Well, this should be fun.

Traveling is fun.

B and I fancy ourselves travelers, whether or not we’re actually good at it. We’ve circled the globe, but our packing skills are still lacking. Last year was the most travel-packed year ever, with trips from Korea to France to Iceland to Memphis to northern California and finally to North Carolina, although that last leg was to move so it doesn’t really count. The presence of a U-Haul doesn’t exactly read “fun” or “cultured.” I also wish I could count our layover in Moscow because the whole surreal ordeal of being manhandled by some buxom Russian women in customs and then loitering in an eerily deserted terminal for four hours counts for something. I’ve been to Russia, dammit.

Since having Miss C almost three months ago, we’ve been strapped not only to our town but almost exclusively to our home. In my mind it’s simply not worth it to schlep her and all her 350 pieces of baby equipment out just yet. My friend Kendra and I took her to Target and Subway when she was about six weeks old and it was decidedly NOT FUN. She was super gassy that day and screamed bloody murder the entire time. So our family excursions have been mostly limited to visits to the pediatrician.

All this will change this weekend. We are going to Florida.

It will take two days. We are driving, not flying.

You’re welcome.

“It’s not the destination, it’s the process of getting there that makes life worth it.” Erm, really? I highly doubt that. Sanibel Island is the big ol’ carrot at the end of this gauntlet we have in front of us. My mechanism as of yet is to be as pessimistic as possibly about this drive, because if my expectations are low then I’ll be less likely to want to stuff cotton in my ears should C decide to cry the entire way.

To be fair, though, I have to admit that Miss C is an extremely pleasant baby. She only pulls out the red-faced, arm-flailing, OMG-I-am-dying cries when she’s gassy. And can you blame her? Tooting hurts. We even took her on a practice trip to Raleigh – about an hour and a half away – a couple weekends ago and she did great. She only got fussy in the last 45 minutes of our drive home, and I blame that on her subconsciously knowing that we were distancing ourselves from Whole Foods, where she heartily enjoyed looking at a wall of Cliff Bars for 10 minutes.

Venturing to the outside. At a coffeeshop in Raleigh

So we are going. Packing for this excursion will be a thrill. Luckily, the resort where we’re staying with B’s mom and nephew has laundry facilities so we won’t have to bring every scrap of clothing Miss C owns. She will likely be topless this entire vacation if it helps me avoid doing extra loads. We’re also reverting to disposable diapers for the trip because nothing says “vacation” like not having to handle peed-upon diapers.

I am happily crowd-sourcing this one: any advice to dole out to us about traveling with an infant? We are keeping both legs of the drive (what we consider) reasonable: eight hours each day (the GPS calculates the drive at six hours per leg but we’re assuming it will likely be closer to eight with the baby). We’re bringing the Pack And Play and her portable Rock ‘N Play. We’re still undecided about whether to bring the stroller; it seems a lot easier to just bring her carseat  and her Bjorn, since there will always be three adults to hold her.

So tell me what to do. I trust you, Internet people.

A happy place

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51 comments

  1. You’ve been to Iceland and Korea? Jealous!

    1. I actually lived in Korea. It was awesome, as was Iceland. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Bring the stroller. We figured we wouldn’t need one when we went to China to bring our daughter home. Boy, was I wrong! We had our arms and a Bjorn carrier. My back was killing me in a day. So, we bought a stroller. Now we have a cute Chinese stroller that I can’t bear to part with. And, tune up your singing voice. When my son would get cranky in the car (usually at the end of trips), he’d calm down if I sang. One trip I shouted “Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair” for 20 minutes. Wasn’t good enough to sing. If I used a normal voice, he cranked up the crying. So, shouting.

    1. All the baby gear in Asia is megawatt cute. When we lived there I was constantly fighting the urge to buy it all for our future kids, especially the what I call “training wheel chopsticks” that have little finger holes and are connected to each other.

  3. Gosh, she sure is an adorable girl! We have been contemplating a trip to Florida in the fall and I have to admit I am totally intimidated by the thought of traveling with a baby. We talked about driving versus flying and I am of the mind that driving is a better option. I will very interested to see how your trip goes. Please keep us updated and have as much fun as possibe on the drive given the circumstances.

    1. I will indeed keep you updated. I’m looking forward to vacay because with my MIL there I will be able to blog a lot more :)

  4. four words: whiskey on the gums.
    you’re weclome :)

    1. LOL nice idea :) You are talking about my gums, right? Because that’s done and done.

      1. Hopefully some gets in your belly, too.

  5. My wife went halfway across the country with my nephews a couple years ago. One was about a year-and-a-half, the other was about six weeks. She ended up catching a plane home from Albuquerque. So I’m afraid we don’t have any advice. Except maybe “Don’t.”

    1. Well, Wee Cee will be 12 weeks when we go, so it should only be half as bad? We’ll see.

      1. Nah, it’s cool. It’ll be great.

  6. Driving with a baby is easy. Except for the occasional stop on a 9 lane highway to change a poop diaper they usually sleep. It’s when they get a voice and figure out how to demand juice every 5 minutes that it gets interesting.

    You should reread my 1 wife 2 kids 500 miles post on my blog for encouragement. I’d post the link, but I am still on blogging mental hiatus.

    1. I remember that post! I am going to reread it tonight after Wee Cee is asleep.

  7. Your trip should be exciting. She will be in a familiar place (the car) surrounded by familiar people (the incubators). Can’t wait to read your post about the trip. Three months and looking like a sweetheart!

    1. Thanks! She really does like the car, especially highway driving because the noise level sounds like a uterus (or so I’ve read.)

      1. Our uterus sounds like the highway noise? I guess I could see that…

      2. Our uterus sounds like the highway noise? I guess I could see that…

        1. Yeah, I read somewhere that it’s actually really, really noisy in there, almost more like when you’re traveling in an airplane. The heartbeat and the blood whooshing around and such. That’s apparently why running the vacuum doesn’t bother newborns.

          1. That’s good to know!

  8. Benadryl??? Just kidding, of course! Godspeed to you and your husband!

    1. LOL I can’t say it hasn’t crossed my mind! ;)

  9. sidney · · Reply

    what beautiful pictures !!! My experience has always been pleasant traveling with babies. You’re right about the stroller…her feet won’t touch the ground ! Best advice….Don’t worry, enjoy the trip.

    1. I’ve already gotten her dad several Red Bulls for the journey. It’s his “treat” ;)

  10. I need a full recap on this one! I am flying cross-country with Little A when he’ll be about 6 weeks old, so I’ll take all the advice I can get! Have a fun and safe trip!

    1. That should be easy for you because he’ll likely sleep the entire time. Plus the whooshing sound on an airplane sounds like a uterus so it’ll lull him to sleep. My oddity of a child sleeps through the night these days (knock on wood) which means that she only naps for like 20 minutes at a time during the day. I just hope the drive doesn’t screw up the good sleep thing we have going.

  11. Good times! My only advice would be, take extra of everything, namely formula and water and diapers. My husband and I once got stuck in a killer back up on Interstate 95 and we had Lily with us! It was scary. We must have been at a stand still for like, 2 or 3 hours. Of course my mind goes to all those babies that need their supplies. Just plan for the unexpected. That’s what I learned pretty damn quick when I was a new mom.
    Other than that… Have fun and try to relax!

    1. Yes, yes, and yes. I’ve already got like 85 diapers and two canisters of formula at the ready! That must’ve been such a nightmare for y’all!

      1. Yes, indeed. I’ve waited all these years to give that advice.Haha! Now I feel better.

        1. Feel free to dole out the advice any time you like! You are one of the few people whose advice is actually helpful!

  12. Plan your driving around her naps as much as possible! Bring a mobile that can go on her carseat and/or rattles/books with reflective material (babies love to look at themselves!)…things like that. Take breaks with a blanket on the ground for some tummy time now and then (the baby equavlent of “stretching your legs”!).

    Like others have said, a baby that age is still sleeping a lot. Hopefully she’ll be like me (and my little one) and the rumble of the road will lull her to sleep. Good luck!

    1. Great ideas! I’m planning to sit in the backseat with her during the drive to keep her entertained the entire time. She’s just now getting to be really receptive with her toys so I’m hoping to read some books with her too.

      Thank you for commenting and welcome!

  13. Florida is a warm and humid place. Warm baby plus warm adults means I recommend bringing a stroller!!!! I can’t imagine carrying a little bundle of warm sweatyness around all the time!!!! But then that is just me…..Have fun!

    1. I didn’t even think of that…good thinking!

  14. Definitely leave the stroller. I just witnessed a “scene” at a boarding gate involving an infant, a stroller, two bewildered parents who were denied pre-boarding and two overly-efficient airline attendants. And the rest of us could only pretend like we were absorbed in our cell phones… Oh, and resist the urge to pack everything. You will hate yourself in the morning.

    1. I have already had to edit my packing list like three times because when B saw it his jaw dropped. Luckily, our car isn’t that big so space constraints are forcing me to reconsider bringing a lot of things that we really don’t need.

  15. Have a list, and pack early enough to be able to do it slowly and carefully. And keep making sure neither of you thought the other packed something.

    Oh, and have a great trip!

    1. I am SO on it with the list! I can organize like a mofo when I need to.

  16. No advice, obviously, but just lots of good luck. Hopefully the whole trip pleasantly surprises you!!

    1. I am certainly crossing my fingers that it does. I am in fate’s hands.

  17. Valium, valium and more valium …….. for you, not the baby :)

    1. Yes, yes, and YES! Maybe not exactly valium, but lots of drinks on the beach once we get there. Mommy needs a reward.

  18. I would consider packing the stroller. It takes up a lot of real estate in the car, I know, but it’s going to be HOT, and she may really hate being right up next another overheated human being. Lugging a car seat out for a stroll would be nigh on impossible, or at the very least, unpleasant.

    Happy vacation!

    1. That’s really what I’m thinking, too. We can make it fit if we really need to; I guess we could bring the Bumbo seat and tray instead of the Pack and Play if we are pinched for space. We’re already bringing her Rock N Play. Thoughts?

      1. If she’s not rolling yet, you could corral her on the bed with pillows to keep her from rolling of and hurting herself. Then you wouldn’t need either of them. Unless she was going to sleep in the pack and play.

  19. krugthethinker · · Reply

    I obviously have no wisdom to impart, but I am going to be a fly on the wall and save all these suggestions for later ;) You guys are going to have a great time!

  20. Advice from an old woman: Take the stroller. At the very least you can use it to hold packages while you shop, loll by the pool stroll on some windswept boardwalk. In the car you should still be on easy street. You’ll have to sit beside her which you want to do anyway and hang various rattles and pretties in her face. Then she’ll fall asleep and you and Ben will enjoy whispering to one another for the next 350 miles. Have a wonderful time!

  21. I thought Miss C was very well behaved on the Target trip. It is a rite of passage for all babies to cry in Target. Getting out will be good for you and her, you will be broadening her world! Hope you guys have a great time and can’t wait to hear all about it! Then hopefully you will want to come visit me next!!!

  22. Oh, wow. In our first three months with my daughter, we didn’t travel anywhere beyond the pediatrician’s clinic either. With my son we got a little more adventurous but still no trips further than 80 miles. So I wish I could offer up some advice but our very first family road trip was when my son was 18 months and my daughter 3. Babies travel better than toddlers I hear. Thank your lucky stars that Miss C still craps her pants. I would’ve loved for my kids to be in diapers this March when we traveled. Instead we stopped about every hour.

  23. She’s getting so big!!! Make sure you bring – pacifier (if she uses one) or something that pacifies her. She’ll probably sleep a lot of it. Either bring the stroller or plan on the expense of buying a cheap one when you get there (if you need it). I traveled with all my children. I wound up sitting by the baby/toddler/youngest at the time most of the time singing and entertaining. Fun fun :) Enjoy!

  24. [...] you will recall that we have done this before. And you will recall that it wasn’t that bad. Scratch that; it wasn’t bad at all. At [...]

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