Road Trip Tips and Upcoming Flight Plans (with links)
1. Don't bring the stroller unless you're sure you're going to use it. We used it once, and we didn't really even need to use it then. It took up a lot of room that we could have used to...you know, see through the back window.
2. Stop to eat/feed at least an hour before your child's upper limit of going without eating. Ember can go up to 5 hours during the day without eating, if she's sleeping. She slept once the car hit 50 mph, and would wake up if the car slowed down only if she was hungry. We had a bad bout outside Chicago in traffic that we couldn't do anything about. It was like Speed. So we tried to not go more than 4 hours before we stopped to feed her. We took her out of her seat when we took her to eat so that she could stretch her legs as well. Last but not least, we fed her before we went anywhere, and as soon as we got to our destinations.
3. Don't try to save expressed milk unless you're staying with people the whole time. I pump. I have an overage of about 10oz a day. It KILLS me to think about dumping the overage ever. But, after a week on the road and stressing about freezers, the cooler and the icepacks, we hit a hotel without a fridge. Even though the description said that it could be requested for the room, we weren't going to be able to get one until the next day and the milk would be bad. So I dumped 50oz on the spot, and dropped the number of pumps a day to reduce the waste, and still dumped about 5-6oz a day. A week after our return, I've almost returned to my normal production.
4. Bring double of what you need for the baby unless you have access to a washing machine, and skip bringing a load of toys. Also, a small baby does not need a pack and play to go anywhere - the Eddie Bauer Travel Bed was just fine. Pack light. Nuff said.
5. As for changing, she isn't too fussy about having a full diaper, so we changed her every time we fed her. Always before, and sometimes after if we were reasonably sure she'd filled her diaper during the stop, and made liberal use of diaper rash cream to curb any rashes if we saw them beginning. I brought along a pack of diapers for the trip going, and my friend in CT had another pack on hand, so we had enough for the journey home. DO pack a changing pad. I'm not comfortable (yet) changing in a parked car, so it was invaluable for changing in places with iffy cleanliness or no changing table at all.
I'm planning on flying back to NY for a week with just myself and Miss Em next spring. I've already purchased (at a STEAL!), the Kelty Kids Kangaroo Child Carrier on Ebay. I'm planning on purchasing the Sunshine Kids Travel Bag to carry her carseat, as I'll be renting a car, but will be traveling with her in my lap on the plane. Add to that the Eagle Creek Pack Folder and the MSR Pack Towel which my very thoughtful husband purchased for me after reading about how much I coveted them on my blog, and all I'll need to pack is a small duffel bag for the two of us. I'm pretty excited. I'll of course let folks know how well that went, along with product reviews.
Baby Updates: Growth, Milestones & Shots
Miss Em is now 9 weeks old today. I can NOT believe it. She now weighs 11 lbs and is almost 2 feet tall. She loves to sit and stand (with assistance) and grins a whole lot. She LOVES her Bumbo. Those things are hit or miss according to the reviews. In this house, its a hit. My parents are both waiting to see when she'll walk, as according to them, I REALLY walked (instead of scooting, etc.) when I was 8 months old. She tries to laugh, and her baby talk is now multi-syllabic.
She had her first shots ever yesterday. I was pretty sad about that, but I know she needs them. We're staggering some, and delaying others, and her pediatrician's office is cool with that. Sure, we'll be paying more for co-pays, but I would much rather pay more money and not pay with her health. She was pretty good about the shots. A few shouts of protest, and it was all over and forgotten. The nurse was surprised at how quickly she quieted. Her only reactions to her shots were a very low fever (it got as high as 99.2) and she's a little sleepier than usual.
As most of you know, I'm normally a platelet donor. Since I found out I was pregnant, and am now exclusively pumping, I have not been able to donate. But, as I mentioned earlier, I have about a 10oz overage of milk a day. Em takes in about 20-22oz a day, and I produce ~32oz and even had a day when I had 40oz. Today, I donated 250oz to Mother's Milk Bank of North Texas. That's over two gallons. I still have about 30oz in the freezer, and 10oz in the fridge. I love being able to help other moms, I really feel good that its not going to waste, and I will continue to donate as long as I can.