Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What I Brought on My Vacation, or: Travelling with a 1 Year Old.

A little over a week after the monster turned one, we went on a trip to visit Mr. Wolfman's parents.

I was majorly freaked out about travelling over five thousand miles for the Monster's first real trip (first flight, first car ride over 5 hours, first stay in a hotel, etc.), and put a lot of thought into planning and packing for him.

Stuff that helped:

We took his car seat.  Of course you need to check that the car seat meets the requirements of your destination and will fit in your rental car, but if you can, it's a great thing to have (bonus: if your car seat is approved for it, and you have the $$ to buy an seat for your baby, you can use it on the plane). I really believe having somewhere familiar to sit in our rental car made a huge difference.

We booked an overnight flight.  Even though he wasn't STTN, it totally worked and he slept most of the way there.

Breastfeeding for takeoff.

Stuff that we brought:

Something to draw with.  We brought a Fisher Price Doodle Pro in travel size(?).  It's still a bit bulky because there's a big frame on it.  I think he'll get a lot of use out of it for future trips, now that he knows how to use it, but it took him a while to work it out. I think an etch-a-sketch may have worked better, although the contrast isn't as good; the monster liked when the picture showed up, but got frustrated with things like holding the pen, the fact that the other end of the pen didn't write and the fact that the pen would only write on the board (which is the idea, after all).

Something to read: specifically, buggy books.  These are mini board books with holes in the corner,, so that they can clip to the stroller.  We had one with us and bought one in the airport after the first 9 hour leg of our journey.  A new book is a fantastic thing, especially when you're stuck in a boring airport for 5 hours.

Which reminds me: a stroller. We would have died without it.  Even though the monster's been walking for a while, holy crap, do you ever not want to try to navigate an airport without a stroller.  We bought the Chicco umbrella stroller, on sale for about half it's asking price.  It worked well, we used it for three weeks and it held up to being tossed around by airport staff (until the last leg of our homeward journey, when the pedal for opening it got broken off), but I wouldn't have been thrilled with it for $198, which is what we found it for before the half-off one popped up.  But I'm very glad we didn't go for the $30, super cheap one.  The monster being able to recline and sit comfortably made up for the difference in price.

New toys.  Doesn't matter what (nothing messy and nothing that made noise), just new stuff that the monster hadn't seen before.  A Taggies blanket was one of the things.  A sweater for his stuffed animal.  Just whatever that he could see and touch and be amazed by for a few minutes.

I think that's it. How the whole trip went will require a post down the line, but for now, this is all the important stuff I can think of.

***Oh, we didn't bring our pack'n'play and, even though I can't for the life of me imagine how we could have, I wish we did***

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