Ah the holidays. That beloved time of year where families come from near and far to get together and celebrate. It’s a time for cheer, good food, and the yummiest of wines. A time for road trips and cramped guest rooms and, well, panic as you wonder how you’re going to get through it all with a new-to-world tiny human.
Just breath, it won’t be that crazy or hectic. At least it won’t be if you plan it out which is part of what I do best. For us, with most of our families living about a 5 hour drive from home, a plan was an absolute must as we prepared to make the drive over for Thanksgiving. After blankly staring, for about an hour or so, at all the things the baby needs and actually uses each day I decided I needed a checklist. And when I couldn’t find one I liked, well, I just made one. (My checklist is below with a link to download mine and a blank one for free!)
I sat down and went through my day, listing all the items that baby uses and how many of them we’d need for a 5 day stay at my Dad’s house. Let me tell you, it was a long list. So, I then cut it down to about 75% of the things shes uses, taking out toys and extras that we could go without. Then I went through my list, and daily routine, one more time. Okay, a few more times, but being away from home with a 9 month old for the first time can be pretty stressful. My fear was that I’d forget some crucial thing and she’d spend 5 days crying because of it.
I then laid out all of her clothes, onesies, pjs, holiday dresses, including extras for daily mishaps, and matched them with socks or shoes, bows, and jackets if needed. I also packed enough diapers for the entire trip, baby wipes, extra rash cream, and all her bath time essentials. Once those were ready, I did the same thing with her food. Now I know that obviously there are grocery stores near my Dad’s house, but what if they didn’t carry her brand or the ones she liked? I figured taking the baby to a house full of about 60 or so Cubans she’d never met would be crazy enough without having to worry about her food.
Now, once I’d gone through and packed the daily essentials I moved on to the sleeping arrangement. Although it would be her first time away from home, this was the least of my worries. Mainly because she sleeps in a Dockatot, so no matter where we’re sleeping, she’s always sleeping in her bed. And as turkey day proved to be a bit much for our little one, it was so nice to know that she still sleep peacefully in her Dock.
I don’t know about your little ones, but mine loves her independence so I knew that bringing along her walker was just as important as bringing her Dock. Luckily, we use the joovy Spoon Walker which is super easy to move around and fit right in between her car seat and the front seat in our already packed car. Another reason we decided to bring her walker was that since it’s made for easy feeding with its wide tray and since we couldn’t bring her high chair (even though I did try to make it fit in the car), it was the best option for easy mealtimes.
Lastly, I made extra sure to pack her Evenflo Pivot Stroller. Yes, it’s a bigger stroller and there are smaller options for travel but it easily converts from sit-up stroller to carriage which is an awesome feature when baby falls asleep. Especially that we were going to be in a new place, new city, and out and about, having her regular stroller made her feel comfortable and at ease. Plus, it has so much storage space in the basket underneath that there’s nothing I can’t fit. After that I just grabbed her diaper bag, her big girl sippy cup (we use the zo-li BOT which is great because it doesn’t spill and she doesn’t have to tilt it to drink) and her favorite teether (she loves the comotomo one) and we were ready to go!