The best part about going away is always coming home!
Now we have some experience travelling with Elizabeth, there are a few things that we learned.
Car Trip Strategies
Elizabeth seems to have a limit of about two hours in the car before she becomes inconsolable. We therefore stopped at Golden Lake again on the way home and spent about an hour and a half letting Elizabeth crawl around on the picnic blanket at the beach, as well as puddling in the waves again. Actually letting her play on her own for an extended period made a big difference. Once she was ready for a nap, I changed and fed her right before putting her back into the car. We've found that shaking a rattle continuously seems to help as well. I shook her alligator rattle for well over an hour.
Travelling with cloth diapers
One drawback to cloth diapering while travelling is that you need to wash and dry the diapers if the length of time you are planning to be away is longer than your entire cloth diaper supply.
Last time we went away we discovered that it is a good idea to have a backup plan for in case the dryer doesn't work. That backup plan shouldn't include drip drying cloth diapers in the sun if the summer is record breaking in the wet and cool department... (Although drying prefolds in the sun is fantastic for removing stains - ours looked new again!)
Why not just use disposables for the entire time? Well, we knew we were going to need to locate a washing machine within the first couple of days of arrival since Elizabeth conveniently pooped on her cute dress twenty minutes before leaving. The other problem was that the disposables didn't fit Elizabeth as well as the cloth diapers do, causing an "incident" that shall remain unblogged. We ended up using cloth until we ran out, then switched back to disposables. We washed and dried all the cloth ones. Then we switched back to cloth for the last couple of days once we were sure we wouldn't run out before getting home.
Travelling while co-sleeping
Brendan and I "sort of" co-sleep with Elizabeth, and while it works really, really well for us at home, it's a bit more challenging on the road. At home we sleep with Elizabeth's crib strapped to the side of our queen sized bed, which we think gives us most of the advantages of true co-sleeping while also avoiding the usual worries about child being smothered or falling out of bed. Elizabeth strongly prefers to nurse lying down, so nighttime feedings at the cottage were a bit less restful - I had to make sure I stayed awake in order to be able to put her back in the crib afterwards. Interestingly, she didn't want to be fed as often at night while sleeping in the crib. We weren't tempted to stop co-sleeping though, since she needs to be taken to the bathroom a couple of times in the night regardless. Also, it turns out that if she isn't nursing at night she ups the frequency and duration of daytime nursing quite dramatically.
On October 9, 2009 at 00:57 am
I agree with your first sentence for sure. Being away is exciting and full of wonderful adventures, but coming home is just so...peaceful. :)
RE: co-sleeping. I have actually found that co-sleeping makes traveling EASIER. Since my baby isn't attached to a crib, she'll pretty much sleep anywhere - as long as I'm by her side.
Now that she is of crawling age, we usually set up a bed on the floor for me and the baby wherever we are (to avoid the danger of her falling off a steep bed). It usually works out famously. :)