… With my baby.
We had to test it out. It’s been nearly five months since Palmer joined our family and while he has been on small road trips with us and once with his grandparents, we hadn’t yet taken him on our standard adventuring. We were intimidated. Frenchie and I wanted to return to travel but we were unsure of so much… How do we pack light with diapers and “enough clothes” for him? Will he cry and make everyone on the flight hate us? Will he still sleep like a champ so we can have energy to explore?
Life is more interesting if you do things that scare you, so last week we did it. We decided to pick a place that we were familiar with, New Orleans, and packed up our newest travel partner for new adventures. Our trip was only for three days but it was easier than first imagined and the experience has empowered us for longer adventures and left me with some new tips for my travel mommies, or wannabe travel mommies.
Pack Light. Think bare minimums. No playards or special blankets. Abandon you cumbersome diaper bags and car seat covers…. Food, clothes, transportation. I know this could be more difficult with multiple children or older children or depending on the events of your trip but the best thing we could do was only take one carry on roller board and a backpack. We left our stroller at home and depended on our trusty baby sling to transport our 17 lbs. bundle of joy. And still we had more than we used. We had an extra sling that proved useless and clothes for accidents that didn’t happen. I brought a bottle for expressed milk and my breast pump and never used either. Still the limited bags and “baby tools” made it possible for us to hop on and off public transportation. No one was burdened. Airport arrivals and departures were done with ease. I made impromptu seats out of the backpack and sling in restaurant booths and changed diapers in my lap. He slept in the crib from the hotel. All was well!
Dress the Part. As a traveler who needs only one bag for up to two weeks of travel I have made an art of smart packing. I have a major concept that “travel attire” is very different than how you dress at home. Traveling as a nursing new mom was no different. I need to be able to access the milk supply, discretely, hide milk stains and look effortlessly beautiful and chic! So think cotton (keeps you cool, irons easily if needed and dries quickly) patterns (hides stains), slip on and off shoes for TSA and pockets (for cell phones, pacifiers and change for public transportation). I only took one pair of shoes and wore minimal jewelry, that matched for the week.
Be Flexible. For me vacation means ease. I have always liked to have an idea of things I want to do but I never like to feel rushed, to be on a schedule to do anything, so traveling with my little travel partner was no different. We woke with ease each morning and let our day flow. We explored but we also took a nap to allow everyone to recharge. We didn’t do everything we could have or see everything but the fluid movement of our days made sure we could enjoy our time together.
Extend yourself some compassion. Here is the truth of parenting that no one talks about: Even if you do everything “right”, your baby may be fussy, cry the entire flight or poop everywhere, on everything. BE OKAY WITH THAT! In every new experience with Palmer I try to remember he is a person, subject to hunger, fatigue or bad moods. I try my best to make sure he is fed and rested and presented with a joy filled, stress free environment, which means for the most part he is peaceful and accommodating to our plans. However sometimes even that isn’t guaranteed. He was fussy on our flight home and I started to worry if other people around us were being disturbed and that only made it worse. I took a deep breath and turned back to my frustrated son. I did what I could do for him in that moment, reminded myself that I was doing my best and let it go.
Happy travels…Pin It