Helloooo June! The school year is all but over, summer vacation is at my doorstep, and baby girl is finally figuring out the whole sun/outdoors thing. This summer is going to be a special one, full of firsts. Baby’s first trip to the beach, first outdoor concert, first sundress, first splashes in the kiddie pool. One really important one is our first family vacation. Of course, being the smart, reasonable, and caring parents that we are, my husband and I decided that it would be a great idea to go to South Florida for ten days in July. Actually, we really didn’t have a choice considering that the majority of my husband’s family is down there, and everyone either hasn’t seen the baby in six months or has never met her! Mom confession time: I am a big time worrier, like major league, world series champ worrier. Needless to say, there are MANY things I am worried about with this trip. Here are some of the big ones:
The Packing. How do I begin to know what to pack for a ten-day trip with baby? By starting a list weeks ahead of time, that’s how. Every night when I’m rocking baby to sleep, I think about what horror might descend upon us if we forgot her bedtime seahorse. So I started a list that I add to when I think of another random thing. Things I added to the list today include Tylenol AND ibuprofen, the NoseFrida in case she gets a cold while we’re there, nail clippers, and her birth certificate. Will she need that? Should I also pack her social security card or just memorize the number before we go? How many bottles should I bring, and where the heck will we store them in their tiny kitchen? Do I pack stuff like baby bowls/spoons/sippy cups, or do we buy them there? In general, what stuff should I be waiting to buy in Florida?
The Heat. And I have never experienced Florida summer – but I was in Miami for Memorial Day a few years ago, and it felt like the inside of an erupting volcano. Needless to say, I’m a little worried about my little translucent-skinned Connecticut baby being exposed to that. Will she spontaneously burst into flames? Who will care for her if I spontaneously burst into flames? How do you dress a baby for scorching heat and oppressive humidity? Are there stroller/carseat canopies I can buy that will shield her from the sun if we have to go out? If such a thing does exist, won’t it suffocate/bake her?
The Airplane. The plane ride itself is an obvious concern. I have mentioned this to many people, ALL of whom have reassured me and told me how great their babies did/do on an airplane. Funny because there seems to be a crying baby on almost every flight – so then who are these unlucky people, and why don’t I know any of them? Who will be that unfortunate person who has to share a row with us on the flight, and how do I stop myself from being rude to them when they give us the stink eye? How do I sit next to someone I’ve been incredibly rude to for three hours? How do I get my independent woman to sleep when she really wants to be put down? Is there really room to change a baby in an airplane bathroom? Will I think saving a couple hundred bucks will be worth not buying her a seat when the flight is over?
My In-Laws. I wrote a few months ago about the great visit we had with some of my in-laws over Christmas. They are legitimately wonderful people, but the language barrier does make things awkward and confusing at times, especially when I’m on their turf instead of my own. I guess my main concern with them is, what if baby takes a while to warm up to them? Or on the other hand, what if she takes to them too quickly and gets continually passed around for ten days? What if they want to babysit? What if they walk in on me pumping? What if they get her ears pierced behind our backs???
Of course, intellectually I know that humanity won’t implode if we forget the damn seahorse or something, and the trip is going to be fun – tiring, but fun – and we’ll be really glad we went and we will be sad and missing Cuban food and family when we get back. But… you know, mommy panic. As always, thanks for indulging me, readers. I welcome any stories or tips you have about traveling with baby! How did your first time go?