Ansh’s first birthday in Maldives!

I’m a Mom! It’s a Boy!

It’s not really news anymore to be honest. My little one is over 2 years old now and the last 3 years have flown by without me finding either the time or the energy to tell the world what is happening in my life.

Recap of the last 2 years in 60 seconds!

So, quick recap since we left off.

I got pregnant. We took a nice trip to Scotland (Men in Kilts) and Ireland (Game of Thrones, FTW!) in 2018 – Story for another day!

Had a baby. First year flew by. And we decided to take him to the Maldives (yes! Our favourite destination) for his first b’day in Jan 2020. This is the story I want to tell today!

Needless to say, the world has gone to hell since we took this trip. The pandemic hit around the same time we were enjoying this trip. A couple of months later, the world shut down, India included. Fast forward to May 2021, India remains shut down experiencing the second deadly wave. This is not the story I want to tell today!

So let’s rewind back to Jan 2020, when we were still oblivious, only a year old as parents, and looking for a way to spend a memorable first b’day of our first-born, Ansh!

As always, let’s start with motivation!

We did not want to throw a first b’day party. It would be too stressful, too expensive, and Ansh would remember nothing. 

We wanted him to have a blip in his baby life so far. Realise something was different, even if it was just for a few days. 

We wanted to show him our favorite vacation place. 

We wanted to show him the ocean for the first time. And all the fish in crystal clear waters. Introduce him to water, the beach and the sand. 

We wanted to relax, in a place that would help us arrange all the baby needs – bottle, food, milk, stroller. 

We wanted a place that would let us set our own schedule and not need to travel too far from the room. Have you seen how much stuff you need to carry for a year old! No thank you! It would be too tiring, not a vacation. 

We wanted a short flight. It was going to be his first international flight. 

We wanted it to be an easy trip. It was going to be our first trip with the baby, just us, no help, no support. 

And what was better than the fact that our favourite destination had all of these things ready. This was going to be a vacation unlike all the previous ones to Maldives. We were looking for a baby friendly resort, and we were not going to stay in a water villa! 

Ansh turns One in Paradise!

Planning

Planning was supposed to be easy. All we had to do was choose a resort that had baby supplies. Newsflash! It wasn’t easy. We went through a lot of options. We had a short list of must haves:

  • A baby stroller – ours won’t work on sand. Also, we did not want to carry it. 
  • Friendly support staff who would mash the food for the baby, sterilise the bottles, give us milk when needed, and have a babysitter for emergencies. 
  • Had to be close to Male. Short trip from the airport after the flight. 
  • Provide a baby bed.
  • Had a big beach villa where Ansh could run around. 

Finally we settled on a beach villa in Olhuveli. It checked all the boxes.  

Packing

It is a very exciting time when you are done with all the bookings and can think about nothing but the upcoming trip! Being the first trip with our little one, we were super excited and a little nervous. What should we take. What to leave behind. How to pack light but not forget the essentials. 

So we did what we always do. We made a list. Here are a few packing essentials if you are travelling with a baby to Maldives. This is not an exhaustive list, but things I considered essential vs what I could ask the resort to provide.

What I needed to carry

  • Baby Bottles & Formula
  • Bottle Steriliser (I carried my normal one, its bulky but I could not find a travel option at the time) 
  • Bottle cleaning supplies (Did not trust the resort to know how to do this properly)
  • Instant baby food – dry powders & wet puree pouches
  • Baby swim suit & water sandals 
  • Baby sunscreen
  • Baby water-float based on age and weight
  • Water diapers
  • Lots of light & loose outfits – At Least 3 outfits per day
  • Baby monitor (So we could sit on the beach while baby is sleeping) 
  • Baby carrier (So one of us could carry him during travel and short walks without stroller)

What I asked from the resort

  • Baby bed
  • Baby stroller
  • High chair during mealtimes
  • Milk, as needed
  • Mash the food we would pick from the buffet

Travel

Short flights made it easier to manage travel and the baby carrier made sure we were able to carry and feed Ansh easily. It doubled up as a high chair. Speedboat ride from Male to the resort was something that Ansh thoroughly enjoyed as it was his first view of the ocean and he always loved water, even as a baby. And once we reached, introducing him to the sand, walking barefoot, was an amazing experience.

Ansh enjoying on the Male Airport!

Stay at Olhuveli

I highly recommend introducing babies to water and beaches. The joy on their face is simply a sight to behold. 

The resort was super convenient, except for the distance of our villa from the reception, everything else was good. They knew the demands of parents travelling with babies and we were well received in the restaurant, the pool lounge and the reception, all places. They even arranged a cake for the birthday celebration. 

Couple of things we learnt along the way:

  • Mashing the food took a lot of time, so we started heading for meals early. I would create a couple of bowls of mixed foods for the baby and send it off to the chef. After the first 2 times, they started anticipating this and the process became considerably smoother.
  • Stroller was not guaranteed and there wasn’t one available when we arrived. We were wait-listed and got one assigned the day after arrival and that was fine. The baby carrier worked well in the meantime.
There was a fish watching spot in the resort and it was a very enjoyable activity for kids. We went there almost every night and Ansh enjoyed it thoroughly. We caught the Sea Turtle!
Doing all of Ansh’s favorite activities together – Playing in the water while watching Baby Sharks and Sting Rays!