Travel Tuesday – The Long Haul

I thought I was pretty knowledgeable about traveling with little ones. And yet one fact escaped me, one very important fact that could change the face of travel with an infant forever. Something that has the potential to make it ENJOYABLE… What is this wonder, you ask? The airplane BASSINET!

A friend of mine just booked a multi-leg, multi-country vacation. And coming along for the ride is his infant son.  In chatting about the trip, he mentioned: “Yeah, I was excited that we were able to secure one of the airplane bassinets”. HOLD ON, I said, Back that up.  Did you you say, “Airplane Bassinets”? What does that even mean?

Apparently- on some long-distance flights, airlines offer bassinets in front of the bulkhead seating. It would have to be a super long distance flight (think international, not domestic), because these bassinets are only offered on certain types of aircraft.  Which, being the domestic travel diva that I am, is probably why this fact escaped me. But this revelation totally blew my mind. And after Googling to find out what these bassinets look like, I’m even more impressed.  They’re pretty sturdy looking! No longer will I feel limited to domestic travel only with baby… with the possibility of a bassinet for international travel, the world is now our playground! (Ok maybe not our playground– but certainly more accessible than before!)

Have you traveled with a baby in an airplane bassinet? Were they as amazing as they appear to be? Please share your experience!

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

Travel Tuesday – Traffic. With a Baby.

With this past weekend being a 3-day weekend, I should have known that I’d be in for it if I went out on the roads. Sometimes though, there’s just no getting around it: you have to get from point A to point B, and you have to drive there. When baby is on board for a road trip though, there’s nothing that can throw a parenting curveball better than traffic.

You think you’ve got everything you need: Plenty of snacks. Plenty of drinks. Plenty of diapers (if your baby is still using them). I used to think pulling over to the side of the road to change a wet diaper during traffic was a pain. But what do you do when your potty-training toddler needs to GO and there’s no exit to be found? You’ve got quite a parenting conundrum on your hands at that point, and luckily, I haven’t had to find out the answer. My brief panic at the mere thought of what to do in that situation, has me coming up with a plan of prevention: make stops often and at regular intervals, even if the need isn’t apparent, so that in case of the unexpected, the dreaded potty situation will be less likely to occur. Fingers crossed that my plan works.

But it’s not just potty issues that can have moms stressing when it comes to unexpected traffic. Traffic can also be a concern for nursing moms. Babies have to be in their car seats, in the back seat when the car is moving. That’s just a fact. So it necessarily follows that the car needs to stop in order for mom to nurse. If your baby is sleeping peacefully for the first part of your trip, and then you get stuck on a highway where there’s no movement whatsoever, your options are pretty limited when baby wakes up hungry. This actually DID happen to me when my little one was 5 months old. I was driving with a friend who was visiting the Bay Area for the first time, and what I thought was going to be a quick, 30 minute drive turned into a 2 and a half hour ordeal. I stressed, and cried along with my little one, trying my hardest to get to an exit as fast as I could (it ended up taking a very LONG 20 minutes). Once we made it to the exit, I found a place to safely pull over, got in the backseat and nursed. (Yet another moment where I was grateful that I packed my nursing cover!)

Of course, with proper planning both of these crises can be averted. Regular potty breaks. Plenty of pumped milk on hand (and a travel bottle warmer for babies who are finicky about milk temperature, like mine was). I wish I could say I’m perpetually well-prepared, but even when I think I’m well-prepared, it always seems like there’s something I forget. As a first-time mom, I really am just learning everything as I go (at least I’m a quick-study). I’m just glad that I have a sense of humor for the times that modern life hands me a teachable moment. I’m sure there will be many more.

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

Travel Tuesday – Family Vacation or Couple’s Retreat?

It’s amazing to say it, but my husband and I have never actually gone on vacation together. We’ve taken trips– in fact, we’ve crisscrossed the country probably 5 times together, but always to visit family. We’ve gone to other states specifically to go to weddings, etc., but we’ve never actually been on vacation together.

With our five-year wedding anniversary coming up, we decided we were going to finally take our honeymoon. The first question was one of location, which was quickly settled on: Hawaii.  Neither of us has been, and we’ve both always wanted to go, and since its still in the U.S., we wouldn’t necessarily need to file a bunch of paperwork in advance. But then the second question came, and it was more difficult to answer- will we bring the little lady along?

My first answer was absolutely- with visions of our girl playing on a beautiful Hawaiian beach, wearing a flower lei and grass skirt dancing in my head. My husband, on the other hand, voted for her to stay with her grandparents: how could we expect to snorkel, hike, kayak– basically do any of the activities that drew us to choose Kauai in the first place, if we brought her? Good point, I said, but countered with: can we really be away from her for that long (5 days)? And that far away?

And so we debated the family vs. couple vacation conundrum for a couple weeks and finally decided that we would go it alone. We had briefly entertained the idea of scrapping Hawaii all together, and going to Disney World instead, but I guess the selfish parts of us won out. It sounds weird calling the decision selfish, because I know in the back of my mind that it’s perfectly reasonable to want time to ourselves, in this case, a much delayed honeymoon– but I guess the front of my mind always takes the role of my biggest critic when evaluating my parenting decisions.

Have you had to decide whether to make a special trip a family trek or a couples retreat? What did you decide and would you make the same decision again?

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

Travel Tuesday- Traveling Tunes

If someone told my 20-year-old self that ten years later I’d be (willingly) driving around listening to Alvin & the Chipmunks and singing “The Wheels on the Bus” and other children’s classics– I would have told them they were crazy. I’ve always said that I would instill a love of great music in my kids, and by great music, I was referring to The Beatles, Mozart, Michael Jackson– and I feel like up until this point, I’ve done so. My daughter has been listening to lullaby renditions of the Beatles every night since the night she was born- and the first song she ever sang was “She Loves You” by the Beatles.  But in addition to those classics, the toddler tunes have crept into our rotation, first slowly and now with full force.

It started with the Wiggles. Not the show— because at that time, we weren’t allowing Harper to watch TV.  But the music. The first song to work it’s way in was “Big Red Car”. Even I thought it was catchy, and found myself singing it even while she wasn’t with me. Then came “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”, and “Hot Potato”.  And there we remained for a while, until she became verbal. Then, she started asking for the songs that she was singing at daycare. “Twinkle Twinkle”, “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “The Wheels on the Bus”, “Row Row Row Your Boat”, etc. I sang them for her. And yet, it was never enough. At the end of every song I heard “AGAIN?!?!” (which is so sweet, and something I’ve always imagined as a Mom), but it ended up leading me to purchase a compilation of children’s songs to play in the car, because we had a big car trip planned for the holidays, and I wanted to have a voice left before we arrived for our family visit.

And then there was the Christmas music. I grew up with the Alvin & the Chipmunks Christmas record. In fact, I already owned that CD before I had a baby, so I had no problem playing it for her– the first 10 times. But then she wanted to hear it every day, even after Christmas had passed. And she loves Alvin and the Chipmunks so much, that I’ve now bought her a compilation of Alvin & the Chipmunks that includes everyday songs (some of them are covers of Beatles songs, so that counts for something right?)

So it seems I’ve completely given in to the fact that our car rides will be full of children’s music, (with some classics peppered in for good measure of course). I’ve realized that these songs are a part of childhood, and obviously something she really enjoys (and seeing her happy makes me SUPER happy). So now I’m taking recommendations– what are your children’s (and your) favorite traveling tunes?

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

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