donderdag 13 augustus 2015

How to survive Qatari summers... With a baby?!

Summers in Qatar are no walk in the park. Temperatures reach extremely high and humidity reaches its peak: it feels like you`re living in an oven or a sauna and when you dare to go outside in the middle of the day it is impossible to even sweat as it just immediately seems to evaporate. I am not exaggerating.

This is my 3rd summer in Doha -but my 1st summer with a baby!- and here are my survival tips to get through this season:


Seriously though. What are you still doing here? If there`s one time of year you should hop on the plane and visit home or travel the world it is NOW. This isn`t your *regular* heat wave, like in Belgium where it lasts about 5 days and you know there is an end in sight... Temperatures will only start becoming more bearable around October... Yes, October! 

But I figure you`re stuck here -just like me- for whatever reason as that`s why you are reading this post ;-), so keep on reading...

2. Pinterest is your best friend!

I have to confess: I am definitely a Pinterest mom! I absolutely love to browse through all the creative ideas, pin them, save them and I actually put these ideas into reality! But even if you`re not that creative or crafty, trust me, Pinterest is your best friend during these hot summer months. It will make all those hours and days spent inside more bearable (both for you and your baby!). 

My son while (body) painting. 

But if you don`t feel like browsing Pinterest, I am compiling all our activities this summer in this post . You`re welcome! ;-) 

3. The mall is the place to be!

I don`t like the malls here. They are way too crowded, too busy and too noisy, BUT... Practically all the malls here have playgrounds and play areas for children and EVEN for little children and babies. And as it is way too hot to have our babies play outside or go to the park or the beach, the mall is our last resort to get out of the house... A very kind lady shared this list of playgrounds at Doha`s malls with me and I am planning to check out several of them. Over the last few weeks my son became way more mobile (crawling, standing, ...) and being confined inside really gets boring for him, so I am looking forward to discover some soft play areas at the malls during weekends! 

List of playgrounds and play areas: 

  • Ezdan mall: a separate play room for under 4`s with costumes, kitchen and bedroom equipment and soft play. Rides for over 4`s. 
  • Bennigans restaurant (near Khalifa tennis, near Dana club): a pub with a big indoor and outdoor playground. 
  • Fuddruckers restaurant (near Khalifa tennis): a burger cafe with a small indoor playground. 
  • Royal plaza mall: Ray`s reef children`s center with soft play, bumper cars and arts corner. 
  • Landmark mall: Circusland with soft play, trampolines and rides. 
  • City Center: a separate educational room for under 4`s and everything else for over 4`s. 
  • Dar Al Salam mall: Fun Ville, a small indoor playground. 
  • Centrepoint mall (Al Sadd): a small indoor playground. 
  • Coral restaurant (Intercontinental hotel): a kid`s corner. 
  • Old Movenpick hotel, Seasons restaurant: a huge separate playroom with inflatable playground and kids` food. (Only on Friday brunches)
  • Villaggio: everything for everyone. 
  • Chili`s (Lagoona mall): soft play. 
  • Chili`s (near Ramada): upstairs soft play but needs supervision. 
  • Dairy Queen (near Ramada): ice cream cafe with a small soft play. 
  • Hyatt Plaza mall (next to Villaggio): Jungle Zone: everything for everyone. 
  • The Pearl: Tickles and Giggles. 
Note: I haven`t visited any of these playgrounds myself yet, so if you have any feedback about them or if you know of any other indoor playgrounds, please share! :-) 

4. Mommy-baby playgroups!

You`re definitely not the only mom stuck here during summer, so it`s time to unite with your fellow mom friends and create a playgroup! Maybe you could meet up once a week with some fellow mommies and rotate houses every week: that way it remains a *new* experience every time for both mom and baby!

But if you don`t know any fellow moms with babies of a similar age as yours, you can check out these groups on Facebook: 
Positive Doha Playgroups and Muslim Mom`s playgroup for toddlers. Be sure to find some new mom friends there!

5. Get outside! (Just for a little bit)

Our favorite hang out spot around sunset.

I know, it sounds crazy to suggest to get out there in the blistering heat, but right before sunset is really a good time to catch some *fresh* air. Almost every evening I take a little walk with my son around this time or I look for a patch of grass and we just sit down and play for half an hour. I know it is hot and yes, you will sweat and yes, you might feel uncomfortable, but take it from me: I rather prefer taking my son out for a little bit so he is calm and enjoying himself by being outdoors than enduring *the witching hour* inside. ;-) 

So strap that baby in the stroller or in a carrier and take a little walk around the block, sit down on a blanket or a patch of grass, catch some air on your balcony. 

No matter how hot it is even at that time of day, both me and my son feel energized and happy after coming back from outside! 

Do you have any other tips or feedback? I`ld love to hear from you! :-)

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