Preparing for a Baby-Free Vacation

Exactly a month from today...I know I'll be a crying mess of a mom. My husband and I are going on an all-expensive paid vacation to a world class resort. "Why cry?" you ask. We can't bring our daughter. While that would be cause for celebration for some...I'm having a hard time leaving her behind for a week. I know it will be tough for her too...so here's how I'm preparing both of us for my baby-free vacation. 

The biggest challenge for me is that I'm still breastfeeding and I plan to continue nursing until my daughter hits her first birthday. That means I'll have to bring along my breast pump and try to stick to her nursing schedule (which thankfully is down to only four times a day). But even more challenging than that, is that I have to pump a week's worth of milk before we leave so my little girl has something to eat. As I said, she's down to 4 bottles/nursings a day and two solid food meals. But let's face it getting 24 oz a milk per day for 6 days is hard work. (Formula seems to disagree with her stomach, if that's what you're thinking). It's a lot of milk no matter how you look at it. So along with nursing her now, I'm also trying to collect extra milk for later. I get about 6 oz extra every 24-36 hours. Here's how I've been doing it:

- Four weeks ago (or 2 months before our trip) I realized I had no milk in the freezer and a daughter who was going to be away from me for a week...so I started pumping frantically.  Moral of the store - plan ahead.
- I can ususally pump 2 oz in the morning before I nurse my daughter first thing in the morning.
- I also pump about 3-4 oz every night before I go to bed, even though she's no longer  eating at that time.
-If we get closer to the trip and I don't have enough milk (it's looking like I will) I will get up in the middle of the night, probably around 2am, and pump then too. If I have to do that I'll probably be able to get about 4 more ounces.

The next issue is that, the week we're away, she won't be staying at our house. Most things can go with her...but the crib is not one of them. Some moms are luckily blessed with a baby who will sleep anywhere. I am not one of them. My daughter will have to sleep in her pack 'n play. She's done it before, but it's always a challenge getting her to sleep. To make it easier for her grandmoms I've been gradually getting her more comfortable with the pack 'n play. Here's what I've been doing:

-A few weeks before the trip: I put my daughter in her pack 'n play with some toys, while I got a shower. I did this for several days. 
-A few days later I moved the pack 'n play into her room and put her in it, instead of her crib, for naps.  I did this for several days and she seemed to do fine.
-I then moved the porta crib into the master bedroom (a room where my daughter is comfortable) and had her take naps in there.  She did fine with this as well. 
-After she got comfortable with that, I moved it into the guest room. This is a room that my daughter has never been in before. I wanted her to get used to sleeping in an unfamiliar place. She did fine in here too. 
-The next step is to repeat the locations (with the exception of the master bedroom) at night. 

By the time I'm done this rotation, she should be comfortable sleeping anywhere.

Finally, I keep a detailed "how to manuel" on my daughter. I've done this since she was born for whenever we have a babysitter. It's coming in very handy, now, that we're going to be gone for a week. I include a typical day, how meals work, what she likes to do, what works when the crying won't stop, how the car seat works and everything else you might want to know.  If you haven't done this start keeping a log and you'll start to notice patterns in your child's day. This is a good place to start your "manuel." 


Tag You're It...

Remember the kids game "Tag?" Of course you do..and now I'm introducing you to the blogging version. 

Here's how you play:

1. Go to the photos folder on your computer.
2. Go to the seventh folder of photos.
3. Go to the seventh photo.
4. Put the seventh photo on your blog along with a description.
5. Invite some blogging friends to join.

Okay, so my photo is kinda lame. It's a picture I took, of my front door, for an eHow article I was writing about How to make an Inexpensive Christmas Wreath. By the way, the article is about as lame as the picture, it's only earned me a .07...sigh! It obviously isn't hasn't done much to contribute to the nearly $200 I've made on eHow over the last few months. But I digress...Hopefully your picture will be much cooler. I was hoping to get one of my little girl or a beautiful shot from my visit to Italy, but no, I got the front door of my house! Oh well...

I'm tagging my friend Jen


New Mama's Must-Haves

Here's my March edition of New Mama's Must Haves. They're baby products I simply can't live without. It's a simple pleasure for my daughter, a cool toy that spans the ages, and play or sleep anywhere genius invention.

Don't forget you can click on any of the pictures or links to order the products directly from Amazon. And remember, I only promote products that I use for my daughter.

This is what the Fish Clacker book is supposed to look like. When my daughter's was brand new it did (you can see it in more favorable times in the above picture)! But 7.5 months later her little hands, drooling mouth and flailing arms have reduced it to this. Needless to say I'm look for a new one. She only has the fish clacker book, but they come in a whole collection including a bee, rabbit, and duck. The books are great because they're easy to hold in little hands, make a clacking noise when waved around (which my daughter loves to do) and they're colorful. Plus they tell cute stories.

The Fisher Price Fun with Friends Musical table is one of my daughter's favorite toys. Right now she plays with it sitting on the floor since the legs are easily removable. They can be put back on for cruisers and walkers. The table has five settings (learning, abcs, spanish, music and playtime). I think the music is best for her right now since she's so young. But as she gets older I'm sure the learning and abc modes will help reinforce her speaking skills. (Unfortunately, Amazon does not carry this product, but you can find it at Toys R Us or Target)

And finally....I couldn't live without my Graco Pack n Play! When my daughter was a newborn we set it up in our living room to use as a changing table and easy place for her to nap. Now, I keep it in my bedroom so she can safely play while I get a shower and get ready. I also use it when I travel so she has somewhere comfortable to sleep. It's so simple to fold up, stuff in the bag and go...I say it's a definite must have!


Save Money on Baby

Breastfeeding Help

Nursing Strike??? My Baby Won't Breastfeed

Baby Gear: Get it or Forget It?

New Mama's Must Haves: March '09

Points on Pregnancy

Crying, Calming & Keeping It Together

Starting Solids

Helping a Sick Baby

Diaper Rash

Sleep & Nap Help

How to Get a Baby to Sleep

Getting Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

Crying It Out: The Last Resort

Trouble With Naps

The 45 Minute Nap

How Much Sleep Does My Baby Need

Get Some Sleep: Turn Off the Baby Monitor

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