5 tips for traveling with a baby

by Ally- Life as I know it, 8:55 PM
So we just got back on Monday from our annual family reunion/vacation to Wrightsville Beach, NC. It was also the first time Oliver traveled and the first time he didn't sleep in his crib for nighttime. We used to go for the whole week but with working and now with a baby, we thought a long weekend would work out perfectly. These are just some tips I thought I would share that made the weekend go somewhat smoothly. They probably aren't anything new but I figured they might help someone out! 

Oliver sleeps in a Pack 'n Play at my mom's house during the day so I luckily already had one of these on hand. It's really a shame they make those PnP bottoms so freakin hard! So now you not only have to bring the massive PnP, but also a big mattress to place in it. It takes up a lot of room in the car, but without it I really don't think Oliver would have slept. 

2. Have a nighttime routine

Oliver slept amazing while we were in Wrightsville Beach and that was even after being up way past his bedtime, and sleeping in a closet. Yes, my kid slept in a closet. But it was perfect, it was dark, cool, and he couldn't hear a thing. I have a strict bedtime routine with Oliver every night and I made sure to do the exact same order while we were away. It's bath, diaper, lotion, turn on white noise, put on pj's, bottle, book, then put him to bed. I did a ton of baby sleep research back when Oliver was going through the 4 month sleep regression and one of the main things they recommended was having a consistent bedtime routine. Baby's like predictability and it also helps when you go out of town. It worked for us!

3. Have a cover for naps in the car seat

I planned for us to leave for the trip about an hour or so before he was due for his second nap of the day. So when he started yawning and rubbing his eyes, I handed him his bunny that he sleeps with, covered up his car seat with my Covered Goods cover, and turned on white noise from my phone. He didn't take a normal 1.5-2 hour nap of course, but he did sleep about 45 minutes-1 hour. My Covered Goods cover has had so many uses, easily one of my favorite baby gifts! I used it when I was nursing, now that Oliver can sit in the shopping buggy I put it down first so he doesn't touch too many germs, and then it helped him nap in the car. A 9 month old is definitely not like a newborn when it comes to sleeping anywhere so I had to think of how I was going to get him to sleep in the car and this worked great!

4. Castile soap is your best friend

When Theo saw me pack my bottle of castile soap, he rolled his eyes and said "what, is the soap at the condo not good enough for you?" He had no idea how many uses this soap has! I used it to wash Oliver's bottles, wash our hands, I could of used it as body wash/shampoo but I ended up using what was in the shower, and washed clothes with it. My kid is notorious for getting poop all over his clothes. Knowing this, I was not about to let his clothes just sit there for days with stains on them since we didn't have a washing machine. So whenever he had blowouts, which happen on the regular, I took his clothes off of him, washed them in the castile soap, and laid them outside to dry in the sun. The stains were gone! I know the sun helps tremendously with poop stains but the castile soap was good to get it clean.  Castile soap is free of any harsh, toxic chemicals and it's very concentrated so a little goes a long way.

5. Have low expectations

So my kid hated the beach. He hated the sand, it went all in his eyes, then he kept rubbing his eyes because there was sand in his eyes which lead to more sand in his eyes. He wanted to eat the sand. He hated the water and whined every time I put him in it. I had planned on buying a baby swimming pool for him to sit in but never got around to it. 

Normally when we go to the beach each summer, Theo and I grab breakfast and lunch, we walk around, we go to bars at night, stay up late, sleep in late, we do what selfish people without kids do. Obviously with a baby now who naps twice a day, and I was pretty adamant about him napping in the PnP for each nap, we spent a good bit of time in the condo just hanging out. Every night my family got together for dinner and around 8 pm one of us had to go back to our condo and put the baby to bed. Since it was my family, Theo always offered to go back but that meant once he put Oliver to bed he was stuck there by himself for a few hours. This is just our life now and I wouldn't trade it for anything but we definitely missed our life pre Oliver a little bit. We did visit a local brewery one day.

I love this age Oliver is at right now, but I also kind of feel like it's an in between stage where he isn't a tiny baby who just lays there and he isn't a toddler who actually plays with toys rather than stick everything in his mouth!

Overall we had a great vacation, I really shouldn't complain about a thing because Oliver slept fantastic which can really make or break your trip! It was so much fun watching Oliver play with his cousin who's 6 weeks older than him. 

A long weekend was the perfect amount of time away for Oliver's first trip. The car ride was only 4 hours but 10 minutes into it I was running out of ideas to keep him occupied! So we had lots of toys and books for him to play with! I'd love to hear your advice on traveling with a baby!
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  1. It sounds like everything went perfectly!!!

  2. He sounds like such a great baby overall! And I'm kind of amazed at your castile soap...I think I need some just try it out for myself.

  3. I totally agree about the PnP mattress! I purchased one off Amazon that folds up in thirds so it's easier for traveling. I believe it's called Mamadoo?! Thanks for sharing the info on the soap! I never heard of it before!


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