Mexico. I certainly never thought I could be smitten by Mexico and lounging poolside. I’m more of a far away backpack traveler at heart. This trip has revealed to me a side of Mexico I never knew, and also, a side of myself that I quite like. Slow down Bee. Also, having a baby makes travel super-duper fun, stressful, and more fun. This post is not going to be about the trip, but about preparing for the trip. I want to tell you what I brought with me, what saved my arse, and what I didn’t end up needing.
I had lists, and in a previous post I told you I would post my lists here. I had lists on my phone, in my diaper bag, in my email with links to other mama’s travel lists, and on my nifty little list board that Mr. H. bought for me, just because, even though my lists drive him bonkers. Instead of literally posting pictures of those, I will use the power of my brain (something rarely done these days) and actually remember.
I had a different plan for each piece of luggage I would bring. The diaper bag was the first line of defense, posing as my “small personal item” for the plane (haha), and then after that was the carry-on that is as large as they will allow, and appears to look very much like an airstream, so says my mother. In the diaper bag I had the essentials I knew would be life savers in case of a meltdown, butt blowout (the baby not me), and/or just general 6 month old baby boredom. The carry-on was back-up. Refills of the essentials, and extra clothes for me and Mr. H. should we encounter something disgusting, which was more than likely.
Then there was the monstrosity that is my new “I have an effing baby” suitcase which I pretend to hate but actually love. It too resembles an airstream with some euro flare. In it I had everything else. The diaper bag was pretty straight forward for a mom. Diapers, wipes, toys, clothes, changing pads, alcohol-free baby wipes for Dub’s hands on dirty-stinky-sick-making airport stuff, the skin of a mango since baby Dub LOVES that, etc. The suitcase is what concerns you.
Okay nevermind, I am going to use my list to tell you my list. My brain is already tired.
Here we go. So I think this is pretty self-explanatory but I’ll touch on a couple of things. I knew we were going near the equator and I still thought I should bring vitamin D since the babe can’t get that from my milk, but I did think better of it and didn’t pack it so no judgy my retardation. Also, I thought in case Dub got too much sun I could lather him with coconut oil in case there wasn’t an aloe plant nearby. Snacks for Mr. H. and I so I didn’t resort to eating airport food, which worked on the way down, but not on the way up since I have no self-control and ate it all. We got truly healthy snacks. Organic, soaked and sprouted fruit-seed-nut bars that cost something like five thousand dollars a pack, but hey, I knew we could use the energy. I’m the kind of traveler that loves to sleep on the plane and forget I was ever there (minus the take-off which I truly live for), so knowing I couldn’t exactly sleep since I now have a baby, I wanted to be prepared. Real food works wonders, fake food puts you in a coma. Diaper covers with disposable diapers? Yes. I am a cloth diaper mama but I brought chlorine free diapers and wipes on this trip for my sanity. I use covers with disposables because they seriously work to keep poopies off of baby clothes and therefore mama. Boom. Now, I agonized over the sun hat, spf, swim diaper, and floatie to purchase but I’m very happy with my choices. Let me share with you.
(I should note here that as a cloth diaper mama I have found that the service and selection at Jillian’s Drawers is truly incredible, and since I feel they thoroughly vet the products they carry, I used their site to determine the good brands for my trip. I would have purchased everything through them, but they were out of most of what i needed. Must have been the time of year.)
Think sport/think baby are the same. This is the one item I needed that they did have in stock. This is the brand I would definitely use for a baby. Very safe. It is thick so I didn’t find it particularly easy to get on, but I would rather that than a toxic one.
The iplay sun flap sun hat. It has an adjustable string in the back, and ties for the chin. It stayed on and it will fit him for at least a year. I found that Dub was really protected in this hat.
Imse Vimse swim diaper. Arguably the best swim diaper on the market. Great fit, and great at containing a mess, although I never had to deal with that. From what I read this is the way to go. I also bought a cheaper one as a back up at Target right before we left for in case this one got dirty and I wanted to put Dub back in. Didn’t need it.
Swimways baby spring float by Swimways. I put way too much thought into whether or not to get the one with the canopy. If you get the sun hat, my opinion is that you don’t need the canopy, but of course we weren’t in direct sun for super long periods of time. This was a great purchase, although my guy was PISSED when I first put him in it. I mean, I could have done it better. Mommy bad. I didn’t get him wet first, and it was a little cool for him. Here is how that looked while everyone drinking chichis around the pool judged me…
We did have more luck about 10 minutes later when I did it proper like and got him wet while I held him. I am a spaz and I just get too excited. Either way, the float was great. He is just barely 6 months so he has a lot of room to grow in it.
Last but not least, I got this (but in blue) rashguard. For those of you who don’t know, a rashguard is a lightweight spf shirt that you can wear both in the water and out. It keeps your baby’s skin protected (spf 50) and also dries quickly after being in the water. I had no idea about these before, but it helped me feel better about the harsh sun. At my local secondhand baby shop I also picked up a second rash guard which I did NOT need. One point for you Mr. H.
We are doing baby-led weaning (more on that later, and no, I am not weaning my baby) and I didn’t once use a bib. I just don’t care if he get’s messy I guess.
I agonized over what baby carrier to bring. I have the Baby Bjorn original, the Ergo, and the K’tan. I chose the Ergo for this trip because in case we were to have to brace for impact on the plane I wanted what I felt to be the most secure, fastest to get on, (although the Bjorn is pretty speedy) and most plane crash safe carrier I could have. No I am not joking. Yes I am a freak. I chose correctly even though we will never put that to the test. I was more than happy with the Ergo for it’s comfort and even though Dub loves to look out (Bjorn), he was quite happy and seemed to feel comforted facing me in such a new place.
Since I don’t normally use sposies (that is short for disposables, I’m just going to try to explain all the mama speak here for those who don’t know) I wasn’t sure how many to bring for one week, I brought two packs of 35 and holy cow I only used one. Those things really hold moisture. Also, Dub didn’t poop for two whole days! I was starting to worry when on the third day I opened his diaper to find World War III. Must have been the travel.
So what did I not need? Well, the double purchases were stupid. Oh, and did I even mention baby bug spray? I bought this one at Target.
California baby bug repellant
Didn’t need it for Dub, the bugs hated him. I on the other hand should have used it. I’m still itching like crazy.
In summary, I learned that I probably don’t need to plan for a plane crash, I don’t need doubles of things like swim diapers, and that overall I’m a pretty good mom if only because I care to think about every detail.
An update on the amber teething necklace. We didn’t have any crazy episodes of wailing down there. I did bring acetaminophen and gave it to him once because the teething tablets didn’t work. I am not sure if the necklace is doing something, but he hasn’t had an episode like the ones that drove us to purchase it since we put it on. Also, if you happen to sit at breakfast next to a bunch of nurses you might get an earful about how the necklace on your baby isn’t safe, and how nurses know everything, and some other stuff. Unfortunately I wasn’t there to defend my awesome mommy status and my husband wasn’t armed with the following information to do so for me. The amber necklace I purchased has a break away clasp that will come apart with very little pressure. Each bead is individually tied to ensure the baby can’t break it and then choke on the beads. In addition to that I purchased the smallest size so he can’t get it over his chin to chew on it. Take care to purchase legit amber if you are going to get one. I hear certain ones are a scam out there. Next up, Mexico THE TRIP!