Parenting Stay Over

Routine for toddlers and babies on holiday 

May 20, 2017
breakfast at sani beach resort

One of the big questions I had before I went away with our toddler and baby was ‘how will we stick to their routine’?

The easy answer to that for us this year was ‘don’t’.

We have never been like this before. I am a lover of the routine for my girls, they’re happier as they know what’s coming next and I am too – I can plan the day accordingly and know when I can get things done. But last year on holiday with Amelie we were a slave to the routine and it just felt as though everyone else was having fun when we were racing back for a 7pm bedtime.

This meant early nights for us, eating even earlier and making sure she still napped at the same UK time. This worked fairly well I suppose, we only had her to consider and there were two of us to watch her so one could have a sleep / rest / sunbathe whilst she napped.

However we found ourselves panicking if the restaurants didn’t open in time for her set meal times and if she missed a nap time we’d be worried. We’d look at other parents keeping their little ones up and wonder if we were crazy!

Life with two

Life with two is different, at home and on holiday. It’s not as easy to stick to their routines when you’re all sharing a room and with the time difference change so this year we decided to rip the rule book up and you know what … we were SO much more relaxed!!!

Here’s what we did this holiday:

  • We spent more time reading the cues from the girls, when they were tired we decided how they’d nap. For Evie it was much easier as she slept in the pram but when Amelie needed to nap in the afternoons I’d grab a book and sit on the balcony and Nick and Evie would walk to the marina.

routine holiday for baby sani resort


  • Because Amelie tended to nap later we kept her up later. This meant we could all eat together and after we either took her to the mini disco or went to a bar where lots of other parents ended up. All the children loved to dance and although it was past her bed time she loved meeting new little friends. We saw her flourish from once being nervous being round children to leading a dance!
  • We ate when they needed to and gave them snacks when they needed them. I worry at home about giving Amelie snacks as she doesn’t then eat at meal times but she was burning so much energy in the pool and on the scooter we hired she needed more and ate loads at meal times!
  • We let Amelie sleep in the bed with me at night as it was too hard to get both of them to sleep next to each other in one room and meant I could keep Amelie quiet so Nick could get Evie asleep. Not ideal but it worked and meant we could all sleep. Luckily she’s settled back into sleeping in her own room now we’re home.
  • We let them sleep until they woke -their 7am wake ups felt amazing to our usual 5am wake up calls! (Although I’m pretty sure they were on UK time so it was actually still at 5am wake ?)


Our new routine 

I think the wonderful thing about being on holiday and not having anything else to worry about was that we settled into our own holiday routine. So although we tore our ‘home routine’ rule book up we must be creatures of habit as by the end of the week we had our set things to do, I suppose our holiday routine.

It almost felt like a week wasn’t long enough as once we were settled in was time to go – so we better get saving for next year!

If you’ve travelled further check out these tips for jet lag

Do you find a change in routine good holiday or do you stick to your home routine?

Sarah xx

routine for babies and toddlers on holiday

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  • Reply Two Tiny Hands (@IsntitprettyKTB) May 29, 2017 at 8:15 am

    Oh gosh we don’t stick to routine on holiday either it’s just impossible. You can sort of stick to a loose routine but no pressure if its not working. We tend to keep him up later at night with us and this normally affords us a little bit of a lie in. We don’t mind having him around on the evenings chilling with us because he’s fun. Often in a tent all sleeping together it’s just easier to all go to bed at the same time lol!! Thanks for linking up to #FamilyFun

    • Reply sarahsurreymama May 29, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      It’s so hard isn’t it, I wish we’d relaxed on our last holiday with Amelie – we’ve learnt now! They are so much fun aren’t they, Amelie was a keen dancer and it was lovely to see x

  • Reply Aneeq London July 13, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Yep Sarah definitely the right idea. The only way to enjoy the holiday is to forget about routine otherwise it really does not feel like a holiday!! We are very routine oriented back home but on holiday we tend to take a step back and like you said read cues! Lovely post and images.

    • Reply Sarah July 14, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      Thank you. Yes I do (having done both) think throwing the routine out of the window is the best way to be on holiday, makes it more enjoyable for all. Xx

  • Reply Eva Katona July 22, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Sounds like nailed it! Well done. Beautiful pics too .

  • Reply babyfoote July 23, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    The only way to enjoy a holiday is to chuck the routine out of the window! Little kids are pretty good at letting you know when they’re hungry or tired. It looks like a beautiful place, where did you visit?

    • Reply Sarah July 23, 2017 at 7:48 pm

      Yes definitely, we would definitely do it that way again. I have to admit we didn’t do much exploring other than out on our bikes … we were shattered! X

  • Reply Rachelanne_bee August 8, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Routine is so important, even if it isn’t a really strict one. We tend to have a slower morning, then head out late morning/lunchtime, and then head back late afternoon. It helps them know what to expect and I find helps with bedtime too!

    • Reply Sarah August 8, 2017 at 4:41 pm

      I definitely agree, we are big followers of routine when at home but we found it a lot easier following a less strict one when away.

  • Reply Beth @ August 8, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    This has been a perfect read at this time for me. We’re off on holiday next week with a 3 year old, 2 year old and 13 week old (as well as the bigger two). I’m not sure if I’ll come home needing a solo holiday! Haha!

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