Traveling with a Newborn–What to pack

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Traveling with a newborn

When B was exactly 2 weeks and 1 day old, I packed up my car and had my husband drive us to Waco where we met up with my mom who drove us to Austin. Even though this sounds crazy (which it totally was), it was one of the best things I did during my maternity leave. You see, I have this unfortunate problem that happens any time anyone is in my home, even family. If there is a guest in my house, I INSTANTLY go into hostess mode. I can’t relax, I can’t rest, I can’t enjoy until I’ve made sure that everyone is taken care of, or that I’ve offered drinks or I have some sort of baked good or snack out for their enjoyment. I swear on my life that B woke up on his 4th day of life and this idiot [I’m pointing at myself] got up and baked. YES. Sore, anemic, exhausted me baked muffins. I don’t even think I got around to actually eating one because as the day went on I got progressively busier, but I knew there would be people in my home and I was going to be a DOMESTIC DIVA, DAMMIT!

Clearly it didn’t work out so well. Those people in my home were members of my family. They were there to help me. To allow me to rest. To love on me, my husband and my baby boy and I wouldn’t relax long enough to let them. My headstrong mentality culminated into me getting an exhaustion-provoked, major attitude with my mom who said “yeah… I’m here to help and that won’t fly.” So she went home and I decided something had to change.

So, I decided to head home to Austin where I could best allow my mom to help me with the baby and get some much-needed rest, which I could do much better in the home I grew up in.

All this is to say that I took on the daunting task of traveling with a newborn and I’m so glad I did because I learned REALLY FAST what all new moms learn eventually–Think of EVERYTHING you MIGHT need and pack it. You’ll still miss something you will need most–it’s inevitable.

So, for all you new mama’s out there, here’s a general packing list for traveling with your newborn:

Clothing:

  • 2 outfits for every day you’re traveling [messes and stains are inevitable]
  • 1 pair of socks/shoes per day
  • Baby hats [especially if it’s winter]
  • Stroller Blanket

Feeding:

  • Breastfeeding coverup, Breast Pump, Nipple Cream
    [or]
  • Bottles [at least 2] and enough Formula for each day/night you’re gone
  • Burp Cloths [2 per day]
  • Gas Drops or Gripe Water

Bathing/Diapering:

  • Baby towel
  • Baby Bathtub
  • Baby-safe soap, lotion and diaper rash cream
  • Enough Diapers to get you through your trip [I just brought a whole pack with me!]
  • Wipes
  • Baby Brush, Thermometer and “Squeezer”

Sleeping:

  • Pajamas [plan on 1.5 per night that you’re gone]
  • 1 pair of socks per night
  • Swaddle blankets [1 per night that you’re gone]
  • Whatever your child will sleep in [Rock ‘N Play Sleeper, Pack ‘N Play, etc…]

Miscellaneous:

  • Pacifier[s]
  • Car Seat
  • Stroller
  • Baby Wrap
  • Diaper Bag
  • Anything you’ll need to soothe/entertain your child [their favorite lovey or toy]

*This list is obviously dependent on where you’re going, how old your child is [I based this off of a few weeks/months old] and whether or not you’ll be able to do a load of laundry [or 2] while you’re gone [I based this list off of a no laundry trip]. I also based this list off of my experience with B, who spit up quite a bit.

My advice:

1. Start planning/packing early. Don’t wait until the night before you leave. You’ll find out, as I did, that that will be a HUGE mistake. I had my first major mommy breakdown during this process. I was stressed, the baby was crying and a friend knocked on the door to drop off dinner. I opened the door and when I saw her, I BURST into tears, mumbled an inaudible “thank you.” then closed the door. I then sat on the kitchen floor, breast-feeding and crying until my husband came home a few minutes later. DON’T BE ME.

2. Start small. Do a dry-run with a weekend trip somewhere easy to get to. Don’t let your first travel experience with a baby be a two-week Eurotrip. Unless you’re some sort of a perfect warrior princess, just try an overnight somewhere first.

3. If you can swing it, have someone else drive you or drive with you. You don’t know hell until you’re in a car with a crying baby and all you want to do is help him, but he’s in the back seat and the next exit is 3 miles away. Also, being a woman who happens to be stopped on the side of the highway with a baby puts both of you in danger.

4. Give yourself wayyyy more time than you normally would to pack up the car on the day you leave. Getting out the door takes a lot more time and you can’t feed and burp a baby while they’re in a carseat. Also, you know your baby’s schedule, so plan around that. Feed RIGHT before you leave and plan for stops to feed/change diapers. Have a game plan for how you’ll do diaper changes and feedings in public if you’re traveling by plane.

5. Give yourself some grace. This is rule number ONE with being a mommy. You’ll forget something. You’ll have a perfect plan and your baby will hit a growth spurt the day of or start teething the night before. Remember that you’re an amazing mom and your little one loves you so much!

Happy Travels!

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