Thursday, July 16, 2009

Packing List for Trips with a Babykins (or The Last Trip Post...Finally!)

So, I had NO idea what to pack for this trip. I guess that's why I thought this post would be helpful, both for other moms and as a reminder to myself for later trips. Although, I think only about half my readership (all nine people) have children. But, if you're married (or living like you are) you never know when you might get one (wink)!

Anyway, onto the post. Somebody told me to just pack everything I thought I might possibly need. But, as I've mentioned before, we were traveling five people in a Buick, so that wasn't really feasible. Again, I'll remind you visually:

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So, I had to make some decisions. The two large items that I felt were most important were Ann Peyton's Pack N Play and her travel swing. The general consensus on the Pack N Play was that we could do without it and just make her a palate on the floor. But, I really felt safer with her in some sort of bed, and it packs up pretty nicely, hence the name. Also, it has a changing table, so there was no question about changing her on the bed/dirty floor/wherever. And, it was a safe place to put her while we got ready or did other things in the hotel room. Overall, I was glad we brought it.

The swing: Ann Peyton loves her swing. We were given a full size swing, but I got her a travel swing for this very reason before she even arrived. We actually set it up sometimes in Peyton's study, but it's also nice to have for trips. Peyton really didn't think we should take it, but I insisted ("this is why we have it, Honey"). Truly, it's relatively compact and she enjoys spending so much of her day at home relaxing in her swing that I was kind of nervous about not taking it. Please don't judge me about her napping in the swing; I'm glad we're out of the stage where she sleeps in it at night! Long story short, the swing stayed in the trunk the entire trip. We walked around so much that the brief amount of time we were in the hotel, she was totally zonked out! I think it would have been more useful on a longer, less whirlwind type of trip. So, I'll probably still take it on future trips.

In addition, I packed her her own little suitcase with several changes of clothes and pajamas (there were a couple of accidents, as usual) and extra burp clothes, changing pads (glad to have on those nasty bathroom changing tables), bibs (she's drooling gallons) and blankets (great for freezing restaurants), and a hat. I also brought her little star soother and Sleep Sheep, since she was away from her aquarium and mobile in her crib. W edidn't use these, either--as I said she was zonked. But better safe than sorry. I brought the breast pump and some formula in case we needed to supplement (we didn't!) and a rice sock which is good to heat up when she has tummy gas. Since there was no microwave or fridge the pump and sock were pretty useless. I think I'll call ahead next time to find out, since the pump is kind of a hassle to pack up and tote around. I guess I could have put the bottles of milk in the ice bucket and just kept it full of ice, but there was really no need, she (and I) needed to take a break every three hours or so anyway. Also, we brought the baby front/back carrier and a sling. Peyton wouldn't use the sling and she's getting so heavy (yay!) so it didn't really get used.

Of course, I stocked up on the basics, like diapers and wipes, which was a new thing (sorta) because we use cloth diapers at home (we use disposables when we go out, because I love the earth, but I'm NOT GOING TO CARRY POOP IN MY PURSE-or diaper bag-even if it is in a ziplock baggy!). And I made sure to bring all her medicine (gas medicine, Tylenol and Ambosal for her teeth, and sunscreen (which Peyton okayed). I think that's all, which should be enough, since we were gone only about 96 hours, haha! I also thought I'd mention.....
Things I Didn't Bring But Thought About: stroller- Cookie told us not to bring a stroller, that they were "annoying", and our bulky travel system stroller would have clearly fit the bill (I say "bulky"; it really isn't as far as travel systems go, but compared to a little umbrella stroller- which she's not ready for- it is). Also, had we brought it, not much else would have fit in the Buick.
infant tub- Yeah, I thought about it and there was no way for this one, either. The one bath she had was in the sink and she screamed the whole time, but it was fine.
playmat- It wouldn't have taken up much room, but I didn't think it was necessary and would just be another thing to keep up with. Since she didn't use her soother or swing, I doubt she would have found time for the playmat, either (wink).
monitor- Okay, I'm not even kidding; I thought about it. The thing goes off if she stops breathing (not that she's ever given us any indication she would do this) and it just gives me security. But that would have been such a pain and I don't even think it would have worked in the Pack N Play. So, those three nights were a good exercise in fighting anxiety and strengthening my faith.

and..... Things I Didn't Bring But Should Have Thought About:
Teethers- Not sure how we would've kept them cold, but I could have brought the mesh ones you put ice in.
(more) Changing Pads- They just get yucky, enough said.

Also, a couple of things I forgot to mention in my travel post:

#1
During the course of our twelve hour drive, I came as close as I've ever been to paradise, when I encountered a Target and a TJ Maxx right next door to one another. Seriously, how lovely would it be to park, go to Target and then stroll a few yards and go to the TJ, or vice versa? But alas, there was no Marshalls in sight (like in Jackson, where it's right next door to the TJ Maxx), so if you find something you like, but in the wrong size there's no popping over to the same store with a different name, like here. I guess I had to find the gray cloud around the silver lining!

#2
Anybody heard of an Omelette Shoppe? Seriously, I used to beg Peyton to take me to Waffle House (I'm a cheap date, I know). Then there was the time I risked my life to go to one really sketchy International House of Pancakes outside Clinton at a really inappropriate hour of the night with only girls (my mom seemed to have been the most concerned about the fact there were not male chaperones). And, the times I visited the Huddle House in Union County with Bump were not infrequent (the times I got sick from it were not infrequent, either). I tell you all this to show that I am no stranger to fine breakfast eateries. But an Omlette Shoppe, that was a first.....too bad there was no time to stop and sample.

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