20 Tips for Smoother Travel with a Baby or Toddler – Fresh from a Travel-weary Mama

It has been a busy week. We’ve had in-laws visiting for BabyC’s birthday, and yes – a first birthday celebration! This was immediately followed by a 4-day trip to the East Coast for a wedding and a quick visit with my brother. I love visiting with family and celebrating momentous days, but I’m exhausted. More than that, I feel all off-kilter and out of balance – mainly because I’ve missed writing, I think. I’ve missed the daily routine of writing for a quiet hour with my cup of coffee in the morning. I had so many ideas for blog posts during the past crazy week, little bits of inspiration as I whipped up BabyC’s birthday cake late at night or lay awake in a strange hotel room or stood in line to board yet another plane. I was left just feeling frustrated at not being able to sit down and form the words to realize these ideas. I tried to jot them down, making little notes on my phone when I had a chance. But of course, now I am home with piles of laundry, Thanksgiving dinner to prepare, and a manuscript that MUST be edited by next week. The blog will continue to be neglected.

I did spend the better part of an hour on our O’Hare –> Portland flight laboriously typing out travel tips on my phone, thinking maybe they’d make a good post. These were fresh in my mind, since we were at the tail-end of what was probably our toughest trip with BabyC yet. We’ve taken BabyC on 7 plane trips in the last 8 months, but traveling with a toddler introduced us to new challenges. (I know, I might have to come up with a new name for BabyC now that she is no longer a baby – why didn’t I think of that before?)

Here are my top tips for traveling with a baby or toddler, most of them learned the hard way. Continue reading

Camping with Baby: A Photo Essay

We took BabyC camping for the first time a few days ago.  We hadn’t been camping since I was 20 weeks pregnant, at which point I was already too uncomfortable to be sleeping on the hard ground.  Before my pregnancy though, Husband and I did a lot of outdoor exploration together – hiking, camping, climbing, backpacking.  Being outdoors together grew our relationship in the early days and strengthened it as the years went by.  There is nothing like being out together on a multi-pitch climb up a rock face, just the two of you, to erase any doubt that you trust the other person wholly and completely.  And nothing quite like tackling all the tasks of setting up a camp and getting a one-pot dinner cooked after a long day of backpacking to make you glad you are on the same team.  These experiences have shaped who we are as friends and as husband and wife.
But now we have a baby in the mix.  There are no more multi-pitch climbing expeditions or long backpacking trips in our near future.  That’s the way it is, we thought.  We’ll make do with car-camping.  I was excited about the trip. Continue reading