Posted by on Mar 22, 2011 in airplanes and babies, new mom, ohio, packing, traveling | 5 comments

I hate packing for trips. I hem and haw and hem some more over what to bring. I study the weather reports and try to pack accordingly, but I know it’s inevitable that if I’m traveling, we’ll experience a sudden heat wave the likes of which San Diego has never seen before. Ditto in San Francisco. Or maybe the beginnings of a hurricane in Cabo.

So, no matter how much effort I put in, I always seem to have the wrong stuff, despite my best attempts to be prepared.

The good thing about taking a baby on a trip: I no longer care one bit about what I pack for myself. If I get cold, who cares. If I run out of socks on the last day, so be it.

The bad thing about taking a baby on a trip: WHAT IN GOD’S NAME DO YOU PACK FOR THE BABY?

I started with the diaper bag. Two days were dedicated to packing the diaper bag. Yes, two full days. Don’t judge. Flying across the country takes a long time, particularly when you have a layover. Needing an extra diaper or sleeper and not having access to one could make for a bad scene. On the other hand, lugging around 50 pounds worth of “just in case” items isn’t going to cut it when you’re also lugging around a 19 pound baby and a stroller.

Where are we? Are we going somewhere? You packed binkies, right?!

After the diaper bag was packed (quite beautifully, thankyouverymuch), I turned my attention to the suitcases. Once upon a time, we had two large suitcases. That is no longer the case, thanks to a handle malfunction on our honeymoon that was the demise of one of them. So now we have one big one and one small one. With the assistance of anxiety, many lists, and input from friends who have traveled with babies, I packed those up.

I accounted for possible warm weather, for probable cold weather. He needed stuff to sleep in. Stuff to dress up in. Stuff to be comfy in. I over-packed, as usual. But I got everything in nice and snug. I cheered, I boasted to Mike. I may have even physically patted myself on the back.

And then I remembered we still had to pack our shoes and toiletries.


So out came a couple of sleepers, a couple of onesies, a couple of pairs of pants. No matter, I thought. Mom has a washer. If we need to use stuff again, we’ll just wash it.

I was excited to dress him in his cute jeans and a few favorite long-sleeve onesies. I was dying to put him in an adorable button-down shirt and a snuggly fleece outfit I bought when I was pregnant. It has been in the 80s in Phoenix, and he just can’t wear this stuff here. So I happily threw it all in the suitcase, figuring he was going to be one snazzy looking guy on this trip.

Evidently, I think my kid is smaller than he really is. The black corduroy pants I packed? Too tight to even pull on. The adorable jeans? Too short. The button-down shirt? “Snug” would be putting it kindly, particularly after a big bottle of milk. The fleece outfit? Had a very small neck opening which, when forced over Ryan’s head, made him cry.

Nice to meet you, Uncle Dave. Do you like my jean capris?

Meanwhile, I had packed ONE pair of blue cargo sweatpants that fit him well. He wore those for 38 seconds before massively spitting up all over them.

But, I DID bring the booger bulb, which was helpful when he got congested. That counts for something, no?

More about our travels:
Traveling to Ohio, Part II: The group photograph.
Traveling to Ohio, Part III: The trip home.