|Carters Passport Photo-Seriously!|
A vacation at last! I feel like I haven’t had a true vacation in over a year because I was pregnant on all of my trips last year. We did Vegas twice during my first trimester, and it was my first time there. As you can imagine I was TONS of fun! No coffee, no alcohol, no late nights. Then it was Palm Beach, five months pregnant. I wasn’t pregnant enough to actually look cute in a bikini. I just looked fat — like the girl you want to ask “when are you due?” but fear that she might not actually be pregnant. Yes, that was me at the pool all week. Next, I spent three months in Hell, literally. A full South Carolina 105-degree summer seven to nine months pregnant. Then we finished off the summer with a Michigan trip at 36 weeks pregnant. I spent most of the time planning how and where we would deliver my baby should the event arise. I had little spots picked out in every airport and every airplane. My poor husband! I waddled all the way up there then was too pregs to do anything but sit and eat. But we made it there and back with no baby.
Then on September 16, 2011, my life completely changed. Carter was born and it really began. I spent the first eight weeks isolated in my home, craving adult conversation, crying because I was delirious from lack of sleep and raging hormones, trying to figure out this little gassy man. Then at some point after week 12, we all started to click. Carter is amazing, he is happy, playful, and sleeping all night (Thank You, God!). Routine down, we are now going to attempt our first family vacation. I’m sure many of you have your own stories from your attempts to trek across the land, baby in tow. Please do share below. Anyway, St. John it is on Delta and SPG points. Rick and my mother will be joining us as we embark on the first of many journeys. My goal here is to share some of what I have learned in preparation as well as to gather tips from you all on the best way to make this happen.
The jewel of a blog I found a while back is Have Baby Will Travel. If you travel with kids, this blog is it. I owe a lot of these tips to her. Thank you to those who have gone before and are willing to share the wisdom. And of course, fellow travel hacker Mommy Points blog has been a Godsend as well.
Basic Trip Tips
1. Get baby used to room-temperature formula.
This will allow you to avoid the hassle of trying to heat bottles on the go. (If you breastfeed, you have no worries here.) I will admit we aren’t there yet. Still working on it. We plan to put powdered formula into bottles and use bottled water as we go. I am also going to try to feed Carter just before we board so he is one happy man during the flight.
2. Everyone travel in comfortable clothes and bring extra.
When going through security, everyone must remove jackets and shoes — including baby man — so he will be traveling in footed zip-up PJs. And we’ll bringing one extra layer and one extra outfit in case of a “blow out.”
3. Pack baby’s things in among all of the luggage.
If you put all of your kid’s things in one bag and that one bag gets lost, you are SOL. Can you imagine going to some remote location and having all your feeding, changing, and bathing stuff lost? I didn’t even think of this until I read “Have Baby Will Travel.” I am so thankful she tipped me off on it.
4. In the Carry-on
(No, Rick, we won’t be carry-on only. Sorry I gotta break the rules this time.)
- a few toys/books
- bottles and formula/cereal
- one diaper per hour of travel
- tons of wipes
- extra pacifiers
- travel-sized toiletries
- Excedrin (for me and anyone else who needs some)
- one blanket
5. Arrive early for everything!
With Rick that won’t be a problem since we will all be up at 3:30 a.m. on our way to the airport.
6. Stay Healthy.
- Buy travel sanitizing wipes and use them everywhere. (Yes, I’m going to be that mom.)
- Wash your hands and baby’s frequently.
- Sleep well before, during, and after travels. (Easier said than done with a five-month old.)
- Stay hydrated
- Take your vitamins, everyone.
7. Keep a routine
Yes, it is vacation, but do your best to keep your family on a normal sleep/feed schedule. It will pay off by not having an extra-irritable child later on.
So away we go for our first real family trip! I know it will be a blast but I also know there will be challenges and I know a lot of you baby-haters on the plane will glare as I walk by. I’m sorry and I will do my best. I was the baby-hater once, too, but now I understand. We will sit in the back, get up and walk out when baby fusses, and keep stinky diapers as far away from you as possible. Wish us luck!
Please send in your tips and stories now if you have any. They make a huge difference.
|Don’t Hate On the Baby. He’s Tryin’ to Get His Travel On Too!|
- Shannon, The Rookie