June 6, 2011

Traveling with a Baby and a Dog

.....and without Seth.

I have been on a massive - over 2100 mi. - road trip these past two weeks (sorry - there's your explanation for the lack of posts) without my other half. Being a military family means lots of training away from home for Seth and lots of "visiting family for the last time" before our next big move for me and the little guy.

We PCS (permanent change of station) to Ft. Lewis, WA, at the end of July. Don't worry y'all will get to hear all about packing/moving/driving out west with an eight month old soon enough, but this month we took a practice run - for lack of a better term - through Louisiana and Texas to visit all the relatives. Oh, and I brought Toby, our 80 lb. German shepherd/lab/rottweiler mix along for the ride. Everyone did surprisingly well in the car, and when Seth can't travel with us, I actually prefer to bring Toby along - no one even thinks about messing with us.

Of course there were just a few (read: tons of) tears while stuck on a bridge for 2.5 hours in Baton Rouge with a starving baby while all traffic headed east and west was forced off the highway. Mommy just about had a break down while cutting off three lanes of traffic, doing an illegal U-turn, and literally catching air in the X-terra through an intersection. It was the end of two days of driving, and I really didn't think I could handle sitting in one more single red light. It was all very dramatic, and we were all screaming/barking as we flew through that intersection.

With all that said, the rest of our trip was cake.

So, here's the run down for traveling with child and pet:

1) We leave early.
 - I feed Henry at 5am, and we are on the road by 5:30. This way Henry sleeps for 3-4 hours before we even have to think about stopping.

2) We still cloth diaper on the road.
- I really couldn't live without my Planet Wise Wet/Dry Bag. It has a zipper side for clean diapers and one for the dirty. Since it is soft, I can stuff it anywhere there happens to be room for it in the car. Also machine washable!

Our wet/dry bag full of dirties. 
You can see the zipper for clean diapers there on the right.

- I do use disposable wipes. I can't seem to think of a good way to keep cloth wipes damp, mildew free, and spill free for such a long trip. If we were driving to one location and staying, I don't think there would be a problem, but we went through 6 states and 7 cities in 2 weeks. It was just a lot. Any cloth diaper moms have a solution for me?

3) I allow myself and Henry to each have one carry-on sized bag.
- If it doesn't fit, we don't need it. I packed one weeks worth of clothes and just did laundry along the way.
- Henry's bag: clothes, blankets, burp cloths, toys, board books.

4) Toby gets a small backpack.
- food, bowls, leash, two tennis balls, one squeaky toy, and a bag of food.

5) My Seven sling
- this allows me to wear the baby and still have two hands to unload, walk the dog, etc.

Wearing our boy on a walk this past spring.

6) The extras:
- Henry can't sit up on his own yet, so the Puj bathtub came with us. It lies flat and doesn't take up much room.

Here is the Puj ready for bath time, but it unsnaps and flattens for storage.

- We recently started introducing formula and solids, so one reusable grocery bag for food and bottles.
- One bag for my laptop and camera.
- One diaper bag

There is always more on the way home because we have three very generous sets of grandparents who love to spoil our little guy, but there's the list folks. It might still be more than we need, but I do try and keep it to a minimum. Playing both parents for a couple of weeks is a big job, and the less we're traveling with, the better.

Ok, what is a must on your travel list? Is there something you just never leave home without when you've got the baby on board? What does your pooch need on a family vacation? Any seasoned parents out there with tips on traveling with a little one?

1 comment:

  1. This was a total fluke discovery- I left a damp cloth wipe in a travel wipes case for over a month, and when I opened it up it was shockingly still fresh and not moldy at all. Must be the Kissaluvs Diaper Lotion Potion concentrate I use...it's supposed to be anti-mildew, and after that accidental experiment, I can say it definitely works! Brave you for taking such a long trip! Asher and I did twelve hours recently, and that was PLENTY haha.