We are currently in the middle of an eleven-day on-the-other-side-of-the-country trip to look at a prospective job (thus the lack of much blogging). Our entire little family came and we flew out here, which majorly limited the amount of luggage we could bring for the trip. There were however, several things we made sure to pack that have made our time away from home significantly easier and I thought I’d share them here.
A quality umbrella stroller: In figuring out how we would navigate airports with our three large suitcases, two car seats, assorted carry-ons and two little ones, Aaron and I went back and forth as to what to do with Cedar. We knew Genoa would be in the Boba, but we needed somewhere for Cedar to ride as we juggled everything and rushed through airports. We have a hardframe backpack that he often rides in for long hikes, but Aaron (understandably) didn’t want to have to deal with wearing that while loading our luggage. And we have a good jogging stroller that Cedar rides in for walks at home, but it would be much too bulky to travel with. In the end, we decided to just buy an umbrella stroller. There were many different choices on Amazon (our go-to place for buying baby stuff), ranging from about $15 in price to several hundred. We didn’t want to spend a ridiculous amount on it, but we also wanted to make sure that we didn’t get a super cheap one that fell apart in the middle of a mad dash to make a flight connection. So we opted for the middle ground and went with this one. And wow. It pretty much saved the day when we flew out here, staying strong and sturdy even after being loaded down with a growing little boy, the diaper bag, Cedar’s Thomas the Train backpack and my “purse” full of several books and my computer. It’s lightweight, navigates large crowds well and folds up quite compactly within seconds (yes, I know I sound like a commercial!). In short, we love it and it has already made traveling with toddlers much, much easier.
Portable highchair: Back in CA, we have quite a small house, and now that Genoa is eating more solids at the table with us, I wanted to get her a highchair that would fit more easily around our table than the big, bulky one we were borrowing from my in-laws. We got this one that attaches to a normal kitchen chair and it has worked great at home in the past couple months that we’ve had it. But the best part is, it folds up very compactly so we can pack it and bring it along traveling — which we’ve already done several times. Just fold it up at home, tuck it into your bag, and when you need it, pull it out, attach it to a chair, and you have a highchair! All ready for your baby to smear with yoghurt, just like at home!
KidCo Peapod Plus: The place we’re staying for these eleven days only has a king bed in it. We’re borrowing a friend’s Pack-N-Play for Genoa to nap in and start the night out in (she is in bed with us for most of the night), but needed a place for Cedar to sleep. He still moves around a lot at night so a blanket on the floor wouldn’t work very well for this extended period of time since he’d probably roll off it and wake himself up repeatedly. Thankfully, Aaron randomly came across the Peapod Plus online and decided that we should just get one for Cedar. The Peapod Plus is a small, kid-sized pop-up tent with a blow-up air mattress that all folds down very compactly. And it has worked great while we’ve been here — the novelty of the tent makes going to bed in a new place very fun, the little air mattress makes the hard floors much nicer to sleep on, and the sides of the tent help to contain our very mobile sleeper. The Peapods are rather spendy, but both Aaron and I felt like it would definitely be worth it to have for all the traveling we know we’ll continue to do.
Nature Babycare disposable diapers: I normally cloth diaper at home, and also when we’re out and about. Up until now, we’re also have been able to cloth diaper on our extended trips, but this time it wasn’t going to work out for several reasons. So what to do instead?! After talking it over on Facebook with several other cloth diapering mama friends, I decided to get some non-chemical disposable diapers and cover them with our Blueberry Coveralls to help keep in the leaks that disposable diapers are prone to. After reading several reviews, I went with the Nature Babycare brand and I’ve loved them so far. Chlorine-free and made mostly from tree pulp instead of plastic, I didn’t mind them being up against my baby’s skin around the clock. They absorb really well and while still don’t completely contain big messy diapers, the Coveralls help with that. And I really like that the Size Four I got for Genoa fits so well, but can also be used for Cedar in a pinch since all this travel seemed to throw off his potty-training a bit. So while I still love and prefer using cloth, I’m glad to know that there’s a good disposable option out there that I can use for travel instances like this.