Monday, October 6, 2014

Traveling with a One Year Old

Whew! It has been a crazy month for us! We have been to New York and Houston and La Grange! I turned 30! I haven't had anytime to blog! But we are back!

A lot has happened the past month, I am no longer able to wear contacts, boo, I got a job, yay, and will now be focusing on getting Delilah into a day care, balancing motherhood and a career, and figuring out how to keep everyone fed, feeling loved, and not going bonkers! Wish me luck ;)

This post is going to be about traveling with a one year old, tips and tricks that have really helped Delilah be the best traveler!

Before you leave for your trip, figure out how long you are going to be gone and what modes of transportation you will be using and plan accordingly. Lists, lists, and more lists! About a week before we head out, I usually start researching the weather and planning for what we will need. This begins the first list. I write down everything I think we will need. 

About two days before the trip, no matter if it will be a long trip or short one, I make sure to clean all the dishes and wash all the clothes. This helps to make sure your house is clean when you get back, and you have all of your things ready to be packed!

The day before the trip, usually the night before, I will pack my own bags, since that is the easy part! Anytime we travel, I will usually have 3 bags for Delilah, one for clothes, one for diapers/toiletries, and one for food and drink. I am sure having only one bag will work better for some, but this method works for us, especially if you are driving to your location. I know what bag has what and I do not have to go searching and messing up one big bag. Before she is asleep, I get her travel crib and extra sheet out. After I put Delilah down, I start packing two of her bags, the toiletries and food/drink bag. Before I go to bed, I tidy up, getting the house ready to be gone for a while. I have tried packing when Delilah is awake, not a good idea! Although cute, completely unproductive. See the picture above. :)

That morning, I try and get up before Delilah, sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't! We start packing the car, usually pack everything but the food/drink bag for Delilah, since this is usually the bag we need the most while traveling ;) Once she gets up, I immediately get her dressed, sit her down with a handful of Cheerios, and start packing her clothes bag. I make a plan to start driving around the time of her first nap, makes for an easier car ride. She usually takes her nap around 3 hours after she gets up, so I have plenty of time to go through my list and make sure I have everything. Once she has been fed, I whirl around the house doing last minute cleaning and packing, until we are ready to go! We get her in the car seat and leave, hoping for a smooth ride to our destination. 

*We drive to Houston, a lot, which is a 3 hour drive. Since we usually leave when she is about to nap, I make it a point to make sure the car is gassed up, we have the drinks we need for the drive, so there is no stopping required. If Delilah is sleeping, I never, ever, stop the car. If she wakes up, we will stop and get lunch, or go to the bathroom, and we usually let her out for a bit. If she sleeps the whole way, we do the most silent and excited high five you have ever seen ;)

Example of my lists:

Travel Crib
I can not say enough about how much we love this travel crib! Delilah sleeps in it so well! It is light, easy to assemble, fits anywhere, and bonus, will fit in the overhead compartment on a plane! This is a must have if you travel with your baby a lot. 
I use a regular crib sheet for her bed, it is a little big, so I usually just tuck in the extra under the little mattress. I may get one of the sheets they make for this crib, but for right now using her sheets is working great. Plus, it smells like her own crib, and I am thinking that really helps her sleep better and makes her feel comfortable.
I keep this doll in her crib at home, so I will bring it to put in her travel crib. I try to mimic her crib as best as possible when traveling.

Clothes Bag: 
Outfits for the number of days you will be gone- I always pack at least 4 extra items of clothing.
Shoes- Usually about two pair :)
Pajamas- I let Delilah wear the same pajamas 2 days in a row, so that is how I gauge how many to pack. If we are gone for the weekend, I will pack 3 pair. 
Hats- If it is cold, I will pack 2 beanies, if it is hot, I pack her sun hat.
Socks- 2 pair

*When I research where we are going, I pack according to that, so maybe a jacket, sweater, rain coat, swim suit, etc. 

Toiletries Bag:
Diapers- I have found that bringing half a box of diapers is a perfect amount. I usually have some left over, but if she is extra busy in that department, it is nice not needing to run to the store to get more!

*I bring at least 2 swim diapers just in case. I am going to invest in one or two of these next year, so cute!

Wipes- Usually one package is plenty.

Medicine Bag- I bring all of her medicine anytime we go anywhere. I didn't bring it one trip, and kicked myself when I needed something out of it.  (Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Benadryl, Nose Frida, syringe, Polysporin, Vaseline)

Noise Machine- I have this noise machine on all day, everyday at our house, it is essential when traveling as well. It blocks out any outside noise and something Delilah has been used to hearing since she was born.

Wrap/Baby Carrier- A must for on the go napping!

Lotion/Shampoo/Toothbrush- I try to have travel sized for everything. If we are going to my mom's house, I don't have to bring this stuff, but anywhere else, I have it just in case.

Food and Drink Bag:
Sippy Cups- I will usually pack 4-5 cups
Plate/Fork- Just in case
Snacks, Snacks and more Snacks! Our favorites include- Pea Crisps & Yogurt Melts. Depending on where you are going, it is usually a good idea to have new packages of all of your babe's favorite snacks. Delilah can't be trusted with a pouch in the car, but she can when I am able to hold it for her, I usually pack at least 4. Also, I bring the Itzy Ritzy snack bags along. Delilah is finally off of all baby food, so we do not have to worry about her meals anymore, she eats what we eat!

*Make sure to have a couple snacks and a sippy cup ready for the car ride, too!

So there is the packing list! It seems like a lot, but honestly, we have done it so many times, it goes pretty smooth. 

Here are a few other thoughts:

1. I try and make bedtime as close as it would be like at home, as possible. I have given up on the fact that nap time is going to work out when traveling. I make sure I have one of my wraps/baby carriers, that way if it is time for Delilah to sleep, I can strap her on and go about my business. I try and keep the bedtime routine though, for us, it is eat dinner, play, bath time, before bed snack (usually a yogurt drink), kisses, and then bed. You are not going to be able to do a bath every night, but my advice is to relax, it is ok if they don't get a bath one night. Keeping at least one routine helps her I think, we have had a good luck so far!

2. We always have a debate on whether or not to bring the stroller. We have a City Mini and I have to say, anytime we have not brought it, we have regretted it. Even on our trip to New York, we should have brought the stroller. It is more hassle and one more thing to pack, but like I said, that would have really helped us. We actually ended up buying an umbrella stroller in New York! So when in doubt, bring it!

This also applies to the travel high chair seat, we have this one. Delilah is so used to having her own chair when eating, that when she doesn't have somewhere to sit, it becomes a mess. A hot, hot mess. Once again, I should have brought ours to New York, and honestly that thing sits in the back of my car, just in case. I will not be chasing around a baby, trying to get her to eat, while she whirls around flinging cottage cheese everywhere. Have you ever tried to get cottage cheese out of your hair? It's f*ing difficult.

My Mom entertaining Delilah ;)

3. Traveling on a plane. ::shutter:: You know, I made way too big of a deal out of it, she did great on the way there, not so hot on the way back. And the more I have read of other's experiences, that seems to happen to a lot of people. I made sure my carry one was nothing but snacks! New ones, old favorites. Blueberries and grapes were a huge hit! 

Before you get on the plane, you walk that baby everywhere! Get them as tired as possible! Delilah was out as soon as we took off, slept for about 1 1/2 hours and we were able to keep her entertained the rest of the way. 

ipad! The iPad really helped us out on this one. We didn't buy the wifi, but next time I will for sure. I read about post it notes, scotch tape, paper clips, and maybe that worked for others, but Delilah just looked at me when I desperately handed her the tape to play with, like "What is this weird sticky thing", then preceded to throw it in the aisle. Check out these apps, and download them before you go. If you don't want to play for the wifi, download a movie or show that your baby likes before you leave. Some planes have free wifi now, maybe we will look into those flights next time ;)

There are these great quiet books I haven't bought one yet, honestly I can't choose whether I want to make one or buy one, but I think one of those would be great for the plane or the car. And before our next big trip will definitely get one. 

No one really likes flying, do they? Well don't expect your baby to like it either. I was so anxious about it and anytime she made a noise, would tense up, but at the end of the day she did so much better than I thought she would and I was worrying about it for nothing. We were lucky enough that the flight home wasn't full, so when she started crying screaming, I was able to walk her in the back of the plane and nurse her and spread out a bit. Just try to relax and if someone gets irritated at your baby, f* them, and most people have children and honestly feel sorry for you! Just get ready to get looks, some smiles, and maybe some support from unsuspecting flyers! We were lucky to have my mom and my dad with us, and with our powers combined, we were able to get through the flight!

And that's all folks! I will update as I remember other things that have helped us out when traveling with a one year old. Good Luck and have fun!!

Have a great week everyone!

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