limited. In our experience, the risks of upsetting a babies routine are increased if they have to switch to some new food brand or regime when away from home. Kids over 3 are fine and can eat whatever they want as their digestive systems are more developed and stronger.

We have found that nappies in the Ibiza Supermarkets are expensive (€13 for a dozen) and of poor quality compared to the ones at home. This is why we always brought our own while Amy was in nappies.

To sterlise babys bottles the easiest thing to do is to purchase Travel Sterliser bags £8 for seven. Light and easy to carry, just pop the bottle into the bag which has a sterilising tablet in it and add water. Here is a link to the Boots version http://www.boots.com/en/Boots-Disposable-Steriliser-Bags-7Pack_25755/ If in an apartment boiling the bottle in water will also work.

On the plane journey to and from holidays, young babies can experience ear aches and can be in pain due to a pressurised cabin. We used to give our baby daughter Dozol (contains anti-histamine that makes them drowsy)  about 1 hour before we boarded, to ensure a quiet and pain free flight for everybody. There is nothing worse than a screaming child to deal with in a confined space.

When she got older, we brought a new toy or puzzle that she had not seen before, to keep her occupied with during the flight, along with sweets, a soother/pacifier or bottle to suck on to help her ears pop and water to hydrate.

When arriving in Ibiza, unless you have a car rental, please be aware that Taxi’s and Bus transfers do not have car seats for young children, unless you bring your own. A rental car will charge extra for a child seat but make sure you reserve one in advance.