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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Vacationing with Baby: Testing the Waters

How about a nice long 5-day weekend with your spouse and baby? Sound relaxing? While it's definitely a change of pace and it offers you a chance to alter your scenery, vacationing with baby can be a real experience - or should I say experiment? We've just finished our first "experiment". I suspect there's something to be learned from it for any first-time parent going on that maiden voyage with baby.

We'd decided that rather than take a long car trip and stay in a hotel where our baby could keep other unsuspecting guests awake until the wee hours, we'd try something much more simple. We went one hour away to my sister's house, where we knew if things turned ugly we could head for home. Our plan was to stay for a couple nights, but my son had different ideas. The Pack and Play we were hoping would serve as a crib was way too foreign for him, not to mention the surroundings. No sooner was he asleep than he'd wake up to discover he wasn't home, fussing until we brought him in bed with us. Another unpopular choice with him. In between my husband and me, he was more interested in pulling our noses and slapping the sides of our heads.

After a very exhausting night, we decided that we'd shorten our weekend away. We were still able to make use of a beautiful weekend, and we did all the usual vacation activities such as walks through town and eating out, sitting outside in the sun and enjoying nature. But by the end of the second day we high-tailed it for home and for bed.

I can't tell you how glad I am we did this, rather than planning a more elaborate first trip. Had we made a longer trek, it would have been harder to make that decision to come home, and I'm sure we would have ended our time off more tired than we'd started (which was pretty tired, I assure you!) Now we know that for next time, better sleeping arrangements will need to happen. And hopefully, my son will have an easier time of things with a few more month's life experience.

So when you decide to vacation with your baby, take this advice: Make it a short simple trip, easy to back out of or alter. You'll enjoy the time more, whether you are able to stay the entire time, or like us, you decide to finish your time off at home.

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