Thursday, August 30, 2012

Have Baby, Will Travel

An old friend once told me everything they were packing for a week at the beach with their baby. Besides the diapers, bottles, burp cloths, and blankets you would expect to need, they were also taking: a pack-n-play, a Boppy, a high chair, 2 strollers, a baby bathtub, a travel swing, bags of toys, and other things I can't even remember. The kid was only 4 months old! They were only going to be gone for a week!

As I've mentioned several times (like HERE), Puff and I are trying to be as minimalist as possible when it comes to baby gear. It can rapidly multiply, and The Bungalow is small. I don't want to be tripping over stuff that Bimmer doesn't really need. This mentality also extends to travel, and always has for us. I can be gone for two plus weeks to Europe and take one rolling suitcase and a backpack as a carry-on. (No, I haven't mastered not checking luggage for a long trip. But then again, I don't want to be the douche-canoe taking up the entire overhead bin either. But that's another topic for another day.)
(This is where I would insert a photo of our pile of loot, but the internet hates me this morning)

When Bimmer was just 5 weeks old, Puff and I took that trip to Florida. (HERE) Puff likes to point out it was the first time it really hit him that he was taking a "family" vacation, since it was the first time I had packed everything for everyone. (Yes, there were lists involved.) But I was determined to not take anything more than we absolutely needed. And since it worked out pretty well for us (and again on a trip to The Fort when she was 8 weeks old, HERE) I thought I'd share how we did it.

First off, there was just one suitcase for the 3 of us. All our clothes, toiletries, hair dryer, and even laptop went in there. For Bimmer's clothes, I packed an outfit, a onesie, and a sleeper for each day we were gone. It was the most over-packing of clothes I have ever done in my life. We came home with a lot of it clean. But it was good to have it there, just in case!
We had our pack-n-play (The Phil & Ted's one that is tiny) and the Boppy. The only reason we took the Boppy was for the purpose of my mom being able to hold the baby on her lap. (Although, in The Fort, she ended up sleeping in it on the bed, and thus started her habit of sleeping 6+ hours per night!) Plus our frame stroller that folds up pretty flat. (Can't wait til we can use an umbrella stroller that's even smaller!) And her diaper bag too. These were the only pieces of "baby gear" we took with us. Everything listed above fit nicely into the trunk of The Batmobile or the back of my SUV.

The only other thing we had was an old diaper box (which was upgraded to a large tote bag for our trip to The Fort) that held all the baby necessities. We took one sleeve of diapers (from a value jumbo box) and two new containers of wipes. We took 8 bottles and 1 tub of formula. We took a spare pacifier and 5 burp cloths. We took 1 extra blanket, to go with the blanket that lives in her car seat. For Florida, I took a travel sized dish detergent. We also took one jug of Nursery Water and a few small bottled waters (to throw in her diaper bag for when we were out and about). Her diaper rash cream and gas drops went to Florida, but not The Fort, since we never used them. Baby Tylenol made The Fort trip though. And both trips had a spare outfit in that bag/box, since it was in the backseat of the car and easily accessible. A rattle topped it off.
It all fit easily and, for the most part, we didn't feel like we missed anything. The only thing I wish we would have had was a travel sized Woolite, for that incident where I smeared poop all over her. (Don't worry, there's a blog entry about that!) The only thing we bought on either trip was a small pack of diapers in Florida. I was ONE diaper short for the trip! So close!
I know it will always be adjusting as the baby gets older and needs other things. But I was really happy and proud of us that we managed to get by on so little and that it all fit in the cars. I can never envision us being the people to lug beach chairs or baby bathtubs with us. Please remind me of that next summer when we take a more "real" and "relaxing" family vacation.

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