Friday, March 29, 2013

Traveling with a small human baby-child

I can't even explain how impressed I am with myself right now. I was literally just playing bejeweled blitz on my iPad while changing the setting on my iPhone. Like, at the same time. Simultaneously. My brother-in-law, Stinson, wondered aloud the other day what people did before the Internet, and I said they just watched TV, and that was enough for them.

If you don't believe in evolution, that's fine. But just think about what you were like before your iPhone. I'm just sayin.

Oh yeah, so anyway, I'm currently blogging from my iPad, and it's difficult to type with any sort of efficiency on this thing. We have been on a Midwest Family Tour this past week, where we got to meet our new niece, Audoo. Her name isn't really Audoo, but that's how C says it, so let the nicknaming commence!

'What's he think of the new baby?' You're probably wondering. I think this picture about sums it up.

Lots of ignoring and confusion, with spurts of curiosity sprinkled throughout. If he was able to form a sentence yet, he would probably wonder, "Can I wrestle with her?" And when we told him not yet, he'd run off to find a dog.

Like this one.

Or this one

Campbell is a seasoned traveler, having experience in locomotion by air, land AND sea. So while I sit here, quarantined to a dark and quiet hotel room at 9 pm, only whispering when necessary and having the brightness on my iPad set dangerously low so the tiny King can sleep soundly, I present to you my tips for traveling with a small human baby-child.

1. Food

Make sure you pack a variety of foods, but not so much of a variety that you are trying new things in transit. No need to test a sensitive digestive system when you're packed in close quarters (like a car or an airplane cabin) and strapped in.

A variety is good to help hold interest and to use as a distraction where necessary. Offer the high-stakes food later rather than sooner. This will be your insurance.

2. Toys and activities

Variety is good. Novelty is better. There is no better time to introduce a new toy or book than while traveling. Also, get creative! Sometimes a crinkly wrapper goes a long way. Sometimes a Skymall magazine is put to good use getting ripped to shreds.

And for some reason, peek-a-boo has yet to get old.

3. Sleep

Sleeping arrangements are of utmost importance.

Traveling schedules are heavily influenced by nap times, and we try to avoid traveling during the witching hour. What's the witching hour? That time before your child goes to bed where you feel like you're walking a tightrope above snakes and lava, and you're just counting the minutes til 8 pm.

If you have a child and can't relate, then you don't have a child at all, my friend. Alert the authorities immediately because some kind of evil is brewing in your household. THAT IS NOT NORMAL.

Pack things that are routine to sleep times. For C-baby-child, that would be his map blanket, his sleep sheep (noise machine), and his "Sleepy Guy" dog lovey. He knows these things only come out when it's time for sleep, which makes the transition into a strange crib a little easier. It has also worked great for keeping him on his schedule when road-tripping.

The key is he never plays with these things outside of sleepy-time, so he has associated them with sleep. It's a Pavlovian/psychological thing. A Jedi mind trick, if you will.

If you are terrible parents like us, who insist on NEVER sleeping in the same room as their child, but are stuck with few options at a hotel, fort-building skills are a must. Tonight, I positioned the pack n play in the darkest corner of the room, furthest from the TV, and build a fort around it using the ironing board, an arm chair, the desk chair and a large blanket from the bed. Just look at this masterpiece.

He's currently sleeping like a little snoring angel.

Do you have any baby-child travel tips? Feel free to share!


Stephanie Dean said...

Love! We're learning so much from you guys, so thanks for sharing. Can't wait to see C baby for one last squeeze on Sunday!

Suzanne said...

M has slept in his fair share of hotel bathrooms and particularly spacious closets because I am a really good mom. Those bathroom fans are the best white noise machines, and there are no windows. All you have to do suffer the indignity of going to the hotel lobby bathroom in your pajamas.

Lauren said...

Kylie slept in the bathroom in CuraƧao. Practically the same as getting a two room suite. As for the witching hour, we can stay out into said "hour" only if we have a rapid exit strategy. Turning from angel baby to werewolf happens fast and unexpectedly and you gotta be able to get out fast!

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