Skandhu’s first vacation!
We are back from a refreshing trip to Washington DC! We booked our tickets and planned our trip well in advance. This being our first vacation with the baby we wanted to enjoy the trip without taxing the LO! We must pat ourselves for having spent a wonderful vacation with proper planning and organizing. Skandhu fared very well. He enjoyed every single minute. We took a flight from Chicago to Dulles (Virginia). We had a comfortable stay at Hyatt, Dulles. We visited the capital city Washington DC and Shenandoah national park, Virginia.
Skandhu was all excited and happy through out the vacation. He was smiling at people, waving hi-fis, screaming happily… on the whole he had a blast! As soon as we reached the airport, Skandhu started shouting and screaming and expressed his happy mood! He was smiling at people and catching their attention. We checked in the stroller at the gate and entered the plane.
I must admit that Skandhu was a darling through out the journey!(in both the trips) He was making sounds and was jumping in the flight. During the take off and landing, he had a serious look! He was sitting peacefully on my lap and looking out through the window. He could hear the engine roaring as the flight took off. The good part is he NEVER cried in the flight. Our little engineer was looking out of the window and observing the sound, feeling the jerk and enjoying the clouds pass by!!
It was 2 hrs journey and Skandhu slept for around 30-45 mins (in both the flights). I carried his favourite books and toys and Skandhu was busy with them. Through out our trip Skandhu was excited to see lots of people around him! Poor guy for the most part its just me and him and when bapa is back from office he spends a little while with bapa. Guess he is bored of just seeing us
Hotel room was new to him but he adapted very well. There was a huge mirror which kept him occupied! Wondering how?? Well our little handsome guy loves and loves to look at himself We have been showing him mirror ever since he started taking bath in his bath tub. He loves mirrors! Go near and talk to him, he wont see you directly but would talk to your reflection in the mirror! Maybe he is gonna become a Hollywood star
We first headed to the capital city. We saw the Washington monument, White house, Madam Tussauds wax museum and Smithsonian museum. Skandhu enjoyed his stroll to the White house and the Washington monument. The veterans all over the country had gathered at the capital city for the memorial day. It was a huge crowd and everyone had their Harley Davidson bikes! Oh my I have never seen so many bikes all at one place! Skandhu could understand that the bike is a vehicle like our car. He actually enjoys the “Drrrrdrrrdrr” sound of the bike. But imagine a group of bikers (20-25) riding on the road… thanks for the spoilers, Skandhu cried seeing the (group of) bikes! It was the only instance that we remember him crying and refusing to sit in his stroller. Else he enjoyed the outing peacefully
We could not control our laughter at the Madam Tussauds wax museum. Pappu touched the wax figures, pulled their hairs , talked with them. It was so funny! He enjoyed sitting next to Lincoln, pose with president Obama and the first lady, admired the beauty of Beyonce … well he took snaps with almost all the celebrities. I am sure he is gonna become a great celebrity in the future
We also enjoyed outing at the beautiful Shenandoah national park. It is a forest preserve apt for camping and trailing. Not interested in those, no worries. We can enjoy a scenic skyline drive for about 105 miles. The road runs through the mountains and we get to see the dense mountains and the civilization down the hills. It resembled like Tirupathi (not exactly though!) We did spend some time in the picnic grounds, had a stroll, enjoyed the pleasant breeze and the smell of the vegetation! Skandhu enjoyed the drive too!
Well this vacation has been a great success. All of us enjoyed very well. Most importantly Skandhu enjoyed the outing. He is becoming very social these days and the outings are helping him to develop the social interaction skills.
We were entering the flight. I was carrying Skandha on my hips. As soon as we entered the flight, the air hostess smiled at us. Skandhu flashed his mesmerising smile and she got hooked to it. She started talking with him saying “hey cutie how are you doing?.. going to Chicago? you are soooo lovely….” I just smiled and turned back to see if people have settled down so that I can move towards our seat. I was waiting at the entrance for a couple of mins for the crowd to settle down, so that it would be safe for me to move with the baby. I was about to leave the place and move towards our seat…hey someone is pulling me from behind! I got alert and turned back to see whats happening?
Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…………….huh!!! This is how I felt as I turned back!!! Wat did I see?? guesses??? Ok let me break the silence. Our little heart breaker caught hold of the air hostess’s finger and was not ready to let her go I had to apologize and release (!!) her Well she enjoyed taking with our LO and commented to me “Your son has a good grip!!”
We have got the confidence that with proper planning we can enjoy every single vacation
Mommy’s tips: It is a myth that we cannot enjoy outing with babies. It just requires planning! Make sure to keep the baby comfortable enough so that he enjoys the trip as much as you would!
- Plan ahead. Decide your vacation spot and book the tickets well in advance.
- If you are travelling by air, reach the airport at least an hour before the boarding time.
- Use the travel system with car seat and stroller till your baby is a year old. Do not rely on umbrella strollers. Small babies would not find it comfortable.
- Check in your stroller and car seat at the gate. Air lines do not charge extra bucks for checking in the stroller.
- We are allowed to carry 3-3.5 oz of liquid (in each bottle) in the flight. We took 2 bottles with 2 oz of water in each, formula, packed purées, feeding spoons and nipples. We put all these in a clear pouch (zip lock). All the feeding items should be put in clear bags and sent through the security check.
- Try to carry formula in formula separator. It has compartments to store the powder formula for 4 feedings. We use Sassy formula separator and are happy with it. Even if we are out the entire day, its easy to manage. Use the formula in each compartment for each feeding and that solves the pain of carrying the entire tin!!
- Babies would enjoy outing if they are fed at the right time, do not skip their naps and are checked for soiled diapers periodically. Else the baby would become cranky and then outing with a cranky crying baby would turn into a nightmare. We made sure that we stopped after every three hours, took a break for feeding and diaper change. Skandhu slept well during the drives. Most of the travel systems have the facility to stretch the seat and we can make the baby sleep peacefully in the stroller.
- Carry disposable changing pads in the diaper bags. Huh! the baby changing station at Dulles international airport was so yucky that I was about to puke! Most of the places dont even have the paper towels in the changing area. Its better to carry our own disposable pads.
- Started feeding solids? Do carry plastic washable bibs instead of the cloth bibs that we use at home. Would help in minimising the mess!
- Worried about sterilising the bottles? No problem! Buy the disposable bottle liners We found this very useful. The liners are BPA free too!
- Always carry an extra dress in the diaper bag.
- Make sure you have enough diapers.
- Make a note of the nearest CVS/Walgreens from your hotel. Could be useful to buy diapers, formula, baby food and also medicines if required.
- Carry the first aid box with necessary medicines (just in case!)
- Carry few ziplocks in your diaper bag.
- Do not forget to take your baby’s favourite toy and book!
- Make sure that you take enough rest. Do not try to cover all the places at a stretch. Take breaks, relax and start fresh
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