Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Adventures in Parenting: Traveling for the Holidays

Thanksgiving was our first road trip with the little man (2 hours from home).  He sleeps well in the car, so getting there and back were pretty easy (with a few hiccups, that I'll discuss later).  
Our son: Famous for derpy faces.

I was nervous, and probably overpacked for the occasion--our baby had a bigger bag than The Hubs & I put together.  I was nervous about him not getting naps with our folks not having a swing (since that's his favorite place to nap), so we brought the bouncer with us, the Moby wrap, and even packed the bassinet portion of our Pack 'n Play (both sets of grandparents have Pack 'n Plays at their house, but not the upper portion).  Since he hates to sleep in OUR Pack 'n Play, I was worried he wouldn't sleep well while we were up there.  I was worried about him catching some germs from our nieces & nephews, I fretted about them keeping him awake when he was trying to nap, I sweated over whether he would behave or fuss the entire time we went to the baby shower my family was throwing for me.

Turns out, I worried a lot for nothing.  Firstly, a newborn baby doesn't need a place to nap when there are 4 extra adults and 3 kids who want to hold the baby ALL THE TIME.  To the point that eventually, you get really excited about nursing time because you actually get to have a little alone time cuddling with your own baby.  Our first day at The Hubs' parents' house, we didn't even have to change his diapers:  my sister- and mother- in law held him and changed him nearly all day.  He didn't fuss because he was sleeping in everyone's arms.  

(What you WILL have to deal with is a lot of commentary on how many clothes your little man is wearing.  His super-soft carseat blanket keeps him really warm [occasionally too warm--he's been known to flip out, especially since he's a little heater], so if we're going to be in the carseat a long time, we haven't been worrying about having pants on him.  First thing when we walked in the door: "Why isn't his face covered?  Why isn't he wearing a hat?  WHERE ARE HIS PANTS???")
Our little man sleeping peacefully on the road, sans pants & hat.  Had we not had him in a long sleeved onesie I think they might have called Family Services on us.

Then I worried that he wouldn't sleep at night because he'd napped so much during the day--but he fell asleep in my MIL's arms around 8:30p and was so zonked out I couldn't even wake him for a bedtime feeding at 9:30p, he slept until 3:30am for his mid-night feeding, and then woke up again at 7:30am.

Cousin Z was very excited about helping "babysit" (and she did actually rock him to sleep in the bouncer.  Probably should have paid her.)

It took a little more effort to get him to bed at my folks' home the next evening, but he was still asleep by 9:30p.  Mid-night feeding was a little rougher because he peed through his diaper, outfit and SleepSack (and we didn't have a great changing station setup so I was changing him on the floor while The Hubs held up his phone flashlight so I could see...stupid Earth's Best diapers), but then he slept until 7:30a again.  We weren't quite ready to get up so we let him snooze for another hour between us on the bed while we chatted.
The thing I love about the mittened sleepwear? It looks like we put his pajamas on upside down.

Oh...also, when you spend all your travel prep time proactively packing for your wee one...you may forget to pack socks for yourself.  Just FYI.  (Thankfully my mom loaned me some.)

Traveling home was an adventure...we got a late start so it was dark when we left my parents' house.  This was the first time we'd traveled with him after dark when I wasn't sitting in the back seat...funny thing...the mirror we use to see him in his rear-facing carseat?  Yeah...doesn't really work when it's dark outside.  That made me a little anxious, but he slept most of the trip...except when the car wasn't moving.

  Oh...and we had to stop on the way home to pick up an 8-foot section of shelving for a friend...so I had to try to keep Lil' Man calm while Dad was inside the store getting the shelf...about 20 minutes of horrible crying.  I should have just hopped into the driver's seat and circled the parking lot the entire time.  THEN we had to strap the shelf to the roof of the car...in the rain.  As we got back in the car, Lil' Man had a poo-splosion (but he immediately stopped crying afterward, so I guess the poor guy was dealing with some pretty traumatic gas), so we had to stop at a Taco Bell for dinner/diaper change.  Aaand of course there was no changing station, and it was a pedestal sink...so I ended up changing him on the floor (thank goodness for disposable changing pads)...and, because it had been almost 2 hours since he last ate and we still had 1.5 hours to go until we got home, I went ahead & fed him.  Yes...on the floor of the bathroom. (I was already down there...might as well.  It was a single stall bathroom so I had the place to myself.  And it felt less weird than sitting on the toilet to do it.)  

After that debacle, he slept the rest of the trip home (with the exception of some minor fussing during a pit stop for gas)...soooo then of course I was anxiety-riddled over whether or not he'd be sleepy once we got home at 10pm.  

Again--worried for nothing.  I swaddled him, fed him, rocked him a bit, and he was out like a light for a 6 hour stretch.  It was really a blessing after such a rough trip home.

All in all, a pretty good first road trip...but we're making everyone come to us for Christmas. :)
Cossack Santa.

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