Oh wow! the amount of STUFF needed/available for taking care of a baby is out of this world. We will be away for 5 months and I am trying to fit it all in half a medium sized samsonite…umm this will be interesting.
The first thing I considered for B was of course, clothing. He is just over 7 months and will be just on 1 year old when we come back. The good news is that they don’t grow quite as rapidly in the second six months as the first (apparently), but I still have no idea how much he will grow. My first thought was to just take everything we had for him in the next size up and buy bigger things over there if needed. Well I’ll stick to the buying bigger things part, but it turned out the clothing needed refining. Unfortunately this means that there will be some items that he will NEVER wear as he’ll certainly outgrow them while we are away, but c’est la vie.
In terms of equipment the breast pump was a must. I will be doing research on this trip and so will have to leave B with his dad for a few hours or possibly for whole days at a time so he will need a stash of booby milk to draw on.
The Husband had a great time researching all the latest baby gear and we bought a Phil and Ted’s portacot as this is apparently the lightest weight one on the market. One of the great things is that it fits inside our suitcases so isn’t an extra piece of luggage to carry. It is pretty good I must say. The mattress is not the softest but this hasn’t been an issue when we’ve used it so far and the sides zip down all the way which helps with transferring him into it when he’s already asleep.
A good stroller is also a must for us and my beloved Joolz is just too big for easy international travelling. To solve this, we bought a Maclaren Techno XT off gumtree for a song and kitted it out with some new accessories including a footmuff for that cold early European spring weather, a rain cover and a side pannier for nappies etc. These strollers are pretty snazzy and can be easily folded and carried with one hand. For touring around Paris and during transit I’m bringing the Ergobaby 360. The metro definitely isn’t stroller friendly and he can sleep easily in the carrier on the plane (fingers crossed eek!).
Toys…hmm. This is my soft spot. I love ALL B’s toys as they are so damn cute. However, I figure we can improvise a lot along the way. I’ve been pinning lots of DIY baby toys and activities and a few just sound like common sense e.g. an empty water bottle with some rice in it becomes a rattle, plastic cups from the kitchen etc. That being said, I’ve still crammed in as many toys as I could and a couple of books. I also brought along a lovely hand made quilt given to us as a friend so B always has a familiar play environment.
For food I’ve tried to keep it simple. I’ve brought 6 little containers that can be food storage or for on-the-go, and a ba-mix to make purees (and my breakfast smoothies). I also put in some spoons, a couple of bowls and a sippy cup. On the plane I will be taking pouches of bought baby food as they can be squeezed directly onto the spoon so less mess.
The Husband insisted we leave the baby monitor behind as surely we won’t need it in one-bedroom airbnb apartments but I’m going to miss watching B sleep on the camera.
I’m sure I’ve brought too much and I hope I haven’t forgotten anything I need, but here is a general list of what we’ve got.
I’ll update later about what worked and what didn’t.
- Breast pump (incl power cords, bottles, flanges etc)#
- Breast milk storage bags
- cot sheets*
- Bunny rug
- Swaddle blanket
- 2 terry towel cloth nappies (great as burp cloths or general wiping up after baby)
- 2 winter weight sleeping bags
- 1 fleece sleep suit (only because it was so soft and cozy I couldn’t resist it)
- 2 summer weight sleeping bags (1 in carry-on)
- Stroller footmuff, rain cover and side pannier*
- Baby snow suit*
- 5 zippy wonder suits#
- 3 singlets (We got a 3-pack for xmas)#
- 5 pairs of bonds leggings
- 1 beanie#
- 1 pair of fluffy lined warm baby shoes#
- Baby Converse chucks
- 3 long sleeved rompers
- 3 short sleeved rompers
- 4 facewashers
- 5 dribble bibs
- 1 jumper
- 1 vest jumper
- 1 pair of chinos
- 1 bottle#
- 3 spoons#
- 1 sippy cup
- 2 bowls
- 6 stackable food containers
- 2 silicone pelican bibs
- First aid kit with baby paracetamol, bonjela and anti-fungal cream#
- Ear thermometer
- Fully packed nappy bag#
- Some nappies, wipes, amolin cream etc (obviously will buy most of this over there), nappy disposal bags and tissues
- Cot quilt to use as a play mat
- As many toys and books as I could cram in
- Food for the plane and the first days after arrival – quinoa flakes, rice cereal and about 6 pouches of ready made baby food. (Some #)
Almost all of this somehow magically fits in one half of my (samsonite firelite) suitcase but the *’s are in the Husband’s case and the #’s are going carry on.
Looking at this list it seems like far too much but I can’t think of anything on the list that I don’t need. Oh well let see how we go 🙂