Next weekend we are taking a road trip up to the Ancestral Home so that my grandma can meet Cayenne. It will be our first overnight with him. It’s about a 3.5-hr. drive, and we will be away from home for just over 48 hours.

I have always prided myself on being an efficient packer. It’s, like, a thing with me. I once packed ONE suitcase with everything my husband and I would need for three weeks in Asia. And now I have a baby, and it’s all gone to hell. Here are the things I have determined are absolutely necessary for the care of a tiny being who only really needs breast milk, clean diapers, and sleep:

Baby containers:

  • Pack-n-Play with sheet and mattress pad
  • Maya Wrap
  • Baby Bjorn


  • Play mat
  • Extra toys to hang from the loops in said play mat
  • Teething toys
  • Gentle Giraffe (white noise machine)


  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Toilet paper*
  • Changing pad
  • Aquaphor
  • Burp cloths

Food, vitamins, and medicine:

  • Boppy
  • Vitamin D drops
  • Gas drops
  • Baby Tylenol


  • 3x footie pajamas
  • 2 swaddle/sleep sacks
  • 6 onesies
  • hoodie sweatshirt
  • an indeterminate number of pairs of pants
  • sun hat

All I can do is laugh. I think my days of light packing are over.

* This is to dry his bottom in between using the wipes and applying the Aquaphor. We have found that putting Aquaphor on a wet bottom leads to unpleasantness.


6 responses to “bivouac

  1. What you need is practice! 🙂 The period when Gwen was 4-13 months I held a relatively high-profile position in the medieval re-enactment group that I’ve been a part of since high school. During those 9 months, Gwen and I made it to 10 different countries, some more than once. By about half-way in, I could pack for a weekend for the two of us with all our garb, medieval accessories, special accoutrements for the office, and baby gear, in one suitcase + diaper bag. I’ve gotten so efficient with packing for the two of us with minimal weight that now when I travel alone for conferences, and don’t have to bring any medieval gear along with, I’m shocked at how little I need. And when my husband comes along with to the medieval events, and we’ve got two or more suitcases, there’s SO MUCH STUFF we can bring!

    Enjoy your trip, hope it goes well!

  2. Oh, yes, traveling with and packing for a baby… we got a bigger car because of all the stuff we needed to pack when going away with him.
    Day after tomorrow I’m going up to my Mom with him. For a week. Just him and me. Alone. By train. No idea how I’m gonna do this, since I also have to bring his car seat along.
    Have a safe and fun trip!

  3. Oh dear, neither H nor I have never been efficient packers – I like to think I’m a bit better, but then he’s a lot taller so his clothes do need more room…
    Anyway, with the two of us packing for twins I think we may need a van.
    Have a good trip!

  4. We just went away this weekend, and it just is SO MUCH work to pack and unpack and pack again and unpack again all the stuff. And then launder it. It almost takes the fun out of going anywhere. And then the anxiety of forgetting something and not having something ESSENTIAL for your baby’s survival (well-being, really. But it feels like survival). Courage, dear G&L. I hear tell the load gets lighter as they get older. I snort at that, meaning that I will need to see it to believe it.
    Hope you have a great time seeing your grandmother and that she loves Cayenne instantly (and I can only imagine she will be thrilled to tears, but I don’t know your grandmother).

  5. I’m so glad you’re taking a trip. It’s brave, and it will be wonderful. And tough. And yes, I like Sara’s point: Intrepid people like you and her rapidly reduce the giant pile to a much smaller pile through the magic of practice.

    (I have also been astonished at some of the things people pack. Like a baby bathtub. How dirty does your baby get? And what’s wrong with throwing a towel at the bottom of a normal tub? Of course I say this as someone who doesn’t even OWN some so-called essentials, like a monitor, and…a baby bathtub…)

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