Hurray for sunshine and warmth and grandparents! We are counting down the days until our cruise getaway to the Bahamas at the end of the month. This will be our first time travelling by air with baby Henry and I am so excited/nervous about it. Luckily my parents are coming with us, so we'll have plenty of hands on deck (pun intended.)
When deciding where to go on vacation this year, we chose a cruise because a.) it's a floating hotel room with a diaper service, b.) exposure to Zika would be limited and c.) all we really want to do is eat good food and relax. We figured a cruise would be the easiest option with a 6 month old in tow. Truly, this is the ideal time to travel. Henry isn't crawling yet, he loves being carried, he can nap anywhere, and all he eats is milk. Royal Caribbean even provides a pack & play in our stateroom, so we don't need to worry about a safe play/sleep space.
Despite knowing that our needs will be adequately covered on-board, I'm still a bit nervous about what to expect, mainly because I'm still breastfeeding every 2-3 hours. Here I am packing all my fancy pre-pregnancy vacation attire and I don't even know if it will be practical to wear. I literally haven't worn a real bra since Henry was born so packing anything but nursing bras and easily accessible shirts might be wishful thinking.
Speaking of packing, it feels weird to devote half of my suitcase to baby things, especially when I usually fill my whole suitcase and then end up taking up real estate in Roger's with shoes. I'm really trying to pack light but the list of baby essentials just keeps growing! Here is what I have so far:
- Dockatot (Henry co-sleeps with us nearly every night so this is a must. Also, it will be a lifesaver for naps on the go. Luckily it fits in my extra large suitcase!)
- Inflatable bathtub (stateroom bathrooms are so teeny and they only have showers)
- Umbrella stroller
- Backpack to use as a diaper bag
- Baby shampoo, bum cream, wipes
- Tula Baby Carrier
- 3 burp cloths
- 1 blanket
- Baby Tylenol
- Baby MumMum rice cookies
- Wubbanub for cuddling
- 1 teether toy (Ahhh imagine he starts teething on vacation? Lol)
- Blanket bear (his lovey)
- Assorted favourite toys (Sophie + 4 others... max!)
- 1 bottle just in case
- 5 disposable swim diapers
- ThinkBaby natural sunscreen
- SPF sun hat
- Rice cereal
- 1 silicone feeding bib + 3 cloth bibs (we're so bad at using bibs, but keeping clothes clean-ish is important!)
- Baby safe laundry pods
Things I'm on the fence about bringing:
- 80 diapers (Is that too many? We can pre-order Huggies. We've always used Pampers, so I'm wondering if we should just pack our own.)
- Squeezable puréed food packs (Henry is currently on a puréed food strike. Perhaps we should just commit to BLW for the week.)
- Bug net for stroller. Actually, I should definitely bring this. Note to self: see if it fits on the umbrella stroller.
We'll be 4 days at sea and 3 days on shore. The shore excursions we chose are pretty family friendly and only 1-3 hours in duration. Naps should be pretty easy to accommodate throughout the day, whether in the stroller on the go or on the ship in the pack & play or Dockatot. Henry has proven to be a pretty well-behaved dinner buddy so far (he usually sleeps), but if he is hungry or gets fussy during a fancy dinner, I can simply take him back to the stateroom for a quick break... or hand him to Nana.
Overall we're feeling prepared and excited for our first nautical adventure with baby... soon to be dressed like the cutest little sailor!