Happy Tiny Tuesday! This past week, my husband, daughter and I had the privilege of going to Mexico with both of our immediate families (minus my brother - we missed you, Ben!). While we were beyond excited for our annual beach trip, we were curious as to how it would go with a one-year-old in tow. Not knowing what to expect, we over-packed (very easy to do if you have a little one) and hoped for the best!
How did it go? Awesome, actually. Emma Grace was a champ and loved the water (pool water that is...she hated the beach) and watermelon. After thinking through all that an infant entails on a trip, I thought I would share with you some of the travel tips that seemed to work well for us and the ones that didn't! Keep in mind that each baby is different, but hopefully you can find something helpful!
Now, take a deep breath or grab a glass of wine while you read this, but do what you need to do because this is a long one! Here we go...
Emma has flown several times now (2 months, 4 months, and 10 months) and we were pretty cocky about it because she did great each time; she drank her bottle on take off and landing, and slept the whole flight. Well, flying when your baby is a one-year-old is a whole new ball game; this time Emma was much more alert and our flights were at times that did not coincide with her nap time. So, the lesson? Toys. Lots and lots of toys. We learned this the hard way. Next time, I will have a very large bag of goodies (noiseless toys, books, etc.) to occupy Emma.
success: umbrella strollers (you can get these for as cheap as $20) make maneuvering through customs and the airport a breeze; make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get your little one a passport and be sure you have their long form birth certificate when you apply for a passport because this is NOT the birth certificate you get in the hospital
lesson learned: bring a lot of toys, bring multiple beverages (juice, milk, water) for your little one to drink as the plane takes off and lands to help pop their ears; bring snacks to keep your little one occupied (you can bring any sealed snack to the airport)
success: call ahead to confirm that the resort has a crib and request one for your room; also, confirm with them that they have a sheet for the crib; we brought a couple back up sheets in case something happened, but it was nice to know that they had one as well; it couldn't hurt to call ahead and confirm high chairs in every restaurant, too...
lesson learned: we think we got an A+ in this category...;)
successes: we were fortunate enough to have not switched over to whole milk yet, so we brought enough formula to last us for the week; if your little one is already drinking whole milk, I would call the resort to confirm that they have the milk you will need
lesson learned: we were excited to let Emma try new foods (mainly new fruits) in Mexico, but did not think about diaper rash cream; we also couldn't find our diaper rash cream when Emma broke out in a rash, so make sure you bring diaper rash cream and/or call the resort and confirm that they have a gift shop with necessities should you run out
successes/lessons learned: I'm going to break down this category even further because there's a lot, so bear with me...
pool bag: we brought our shop dandy tote (best beach purchase of the summer) with us as our "catch all" bag that would hold my stuff, my husband's stuff, lotions, cover ups, reading material, technology, etc. and then we had a small bag with Emma's necessities that could easily be removed from our bigger bag when she needed to go back to the room to sleep
sun hat: we brought a couple straw hats for Emma, but she kept taking them off.; we found our saving grace to be sun hats that had a strap underneath her chin so that she couldn't remove them; PB kids has a cute one here and you can also find them at target
sunscreen: I can't even tell you how many different types and brands of sunscreen we brought for Emma; I was so nervous that she would burn since she is incredibly fair that I over prepared.; we started off by using Neutrogena pure & free baby sunscreen and it was amazing!! I'm happy to report that she didn't burn AT ALL or even come close to burning the whole trip; we didn't even attempt any other brands since this one worked so well and didn't cause any type of reaction on her sensitive skin; I will say though, we did not let her out in the sun; she was constantly in the shade
made in the shade: we actually brought our own floaty for Emma that had a shade cover as we were not sure what types of floats the resort would have for purchase; we simply put it in our checked bag, used it at the beach, and then left it when we returned; we highly recommend one like this one where they can still feel the water and see everyone, but are completely shaded
swim diapers: we've been taking swim lessons since Emma was 6 months old and have found that the permanent swim diapers work the best for that type of situation; however, we knew Emma would be in the water for longer than 30 minutes at a time and wanted to be a little more cautious, so we tried out disposable swim diapers; we used Huggies little swimmers and LOVED them; they worked like a charm and we never had any accidents; NOTE: Emma did develop a slight diaper rash, but it was hard to tell if it was from the swim diaper, being in the water for an extended period of time, or trying new foods
water: always have water for your wee one; I think we were nervous about dehydration from the get-go, so we were overly cautious, but we brought a water bottle with a straw for Emma and always had water bottles of our own on hand; also, if you're in Mexico, even if you're at a nice resort, only drink the bottled water...just to be safe. 😉
success: we don't have a very strict schedule, but have a loose schedule and tried to stick by it in order to keep things semi-normal for Emma; meal-times had to adjust somewhat, but we tried to stick to our normal morning and afternoon nap and it seemed to pay off
lesson learned: Emma's bedtime is generally around 7:30, so late dinners were probably the toughest part for us; in hindsight, having a bag full of toys/distractions would have been great to occupy Emma while we waited for dinner in addition to snacks
mommy & daddy time
amidst all the chaos and fun of having a little one on vacation, I hope that you'll find some time to be alone with your spouse; on this trip we were lucky enough to have both of our parents their to help out when needed, but whether it be another family member or a babysitter/nanny, make sure to get some QT with your love - it will benefit your kids 😉
Here are some snapshots with my sweet girl via my iphone:
xo - anna & emma grace