Traveling is a part of me and a part of my marriage. About a month after we were married we were in Egypt and Jordan and that was the first trip of many. We lived abroad and have traveled to like 18 countries as a couple. David and I always envisioned passing that on to our kids. I always really wanted my kids to feel like the world was accessible, that having a passport is like having a drivers license you just do it.
Now, we have no international trips on the docket just yet. So far we just have two road trips under our belts. The first one was easy and fun! A spontaneous trip up the coast. Driving the California coastline is one of my favorite things. Leia was like 3 months old and was sleeping so well, then like now, she loved the car. It was awesome! This trip Leia was amazingly happy. She only had one little crying incident on the trip home, but she loves the car and loves being out and meeting new people she was so happy. Still, it was tougher than the first trip. Leia is a totally different baby now! 3 months make a huge difference in babytime!
Here are the main challenges I have found so far in minor travels with an infant:
1. Hotel nights- you have been driving all day and you look forward to settling down in your room and hitting the hay. Well with a baby that rest isn’t guaranteed. Leia slept so well in the car she had no interest in sleeping at the hotels and now that she is 6 months she is so aware of everything having her not notice she is in a strange room in a pack n play instead of her crib at home is way too much too ask. She wasn’t too fussy, but she was not sleepy! She wanted to play hours after her normal bedtime! Plus, when she gets fussy I get nervous, I can’t handle it the way I usually would because I just want to keep her quiet so we don’t disturb others.
2. Gear. I have alluded to this in previous posts, but suddenly the amount of stuff you have to keep track of on the road is a lot of pressure. I am a pretty organized lady, and losing things is a pet peeve of mine, especially things my baby needs. I admit I lost a bottle, and who know how many baby socks will be lost during the infant years of my children! Babies really need an entourage keeping track of all their accessories! Plus, the last road trip I was exclusively breastfeeding, and as you probably know I now have to supplement. Bottles are much more of a mess to transport.
3. Poop. It must be a law of the universe. A Baby will have the worst poop explosion at the most inconvenient time possible. Man not to be gross, but that stuff can get everywhere! Before I had a baby I thought every bathroom had one of those changing places, now I realize that isn’t so! When we arrived at the grand canyon I think she had the worst poop incident so far, it actually made it to the carseat. (I realize if you don’t have a baby this seems so gross, think of it like the way doctors and nurses talk about blood and guts like it is nothing)
So it is a lot more tiring to travel with a baby (even a super good happy baby like Leia!), and I am not in a huge rush for our next road trip. But, we do have a trip home to Ohio in December, that will be our first time on a plane and I admit a little nervous to do that with her, but life goes on and she has to see grandma! Furthermore, it it is really important to me to have family trips. Maybe some people think a vacation is time to get away from kids but I really want to have a lot of memories of family trips. I know there are times David and I should probably get away alone in the future (though I admit I feel very far from being ready for that, Moms what age did you first spend a night away from your kid/kids?, also without grandparents around logistically it seems harder too) but we are a family and that just changes things.
Also, I try and remember travel isn’t easy. I mean a road trip to AZ would have been pretty easy of course, but thinking in more general terms about travel it was pretty rough a lot of the time. The more money you have the easier it gets I guess, but David and I did independent travel, just us a lonely planet guide and some really foreign crazy places. International travel that way is often exhausting and full of bumps in the road, but well worth it. I think making memories with Leia is worth it too, and besides the trip pictures are a lot better 🙂