Have a really good reason for the vacation. A destination wedding for close friends (who happen to be executors on our will) is an excellent reason for getting away. Having 29 other people there to celebrate as well makes it a trip not to be missed.
Pump and save every possible ounce of your milk for the months leading up the time away, thus limiting your time away from your baby during this time. Become a mommy martyr for selfish reasons, it pays off in a few months. For 9 days, one needs at least 250 ounces.
Have a reliable, responsible, loving family member to be on board for caring for your baby and supportive of your trip. A grandparent is the absolute best option. Anybody else will leave you racked with serious anxiety.
Allow grandparents to spoil your baby at will and without limits for the entire week. Baby deserves it and grandma and grandpa will love you forever.
Pay in advance for trip. This makes it very difficult to back out of said trip. Further, buy cancellation insurance just in case.
Leave strict, specific down to the anal detail about feeding baby. Its ok if its a page long. Answer any questions about baby's routine too.
Pack the baby's favorite toys and lovies to take along to Grandma's house. Leave a piece of your clothing behind for the baby to cuddle if necessary.
Hug and kiss baby as much as possible. Shed a few tears and then leave quickly. Once in the car, you will feel much better.You will miss your baby more than you thought possible (but not in a rush to end the vacation and get home) but you will be thrilled beyond reason to be home again too.
Dont call home. Its much too expensive and will just create anxiety. Check Facebook for pictures that grandma will surely post of your happy smiling baby. Know that if anything *really serious* happens, grandma will call you.
Bring breast pump and parts, including spare batteries and a nursing cover. Be prepared to pump every 3-4 hours while away. Yes it is a pain, however, if you are dedicated to breast feeding, it is absolutely necessary.
Be prepared to pump anywhere and everywhere including in the car, in the airport lounge, in the plane, in your room away from the fun, on the beach and at a major internationally known water park. Employ DH to assist in supporting your efforts, including booby checks to be sure you arent flashing anybody.
Be prepared to dump your liquid gold down the drain. If you are liberal with the alcohol (very liberal some days which is not hard to do at an all inclusive resort), then this isnt that hard to do because it's not something you would not feed anyway. If not liberal with the alcohol and can safely store it properly, then bring it back on the plane if you are willing to deal with that hassle.
Ignore any nay sayers that make comments that you imply your baby will suffer endless psychological wounding that will require him to be in therapy for his adult life if you leave him with his grandparents. Ignore the people that try to place guilt upon you for leaving your child. Your child will survive, in fact, thrive without you.Ignore the people that silently think you're a horrible parent by throwing you looks of judgment. They really arent any better or worse than you.
Enjoy every single moment with DH. It is priceless to be able to travel in a quiet car and not lug around baby gear. It is amazing to be able to sleep in a few hours without disruption and have loud wild....errr...laughs *wink.* It is awesome to tell dirty jokes, swear, drink without inhibition and eat meals (hot meals at that) in peace.
Be sure that the week is filled with tons of memories of relaxation, fun and debauchery. Be sure to spend the week reconnecting with your DH with romance and private moments.
Have zero guilt. Parents and marriage should still come first and foremost and this time away is great for the marriage. Children are amazing and resilient and you will be a better partner and parent when you return.
Hug and kiss baby as much as humanly possible upon return. Promptly put baby to breast and smile with contentment of being back where you both belong. Lugging baby gear, early mornings and eating meals in chaos will feel good because you'll be home to your most beautiful baby. Baby smiles abound.
Spend a whole day cuddling and spoiling baby upon return. Roll back into your family routine with ease but with new memories of a great trip. Baby will have a slight grandma hangover. That too will pass when he realizes maman cuddles and kisses are still the best.
Maxim is 8 months now and he's changed quite a bit in the last month.
He cut his first two teeth on December 19th. He has his front two bottom chompers. I miss his gummy grin already :(
We traveled to the States again for Christmas. He did much better in the car this time and it was a very good trip. He got spoiled big time, lots of toys for Christmas including a metal Radio Flyer red wagon from my parents. He also got tons of love, cuddles and kisses from Grandma and Grandpa.
He is sitting very well and very seldom falls unless he flops himself over on purpose. He is totally loving this new position and he plays very well now. He loves books and story time.
He is suddenly very interested in our cat Figaro. Fig is very patient and good with him. Fig often sits next to him on the floor and Maxim will reach over to pet and stroke him. I always take the opportunity to show him how to get the kitty nicely. So far so good.
We tried some fruit again this week and he seems to like pears. He has lost the tongue thrust thing completely now and he knows how to swallow good. Its going much better. He'll get more practice with the in-laws this week.
He is having his first time away from Maman and Papa this week. DH and I are traveling to the Bahamas for a friend's wedding and we'll be gone 8 days. We havent been away from him longer than 12 hours since he was born so it will be interesting. I think it will be good for him as he will be with the in-laws and in good hands. It will be good for DH and I as well.
Still not mobile and he's pretty content sitting on his butt. He is Mr Grab Hands and is after everything he can reach. Its really fun to watch him explore the world.
We also went swimming for the first time yesterday. He did NOT enjoy the big pool or the shallow pool. He was better in the splash pad but not by much. It was just too cold for him. However, he LOVED the therapy pool which is a big warm hot tub pool and he was totally relaxed and checking things out when we sat in there. The class was ok, most of the activities they have you do with the babes arent good for little ones but better for toddlers. Lots of bouncing and slight head dipping. We are going to go at least twice a week, maybe participate in the organized class or just hang out in the pool on our own. Water safety and swimming is super important and a life long skill set.
Life will surely get more interesting as we enter the next few months. We love him more and more everyday and his smiles warm our hearts.
I like...quoting lyrics, the number 5, getting lost in a book, watching people interact, jewelry and other shiny objects, red wine, newborn babies, dancing, anything red, true talent, the rain, the change of the seasons, frost on the trees, watching my husband sleep, and words.
I'm a lot of things...woman, wife, daughter, American, counselor, teacher, friend, musician, human.