My "Small Measures with Ashley" post is up over at Design Sponge. Being in Florida, enjoying the sun and sea, got me thinking about water conservation and advocacy. I adore bodies of water. If I had my druthers, we'd be living on a lake up here, or next to a craggy coast in Maine, or seaside in the western Scottish highlands, or on one of the San Juan Islands in Washington state. I'm happy to enjoy the three creeks on our property in the meantime. Water is such a precious resource and an increasingly scarce resource. Watching someone throw trash out of their car a few weeks ago, and knowing that most debris carelessly tossed like that ultimately finds its way to the sea, truly saddens me. Public bodies of water are habitats for so many creatures and it's our role to protect them while we partake of their pleasures.
So, I successfully travelled on an airplane with an infant, twice! I'm pretty stoked by how seamlessly it all went. Thanks to all of you who offered up travel tips. I seriously took them to heart. Nursing seems to be the golden ticket when it comes to placating a wee one whilst airborne. Huxley did, however, decide to do his "business" mid-way through our 55 minute return flight, which I thought was hilarious. Taking care of that went off without a hitch, though, which was great as it was the one thing I kept worrying would happen. And then it did, and it was truly no big deal. The drop-down table in the rear lavatory was all we needed to manage things. He didn't seem to mind the turbulence while we were in there and promptly fell asleep once we settled back into our seats. Lesson learned: pack the diaper bag well, and be prepared for the thing you worry about the most to be nowhere near as horrific or odious as you expect.
A few other things I learned about traveling with an infant:
1) They like their evening and morning routines, so do your best to recreate them. Huxley pretty much starts to melt around 7:45 p.m.. I'm used to socializing with family until we're all on the verge of passing out. It was challenging to want to continue to chat everyone up and laugh merrily while knowing that my little guy really just wanted me to put him to sleep. He did great at both parent's houses in the morning, though. We sang him "his" morning song ("Good morning, good morning, the nighttime is over, good morning!"; I don't know-I made it up on a whim months ago), got him changed and he was happy as a clam while I drank my coffee and let the grandparents cuddle him.
2) Bring lots of outfit changes. Huxley is in the spitting-up stage. It gets on him, it gets on me, it gets on everything. Bring extra clothes or do some laundry mid-visit.
3) Keep babies out of the sun. Most sunscreens, even those intended for babies, are indicated for use only in infants 6 months or older. Younger babies should simply not be in the sun for extended periods of time, so, if you wanna soak up rays on the beach, get someone else to watch your tiny person while doing so.
4) It's okay if they cry. I'm still learning this one. When Huxley cried on vacation, I felt either self-conscious to be "bothering" family with a crying baby, or "anxious" that he was hungry, scared, over-stimulated, what-have-you. Here's the thing: he's a baby. He's 5 months old. He weighs a mere 15 pounds (I weighed him at Publix!). He's going to cry. He can't say, "Uh, mom, would you mind stripping off that, albeit adorable, too-hot outer layer long-sleeved onesie? We're in Florida and it's 85 outside." So, he cries. That's what babies do. And I'm getting better at being alright with that.
5) Allow your insecurities the space to surface, and then allow them to pass. I learned two things about myself on the trip. Firstly, I felt a mild twinge of panic as we left Asheville. It really surprised me, as I think of myself as a logical, grounded person. I felt afraid, fearful of leaving my familiar setting with this tiny creature for the first time. I fretted about how he'd do through airport security, how he'd handle the change in pressure on the plane, if he'd cry a lot, if my family would judge me for nursing him often (I'm simply following his cues) or for practicing bed-sharing. So, I looked at all of those fears, acknowledged them, and then let them pass over me. Secondly, I found myself mildly anxious whenever anyone else held him. What if they accidentally dropped him into the pool? What if they slipped on a wet floor? What if he puked on them? No matter how irrational, the thoughts happened. And then I let them go. I'm learning that parenthood is very much about letting things go. And once I did, I felt great.
Have a lovely weekend, wherever it takes you!