Baby’s First Road Trip

Baby's first Road trip
Festival of the Grape

The title might be a little bit of a lie… Our first road trip was up to Oliver to visit my Dad & his family at the beginning of October. The only thing I remember about that trip was we went to the Festival of the Grape, which was awesome. My lack of a memory is not from the wine, as it may seem, but probably from fatigue. I’m sure I’ve subconsciously blocked out this trip. So the trip I’m actually going to tell you about, is our trip the following month up to the Shuswap, but just pretend with me that it was baby’s first road trip, okay?

Tyler managed to get some hunting in that fall, and we decided that Callahan and I would join him on the return trip to pick up the meat he’d had butchered and made in to sausage and pepperoni. We would also meet up with Tyler’s cousins for a night, so the 4 of us could commiserate in new parenthood (which are a week apart).

baby's first road trip
the only picture I took that weekend

The trip was good but the drive took FOREVER. Callahan wasn’t on bottles yet, so we were breastfeeding full time, and he hated the car. I’m not entirely sure what we were thinking. When you are breastfeeding you have to pull over to feed the baby. We tried leaving him in his seat and me leaning over him like a momma cow, but the milk just poured out too fast and he’d start choking and crying even more. He also shits fairly regularly, especially if he is all tucked in nice and snug back there.

I only have random memories of this drive; me leaning over him trying to feed him, recognizing it wasn’t working. Me telling Tyler to pull over so I could take him out and feed him properly. Tyler and I changing shitty diapers like a NASCAR Pit crew on the center console. Being stuck in construction and using it as an opportunity to sneak a quick feed or diaper change in. And SO. MUCH. CRYING. Our usual 4.5hr drive was more like 6.5 hrs. I tend to get carsick if I have to sit in the backseat, but I had no choice as Callahan wouldn’t chill out on his own.

Eventually I burned through my data and battery when we discovered that YouTube videos of The Price is Right would keep him quiet. I felt guilty letting my baby watch it in the dark, thinking things like, “this can’t be good for his eyes, or his ears… or his brain” but reconciling it with, “but he’s not crying”. It was hilarious to see, as soon as a clip would start he would stop crying instantly. Eyes wide, mouth hanging open, soother tossed aside, toys untouched. He was mesmerized. We watched it every weekday morning while I ate breakfast, but this was the first time it had ever made life better. When I found an entire episode we were golden. Bells ringing, lights flashing, models, music, everything a baby could desire…. plus peace and quiet.

baby's first road trip
a pit stop on the 1st actual road trip

We had a great visit and got some delicious pepperoni, but then we had to drive home…. I have almost no recollection of this either. The only thing I remember was Tyler saying Callahan and I weren’t coming on any future trips…

What are some of the crazy things you’ve done to survive an unpleasant road trip?

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Weekend City Guides

Weekend City Guides

I’m going to be starting a new series; Weekend City Guides. The first guide will be posted next week. They will provide a solid foundation for a weekend in that location. They will also be a good jumping off point for a longer trip. I thought some clarification on our travel style might help you get the most out of our Weekend City Guides.

Weekend City Guides
Catching some ZZZs waiting for the train in Italy

Tyler and I do not like waiting in line ups. We do not like paying entry fees, and we really aren’t that into art… so as you can guess, we don’t really go into museums. We’ve been in some yes, but we don’t fill our trips with it. In general, we like to have done some research on a location in advance; have an idea of 1 or 2 things to do (maybe 1 thing a day), and the rest of the time we just wing it. We like to travel in shoulder/off-seasons. This helps keep the costs lower and reduces the amount of crowds. It can however, lead to some less than perfect temperatures and weather patterns.

We rarely take taxis anywhere, preferring to walk aimlessly and see where we end up. If we have a sight in mind that is a longer distance away, we’ll take transit there and walk back, exploring as we go. For the most part you won’t see any lists of museums or art galleries. You also won’t see tight itineraries for any of these locales. Our biggest compass while traveling is food; we start our days looking for food, following our noses around the entire day. It has not failed us.

One thing I will add, is that all of these places we traveled to without a Weekend City Guideschild. I think, we would still have been able to accomplish the same amount of sight seeing, but with a slower, more forgiving pace. We probably would take a bit more transit in lieu of walking aimlessly. We also wouldn’t have stayed out late, at all. There also would have been a change in some of the accommodations with a baby in tow; which I will notate.

These Weekend City Guides will be family or singleton friendly, and will be very relaxed. The guides will take a more story-like format than typical travel guides. I’m hoping this helps you get a real feel for the location and maybe some of our tips will stick in your mind better (read our enormous fails will help you succeed). I hope you enjoy them, and find them useful. Please comment any questions on the guides.

Happy Travels!!

 

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Traveling while Breastfeeding vs Formula

There are probably about a billion posts on this, but I figured, why not add mine to the mix? Traveling can be stressful without a baby. Add baby to the mix and boom, more stress. More crap, more sweat, more benefits? Ha, that’s a stretch. But there is a lot of great experiences. One of the most hotly debated experiences of motherhood is: breastfeeding vs formula.

We did a couple mini roadtrips while I was exclusively breastfeeding and they were pretty okay; could have done with less crying to be honest, but what can you do? Literally everything, we tried everything. Anyways, our trip to Crete started with me breastfeeding and mixing in some formula, and ending with him exlusively on formula.

The benefits are obvious for breastfeeding exclusively and traveling:

  1. Less stuff to haul around
  2. Less stuff to clean and sterilze
  3. No need for boiled/bottled water
  4. Antibodies for baby if you pick up something on the journey
traveling while breastfeeding vs formula
There are worse places to breastfeed

I wasn’t stressed out either way, if he wanted to keep breastfeeding that was fine, but I was ready to be done as long as he was. Luckily for us, he took to the forumla right away, and he didn’t have any stomach problems from it, no apparent allergies etc.. Given the time change and fatigue, my boobs packed it in mid trip. I could have forced it, but as I didn’t care, I let them do what they wanted. Plus it was like 40 degrees and I wasn’t interested in having him on my body like that all the time. Can you say sweat city!?

The benefits for traveling with formula were actually pretty good (for me).

  1. I could actually relax on the holiday! Dad could take over some feeds!
  2. He could eat in his stroller, on the couch, or highchair instead of being attached to me in the heat.
  3. I didn’t have to whip my boobs out in unfamiliar places. (Greece is very family friendly, and I doubt I would have encountered any issues if I was breastfeeding in public, but it was just nice to not have to)
  4. I could stop worrying about the sunscreen I was applying to the area and baby’s exposure to it.
  5. Could stop worrying about alcohol completely. (I was never “worried” but now it was a non issue)
  6. If you are driving, you don’t have to stop to breastfeed, you can just pop a bottle in their mouth.
traveling while breastfeeding vs formula
Dad taking a shift as the feedbag

Prior to this trip I had kind of hoped to be able to breastfeed all the way through, just for the lighter bags. In the end I’m really happy with the way it turned out. If I’m traveling while breastfeeding in the future, and it would depend on the baby’s age; I will definitely bring a bottle and a small pack of formula, just in case the milk bags can’t keep up. I would rather enjoy my vacation and give my baby formula, then stress out and start pumping like mad to get things going again.

traveling while breastfeeding vs formula
finally taking some ownership in his own meals

Obviously this is a personal choice and it depends on how mom is feeling and on the baby. For me, breastfeeding wasn’t easy right off the bat, and we had to work hard at it. Eventually we found our groove and we made it to the 9 month mark before adding in formula and switching over.

Once I stopped breastfeeding I felt like a weight had been lifted. I could get help with the feeds and my body started to feel like my own again; the aches and pains associated with postpartum started to slowly fade. And cuddling with him while he eats from his bottle is now my favourite time; especially right before naps and bed. Prior feeds at these times were a chore for me because it was like I was already doing it constantly (given his short attention span and laziness towards eating). Now that I can share the workload throughout the day (or he feeds himself) I can fully enjoy those quiet moments just the two of us.

This isn’t a pro breastfeeding or pro formula post, but a personal experience post. Basically, if you think you can’t travel because you’re using formula or because you’re breastfeeding, stop worrying about it! There will always be a million reasons to not do something (or to do it) but just do what feels right for you. The important thing to remember is that the baby is well fed, regardless of the source, and that Mom is healthy and happy with her decision. Everyone else can fuck off.

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