Leah's Vacation Tips

Posted by  | Wednesday, March 5, 2008  at 10:53 PM  
Hollie & Christina have done such a great job with this topic - thanks ladies!

As far as vacation advice, my first would be to not be nervous about traveling with a newborn. I can say that the trips we did when Samuel was 0-6 months old were easier than the ones we've done at 6+ months. Smaller babies are so much more portable and unaware of their surroundings.

Second, I will again put in a plug for using a baby sling. I have flown with Samuel about 10 times, and each time I put him in a sling for the trip. It made making my way through the airport such a breeze - I checked our suitcase, and then just had him and a diaper bag to worry about. If you use a pouch sling, you don't have to take him out for security check (once I wore a ring sling and the rings set off the metal detector and they made me take it off). There is a rule that you can't take off or land with the baby in the sling (so weird, I know) but I always put him back in for the flight and he usually slept.

To give you an idea of the trips we've done since Samuel was born, here's our rundown:

1 month old - Weekend Church Camping Trip (only 30 minutes from home)
2 months old - Samuel & I flew to Indiana to visit family
3 months old - Samuel & I flew to Fort Myers; met my parents there
5 months old - Samuel & I flew to Indiana to visit family
6 months old - All three of us drove to Indiana to visit family & friends
9 months old - Samuel & I flew to Orlando and went to Disney World with my parents
10 months old - All three of us drove to Fort Myers
10 months old - Weekend Church Camping Trip
11 months old - Samuel & I flew to Indiana and then we flew to CA with my parents
13 months old - Samuel & I flew to Indiana to visit family
15 months old - All three of us flew to Chicago to look at houses

Needless to say, I am a "have baby, will travel" kind of gal. But all of that was definitely easier when he was smaller and not mobile. It has gotten harder as he's gotten older.

My third piece of advice would be to vacation with others (whether friends or family). All of our trips were spent with other people except one - our trip to Ft. Myers in June to celebrate Ed's graduation from Seminary. We had a condo for a whole week, but ended up leaving about halfway through. I found it really hard to enjoy myself. I had all the same responsibilities that I had at home (feeding everyone, making sure Samuel napped, slept at night, etc) but I didn't have the familiarity of my home. Plus, once Samuel was asleep for the night, around 6:30 or 7:00, Ed and I couldn't go out and do anything. Had we been there with family or friends, we could have swapped childcare or had others around to play games with.

Good luck to you all as you plan your travels. Do you have any questions you'd like to throw out there for others to answer?


allison said...

What tips would you give for long car trips with an infant?

Christina said...

Our longest car trip with an infant (under 6 months) was probably about 4 hours. For this age or under, it really helped us to drive at night or during afternoon nap time when he would sleep the best. Obviously if your child won't sleep in the car, this won't work! Thankfully ours does. That's the only tip I have...anyone else??

For a toddler (over 12 months), I have to say that I'm hooked on portable DVD players. Never thought I would be, but after traveling 6 hours to Atlanta with my 14 month old (who was also sick) - I'm sold. We borrowed one for that trip and then got one for Christmas. We ONLY put it in the car for trips and don't use it around town, but it's great!!

anna and matt said...

My husband and I took our 3 week old on a 12 hour drive to NY for a funeral (we only really went because I was on maternity leave and didn't have to take off of work). It worked out pretty well for us, I sat in the back and pumped and then used that to feed Gwen. For us the hardest part was getting her to wake up enough to eat. But 3 weeks is probably easier than 3 months and definately than 3 years, since mostly she just sleeps.

Leah said...

The drive from our home to my parents' was 12 hours - we did the trip there overnight and the trip home during the day. Overnight is better for the baby b/c he sleeps all night in the carseat, but it is definitely tougher on the parents. (Not only are you driving through the night, but then when you get home in the morning, you are ready to crash and your child is rip-raring to go!). The daytime driving isn't too bad if your baby will fall asleep for part of the trip. And we also kept driving when it was time to eat - I would sit in the back and feed Samuel. That way we were still driving and not wasting time. We haven't tried the DVD thing yet, but as Samuel is getting older, that may be the way to go.

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