Thursday, October 9, 2014

Things I've learned about travel with a baby

Even going to church is like a miniature trip requiring a packing session to be sure the diaper bag is stocked. (Don't ask me about the time I forgot a spare outfit and blanket and ended up carrying around a fussy baby in only a diaper and giant bow. It was adorable and traumatizing.) But, going out of town definitely requires more forethought and it's own set of parenting skills, such as:

1. Make a packing list. Pregnancy brain is an insulting term, but, alas, my new mom memory is a bit foggy at times. And it would be a minor disaster to forget to pack the Sleep Sheep or Woombie the morning of a trip. (Look those up if you're new to the world of baby brands.) I try to at least make a list of all the things that can't be packed until the last minute and then triple-check it before we leave.

2. Figure out what you can borrow or buy on arrival. We have a lot of baby stuff, and most of it stays at home when we travel. Anytime we can borrow a pack and play and just bring our own sheet, that saves room in the car for the giant suitcase. Or saves us an airline fee for checking too many bags. Diapers are also a good thing to buy on arrival.

3. Routines change when traveling. Prepare for it. This is a pretty obvious one, but mentally preparing to troubleshoot problems and deal with changes in your routine is helpful. For example, I am spoiled to have a comfortable nighttime nursing routine including a comfy rocker/recliner. But when we're away from home, baby girl still gets fed in the middle of the night, and she still (mostly) gets enough sleep. It just happens in slightly more exotic locales with a slightly more awake momma. It helps to think through where I'm going to feed her before I hear a screaming baby in the middle of the night.

4. Travel can be messy. We use cloth diapers at home and disposable when we travel. We have had only two blow outs while baby girl is wearing a cloth diaper. On our car ride last weekend, she managed to have two blowouts in 8 hours. I'm not used to using disposable diapers, but we have to roll with the punches and just clean her up and change her into another spare outfit. I also pack more burp cloths than I think we could possibly use and then use them all. Spit up is more common when being jostled between relatives. :)

5. Bring extra clothes and/or baby's detergent. We usually bring extra clothes and are lucky enough that my mom has purchased the detergent we use so that if laundry is inevitable, we aren't risking a rash from introducing some new product. The messiness factor  involved in being away from home requires extra changes of clothing. And baby clothes are small, so I just bring an extra outfit or two per day. When traveling, you want to take lots of pictures and show off the cutest clothes anyway, so it's win-win.

Another tidbit I've learned is that people are generally compassionate on parents traveling with infants. The looks I received as my baby was using all her lung capacity to shriek her discomfort on the plane were all kind, not annoyed. And I've had innumerable strangers offer to hold doors, collapse car seat handles, and zip up the diaper bag when I didn't have a free hand. And if they didn't offer, I've learned not to hesitate to ask. :)

Happy travels!

Our cutie before her first flight

No comments:

Post a Comment