Jet Set – Travel to Jamaica with our Little One

Indulge, Mom and Babe

K getting comfy for his second trip. Photo: @thisiseyecandytoronto

We are off again, this time to Jamaica for a wedding. Last time we travelled, he was 2.5 months. Now he will be 7 months. Here is our list of top tips from our travels the first time, followed by an itemized (to the last detail) list of what is in his (and our) suitcase.

Our first trip was to Mexico with a 2.5 month old. I was and still am breast feeding, with some bottles to supplement and he is sleeping in a travel crib.  In Nuevo Vallarta, we had a dishwasher while there, but also boiled bottles on the stove to sterilize. We brought a carryon with his formula and diapers and packed his clothes with our stuff.  Since he wasn’t mobile we had his infant car seat and stroller for the car rides and for getting around the condo, amenities and city.

For our Jamaica trip with a seven month old, skip to the next section.

FOR MEXICO

For a 14 day trip, here’s what worked for us:

-our regular infant carseat strapped into back seat of taxis and shuttle, rear facing, using seat belt
-some people hold their babies on transit (don’t know if you’re comfortable with this; I wasn’t)
-beware the cobblestone streets, it made wheeling a napping baby around a bit touch and go
-used coconut oil as sun protection (but kept him totally out of sun/shaded/screened)
-took a baby carrier, but it was quite hot to wear an infant! This was a good option for shorter trips
-people were so lovely with baby and very friendly.
-breast fed everywhere I went – literally everywhere.
-I was nervous for the flight, but fed him while I was going up and down
-take a change for baby (several) and for you (poop explosion on landing made me VERY happy I had a change of top (couldn’t change him due to turbulence)
-took a travel bassinet which was great cause we could drape it (no bugs and shaded) for when he slept indoors and out. It’s a small folding kind that fits easily in a suitcase and under the stroller.
-I took a small rolling suitcase of formula and extra diapers so we’d have what he is used to – ready to serve Good Start (so we didn’t have to mix at all).
-I had a drink while feeding or right after, which meant I didn’t need to dump. Fed him formula if I’d had more than one drink.
-Try not to be nervous. It was a great vacation, but the pace is TOTALLY different than before I had a baby (which I expected).

And I also have a few things to add to the list, now that baby will be older:

  • travelling with a baby I have considered bringing along my nursing pillow for the flight and a large outdoor blanket to use in the airport (one that folds up really nicely – that way when waiting at the airport and at the resort we can let him do floor time)
  • Having a roll of dog poop bags would be handy for diapers
  • Bring a plastic bag big enough to wrap around your baby in case of gate-side blowouts or deplaning incidents
  • quiet activities for the plane
  • hard bottomed shoes for when he wants to ‘walk’ around on public surfaces

FOR JAMAICA

We checked out a great photo popup museum called This Is Eye Candy for these fun family shots

 

GEAR

  • Graco Infant Carseat
  • Diaper Bag
  • Stroller gate-check bag
  • Collapsible umbrella stroller
  • Blanket/quilt
  • Jolly Jumper for playtime at the hotel and my in-laws’ house
  • clip on Inglesina travel high chair (also figure we can leave him in this at the table to play)
  • Inflatable pool floatie/chair with sunshade
  • Milk Snob stroller cover for shade in his carseat
  • UV/solar blocking bug net for stroller
  • Stroller pad with heat-reducing cushion
  • Carabiners for attaching diaper bag to the collapsible umbrella stroller
  • Mattress cover for hotel crib mattress (washable)
  • Beco baby carrier
  • one soft toy, a rattle and a few chew toys 
  • baby stroller clip-on battery powered fan ** a mom friend recommended this!

Health and Care Products

  • Nosefrida and saline drops
  • Camelia and Coryzalia natural remedies for tummy upset and congestion
  • Infant Tylenol
  • Bottles (2) 
  • Formula (premixed)
  • squeezie packs of food, baby Mum Mums, dissolving star crackers, baby oat cereal
  • diapers and swim diapers (plus reusable swim covers)
  • wipes
  • thermometer
  • sleep owl nightlight and sound machine
  • body wash and shampoo, lotion and diaper cream
  • 2 baby spoons, 1 bowl, 1 360 sippy cup
  • noise cancelling headphones
  • sunglasses
  • bibs
  • Change of clothes in the diaper bag (2 for baby, one for mommy)
  • Vitamin D drops
  • Baby sunscreen
  • Anti-mosquito stickers for baby’s clothes
  • Baby cot mosquito net
  • Medication and vitamins for mommy (in my case, daily vitamin and Domperidone)
  • video monitor

Clothes

  • swim diapers (2)
  • rashguard suits (3)
  • towel (if there aren’t ones at the hotel) and washcloth
  • socks
  • 3 pairs shoes
  • bibs (4 for drool, 3 for feeding)
  • 3 footed sleepers
  • 5 pairs of shorts
  • 3 pairs of pants
  • 2 hoodies
  • one long sleeve linen shirt
  • 6 short sleeved bodysuit
  • 13 shorties onesies (rompers). We figure he’ll go through two a day of these.
  • 2 burp cloths, 3 large muslins (1 each for the plane)
  • change pad
  • wet-dry bag
  • 2 swim hats, one cap
  • 1 short romper for wedding. 1 longsleeve wedding ‘gentleman’s suit’

 

Off we go! Wish us luck and let us know if there is anything I forgot on this list!

Weekend Getaway

Mom and Babe

I love a quick jaunt out of town. Getting out of the house with baby is a must for this stir crazy new mom.

I headed to Niagara on the Lake, picturesquely snow-dusted and quaint, for four days – while my wife went to Montreal on location for a work shoot.

Travelling with little man is much easier with a solid place to land and since my parents retired in Niagara, it makes for an easy retreat … replete with breweries, trivia nights, great restaurants and all the charm of a turn of the century village – (plus nana and papa’s house has lots of great toys).

Falling asleep early with the moon over the snowy orchards is also pretty sweet. As is having a few extra sets of hands to make showering and brushing your hair possible.

Niagara on the lake, NOTL to the locals, makes for a nice relaxing staycation (with family). And just like that, our little babe is 15 weeks old. We played cards, ate half priced filet mignon burgers and beer tastings. It gave us both a chance to get dressed up to go out.

At Oast House Brewery a gentleman came up to tell us that my son was the best dressed person in the bar. In buffalo plaid, he matched the barkeep and was channeling Gaston (in style only) for an Uber-ironic nod to lumberjacks and small-batch-brewing hipster style.

Side note: If you ever wondered who goes to breweries and keeps them open on a weekday?…it’s a popular meetup spot for nursing Moms. No lie. Seriously… we were at Henderson’s Brewery in Toronto last week, in a snowstorm, on a Tuesday and it was FULL of mommies with babes in arms.

Cheers to another beautiful week with this little guy!

Where is your favourite go-to quick getaway?

Money-saving Mama

DIY

I’m a big fan of shopping, but I’m an even bigger fan of recycling and reducing. Especially when there’s a great deal to be found! So, as an expecting mom, how do I save money while preparing for our little one, and making sure we have all the essentials?

I’m anticipating the strain on our budget when I move from a full salary to EI; I’m sure that I’ll find more great ways to save, but for now, here are my top tips:

Reuse! I googled the maternity and baby stores in my area that buy and sell gently used items, and found that right around the corner for me was a great place: Once Upon A Child. I sold five or six items and they paid me cash. In turn, I browsed the racks and racks of adorable baby items, everything from clothes arranged by size and type, to mobiles and baby gates. For less than $30 I got:

Three sleep sacks, swaddles for $3-$5 each

Then, mixing and matching sizes, I grabbed 5 items for ten bucks from the ‘sleep’ section and ten for $10 clearance items; supplementing the wonderful gifts from our shower with these great finds will have our little babe well outfitted. Definitely see what is happening in your local area.

Next, check out Facebook Marketplace and online ‘Mommy Groups’. I got a lead on our stroller AND car seat, which my parents ended up offering to get us as our shower gift, still in the box, never used and with all the warranties and manufacture boxes checked for a cool $200, retailing online for $450. I’ve also been able to locate items from our registry at great prices, so if you happen to have your eye on a particular item, like I do on the Halo bassinet, scouring the Internet and checking reviews on the seller might lend you the item you’re looking for at way less than store price.

Amazon Prime. Save tons of money on your shipping, search for and save items to your wish list and get notifications when the prices go down, and when you create a registry you can get a 15% off completion discount if you decide to purchase items from your registry.

BUNZ it. What is BUNZ, you ask? It started as a local swap site in Toronto, but has expanded to many other major cities and suburbs. The motto is no cash, all trades. Sounds suspect? I have traded lamps I no longer wanted for laundry soap; pants that no longer fit for handbags; a cactus and succulent for picture frames. Now I have my sights set on trading items that of been cluttering up my basement for things like baby wipes. One person’s trash, as they say. Now BUNZ even has an app.

Sign up for store email lists, you can Always unsubscribe later! By registering at Thyme Maternity And Snugglebugz I received a whole bag full of samples:

Use gift cards, trade gift cards, enter raffles. If you have a gift certificate for The Keg, but you’re a vegetarian, why not trade it for one to Babies R Us?

Borrow from friends and accept hand-me-downs! This is especially great if you have parents or in-laws who might need to have items that they use in frequently, like car seats and play pens. Some very generous friends have given us items to keep at my moms house so that when we travel we won’t half to take an extra car seat for Nana to cart our little dude around.

One neat thing about our shower is that people know us really well, and knowing how much we love supporting local, we were gifted a store credit to use at an Etsy store where the owners make handmade baby accessories. So, I picked out three reversible bibs and a teething toy that is also a soother clip. Perfect! Shout out to Urban Rustic Baby Co.

Last but not least, see if your place of employ has a buy and sell for its members. As a teacher we have our own version of Kijiji. Here, from someone I assume it’s not a total creep as they work in the teaching profession, I was able to get a crib mattress, mattress cover and she threw in two sets of sheets … for $125. No kidding. She still had all the assembly instructions and because I picked it up at her house, I was able to see the immaculate place where the crib used to live and feel confident that it had a nice life prior to coming home with me.

That’s my two cents about saving a ton of money. If you have tips please post them in the comments. I am eager to learn!

A long social-media inspired conversation about raising genderless kids, queer identity and… being human

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