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  • Writer's pictureToni

Vacationing with a toddler


Remember the days of planning a vacation and counting down the minutes until you had freedom? The carefree summer nights that turned into late morning wake ups felt like a dream. Sorry to pop your dream bubble because life will officially be different now. (In my mind, it will never be that way ever again.) You have this tiny soul depending on you to feed, take care of, and amuse them all day long. When packing for a trip whether it's short or long, as a first time parent I went over the top. I went to Costco.

Costco is a dangerous place when you're a paranoid parent hoping to never run out of anything and storing up on any potential necessity as if there isn't a near by convenient store miles away. So what did I do the first time we knew we were planning to see family out of state? I spent over 500 dollars on diapers, wipes, and any product I believed the baby would need.

For days before leaving I had panic attacks because I was afraid we may have forgotten something. Attempting to pack the car was a huge joke. We could barely fit the baby in her seat. All of her stuff cushioned her during the long car ride.

"Pack and play?"


"Did you get the purple Desitin and the light blue one?"


"Should we bring 2 strollers in case..."

"In case we magically have a second kid while being away for two days?"

And the fights begin.

By the time we get to the destination, I'm exhausted from overthinking and planning, he's exhausted from having to hear me panic and our child is wide awake because there is no way in her world that she's comfortable sleeping in a new place with new sounds and smells.

Our first trip away from the house over night was Christmas eve and day. She was 3 months old.

I packed everything I imagined so I would be prepared. What I didn't prepare for was ALL of the gifts we would receive from family members. And by "we" I mean my child.

After the first trip away it became easier to plan, sort of. The car will always be over packed with things we could buy when we get there. What it won't have is my 20 something year old mentality that would have one small bag filled with dresses, tanning oil and alcohol to pre-game before going out at 11pm.

Those days are gone. But the smell of baby sunscreen and the sounds of Raffi on repeat are now enjoyed in a whole new way. And I wouldn't change it for a minute.

sketch of me shopping at costco and traveling


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