A friend of mine is pregnant (Hi, Andrea!) and asked for some words of wisdom when it comes to traveling with a baby. I thought this might be a fun topic for the blog since it's Monday and some people (KEVIN!) expect an update.
So...here we go...
When Henry was first born we didn't waste any time taking him out and about. We figured we keep a pretty busy schedule and so he should get used to it at a young age. He slept a lot at the beginning so it wasn't too hard. The biggest thing was making sure the diaper bag had an extra outfit (newborn poops are escape artists) and a bottle ready.
After Eddie went back to work I knew that I had to learn how to go out and about with Henry on my own. We started with small trips to the grocery store or Babies R Us. Again, he would fall asleep in the car and usually stay asleep for the most part so it wasn't too bad.
As he has gotten older and more awake, the basics remain the same...have diapers and food and a plan! I try to plan the drives around when he would usually nap so that we have more of a chance of him sleeping. I'm not big on him having to sleep in his crib for a nap so this works well for us. I try to take advantage of his naps to be productive so if my day requires errands, we plan them around naptime. (I'm sure there are some people that may disagree with this because it messes up routine but it works great for us.) We have a stroller that his carseat snaps into so it makes for easy transfer. Most of the time he stays zonked out throughout our shopping trip.
Here are some other random thoughts:
-Flying: Know going in that it's going to be a little complicated to go through security. Everything but the baby has to go through the X-ray machine (stroller, car seat, etc.) so be prepared to hold up the line. We've encountered patient people and helpful TSA folks so don't get flustered.
-Long Trips: Don't expect to be able to make your long drives in one shot anymore. It's hard to pull over when you are making good time but a sad baby usually needs something...food, clean diaper or a stretch. Accept that your GPS arrival time when you leave is NOT going to be your actual arrival time.
-Diaper Bag: We opted for a backpack style bag. It's easy to use, has lots of pockets (including an insulated side pocket perfect for bottles. It's masculine enough that Eddie can use it and also is convenient to carry (vs. something you have to put over your arm).
-Diaper Bag: Essentials:
-Bottle of water and formula powder (They make to-go packets of formula powder now but we also have used small containers with pre-measured amounts.)
-Plastic bags for holding dirty clothes, dirty diapers, etc. (newspaper bags work well)
-Extra outfit (like I said before...poop escapes!)
-Travel changing pad
I've found great joy in taking Henry places. Even though I know he won't remember things we do now, I am having a great time watching him see new things and taking advantage of being able to do things.
I guess most of all, my words of wisdom would be just to be patient and confident. Babies are going to cry. Babies are going to poop. So just go with the flow and do it. You will learn what works or doesn't for you and your baby.
If our pioneer foremothers could take their babies across the country in covered wagons, surely you can take your baby to Target!