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Blog: Don’t Forget the Kitchen Sink! By »

March 30th, 2016

I remember being about 8 months pregnant and thinking to myself, ‘Wow maternity leave is going to be fabulous. So much time to get things done around the house, leisurely summer days in the backyard, and best of all a year to plan vacations and go away any day, for any amount of time.

I was delusional. A first time mom with no idea what the future had in store. The first months of MJ’s life flew by, and all I had actually accomplished (other than birthing, nurturing, nourishing, bathing, clothing, changing, entertaining, playing, teaching, kissing, hugging, rocking, singing to, walking with and loving little MJ…to name a few!), were random little jobs around the house and taking him to swimming lessons. Some days when I actually got to brush my teeth or take more than a 10 minute shower, I felt accomplished!

Needless to say, we hadn’t ventured anywhere for vacation and I really needed to get out. Soooo, we rented a cottage for a week, and took the back seats out of our van, to prep for the hour and a half drive and all the items we’d need for this getaway.

When it comes to packing, I’m an over packer. I tend to categorize items and pack them ‘just in case’, because the last thing I need to worry about is to find a store that sells what I forgot. I avoid the extra stress, so that I can enjoy the vacation, because prior planning prevents pop-up problems.

I researched the cottage layout ahead of time and noticed that it was carpeted, which isn’t a problem, but MJ wasn’t walking yet, so I really didn’t want him crawling all over and face planting into a communal carpet with an unknown history – if you know what I mean. The Summer Infant Pop ‘n Play Ultimate Playard is normally a good solution for travel, but MJ is an active little guy who loves to be part of the action and doesn’t like to be confined, so we needed another solution for our 100 meter dash Olympian in training.

I ended up MacGyvering a play area instead, and it was pretty cool! From the before and after pictures you’ll notice we basically brought play mats, blankets and sleeping bags to lay on the floor, surrounded them with our luggage and added toys, to create an enclosed area of sorts!

Second Picture - where i talk about Macgyver

Anyways, back to what I packed. See below for the items only pertainingto baby MJ!


– Oatmeal cereal
– Pureed baby food (veggies, fruit, lentils, chick peas, etc)
– Snacks for the car (Cheerios, cut up fruit in the Munchkin Fresh
Food Feeder – a must have!)
– Glass containers/Mini Tupperware
– Cooler bags with ice packs
– Spoons
– Bibs
– My boobs (breastfeeding = easy packing!)
– Sippy cups
– Bottled water
– Baby dish soap and dish rags

– Diapers (how many? To be safe I calculated 6 changes per day x 7
days, so brought 42 – plus extras. I’ve read that others suggest to
bring 1 diaper per hour of transit as well – especially for plane rides
with younger babies)
– Swimming Diapers (2 per day)
– Change pad
– Wipes (I brought 1 large bag and still ran out!)
– Diaper rash cream
– Ducky bathtub (Truth! See the van pictures for proof!)
– Baby wash and shampoo
– Washcloths
– Hooded towels
– Bath toys
– Body lotion
– Q-Tips
– Comb
– Clothes (short sleeve and long sleeve shirts, shorts, pants, socks,
zip up sweaters, pyjamas, hats, shoes, bathing suits)
– Extra bag for dirty clothes
– Individual disposable diaper bags to avoid a smelling cottage! (We
brought the Diaper Genie Portable Bag Dispenser)
– Hand sanitizer
– MJ’s health card and medical history
– Ear thermometer
– Children’s Tylenol

– Water toys
– Mini pop-up baby tent for the beach (Check out the new Babymoov
UV Protection Tent)
– Baby suntan lotion
– Beach towels
– Blow up mini pool
– Large picnic/outdoor mat

– Stroller
– Car Seat
– Pack ‘n Play Playard
– Carrier
– Highchair

Bedroom Items/Other:
– Monitor (and its charger!)
– Night light
– Humidifier (We brought our Crane Cool Mist Owl, just in case!)
– Sound machine
– Extra blankets

Toys/Play Area:
– Jolly Jumper on a Stand
Large foam puzzle playmats
– Sleeping bags (to cover the floor so MJ could crawl)
– Activity table
– Toys/balls
– Books

Phew….did we get everything?!

My husband proceeded to the front hall, looked around, looked at me, shook his head, put on his shoes and reluctantly started to pack the van like a life sized game of Tetris.

Third Picture - packed van

Needless to say I basically packed the whole house…minus the kitchen sink…and yes, I used everything! Well…except for the sound machine because there was a naturally beautiful wave sound from the lake, which in theory should have lulled MJ right to sleep.

But it didn’t.

I don’t know if it was the new environment, different smells, being away from his bed, or the fact that he knew I had been looking forward to a ‘vacation’…that he didn’t sleep at all.
Wait, let me rephrase…he slept from 10pm -1am and then was up until about 4:30am reading books in our bed.

Natural wave sounds, days of fresh-air, swimming in the lake, vitamin D from the sun…none of these things that ‘should’ help facilitate sleep, worked. Yet again, my son breaks the mould.

When the week came to an end and we had to re-pack the van, I had mixed emotions. I was glad we brought everything for the baby because it eased my mind to know that he could crawl on the floor without us worrying about what he was touching. I was happy we actually got away. I absolutely loved seeing MJ light up when we sat by the lake and he got play with the sand, or when he splashed around in the pool, or when we went for strolls by the lighthouse, with no worries in his little world.

First - Main Picture

MJ even started associating and pointing to things like daddy, mommy, water, tree, bird and sky. It was truly magical to see and even though I was exhausted from the lack of a good night’s sleep, cooking meals every day, making sure MJ didn’t eat wet sand, hit his head on the deck, get a sunburn, overheat, get too much wind in his ears, all while trying to relax, make sure I remembered to shave my legs, keep my eyes open while we tried to have some alone time watching a movie on the couch, do a load of laundry so we’d have towels for the beach the next day, and remember to take off my contacts before going to bed…it was a great week! Not too sure I’d deem it a ‘vacation’ though…maybe more of a successful first attempt of getting out of the house.

I don’t even want to know how much I’ll pack when we take our first family flight. I may have to invest in some hockey bags.

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