Monday, September 7, 2009

The Weekend's Puzzle: How to Pack for a Road Trip with an Infant.

We just returned from a trip to the Homeland.  Usually, when I know I’m heading up to Michigan, I start thinking about what to pack a couple of days beforehand, but realistically? Clothes and toiletries get thrown in a bag about 30 minutes before we leave.

But now? Now there’s Victoria. I never realized how much stuff she needs until I started putting together a To Do (or to pack) list.

She needs clothes, of course. She also needs bottles. And bottle liners. And nipples. And formula. And rice cereal. Oh, and bibs (she’s a champion drooler/spitter). Which means she also needs burp cloths.

So, now we’ve got her clothed and fed. Which means she’s going to pee and poop. Better add diapers, wipes and a changing pad to the list.

Given the explosive poop she’s so good at expelling, she’s also going to need a bath. So now we’ve got a bag of towels, wash cloths, soap and bath toys to add to the pile.

She also needs a place to sleep. Luckily, my parents went ahead and bought a crib for her. But when we’re home, we’re out and about. A lot. And she naps rather frequently. So the Pack n’ Play still needed a spot in the car.

By the time we got to the entertaining-the-baby part of the list, my luggage pile was chest high. And have I mentioned that we took our 60-pound spoiled brat of a mutt, too?

Yeah. So we also had to find room for his food. And toys. And blanket (which is actually a queen-sized comforter).

Plus all our stuff—and we bring a lot of stuff (although my shoe inventory got cut drastically).

I’ll bet you’re thinking I have a big car, right? I thought so too, when I bought it. But it’s not really. A Dodge Caliber is only big when compared to a two-door midget car like my Beetle, or the del sol that came before it.

So fitting everything in the car was a bit of a trick (one that had my hubby swearing). But, at long last, we did make it all fit...and even had room for her car seat. Sure, I spent the entire eight hour trip with my knees in my chest because my seat was pulled so far forward, but who's counting?

I'm thinking our trip home for the holidays might require the rental of a van. A big one.


  1. Wait until you fly somewhere with a little one in tow. You'll be shocked at how little you can get away with bringing. When my son was 7 weeks old we flew from AZ to Ohio. A few weeks later, we went on a weekend road trip 2 hours from home. Somehow the car was packed to the gills for the road trip, yet we had managed to pack fairly lightly for the plane trip. ???

  2. It's insane, isn't it?? We've been debating what to do about Christmas travel too. With a sedan and two LARGE car seats, plus all the things a toddler and baby gifts....ugh. So I think we're having Christmas at home, then traveling the day after. Maybe. It'll cut back on some of the gifts anyway. Thank goodness for Babywearing. I can leave the bulky stroller behind, which helps.


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