Holidaying with an 11 month old

I’m sat here in our little Portuguese garden while John nips out for supplies (nappies, wipes and nappy sacks) because we’ve run low.

The baby monitor we’ve borrowed from the resort doesn’t work well outside so I’ve propped it up at the exact threshold of the house and garden while I try and catch some morning sunshine.

It’s 10.10am. We’ve been out for breakfast and baby is now napping in her room.
Even though we’re on the same time zone as Portugal everything routine wise has sort of shifted back an hour.

But it’s defo a holiday, you know why? I’m not cooking and hoovering and changing bed sheets and doing laundry every day. I’m with my husband every day. We wake up together, eat together, hang about, see to baby together, laugh and go to bed together. Together. Us three. Magic.

The flight

It was only a 2.5 hour flight to Portugal and our actual take off time was 10.15am. I thought she’d be amazed by looking out the window as the ground faded away beneath us at take off but nah. We did what we’d read and gave her a bottle on the way up and again on the way down to help with ear popping. She showed no sign of any ear issues at all.

After some crying and struggling and trying to get comfy, she eventually fell asleep on me for a 45min morning nap. Which let me tell you, was heaven for me and her dad. Watching her sleep seems to be mainly via a monitor these days or through a quick peek in the stroller if out on a walk. We got to look and marvel at all her little face details and that was the best. She’s growing and changing so fast. Those moments are priceless and to be completely soaked up.

Food wise, I’d packed in her lunchbox some peanut butter sarnies and some bread with hummus. Plus some blueberries. We’d picked up a Pret coconut chia pudding too as she loves those and a banana. Plus formula.

All our baby food and drink got checked at departures and was fine to take on board. We got boiled water on board the flight to make her bottles and took two baby bottles full of distilled water we’d made at home.

Timings. Here’s what be going on, more or less:

7.30am – baby has a bottle in bed with us

– we’re all trying to get ready to get down to breakfast at the little poolside restaurant. **Baby usually has breakfast at home around 8.15am**

– breakfast at the restaurant. A mix of toast, fruits and pancakes for baby. Perfect. She starts getting restless though so we go to the ‘soft play’ (aka the sofas and cushions) where she rearranges everything and does some dancing because she’s very pleased with herself. A lot of mums gather at these sofas and start chatting about naps and family holidays. It’s like we need one another. I like it.

– back to our little house and nap time for baby. Up to an hour later than usual. We then sterilise/sit about the house. Today I’m in the garden making the most of this.

– baby wakes and we change her, pack bags and go for lunch outside of the resort. Her normal lunch time at home is 12, by the time we’re settled somewhere it’s at least 12.30/1.

– baby needs to sleep so on a few occasions we’ve tried to do this out and about with her napping in the Babyzen Yoyo borrowed from a friend. HAHAHAHAHAH. No thanks mummy. I’d like my cot. Now, we really respect baby’s need for her daytime naps so we’ve always headed back to the house and let her nap there, us then taking to the garden with the hope that she then wakes up with enough time to spare that we can go to the pool or beach with her for an hour. I’ve been reading two books though while out here so all good; The Mother of All Jobs and The Tattooist of Auschwitz if you’re interested.

– baby wakes. She’s sleeping longer out here during the day. Is it the heat? It’s only mid twenties. Or is it just the change of scene and all the new things and people and food that’s knackering her out? I won’t complain though, she’s such a good sleeper (even though she’s definitely teething again).

– dinner, usually at the resort as we’re half board. This is normally her bath time back home. She’ll have anything from steamed veg and omelet, or salmon fillet to fish fingers and pasta that the hotel chef rustles up for her. He also makes a lovely fruit purée for dessert.

– we’ve only bathed her once out here given everything’s a bit out schedule wise. So we’ve been dabbing her down on the bed with a washcloth from home before getting her in her PJs with a night time bottle. It’s sometimes 8.30pm before she is asleep, waking in the morning from 7am-ish. Stirring sometimes from 6.30, but never crying. Bless her heart.

John and I then have a wine, usually some sort of biscuit or dessert fetched back from the restaurant and watch Line of Duty on the iPad (we’re on series 4, no spoilers!).

Holidays are different now, they just are. And of course they fucking well are. We have a very small person with us. I mean she knows how to wave and point which arguably could get her by in any restaurant but still. I know some people are all ‘strap the baby on, we’re having ourselves a holiday and baby will have to fit in with that’ but when you see them rubbing their little eyes and wanting the security and coolness of their cot and bedroom for a little nap I think it’s our job to facilitate what they need. All babies are different. Should I have got her more used to just being put in a stationary stroller for a nap out and about at an earlier age? Who knows. I’m just working with what we’ve got. As all parents do.

She has however, slept out and about in the stroller during the daytime (just not stationary but by being pushed around) and of course in the car. But a few days back, when we dreamed of a couple of hours over her afternoon nap time on the beach, her in the stroller under the straw parasol she was having NONE. OF. IT. So we hotfooted it home. Which was fine.

What has baby been wearing?

The days of planning my own holiday outfits and hoping I look semi-nice have sort of been put on hold a bit. See below for more on that. But while packing for her I literally had no idea what to do. It’s early season out here so is just reaching 25 degrees during the day.

For bed time, because we have air con and the tiled house stays relatively cool anyway, she is literally in what she wears at home every night; a full sleepsuit and a 1.7 tog Aden and Anais muzzie sleeping bag. So the short sleeved and legged PJs I bought and packed were a bit of a waste of time.

For breakfast I’ll put her in a short sleeved vest with some shorts or a little strappy playsuit over the top. Or a T-shirt and shorts.

For dinner time she’ll again wear shorts/leggings and a T-shirt. With a short sleeved vest. Maybe a lil dress if we’re feeling fancy.

I’ve packed a few cardis for her and I’m really pleased I did. Usually pop these on her on the walk down to breakfast and take with us for dinner too.

Swimming wise. I packed:

  • This factor 40 one piece from Mothercare; she likes this. Just pop a Huggies swim nappy underneath.
  • This wetsuit from Splash About; she liked this but still shivered a bit in it initially but I think that’s because we put her in the main pool first off, instead of the bubba one that’s shallow and probably a bit warmer?
  • This neoprene nappy from Mothercare; haven’t used it.
  • This factor 50 two piece from Mothercare; really cute and a winner.

**John has just arrived home from the supermarket with nappies, nappy sacks, wipes and ‘chocolate filled pastries’. GOOD LAD.**

Baby accessories

I bought two hats with us;

  • This fancy Liewood animal print one which I love and this Jan and Jul factor 50 one with a tie that goes under the chin which is very handy!
  • TIP: pack a waterproof hat with a neck flap thing. I forgot one of these but when she’s in the pool she wears the Jan and Jul one as we can keep it on her easier. And for the SPF.

Liewood animal print hat of dreams

These are her sunnies and she’s been really good with them surprisingly.

We also bought some little Velcro swim shoes for paddling and stuff.

And this float for the pool which she’s grown to enjoy.

She also wears her little Dotty Fish sandals a lot too.

Oh and got this little pool towel poncho thing from Zara which is ace.

Dotty Fish sandals

But what about ALL the baby stuff?

We’re so lucky that where we’re staying is sooooo baby and family friendly yet it’s not pure hell. Know what I mean? There aren’t arsehole older children screaming and running around. There’s a lot of babies and toddlers and just really nice kiddies all just having fun.

The resort has provided a travel cot, steam steriliser, video monitor, stairgates, changing mat.

We borrowed a Babyzen Yoyo from a friend for the trip and it’s been ace. I haven’t mastered how to unfold it in one simple move mind but it’s light and easy.

We also brought our Ergobaby carrier with us. Also a good move. Have used this most mornings to get baby to breakkie.

What about the water for baby’s formula? 

Couldn’t be easier. We’re boiling bottled water for the hot shot and putting that in a flask each morning for the days bottles. Then topping up with bottled water. The bottled water here called Luso is marked as fine for baby formula. So low sodium etc.

What has baby been eating?

As we’re approaching the year mark, we’ve been really focusing on food and snacks and water as much as possible at home. And this holiday has been great for that as we’ve all been eating the three meals a day together which never happens at home so she’s also been able to tuck into any baby friendly bits off our plates too.


  • Brown toast and peanut butter. I packed some Pip and Nut squeezy pouches.
  • Brown toast and mashed banana/papaya
  • Fruit fingers; papaya, kiwi, melon, grapes
  • Scrambled egg with soya milk


  • Tomato penne pasta (plus I’ll give her some warm soft bread dunked in the pasta sauce which she loves)
  • Fish fingers
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Steamed greens
  • Quinoa salad
  • Salmon fillet
  • Carrot, courgette
  • Omelet with mushrooms and courgette


  • Any of the above that she didn’t have for lunch.
  • The little supermarket here also sells Ella’s Kitchen. I’ve made all of baby’s food until now but we’ve bought a few of the veggie lentil mush just in case / as a top up.
  • Fruit purées made by the chef here. She loves them for dessert.


  • Banana fingers
  • Pear fingers
  • Ella’s Kitchen melty corn things
  • Hard boiled eggs


  • Just Luso bottled water in a Tommee Tippee free flow cup. Left the Doidy at home as wanted water to be easier to travel with.
  • (We use this bottled water to brush her teeth too)

Baby sun care:

  • Been using Mustela factor 50 and Childs Farm factor 50. Bought the latter last min as was worried we’d run out of the former as a few days before holiday, in the UK, the weather was nice so we cracked into it early. But you know, Portugal isn’t bloody Pluto. Could probably have bought some out here.

What could we have just left and got out here?

  • Nappies (could’ve just packed enough for the journey and day 1 perhaps). We packed around 22 normal nappies so knew we’d need to make the trip to a supermarket anyway, plus a pack of 12 swim nappies. That they sell here. Isn’t it lols that we can be like ‘best get that in the UK because that other country where there are also loads of babies probably won’t sell them. AHAHAHAHAHAHA. Idiot.
  • Baby pool float. The exact one I bought with us is stocked in the resort supermarket – lols.
  • Suncream?

Toys and entertainment

For the flight I packed a few new toys and books she’s never seen before. But I left the Crown Jewels in the case. This book has been her absolute favourite thing EVER since being away. She presses the buttons and dances to it on her botty. This is totally going into the hand luggage on our return home. Perhaps it might entertain her more than the mans head in front of us on the way out here that she liked to bop.
This remote control is also a winner.

Teething toys come in handy when she finishes her breakfast/dinner and we’re not quite done yet.

But if she really kicks off in restaurants it’s really just a case of scooping her up out of the highchair and giving her something to do. The sofas in the pool bar are good enough for her. She crawls up and down them and rearranges the cushions a lot. Or just being carried around so she can wave and blow kisses at everyone.

This book is the best thing EVER.

What has mummy been wearing?

  • Mainly this dress from Marks and Spencer in all its different colours; navy and white stripe, khaki and black. Good length and has pockets. Good for over swimsuits or out for lunch/dinner.
  • These two swimsuits from Marks and Spencer; a plunge one here and a black Rosie bandeau one.
  • A ‘panama’ style hat from TK Maxx. I buy one of these every summer hols.
  • Oh and for the two travel days A BUMBAG. Tipped off by a Susie Verrill blog (via Hannah Gale) about that and ordered this one from H&M which was perfect for passports, face and hand wipes, phone and purse. Also, I wear it around my waist. Not over my boobs because what the fuck is that current pointless fashion thing about please?

Baby is stirring. Lunch calls.


P.S  we’re staying at Quinta Do Lago Martinhal Resort. It’s really nice and the wider area of Quinta Do Lago is smashing. 20 mins from Faro airport too. Win.


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