Vacationing with a baby is an oxymoron.
The word “vacation” implies getting away from the stress of your day-to-day life, which was the whole goal of a recent family trip to San Diego where we hoped to relax and unwind. Apparently my 1-year-old daughter, Anne, did not get that memo.
Let’s start at the beginning. When traveling with a 1-year-old, pretravel planning should begin approximately at 6 p.m. the day after your baby is born. It is absolutely vital that you pack as if you will be traveling through the sub-Saharan wilderness with no convenience stores for days, much like I did when I traveled to the remote locale of San Diego.
Once this initial packing stage is done and you have three or four bulging bags ready to go at least a week in advance, you are ready for stage 2 — or what I like to call the onset of triptheria. This fun stage is when babies hear you say the word “vacation” and decide it would be hilarious to spike a 102-degree fever and break out into a rash.
But you can be confident that you’ve packed with care — you’ve got binkies o’plenty just waiting to be called into action and an array of outfits that will be just right whether your little one is playing in the sand or has to attend an impromptu charity gala.
You can now sit back, relax and try to ignore the scowls from passengers 26D and 28E as your baby screams during takeoff and landing.
With the flight behind you, you are now ready to enjoy your vacation — and by enjoy, I, of course, mean adjust to your baby’s new sleep pattern, panic about the death trap of a hotel room that doesn’t even have one socket cover, and spend about 89 percent of your vacation time cleaning sand out of your baby’s diaper.
But it’s worth it.
I just know that 10 years from now, I will whip out a picture of her playing with her sand toys on the beach and she will make it all worth it as she says, “Hey, I’ve been to San Diego?”
Erin Stewart is a regular blogger for Deseret News. From stretch marks to the latest news for moms, Stewart discusses it all while her 4-year-old daughter crams Mr. Potato Head pieces in her little sister’s nose.