We brought the Wrong Baby on Vacation

tim chan —  June 8, 2012 — 6 Comments

Last week Olive and I went on our first vacation since our baby was born. It was a short 4 day trip to nearby Seattle. It was a momentous occasion because it would be our 6-month old daughter’s first road trip and the first time she used her baby passport (now you would expect a baby passport to be smaller than an adult passport, because all things baby are smaller and cuter and have pictures of baby giraffes and elephants on them – but the person in charge at the passport office must have missed the memo).

Wrong baby on VacationWe were excited and nervous about the trip, not knowing what exactly to expect from our baby.

On Wednesday we created a list of all the things we would need to bring for the baby: clothes, diapers, diaper wipes, stroller, exersaucer, playyard, toys, sunscreen, baby bottles, etc…. it was a long list. On Thursday morning, we packed everything into the car, said a quick prayer and left for Seattle.

The only problem was that we brought the wrong baby.

The baby we were supposed to bring was the one that slept through the night. The baby that rarely cried. The baby that smiled and laughed. The baby that napped well in the day. The baby had a good appetite and ate well.

I’m not sure where that baby went.

Instead, we brought the baby that cried all night long. The baby that was whiney and cranky in the day and wouldn’t nap. The baby that didn’t eat well. The baby that fussed all the time.

The first night in Seattle was the worst – Alena woke up every hour crying the entire night. We would have to rock her back to sleep, only to have her wake up the next hour. We did not get much sleep (we’ve nicknamed this trip the “Sleepless in Seattle” vacation).

Maybe it was because Alena wasn’t used to sleeping and being in a new environment. Maybe she was having a growth spurt right exactly during that trip. Maybe she didn’t like the fact that she was sleeping in the walk-in closet (we thought it would make the perfect little room for her… but apparently not).

We were very tempted to drug our baby (with baby Tylenol), but we didn’t.

Alena did get better as the trip went on. On our last night there, she managed to sleep through the night.

Alena at Kerry Park in Seattle

We did manage to see some sights in Seattle and eat at some great restaurants recommended to us by friends and family. We were grateful to spend time with very good friends who flew in from Michigan to vacation with us. Our friends are expecting a baby in October – hopefully their interaction with our travelling baby didn’t scare them about parenthood too much.

We knew that life with a baby would be very different. Going on this little vacation made this truth all the more evident.

What was your first trip with your baby like? How old was he/she and where did you go?


  • Nancy Schwab

    Hey Tim! It’s me Carny’s friend from high school if you remember me. I love reading your posts and I must say in jealous that your baby is normally “easy”. We went on a little 4 hr road trip to Phoenis when Amber was 5 weeks and she did well (except the night I realized I chowed down on broccoli which I absolutely love) but normally she’s how you made your baby sound on your trip hehe. The only thing we feel blessed about is that she does sleep through the night ever since that trip!

    • Hey Nancy! Of course I remember you :) It’s good to hear from you!
      Great to hear that Amber’s been sleeping through the night – it makes a world of a difference doesn’t it?

  • Oh yes. I’ve had those.
    When Noah was almost 6 months old we went on project with P2C to Tanzania for 6 weeks.
    It went better than I could have expected and I grew more as a mother during those 6 weeks than I probably did the entire year. I also learned to go with the flow and that while my baby thrived under structure, he also did really well when I just let go of things and enjoyed the pace of whatever we happened to be doing that day.
    We tried 2 different camping trips with Noah (when he was 9 mos and 1.5 yrs) and eventually I gave up until he’s older (which I think he’d do REALLY well now that he’s 4.5 yrs) as he cried lots at night which totally stressed me out (read: first time Mom) knowing I was keeping up many, many others who were camping around us.
    Now we just go with the flow (with 2 and soon to be 3 kids) and it’s harder with kids sometimes (and we’ve learned to pack a LOT less – ha!), but there are always moments of joy and memories we’ll never forget.

  • Kristin

    We just went camping with Alexa. She did great – only woke up once but I couldn’t sleep for a combination of reasons, one being the train that came by our campsite every two hours during the night. :-) We’re hoping to do a longer roadtrip in the summer so we’ll have to see how we would do with being away from home for multiple nights.

    • Hey Kristin, how many days did you guys go camping and where did Alexa sleep on the trip? Hope that summer road trip goes well for you guys and for Alexa.

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