Traveling With{out} Baby

I'm sorry it's been so darn quiet around these parts over the last week. Truth be told it's been a bit crazy and busy.

Last week I traveled to Las Vegas for my annual work trip for the Licensing International Expo. I was gone for three nights and four days. While I love this trip every year, I did not necessarily relish leaving my Sweet P for such a long stretch. But I wanted to participate in the event as its the biggest trade show of the year.



Ok in the interest of full and total disclosure, some part of me was pretty psyched to have some 'me' time. A whole 5 hours on the plane to watch/read whatever I wanted! A full king sized bed all to myself! Without being woken every hour by pacifier cries! Full glasses of red wine in the evenings with nary a worry of having to do a feeding!

You get the point.

So I planned and planned and planned (and cried a little) and made it happen, but not without a little foresight and a LOT of help. Here are some tips for how we all got through it.

Call in reinforcements.

I am so lucky to have Shaun as my partner because he really is a phenomenal dad. He is so hands on and is perfectly capable of taking care of Sweet P. But...I think we were both a little nervous about the trip with me being gone for so many nights. We kept the daytime as our usual routine (with my mom and our nanny gettin' er done) and had some extra hands in the evening until bedtime. Shaun's parents came by for dinner two nights and my mom, cousin and aunt came over to keep company for the third night. Luckily Sweet P stays asleep in she goes down for the night so all went well in that department.



Plan for feedings.

Sweet P is still exclusively on breast milk but is obviously very accustomed to taking it in the bottle. I wanted to try and keep things as normal as possible for her and didn't want to have to switch her to formula, so this is where my freezer stash of milk really came in handy. It was really heart-wrenching to go through half of my stash in a mere 4 days (I worked for months to build that up!), but I guess this is what it's for, right? I made sure to fill up gallon-sized ziplock with the smaller frozen bags milk. I always freeze and label the individual bags in 3 or 4 oz portions, so I measured out the appropriate amount for each day. I labeled the 3 ziploc bags with the day it should be used and the total amount of milk in the bag. Shaun made sure to move these to the refrigerator 24 hours before use so there was ample defrosting time!

 I use the medela pump 'n save bags.

 

Have an emergency action plan in place.

This is good to have for all of the time, but I thought it was especially important for our nanny to know exactly what to do without me just a cab ride away. I let her know the chain of command for phone calls - Shaun, followed by my mom, etc. And I always have emergency contact phone numbers up on our fridge for easy access. This list includes both of our cell phones and work numbers, our parents numbers, the pediatricians number and address.

 

Have clean clothes.

I made sure to have all of Sweet P's clothes, sheets, mattress pads, burp cloths and blankets washed and ready to go. This kid flies through laundry like it's nobody's business, so having everything washed and ready made me feel better knowing that she could survive for 4 days in case laundry didn't get done while I was away {luckily we have the best nanny in the world and she does P's laundry just about every day. I'm spoiled}.

Try to relax.

I was so nervous to leave her, mostly because I had irrational Mom fears, including but not limited to: what if she forgets who I am? what if she hates me when I get back? what if she forgets how to nurse and that will be over before I'm ready?

But all of my worries were put to rest each day when I got many daily photos and reports from Shaun, my mom, his mom and our nanny. And when I returned home on Thursday evening, I woke up my little Sweet P and she grabbed my face with both of her hands, smiled, and then wrapped her arms around my neck. It was just about the best feeling in the entire world. 

And at the end of the day? We all made it through and are better for it!

 

What are some of your tips when being away from your children? 

Do you feel bittersweet about it, like I do?