July has been a crazy month of travel for the Marshall Tribe. We wanted to introduce Olivia to our kith and kin before I return to teaching, so we embarked on a family tour to see as many as we could.
The first weekend consisted of driving 450 miles or so to visit my family in Northern California, baby and dog in tow. I pumped while my husband drove and was able to feed her more efficiently when feeding time hit. We expected to (and did) make several stops in each direction to change Olivia’s diapers, feed and give her a break from the car seat. Despite our best efforts, we still ended up with a couple of blowouts thanks to her position in the car seat. Luckily, we still had her infant positioner inside, which caught all of the spillage and saved us the hassle of scrubbing!
Here are my helpful haves:
If you’re not lucky enough to have an outlet in your car, this little guy does wonders. In the past, I’ve used it to blow up air mattress for the great outdoors (don’t judge me) and it powered my Madela Breast Pump just fine. All you have to do is plug it in to your cigarette lighter and you’ll be up and running!
Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Bottles
Upon close inspection, I noticed a very similar size and shape between the Madela breastmilk bottles. Lo and behold, my Pump In Style can pump directly into Dr. Brown’s bottles saving time and cleanup.
If your little one is little enough to fit in this positioner and you must keep keep him or her in the car seat for an extended period of time, grab this little helper. Not only does it keep your baby in an ideal position, it provides a bit of padding (think cozy armchair) and has the side benefit of protecting the car seat from leaky diapers. It is adjustable and machine washable for easy cleanup.
But where did she sleep? Traveling can be hard on everyone and at the end of the day, a good night’s sleep can solve a myriad of problems. For kiddos under 4 months old, including my Livi, the Snuggle Nest has proven to be a source of safety and comfort for the family. She sleeps in this (for now) at home and the familiarity is helpful away from home. It has a basic built in white noise machine, a touch light and folds up for easy transportation. It can also double as a suitcase!
You’ve heard it. Take extra diapers, wipes and a change of clothes. Do it. We stopped several times in accordance with Olivia’s normal feeding aka pooping schedule but as it turns out, travel interrupted (and compressed) her regular movements making for some unexpected (and messy) surprises. The result was that I used more diapers, more wipes and went through three changes of clothes PLUS had to use a spare cloth in car seat to protect from spillage. The car bag I packed barely sufficed. Overpack. Then add one more.
All things considered, Olivia did very well with the trip! I wouldn’t call it an ideal method of travel, but it allowed our whole family to be together. By all means, fly if you can (more on that later), drive if you must. We made sure to give her some nudie bootie time and a massage when we arrived at our destination!
My family adored her, especially my sister, who has two older boys of her own. What made the trip extra special was having four generations of ladies together as we celebrated Great G’ma’s 85th birthday! Oh, and did I mention it was also 4th of July weekend? Yeah, we fit a lot in and it was totally worth it.