The first thing that comes to mind when traveling, or really, doing anything with babies is stuff. Babies have a surprising amount of it, and they don’t make any effort to help carry it. Not only are you concerned with how to pack it all, but then you have to worry about how to carry all of your stuff, the baby stuff and last but certainly not the lightest, the baby himself! We have toys, books, a travel crib, a stroller, a car seat and somehow we were still traveling by train until a week ago when we got a car to go into the Alps.
Then, there is the constant baby proofing. I’m sure it’s annoying enough to baby proof your own home, but we’re staying with our parents, or with friends, or in hotel rooms which means not only a change of scenery but changing “danger zones” where all the fun cords and sharp corners call out to our curious son. Then again, there are also many ways in which we can contain him.
Traveling is also a bit slower. Babies need nap-time regularly, and we’ve found that if we abide by the nap-time “rules” we can still do and see much of what we’d have done pre-baby. Planning around nap-time is essential! There is no point in sitting down for a meal, if nap-time is in 15 minutes. Instead, it is time to prepare for sleeping. However, BabyM loves to nap while being carried, so we can often have him nap on the go while we are out walking.
Then, there are the usual chores, doing laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, packing, planning future travels that keep us just as busy as playing with the baby!
Here is a look at what traveling looks like these days.
6:10am Wake up to BabyM rolling around and cooing. Pretend I can still sleep a bit more.
6:45am Finally give up on sleeping. We get up, play with BabyM and start packing our ridiculous amount of stuff into bags.
7:50am Breakfast! BabyM spends most of it dropping spoons from his high hair and eating a few puffs.
8:40am We are back in our room where BabyM has nursed to sleep and is napping on our bed. We finish the last minute packing, brush our teeth and M packs the car while I sit with BabyM and prepare the directions for our drive.
9:10am M brings the car seat up to the room and we attempt to keep BabyM asleep during the transfer. We get him buckled in while still asleep, but he wakes up before getting to the car.
9:20am We are on the road again! M is driving, I’m sitting in the backseat with BabyM and work on a blog post while entertaining BabyM.
10:20am We are in the parking lot getting ready for the Klamm. (A really pretty type of hike along the side of a river in Tirol, more on that later!)
12:45pm We are back down from the Klamm, BabyM is napping in his carrier, we search for a bakery and buy a variety of cakes from the region to bring to our friends place.
1:40pm We are on the road again! I tried to nurse him before we left but he was too distracted. BabyM is cheerful and playing with my for the first hour and then loses it and we stop so I can feed him, and this time he actually eats.
3:20pm We arrive at our friends place, 5 minutes after BabyM finally fell asleep. I’m not sure why people say babies always fall asleep in cars, ours hates the car! At some point after arriving we start a load of laundry.
4:45pm We go with our friends to the BBQ next door. There are at least 10 kids running around that BabyM watches with open mouthed fascination.
5:45pm I retreat to our friends place to feed BabyM, make bottle of formula (last meal of the day, in an attempt to get him to sleep a bit longer…) hang up our laundry to dry and go back to the festivities.
8:15pm I come back and get myself and BabyM ready for bed.
8:30pm I feed BabyM to sleep.
8:45pm BabyM is passed out and I work on a blog post time, finally check email and remember how far behind I am as it continues to pile up.
9:30pm BabyM wakes up screaming, like clockwork, 45 minutes after falling asleep, as has been routine for the last week. I get him back to sleep quickly.
10:30pm I finally go to bed myself. Of course I still wake up to feed BabyM throughout the night as well, but I try not to look at the clock anymore as that tends to stress me out and wake me up even more.