Now that Baby is in his 4th clothing size I have figured out that storing all of his clothes until the next little one comes is going to be trickier than expected. I originally was packing his clothes into bags and then placing these into large plastic storage bins. This was great until there were a couple of sizes in the same bin and I had to figure out which bag was which to add to one of them. It also was trouble when trying to find somewhere to keep all of the large containers. Yesterday, I realized that I could probably fit an entire size worth of clothing into one of the large diaper boxes we get off of Amazon. After trying it, I found this to be true and also figured out I can store these boxes on the shelf in Baby’s closet. Best part of my discovery – no more purchasing expensive storage bins!
At first, people thought we were nuts to put our baby (as young as two weeks) into the car for a minimum of 2.5 hours to go and see family that is and was perfectly capable of coming to visit us at home, but we didn’t care and off we went. All of our trips themselves have gone off without a hitch (including the 16 hour round trip drive to Atlanta); however, preparing for the trips was a bit daunting. Now after four months of traveling experience, we have gotten the truly hard part – packing – down to a science. Below is a list of commonly forgotten items when packing for an overnight or long vacation with baby. After all, we all know to take clothes and diapers (although we often only take enough diapers to get us there to keep our luggage light).
- Receiving Blankets – We use these for tummy time as well as for a quick cover up when a restaurant or home is too cold for Baby.
- Burp Cloths – You’ll need almost twice as many of these as you think you will since grabbing a new one isn’t a quick option.
- Travel Size Baby Soap and Shampoo (if you don’t keep it in your diaper bag like we do)
- Changing Mat or Blanket – This is something I didn’t think about taking until I was trying to change our son at my parents and didn’t want to mess up the white bedspread.
- Toys – Chances are wherever you are going doesn’t have anything for baby to play with. We always take a favorite or two as well as something less played with for interest.
- Extra Pacifier – There is always the one in the diaper bag but I love to have an extra in the luggage so if we are at the hotel we can leave the one in the diaper bag in the diaper bag and not take a chance of forgetting it when we run out.
- Parasol or Hat for Baby – You need something to keep Baby out of the sun. This last weekend we weren’t planning on being outside for long but then we found an auction in the town we were staying in and stopped by for a while. Thankfully, we had our parasol with us!
- Baby Carrier – You never know when you may be headed out for a walk or a day at the museum.
Grocery shopping has been a chore since our son arrived in March. I seriously couldn’t go without help for the first several trips because I never did feel quite safe with propping the car seat up on the front of the cart and if you put it in the big basket you can’t fit in the groceries. It didn’t really matter anyway since he hated his car seat. Shortly after he turned six weeks old I figured out I could take him to the grocery store by putting him in my baby carrier. This worked out well as long as I didn’t have to bend over too many times to pick stuff up off of the bottom shelf – unfortunately the deals are often higher and lower than eye level. Today I decided to go the grocery store and put my prop and shop in the front of the cart. Our son has awesome head/neck control and loves to sit so I figure why not give it a shot. Sucess was had all around. He loved being able to look around at everything and flirt with the other shoppers. When he would get bored he would play with the side pillows or kick the fabric front flap. I was able to do all of my grocery shopping quickly and easily. It was also nice to be able to talk to him about what I was picking up and have some interaction in general (something I was never good at when I would carry him). I also didn’t have to worry about him getting ahold of the germy cart since all of the pieces he could reach were covered in fabric. Anyway, I will definitely be using this EVERY time I shop now!
I have always loved being outside when the weather is nice, but WOW I had no idea how much more I would need that time now. Being outside (especially in the sunshine) helps boost my mood! I also know that it helps both baby and I produce important vitamin d. Taking daily walks has become an essential part of our day and I greatly miss them on rainy days. Sometimes the walk is around the block, sometimes a few miles, and occasionally it is only out and around our garden. No matter how long it is it always has positive effects.
Don’t forget to keep baby safe and comfortable while you are outside by using baby sunglasses and shade hats. We love BabyBanz for sunglasses.
So we all have a list a mile long of things to do while Baby is sleeping, but what about that all important awake time? Below you will find just a few activities you can do with Baby while he/she is awake.
- Read Together – Yes, your baby is young, but as a teacher, I know it is never too early to start instilling a love for written language. Some personal favorites to read with Baby include:
- Anything written by Eric Carle
- Moo, Baa, La La La
- Lift the Flap Books
- On the Night You Were Born
- Mouse Paint
- Nursery Rhymes
1. Hickory, Dickory, Dock: And Other Favorite Nursery Rhymes
2. Dance Together – Babies love motion! Rocking back and forth together or turning in reasonably paced circles to the beat of the music gives you and Baby some much needed fun movement time.
3. Tummy Time – Babies need to spend time on their tummies in order to strengthen neck and core muscles. It is also important for gross motor development (think crawling, walking, and climbing). Put a blanket on the floor and lay Baby belly down. I prefer to lay with Baby as we talk and exercise together. Sometimes we even play with toys while on our bellies!
4. Sing Together (especially if the song has motions) – Songs are easy to learn and remember. They also are a great way for Baby to hear spoken words directed at them since most people feel less inhibited singing to a Baby than when speaking to them. We don’t always sing with a cd but some of our favorite cd’s for when we do are:
- Red Grammar – Favorite Sing-Alongs
- Red Grammar – Hello World!
- Red Grammar – Teaching Peace
- Fisher Price Little People: 50 Sing-Along Classics
- Vol. 2-We All Live Together
5. Baby’s Alone Time – Everyone needs some alone time. Try swings, bouncing chairs, activity mats, and mobiles. Baby won’t entertain him/herself for long times, but I love watching him play by himself for a few minutes while I dust, sweep, or cook dinner.
6. Take a Walk – We love to walk outside! As we walk we talk about what we are seeing. Sometimes we walk with the stroller, sometimes with the carrier, and sometimes just being held. However you choose to walk, don’t forget the sunscreen!
Graco Metrolite Stroller, Clairmont
Infantino Ecosash Baby Carrier, Bloomin Vines, 8-35 Pounds< Whatever you choose to do with Baby while he/she is awake, remember to have fun!
Okay so seriously, how hard can it be to keep a glass of water near you when most of what baby does is sleep? HARD! After kicking my glass over more times than I can count, I jokingly mentioned needing a sippy cup to my husband and sister-in-law. The next day in walks my sister-in-law with the best adult spill-proof sippy cup ever. I now carry my camelbak water bottle everywhere! It helps me stay hydrated which is so important for nursing and shedding those pregnancy pounds and since you have to slightly bite the straw to get water out I have yet to spill it even when I toss it down beside me on the couch so no messes to clean up! The loop on the lid makes it easy to carry around even if I can only get one finger free.
I prefer the BPA-Free plastic bottle because I can see how much water is in it and it doesn’t dent when it hits the floor.
Some people prefer the stainless steel especially if drinking a lot of flavored beverages that can leave a taste in the plastic bottles.