Travel

Recently I’ve had some friends reach out to me to see if I had any tips on traveling with a baby. Since Steve and I are back and forth between Michigan, Canada, and Tennessee quite often (and we just recently took a long road trip down to Florida), I thought it was time that I shared all of my baby travel tips with the world.

I’m hoping that these tips save you a few headaches while preparing for your first big trip with a baby. I learned a few of these things the hard way, but the more road trips we take with my daughter, the easier each trip gets!

Note: This blog post shares tips for traveling with a baby by car, not by plane. Some of these tips may be helpful for flying, but they are intended for those who are road tripping. 

For Diaper Changes:

1. Purchase PUPPY TRAINING PADS! No, I’m not even kidding. During our first trip up to Canada, London had a total of 3 blowouts in one day. That means her washable changing pad was ruined early in the day when we still had a lot of miles to go. There was a pharmacy selling “Disposable Changing Pads for Babies” that were paper thin with no absorbency and cost around $14 for a 5-pack. I said “screw that” and headed straight for the pet aisle and picked up a 20 pack of puppy training pads which are super absorbant for half the price. Now when we’re on the go, we change London on top of a puppy pad and if we get any poop or pee on it, we can just roll it up and throw it away!

2. Skip out on changing baby in a public restroom that is likely loaded with germs. (How often do employees actually wipe down those baby changing stations, anyway?) Instead, clear some space in the backseat or passenger seat and change baby on top of a changing pad while you stand outside of the car. Just make sure baby has plenty of space and that he/she doesn’t roll over or out of the car.

3. Stock up on hand sanitizer. Just do it. You never know how many messes you’ll encounter while traveling with a baby. You’re better safe than sorry if you have a way to fight off germs and bacteria.

For Feeding:

4. If your baby takes a bottle, bring some frozen breast milk with you in a cooler. As long as it stays cold during your trip, you’ll be safe to give it to the baby during feedings. This will save you from the hassle of needing to stop and breastfeed every time baby is hungry. If you’re traveling with a partner, you can feed the baby while they are in their carseat while your partner drives. This saves a TON of time. Just make sure to burp the baby at your next step.

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5. If you use a breast pump, get a car adapter! I was able to pump for every missed breastfeeding session while on the road. I use this one for the Medela Pump-in-Style and it works great. It allowed me to fill up a bottle to feed London on the go. It was amazing to sit in the backseat and empty my breasts while still putting miles behind us. This was a HUGE travel hack.

For Packing:

6. If you’re traveling to a place where family won’t be around, bring along a Boppy, Rock N Play, Bumbo Seat, or other chair/swing that baby loves to spend time in. It’s hard enough being in an unfamiliar place with an infant, so giving them the familiar furniture they love at home will be easier on both of you. This isn’t as necessary if you’re traveling to your parents’ house where people will volunteer to hold the baby while you’re busy.

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7. Pack at least 1-2 outfit changes in the diaper bag for baby and yourself while you’re on the road. If there happens to be a blowout, spit-up issue, milk spill, or other… you’ll be happy that you have spare baby clothes handy so that you don’t have to dig through your suitcase in the trunk to find clean clothes.

8. If you’re bottle feeding at all, bring extra bottles with you for the trip. When you arrive at your destination you can sanitize and re-use as often as you need to, but remember you’ll only have dirty bottles as you feed while in the car. You can never have too many just in case there is a feeding emergency.

9. The Pack n Play is a Godsend. You won’t need a bassinet or crib if you have a Pack n Play. Just make sure you have a Pack n Play sized sheet! (I use this super cheap one and it works wonders.)

traveling with baby

10. If you have enough room in the car, pack your baby’s bathtub. I use the AngelCare Baby Bath support and it’s pretty easy to bring along whenever we travel. I am of the opinion that if it makes your life easier and gives you peace of mind, BRING it! I’m still not totally comfortable bathing London in the bathtub without some form of support, so I always bring mine.

11. Don’t forget the white noise! If baby falls asleep using a white noise machine, you don’t want to travel without some form of white noise machine. You can get a small travel-sized one, or, if you’re in a pinch like I’ve been in the past, you can use apps on your phone. I love the Calm app!

12. If you can’t fit the stroller in the car, bring a baby carrier, wrap, or sling to wear on your chest. That way you can easily move about and go out in public with baby without having to carry around a heavy carseat carrier.

General Tips:

13. Take care of yourself. Traveling can cause a lot of unnecessary headaches, so be sure to eat healthy, drink lots of water, and keep yourself sane so that baby doesn’t recognize your stress and have a meltdown with you. It’s important to stay calm and try to relax.

14. ENJOY IT. Remember that travel is a luxury and a privilege. To be able to bring your baby on adventures like this is an incredible experience, so it should be enjoyed to the fullest. You are making some of the best memories, so soak it all in.

Traveling with Baby

Traveling with a baby can be a bit stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Preparedness is the key. Make sure you have everything you need to make your road trip with your baby fun and memorable instead of chaotic and scary.

Last month over Saint Patrick’s Day weekend, my mom, sister, and I took a girls trip down to New Orleans for a fun little getaway to warmer weather. We decided on New Orleans because none of us had been there yet and I’m always a yes person when it comes to places I haven’t yet been. Plus I was confident in my ability to eat my way through the city.

The weekend forecast was filled with high percentages of rain and clouds. We hoped and prayed for a non-rainy weekend and it ended up being sunny and gorgeous the entire time we were there. The weather was definitely on our side.

We stayed in an Airbnb in Broadmoor, a neighborhood just slightly north of downtown.

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Continue reading Travel Diaries: New Orleans, Louisiana

Today I’m sharing a photo diary from last week’s Colorado trip.

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Steve and I took off on Wednesday morning (our anniversary) and landed in Denver in the afternoon. That evening, we headed to the NEEDTOBREATHE concert at Red Rocks with my cousin Katelyn (The Suitcase Blonde— check out her blog!) and her husband Alex. Katelyn and I got to experience this for the second year in a row, but we thought we’d bring our husbands along this time around.

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The show was excellent, but NTB can do no wrong. They put on a flawless performance. What’s even better is the four of us got to go backstage during their encore since the bassist is my boss’s brother. PERKS! If you’ve ever been to Red Rocks, I’m sure you can understand how cool of an experience it would be to go backstage during a performance. We got to walk up the famous hidden tunnel where so many legendary artists have been and signed their names. It was a pretty epic moment.

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The next day Katelyn and I headed downtown for a cousin photoshoot. It was just like the old days when we used to blog together at Relatively Offbeat. It felt good to be doing photos together again. We visited Hudson Hill Coffee and got iced almond milk lattes before getting some photos outside in the sweltering heat.

colorado tripAfter our photoshoot, Katelyn and I headed to downtown Boulder to do some shopping and have lunch at Bartaco. I can’t stay away from that place, even on vacation. It’s the best. We walked around the Pearl Street Mall and holy cow, that town is adorable! I loved the charming shopping district vibes surrounded by gigantic mountains in the background.

colorado tripcolorado tripcolorado tripcolorado tripcolorado tripWhen we returned back to Denver (after a mishap with Katelyn almost losing her car keys, haha!), we made a stop at the Denver Athletic Club to watch Alex play a squash tournament before grabbing dinner. On Friday, we grabbed breakfast at Snooze and headed out for a 2 and a half hour drive to Glenwood Springs. When we arrived, we got settled into our room, changed, and took off to Iron Mountain Hot Springs which was right alongside the Colorado river.

colorado tripOn Saturday morning we traveled 1 hour southeast to Aspen so we could check out the Maroon Bells. It was absolutely breathtaking, even with the fog and hail that was coming down when we finally made it to the highlands. It was the most bizarre weather but everything was so beautiful. I’m glad we made the trip because it is just one of those places you have to see in person to truly capture the beauty.

maroon bells colorado tripmaroon bells colorado tripcolorado tripIt was an incredible Colorado trip and we look forward to going back again sometime soon. It’s so great having cousins that we can visit and stay with. Katelyn and Alex are always such a good time and we’re grateful that they were able to show us so many amazing sites.

Stay tuned for more soon!

nashville blogger

This past weekend, Steve and I packed our bags and headed to Asheville, North Carolina for a much needed weekend getaway. We stayed in an Airbnb in West Asheville that was actually gifted to me for achieving our quarterly goals at my job. It’s good to know hard work doesn’t go unnoticed and that Steve and I get to enjoy the benefits of my job together from time to time. We had the option to pick any city we’d like to visit that was drive-able within a weekend, and Asheville had been on our list for quite some time since we both wanted to see The Biltmore and we enjoy craft beer. It was a no-brainer when the opportunity presented itself.

asheville

Continue reading Travel Diaries: Asheville, North Carolina

Last Saturday, while my cousins Katelyn and Alex were in town, we took a day trip to Lynchburg, Tennessee to explore, taste wine, eat southern comfort food, and sample all of the Jack Daniel’s whiskey we could stomach. We loaded up the car, grabbed some iced coffee on our way out of Nashville, and headed to Lynchburg, located in Moore County (a dry county). Yeah, you read that right, a dry county.

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We arrived into town a little early and had some time to kill before our lunch reservation, so when we passed a sign for Lynchburg Winery, we knew we had to check it out. So we kicked off our day in Lynchburg with some wine.
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Since Alex was in Nashville for a few weeks working at the Union Station Hotel, he was given a group VIP tour of Jack Daniel’s Distillery which included a delicious and darling lunch at Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House beforehand. This restaurant was incredible. We checked in with the hostess and waited on the front porch for our guide, Emily, to take us to one of the upstairs dining rooms to where she hosted our entire meal. The building holds several dining rooms where groups have communal dinners where you pass plates around and serve yourselves southern cuisine.
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After our unforgettable experience at lunch, we took a short stroll over to Jack Daniel’s distillery to begin our tour. This is the 150th anniversary of Jack Daniel’s whiskey and we celebrated by having some for ourselves.

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jack daniel's 150th
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One of the “secret ingredients” in Jack’s famous Tennessee whiskey is the natural limestone spring water that comes directly from his very own natural spring. Cave Spring Hollow is Lynchburg’s greatest natural resource. It stays at a crisp, cool, and a constant 56-degrees all year-round.
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We had so much learning about the history of Jack Daniel, his family, and his legacy. We learned about the filtering process, the charcoal mellowing, the mash recipe, the oak barrels, and so much more. We especially enjoyed tasting 5 different types of whiskey. We even grabbed a bottle of Gentleman Jack and had it engraved to commemorate Steve’s single “Where There’s Smoke There’s Whiskey” this year, the 150th anniversary of Jack Daniel’s.
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We had the most amazing day together. Special thanks to Alex for letting us tag along and enjoy your work perks. 😉

laura