I, like all moms have learned a lot since I had my daughter almost a year ago. I realize I still have a lot to learn. My daughter was born right before Christmas. When I say right before Christmas I mean on December 20th she was born and we got home on the 24th. The thought of traveling anywhere longer than a half hour with her was really overwhelming. Luckily since she was brand, spanking new so we had the perfect excuse to not go to all of the holiday get-togethers. But not all of us are that lucky. Because of that I am going to share with you some advice to traveling with a newborn through the holidays.
Add in lots of extra time to drive anywhere. This seems obvious but we sometimes forget that a baby, especially a newborn, eats often. That means you have to stop and feed them if you are nursing. At this point, you probably suck at putting the baby back in the carrier because you’re still new. So make sure your travel time allotted is realistic and way longer than normal.
It’s going to take you longer to get ready too. My first few trips with Calli I was so late. There were a few times I was so behind I couldn’t do anything with myself other than put clean clothes on. That’s because I forgot I had to get her ready too. Then she poops through her outfit so I had to change her. Then she spit up all over the second outfit and I had to change that one too.
When you can, bring someone with you. Even if this person is just moral support. But hopefully they will drive and you can dote on the baby. Once upon a time, Calli had an appointment with a specialist 2.5 hours from our house. There was supposed to be a really bad snowstorm and I had a 2 month old. So we decided to go the night before and get a hotel room. My husband couldn’t go because he got snowed in at work. My mom couldn’t go because she had to be at the farm through the storm. So Calli and I went ourselves. Just thinking about that trip makes me cringe. It was so overwhelming and I don’t ever want to do that again by myself. Be best part of the entire trip was when she slept at Bob Evans and I stuffed myself with enough food to make a grown man blush. Even the waitress was impressed.
Only bring things that have multiple purposes. That trip I went on with just Calli that was described above? Yeah that one. I had two. Count them one, two luggage racks of stuff. Yeah, as soon as I started unpacking the car I regretted that decision. Only bring things that can serve multiple purposes. I can promise you that you don’t need everything you think you do. If your families are anything like ours you will definitely leave with more stuff than you brought. So you should pack with extreme thought and caution. Remember that babies require less stuff as they get older, regardless of how minimalist you are (this will make you feel better). I would definitely bring something for baby to sleep in. Whatever their favorite thing is a swing, pack n play, etc. This thing should also be able to double as a place to set baby down so you can get a break. If you are nursing, don’t bring blankets and a nursing cover. After a while I found nursing covers to be cumbersome. I started using muslin or fleece blankets exclusively for both. They’re light and roll up in small spaces and you can use them for two purposes. If you pump, try to pump into the bottles you feed from. My pump didn’t take the bottles Calli liked, but then I found some $8 adapters and then I could pump right into our Dr. Brown’s bottles. Try to think about things like that.
Remember, that most places have a store that can get you the most basic things. Yes I realize a small town grocery store might have a huge price mark up. But, know that in a real pinch the basics can be covered regardless of where you are. It’s important baby eats, had a dry bum and has clothes to wear. Every other gadget can generally be worked around. So don’t let forgetting something like that stress you out.
This is my top advice for traveling with newborns. What is some of your best advice for traveling with a newborn? I would love to hear what you have learned through the years.