You probably never thought that you would have to put so much preparation into a simple trip, that is until you had a baby! All the rules are different now and you find yourself staring at a suitcase and all the baby gear that you use on a regular basis. How in the world are you going to bring everything you need and still fit your family in the car?
The notion of baby’s first trip can be filled with great excitement, but it can also be filled with a lot of anxiety as well. If you find yourself with this mix of emotions (and probably a few more), then just know that you are not alone. The preparation for baby’s first trip can be the biggest step in travel, so it helps to break it down and work through the details one at a time.
Make Yourself One Big Master List
No matter how organized of a woman you may be, having a baby can put that to the test. When it comes to travel, the very first thing that you have to do is create a list. This should cover everything that you need or consider a necessity, as well as items that are more luxury based or “nice to have” items. Break it down into neat categories to make the process of packing much easier. List everything out in intricate detail and remember that you can always take things away but it’s a lot harder to pack stuff in after the fact.
Here are some helpful categories:
Feeding Baby: Be sure to include formula, bottles, baby food, spoons, snacks such as Cheerios, cereal bars, puffs, or anything else that you are using to feed baby these days.
Diapering Baby: This sounds easy enough, but you need to remember diapers, wipes, ointment or diaper cream if a rash appears, a changing pad, and cloth diapers.
Changing Baby: Let’s face it, your baby will go through plenty of clothes just like any other day so bring plenty of pajamas, onesies, socks, pants/shorts/skirts, tops, and any special items such as bathing suit or jacket depending on the weather and location.
The All Important Baby Gear: This is where you have to make some decisions depending on your mode of travel but it’s safe to say that you will need a car seat and stroller of some kind. If you are going by car then you may have room to pack a portable swing or pack and play but it all depends on where you are staying. Think through the sleeping arrangements and what you can do to keep baby busy and then use your judgment based on how much room you have. This will make this questionable step that much easier.
Take It One Thing at a Time
I think that most of us moms that have been through it have found that if you compartmentalize it, then the job is so much easier. For example if you pack one small tote bag with all of the food, spoons, bottles, and cups that you will need then it’s all in one spot. This technique works quite well for each and every item that you are going to pack because then you can cross if off the list, everything in that category is all together, and it’s easy to find on the other end. Try this tactic for tackling all of your baby items and you might just find that it helps you to get organized for all of the family packing.
The trick is to group things together based on the need for baby. Don’t go crazy and pack too much but do be sure to remember everything that you need so that you don’t have to worry about it on the other end. If you are going to stay at a relative’s house then it’s easy enough to go pick up a few items that you need. However if you are going to a more remote destination or a resort of some type, you may need to bring everything that you need all in one shot.
Many mums find that rather than lying everything out in one big pile and getting more and more overwhelmed by the minute that it can work better to take it one grouping at a time. This ensures that you cross off everything in that category and that you can ensure that you have missed nothing. The first trip is always the hardest in terms of preparation, and if you follow these tips it will be smooth sailing. From here on out you will be a pro and travelling with your baby will be fun and easy!
Written by Colm Byrne for The Fairview Hotel a great place to stay with your family when in Ireland.
Photo credit: Joanna Zielinska – Fotolia.com