Monday, October 31, 2005

Packing For Baby

Now that you have a baby, you understand that saying, "everything but the kitchen sink." That is what you have to bring with you on trips. When you have a big trip with baby coming up, you will need to plan ahead when you are thinking about what to bring with you.

The first rule of packing baby, and yourself, is to limit the number of shoes. While baby shoes are cute, most doctors recommend that you do not put them on babies who cannot walk. Still when you are visiting somewhere for vacation, you may want baby to be dressed completely. Although the shoes are little, they begin to take up a lot of space because of their shape, so you should limit your baby to two pair.

Do not bring what you can buy there. If you are going to a resort area, you may spend a little more, but it will not be a huge difference. Your baby will need the diapers still left in the diaper rack at home. There is no need to lug them all with you when you can bring a few for the trip and stop by a store when you get there. This rule applies to other baby items, such as wipes and baby food jars (which are too breakable to travel anyway).

You can avoid bringing many of baby's bulkier items with you. If you will be renting a car, you can add on a car seat for very little charge. In addition, you can find portable cribs in most hotels, or as a last resort, you can allow baby to sleep with you on the trip. Do not bring all of these items with you. If you are flying, you have to be conservative about what you bring anyway, and there is no need to pack the whole house when you can find many items when you get there.

Also keep in mind that you do not have to bring the baby's entire wardrobe. Okay, you cannot decide what to let him or her wear for the vacation. Bring more than one outfit a day, to be sure, but do no overdo it. You will find it simple to over-pack baby because the clothes are so small. Still, you should limit yourself to pajamas and two outfits per day. Otherwise, you are carrying around a lot of extra weight.

Keep toys to a minimum. You should be doing something fun, and baby will enjoy seeing new sights and hearing new sounds. That means that you should not stuff a carry-on bag with toys galore because baby probably will not have time to play with them. Instead pick a few toys that baby really likes, and preferably are quiet, and put them in the bag. You can use makeshift "toys," such as pen and paper or plastic hotel cups, if you get really desperate. Chances are, though, that you will be able to entertain baby with a walk to the lobby to see all of the people. By planning your baby's packing, everyone will be able to enjoy the trip more.

By Julia Mercer

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