I would have liked to see a text like this in my preparations for a backpacking trip with a baby. So here is my experience.
I like to travel light, change places often, walk and meet. It is exotic, scary and exciting. Before having children, I told myself that it was certain that I would continue to travel even with children, that it was not going to change anything (I was young and naive). I come back to what I said, it changes everything, but that does not prevent anything (except a camel excursion in the desert at 40 degrees, it is only part discount !!!).
Last year we traveled with our little one who was 11 months old. Many found us completely crazy, others found us careless. So the first step is to ignore comments and judgments and to get informed before making a decision. We have carefully chosen the destination: Morocco. I was pregnant and think what you want, but this is a perfect destination for pregnant women since there is hardly any alcohol. My boyfriend had a nice pregnancy for the time of a trip!
The plane flight went ... as best as we could. It was night and at that age she didn't want to sleep in our arms anymore. The trip, for its part, went wonderfully. So do not panic if the trip starts on a strange air. We left with no expectation of her and I believe that is the key. She adapted to the time difference and we planned our days according to her needs. She was taking her naps in the baby carrier or in the stroller.
But where will baby sleep?
After having broken my head for a long time to know where she would sleep, the decision was that she sleep between my boyfriend and me. We created a little bedtime routine, by day two, she got used to it. Anyway, we went to bed quite a bit at the same time as her since she often started her night in the stroller. It was a great idea for the trip, but a lot of management when we got back !!!
1. Transport to change city. For maximum comfort we took the train with the first class option. Not much more expensive, but much more space, semi-private cabins and air conditioning. No question of sleeping from point A to point B as we would have done in time. He had to be entertained and change his mind. Hence the importance of having a little more space and comfort.
2. Bath time. It was not difficult, but it took two! We obviously did not want to sit her in the bath while we ourselves kept our sandals to wash !!! So she was in our arms in the shower. She loved it! In Quebec, the return to the bath was even difficult. A week of crisis and adaptation then it is back to normal. When traveling, she took our soap, we had tested it before leaving to avoid any allergic reaction on baby's fragile skin (not to be forgotten)!
The essentials to bring with a baby
A good baby carrier
Some places would not have been accessible with the stroller. Before leaving, we therefore shopped for a baby carrier for my boyfriend since I was 26 weeks pregnant and was not comfortable with the idea of carrying baby pregnant.
A light stroller
Very useful for going out to restaurants in the evening. She fell asleep and we could enjoy the evening. Bring a stroller yes, but it must be light. During travel days, you have to fold it often, put it in the taxi, take it back, board it on the train ... A word of advice, plan in advance who will do what and in what order when boarding in the transports. These are stressful moments, you have to act quickly, there are often a lot of people and you must not lose sight of your baby. Making small plans makes things much simpler.
I wondered at length how I was going to make him drink his milk (his precious milk). Impossible to keep milk cold all day long and maybe even impossible to always find it. There were probably other solutions, but the best I found at that time was to bring formula for the whole trip (this is not the time to test another brand there- low). Knowing this, I gave her a few times a week until the date of the trip so that she continued to appreciate the taste and not destabilize it too much when the time came (she drank 3,25% milk normally). It's the best decision I made, a little water from our bottles in her bottle, we mix everything and now she was in heaven.
They saved my life many times! We get on the train and we learn that it will only leave in 2 hours. We planned to have dinner when we arrived. We can wait, but not her. Don't panic, I still had cereal on me. I also used to buy bananas. It drags rather well, it is nourishing and no need to wash this fruit. When I found compotes, I filled my bag!
To not forget...
We brought 2 comforters (if a disaster happened with one of them), 3 small toys that could be attached to the stroller, wipes to disinfect surfaces (lots), soap to wash clothes and dish soap for washing the bottle. It is not essential, but I was surprised at its usefulness; a small daypack with an integrated water pocket and a long flexible straw. We bought a large bottle of water and the versions in the bag. Our little one loved to do like us and drank even when she was in the baby carrier. Very practical and we were sure that it hydrated enough.
So here, if my experience can help one or two moms in its preparations! A journey beyond my expectations. Beautiful memories in memory, quality time with the family. Just play, discover, bond and marvel. It is undoubtedly necessary to be well informed before departure, but there is nothing impossible, even with a baby!
Others have traveled with children or plan to do so soon?
Camille Baribeau, Co-founder Bajoue