Travelling With Baby Must Haves

Preparing for a trip can be a little nerve wrecking even for the seasoned traveller. I have always been a notorious over packer and it has only gotten worse since travelling with my baby (now babies). However, doing it over and over again I developed a checklist of the basics. Of course this will differ from location and length of stay, so I’ll post more details on each destination review.

1. Diapers

Regardless of destination I will always ensure I have at least 3-4 day supply. If I am going somewhere where I know for sure they will have the same brand and are widely available I will usually pick up when we arrive, for example, anywhere in North America. One consideration however, is that sometimes diaper packs are huge and I don’t want to be lugging any leftovers back home. If travelling to a resort or remote location for a short-ish period of time then consider packing your whole supply, better to be safe than sorry. Now, if your travels take far away, do a little research before you head out to see if the brand you prefer is available, or perhaps sells under a different name. For example Pampers in North America and UK is known as Dodot in certain parts of Europe. For wipes, I usually bring a full package and have my refillable one that I carry with me.

2. Feeding

Bring 3-4 bottles/cups of your choice. For washing, pick up a travel size bottle of your favorite dishwashing detergent for on the go cleaning. If you are staying in a hotel, they sometimes have sanitizers you can borrow, otherwise, you can always ask for a kettle to boil water and sterilize bottles by pouring boiling water on them. Along with a brush I bring lots of large ,freezer quality, Ziploc bag. For quick rinses I simply add detergent, bottles and water and shake! Of course, if you are pumping, bring your pump, storage bags, and any converters you may need. If applicable, call the hotel or accommodation ahead of time to see what kind of amenities are available. i.e. fridge, kettle, bowls etc.If your child is has started solids but is on rice cereal and/or purees, you again have to take into consideration the length and destination of your trip. If you are on a road trip it may be possible to bring your own homemade items if they are frozen and transported in a cooler, however, air travel makes bringing your own items a long a little more difficult. Speaking from experience, I found some really great, organic, non-gmo baby food widely available in North America. I personally like Earth’s Best and Baby Gourmet. For feeding, I found this amazing spoon from a company called >Boon. It literally changed my life. It became so easy to feed our daughter from anywhere sans mess. We simply emptied the food jar into the spoon and fed like a squeeze bag. AND it’s reusable.

3. Clothing

Better safe than sorry. This is where my “pack light” rule goes out the window. Pack enough for 2-3 outfits per day x the number of days will be gone. If you are going somewhere with access to washer and dryer bring enough for at least 4-5 days. For emergencies you can use the Ziploc bag trick to wash any clothes that may have become dirty or treat any strains (add detergent, soiled item, water and shake). Of course you want to pack for the destination, if it’s warm bring bathing suits, sun suit, hats etc. If cooler/cold, appropriate jackets, sweaters, hats. Also, regardless of whether of where you go bring enough warm clothes for your baby. For the first month of our European adventure the weather was unseasonably cold, luckily I had the foresight to pack lots of pants and extra sweaters.

4. Extras

Other items that don’t fall into the “basics” but I believe to be essential are, changing pads or a good changing mat for easy, on-the-go changing. This can be a lifesaver when there are no restrooms or changing stations close by. Travel high chairs are also amazing. They are obviously great for feeding you baby on the go, but also great for keeping them safe in one spot. Stay tuned for my travel high chair review. A good backpack can be your best friend! While diaper bags are now super stylish, nothing beats hands free. By using a backpack you free yourself up to focus on your baby and so many other things. Another one must pack for me is my baby carrier.

5. Getting around

Although I technically don’t pack it, I use it at the airport and of course tons during any trip. Stay tuned for my “At the Airport with baby” post. Personally, I love the ErgoBaby carrier because of how soft, storable, versatile and comfortable it is. Another must for me is a reclinable umbrella stroller. While at home I use to have an UppaBaby and now have a City Select, nothing beats the versatility of an umbrella stroller. The one that worked for us in Europe was the Guzzie and Gus Texada (unfortunately now discontinued). It was almost a full recline, had a huge canopy and converted into a travel system. Of course this worked best with one child – so we’ll see what we do for two.

Let me know what you think of my list, and if there are any essentials you think are important when travelling.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Twist

My two favorite things!

Ingredients

1 scoop of chocolate Vega Protein Smoothie or Vega Sport Performance Protein if you are looking for something with a high protein content.

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cacao powder

1 tbsp peanut (or almond) butter

2 cups water or nut milk (see here for this awesome Cashew milk recipe), more or less depending on the consistency you like

Handful of ice cubes

Throw it all into a high-powered blender and enjoy. Made with PB and water this smoothie is about 210 calories. I love using Vega Protein Smoothie for the kids because each scoop already has 2 servings of greens and has some great papaya enzymes to aid digestion.

Let me know what you think.

Bali With Baby

Last October my family had the pleasure of travelling from Vancouver, Canada to the gorgeous Island of Bali, Indonesia for our very good friends’ wedding. They tied the knot at the most incredible Villa in the town of Cemagi, where spent a glorious three days at the luxurious Taman Ahimsa Villa.

To give you an accurate review of the trip and destination I’ll start from the beginning…

Our flight took us from Vancouver to Taipei then on to Bali for a total fly time of just over 18 hours and 24 hours of travel time. This was by far our longest flight and furthest destination yet, but because of our pervious travel to Europe I was pretty relaxed. I think this helped in knowing what to expect, but I think I may have been a little unprepared. China Airlines was surprisingly very accommodating for families travelling with babies/small children. They automatically gave us bulkhead seating and because it was a night flight  they set up the bassinet for us. Naomi was a little big for it, but she did sleep in it for a couple hours (however her legs were too long so it wasn’t conducive for long sleep time). Flying overnight was great, since she did sleep most of the way to Taipei (13 hours). We weren’t so lucky on the second leg, where we had regular economy seats. Luckily it was only a 5 hour flight. The food was pretty decent for airline food, however, in hindsight, I wish I would have packed more snacks and entertainment. Continue reading

Starting Over?

The last few days have been riddled with ups and downs surrounding my blog. If you have visited recently you will have noticed the change. I was moving over hosting companies and basically the last year of posts, recipes and photos were wiped. I tried to get it back but it looks like it’s gone to web heaven. While I was pretty upset about this at first it’s pretty much keeping up with the theme of 2014 – RESET. So far this year our family has moved cities, welcomed a new member (Sam) and my hubby has started a new career. While any one of these three is enough to create unrest, for us it has brought us much closer to one another, our extended families and old friends. Also fitting, this happened around the same time as Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year so I’ll take it as a sign and move on with excitement for the year ahead.

Life is not always about trying to fix something that is broken. Sometimes, it’s about starting over and creating something better.