Our families live a six-hour drive away from us, or I should say, we live six hours away from them. All of the official grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins on both sides live within an hour’s radius of one another, which is a small convenience in the grand scheme of things. Knowing how hard it would be to travel that kind of distance with two newborns, we did not attempt it until they were five months old. Our first trip home this past summer was a week-long tour visiting as many members of the family as we could. We’ve now managed it three times in their eight months, and each time has felt like an accomplishment in line with receiving a college diploma.
On that first trip, it was hard to decide what needed to go with us. I’m a light packer, but packing light for babies isn’t exactly the same. I strategized by writing a list of all the things we used in a regular day. I tried to think of every possible scenario; extra sleepers and onesies, pre-made food and bottles, and extra baby wipes. Though I fit their clothing into one half of a carry-on suitcase, a vast selection of reusable tote bags were also filled with diapers, bath-time accoutrements, books, toys, and blankets. The trunk also had to fit our double stroller and a pack-and-play for sleeping, a baby bathtub, two baby recliners, and of course our own clothing bags. Too much? It really wasn’t, as everything was used at some point during the week.