I realise this is coming a month too late since our holiday but I really wanted to share our experience with you. My husband and I have always preferred sight seeing and active holidays as opposed to resorts and spending time within the hotel. This time, however, we decided to try it as it would be easier to handle Jana and not tire her out too much.
The Plane Journey
As you might know from our previous flight (and daily routine) I can be extremely anxious if I am not organised with Janas items. I didn’t over pack this. I just had her baby bag with necessary items such as snacks, one packed meal (jar), change of clothes, diapers, some toys for distraction and our trusted iPad packed full of Peppa Pig episodes! Since she had started walking at that stage and not very good at sitting still I had prepared myself (mentally) for all the chasing I’d be doing on the plane but of course it wasn’t that way at all! After an hour or so she wanted her milk feed and fell asleep on my arms. I decided to let her sleep in my arms. The best thing about breastfeeding was, every time she would wiggle and start to cry, I’d feed her and she’d go right back to sleep. She slept for the entire journey only waking up as everyone got up to get their bags! Success!
It was a slightly different story on the journey home. Jana had fallen asleep on the taxi ride to the airport and was still asleep as we boarded the plane. I think she was a little overwhelmed when she woke up to find herself in a jam packed plane full of strangers! Everyone wanted to say hello to her which didn’t help. It would just make her more anxious and run to me crying. It felt long at the time but it actually only took her thirty minutes or so of walking around the plane to calm her down and get friendly with the faces around her. Eventually she fell back asleep in my arms again and slept through the journey.
We went to Dubai for a week spending four nightS at Mina as Salam situated near the Burj Al Arab and the last three nights half board at Zabeel Saray on the palm. Mina as Salam was amazing with a man made canal and a little boat called the Abra to take you to various parts of the hotel and restaurants located in the souk at a little distance. It also took you to nearby hotels that shared the canal. It was easy for us to find food and get there quickly especially with a baby. Jana was too overwhelmed by new people to eat much which was very frustrating. This was the time for her to be making heaps of mess and eat anything and everything. I wasn’t cooking nor cleaning! She didn’t have much at all the first four nights.
When we got to Zabeel Saray however, she had gotten used to waking up and going out meeting new people and her appetite had returned! Also they informed us that whenever we needed food for the baby we just had to call and it was free of charge for her! How amazing is that? They also made anything we desired on request whether it was in the room or on the beach. She had noodle soup, rice pudding, bangers and mash, pizza, milkshake you name it. We were having such fun ordering all those meals! (Me and Saqib. Jana, not so much.)
Activities for Jana
Our day usually started with breakfast (as it does) after which we’d find a nice cabana at the beach and I’d relax while the hubby played with Jana on the sand. She’d tire herself out quite quickly, what, with the heat and so much to play with! This would mean a nap. On the beach. How beautiful does that sound? This was usually when I’d go for a dip or a walk along the beach while hubby kept an eye. Baby J would wake up after an hour or so, hungry. We’d make sure her lunch had arrived before she woke up! This way she ate quite well, no fuss! (sometimes) I almost wished we could have this routine back home only to remember how cold back home was and how we’re better off being indoors in the warmth of our home..brr.
Both hotels we stayed at had a children’s pool and play area called Sinbad club as they’re both run by the same company, Jumeirah hotels. It was brilliant. (Maybe it’s he first time I’m exploring children’s areas/activities ever and finding it fascinating) they had a shallow pool area for babies. Very colourful. Very entertaining. Along with an indoor play area with all sorts of toys and things to do. This is where we spent most of the afternoon where Jana swam and played in the ball pit. The thing which fascinated her most were the other children! She loved watching them and wanted to play with them. (Which made me feel bad and wanting to provide her with a playmate…) It was the first time she’d seen the sea and would spend ages running after the waves and away from them! You only really need what’s around you to entertain a baby! Am I right? (…hmm)
We really bonded with one another. She loved spending so much time with daddy and was intrigued at why he was around so much! I found myself able to relax a bit more around her at meal times (and generally all panicky times of the day) She’s proved she can be such an amazingly easy going baby (Or maybe she was taking a break on holiday only to recharge and get back on form to wreak havoc once again.) It’s days like these I feel I might over think and over react to some of her dramas. It might all just be a lot simpler then I make it? Can it be?