I grew up in the UK, and I’m pretty sure I’d feel like I was giving my baby a rubbish childhood if we still lived there. The mum lifestyle of constantly putting layers on and off your baby, trekking to a constant stream of different mother and baby classes, dealing with competitive mums, and trying to resist the constant lure of shops selling the latest “must have” your baby somehow can’t live without isn’t for me. Oh, and let’s not forget that constant runny nose that goes hand in hand with the “great British weather”! No. Thank. You.
A big part of us wanting to leave the UK was a desire to raise our baby in a place that he could be outside as much as possible. My actual words were, “I want a baby like Mowgli from The Jungle Book!” And though we’re not in the jungle per se here in the Seychelles, it’s pretty darn close.
I wanted a simple life for our kids (no computer games!), and simple is certainly what I’ve got.
Sure, raising an island baby isn’t all dreamy. You probably won’t have the help of your parents, as they will be back “home” where you grew up. Some of those “competitive mums” could probably be your friends or at least a reliable go-to babysitter sometimes. And yes, sometimes I do wish I had easier access to the latest “must have” item.
But overall, when I find myself thinking about how different my island baby’s upbringing is in comparison to what he would have back in the UK, it makes me so happy about the lifestyle we’re providing for him.
Island babies inhabit a different, somehow more magical, world.
You Might Have an Island Baby If…
Amongst his/her first words are: Bat, beach, boat, fish, gecko
His/her first trip to the beach was when they were 1 week old – and it was to a beach more beautiful than most people get to visit in their lifetimes.
He/She’s been swimming since they were 6 weeks old. Outside, of course, and not in some heated indoor pool that reeks of chlorine.
He/She walks around all day in just a nappy. Frankly, they reject anything more, as it’s too hot out. Hell, if we parents could get away with walking around like that all day, we would too!
When the mess gets to be too much, the baby simply gets hosed down outside – literally. After all, he/she will dry off in no time, and it sure as hell beats wrestling them into the shower.
His/her hair has that natural sun-kissed look that people pay big bucks for, and he/she has a perpetual tan, despite your best efforts to coat them in sun cream. In fact, your baby often has a tan much better than yours.
You, nor your baby, has ever been to any special baby class – there aren’t any!
Your baby has never known a baby monitor, nor any other fancy, tech-y baby products.
His/her best friend is the neighbour’s cat.
He/she hardly ever gets bitten by mosquitoes – they seem to not affect him/her at all. Whenever anyone first visits your rock, they get annihilated by the little buggers, and grow almost resentful of your baby’s immunity to the itch as they scratch their own collection of bites.
Rain is a novelty to an island baby. Whenever they do see it, it’s very exciting, indeed.
The coldest weather he/she has ever felt was during that summer trip you took to visit your parents. While everyone was walking around in shorts and t-shirts, your island baby was f-f-f-freezing!
He/she is probably a pro at flying and knows exactly how to work the flight attendants. After all the trips off-island to visit the grandparents, airplane travel becomes second nature.
He/she is at their absolute happiest when outside, preferably on the beach. For an island baby, there’s nothing quite like the joy of playing in the sand.
Traditional baby toys aren’t really that interesting to him/her. Island babies root around outside for their own toys – stones, sticks, coconuts, and water offer endless entertainment.
He/she thinks their grandparents live in an iPad!
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Do you have an island baby? What do you feel has made their childhood on a rock so unique and special?