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Packing for a Newborn: How Does One So Little Require So Much?

Baby girl

Don't let Little Miss Thang fool you into thinking all she needs is a sassy hat and a pacifier

When my older daughter was a baby and we traveled, packing was a nightmare. She was fed a combination of pumped milk and formula, so unless I wanted to wash bottle after bottle in a tiny hotel sink, I had to pack lots of bottles. Not to mention the pump and all of its accessories, plus diapers, wipes, burp clothes, a couple of outfits per day (in case of too much spit up or a blowout), plus all of her special lotions and creams and soaps, and of course her stroller blankets (in light and heavy weights) and extra crib sheets (lest her precious bottom touch something that other bottoms had touched). It was enough to make me want to never leave the house.

With my 11-week-old daughter, I didn’t think we’d need as much stuff. After all, I’m nursing her nearly exclusively. I pump once or twice a week and freeze the milk so my husband can sleep with her once a week so I can get a break from the little sucker.

I was wrong. She still needs lots of stuff.

We’re leaving tomorrow for a week and I’m debating whether there’s time to go out and buy another suitcase. Not for me. Not for my husband. Not for my 3-year-old. But for my 11-week-old baby. Who is 12 pounds. Yes, like her older sister before her, she seems to require that much stuff.

I’m bringing the breast pump so I can produce basically two bottles worth of milk so my husband and I can have a couple of hours to ourselves with no children. For that I need accessories, bottles and the aforementioned pump.

And even though we’re staying with my parents, who have a washer and dryer, I still feel compelled to pack two outfits per day. Plus her sleep positioner. Plus some extra diapers (even though there will be plenty at my parent’s house and even if we were to run out, they live a mile from at least three 24-hour pharmacies).

Of course I also need everything else my older daughter also needed when she was a baby — the special blankets, creams, lotions, potions. It’s always better to be prepared and lug around too much than worry about what you don’t have. I think.

Still, I need a vacation from packing, never mind from the actual vacation. As if going anywhere with babies and toddlers could ever be considered a vacation.

How do you possibly manage to pack light with an infant?

Image: Meredith Carroll

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