|Tough critic...unimpressed with the falls in Krka|
Packing List for Baby
We are notorious over-packers. For our previous trip with Baby, we took WAY too many clothes and toys. We promised ourselves that we were going to pair things down especially since we wanted our load to be hands-free for this journey (big backpacks, here we come!). For the most part, we accomplished our goal, and were thankful with our decision come travel days.
How much to bring is dependent a lot on your laundry plans. We stayed in rental properties, some of which had laundry facilities. We pre-booked all of our accommodation before our trip so we knew ahead of time that we would be doing laundry every 7 days. Our baby isn't very messy and rarely has a diaper explosion, so we didn't need a lot of clothes for her. We spent the first half of our trip in Croatia where it was warm (20-25 degrees most days) and the second half in Bosnia where it was cooler (12-20 degrees).
*A side note about laundry...we brought a little ziploc bag filled with our detergent from home. This way, all of Baby's clothes and crib sheets would smell like home, hopefully giving her more of a sense of security and comfort especially at night.
|Taking a dip outside Dubrovnik|
1 t-shirt, 1 romper, 1 dress
3 long-sleeve onesies
2 long-sleeved shirts (one was a very lightweight white one that was good on hot days for sun protection)
1 lightweight sweater, 1 heavy sweater
3 pairs of pants
1 footless sleeper
2 sleepers with feet
1 fleece sleeper with feet
1 bathing suit and swim diaper
1 sun bonnet, 1 headscarf, 1 toque
3 pairs of socks
1 pair of watershoes (great for the pebbly beaches in Croatia)
1 pair of softsole shoes
|Strolling the harbourfront of Korcula|
2 sheets for the Pack n Play
1 change pad
Travel wipes container
Pack n Play
Inflatable bathtub & pump
Travel high chair (see review below)
Cloth collapsible cooler bag
Medical supplies: d-drops, Baby Tylenol, saline drops, nail clippers, etc.
Simple baby-proofing supplies: elastic bands, pipe cleaners, plug covers for the country you're going to, etc. (in practice there were too many hazards so we just kept a close eye on Baby constantly rather than use any of these supplies)
Diapers (we are big advocates of bringing as many diapers as you can from home that are the right size for your baby because when you travel internationally, you have to be prepared that diapers will fit differently even if the brands are the same as at home).
We did not take a car seat for this trip. When we rented a car, we rented a car seat with it. We were even able to request a car seat for our day trip to Montenegro from Dubrovnik, which was very awesome to have!
|Loving her chair |
(there is a tray that attaches)
|Enjoying the view (and lunch!) in Mostar|
|Inside Sarajevo's City Hall|
At this age we found that Baby's best entertainment came from two things: people and food. She was most interested and happy when given the opportunity to look at and interact with strangers. On the plane, that meant playing a lot of peek-a-boo with whomever in our vicinity was willing, walking up and down the aisles, and waving to flight attendants. We kept her preoccupied before flights by walking her around the airport visiting friendly travellers. On buses and in the stroller we would encourage waving at people, birds, cats, trees...anything. She learned the perfect pronunciation for both "hi" and "hey" and used them amply to charm people on the street. We rarely took toys with us when we went out.
|Sharing a chacuterie plate with Mom and Dad|
on our balcony in Lumbarda
|We went for small, lightweight, and diverse|
Accommodation & Pace
|Adventure Baby takes over Split!|
|Early morning walks in Sarajevo's Stari Grad|
For this trip we chose to stay in places longer and keep travel to a minimum. It worked really well for us with her at this age. She wanted to be crawling and moving around, not stuck in a car seat, carrier, or stroller. It's all about knowing your baby and what they are capable of. If they're unhappy, you're probably going to be unhappy, too.
A huge advantage to off-season travel is that places aren't booked up solid. At every place we stayed, we asked our host if we could have a late check-out and were granted it with no extra charge. That made our travel days so much easier because Baby could nap in her crib and then we'd get up and go. It never hurts to ask!
We outlined the basics of air and car travel on our 0-6 month post, so for a recap, click here.
What we'll add is that we really recommend paying in advance to get a bulkhead seat. Ideally, your baby will sleep in the bassinet provided. If not, you at least have more leg room, which is especially helpful if your baby isn't sleeping and wants to move around. We found this to be essential at this age.
The hottest topic on travelling with children blogs is jet lag. There are two camps: try to adjust your child's schedule to the time change before you fly or wait until you arrive at your destination. We are firm believers in waiting. For us, the journey is the hardest part. We want to be as well-rested going into it as possible (baby, too!) so that it's easier to survive. We have found that our child adjusts to the new time zone way faster than us. Maybe babies have an easier time because they are used to sleeping more throughout the day? Or maybe our baby is just a super-star international jet-setter. Whatever the reason it took her less than 48 hours both there and back (6 hour difference there, 8 hour difference back) to get back to her regular sleep routine. We feel that the number one thing you can do to help yourselves get onto the correct time, no matter how far your journey or how many time zones you leap over, is to arrive at your destination in the late afternoon. Our baby usually goes to bed around 6 pm. Landing at 4 pm local time was perfect. By the time we got our bags, cleared customs, transfered from the airport to our accommodation, set up her crib, gave her some food, ran through her bedtime routine, it was 6:00 pm local time. That meant we had a moment to shower, eat some take-out, and go to bed at 7:30 pm local time. You will be tired from the journey and you'll sleep. You might not wake up at exactly the right time, but with some water, exercise, sunlight, and hearty meals the next day at local meal times, it won't take you long to get back on track.
|Selfie attempt at the top of Dubrovnik's old town walls|
Above all, enjoy this amazing opportunity to spend time together as a family. Your baby might not remember the sites you saw or the borders you crossed, but she will hold on to the feeling of being with parents who are happy and excited by new places and experiences.
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