Disclaimer: This post was written on the 31st of December l, 2018. I am clearly the backlog queen! I will be following up with all the other backlog, so we can catch up and hopefully actually travel a little more! Anyway. For now.
By the time you read this, I really hope you have been all over the world, not just Africa. For now, you have been to Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Swaziland. You have also been to 4 provinces within South Africa. Not too bad for a 19 month old. I should add that you have been to Zimbabwe 6 times now, all in 7 months!
When we first travelled, just us two, you and I got on a plane at 1am- that was horrible. Tanzania, that was amazing and I cannot wait to go back one day! Your very first trip (disregarding being in Haartebeesport straight after your birth) was to a place in Mpumalanga, and by this time you have also been on a cruise ship! Go big or go home!
For everyone reading this to get to the purpose of it, here goes: How do you pack for an infant? Well…
1. Pack as much practical clothing as you can. Pack layers. Onesies and growers are amazing. I find planes are hot and cold and require taking off and putting on different clothes at different times. An infant needs to be comfortable. Avoid pulling clothes over their heads as much as possible while on the plane, bus, car, etc; rather, pack front clipping/ zipping clothes.
2. Pack at least three sets of clothes per day you travel and pack for every weather scenario. Babies spit up, may have a leaky diaper, may sweat, may get cold. You need to prepare for every situation, no matter what the weather man says. It could be hot where you are traveling to, but will be cold when the air conditioning is turned on- etc. just prepare for everything.
3. Pack as many diapers and toiletries as necessary. I worked with what I thought I would use, and doubled it. Why? Diaper leaks, weather changes, a runny nose or tummy bug, a puddle- whatever- just contingencies. Also, I hate arriving somewhere and having to go shopping for items of this nature- I am quite brand loyal. So unless the aim is to get the natural skin care products in the country I am visiting, I take our own, and I double up.
4. Carrier! I took that carrier everywhere. It was much better than a stroller and in a foreign country where you need to keep baby close, it is the best thing in the world. You must be wondering why I ditched the stroller? I like to travel light and I love to walk, the stroller can be a complete inconvenience to me MOST times. I take the stroller when I am shopping in the mall. In most African countries, I am not trying to be so inconvenienced that I do not enjoy my trip. This is where I thank God that you are not a heavy baby!
5. Hat and sunblock always! Mambo has never been a fan of hats, but we still pack them because the African sun is hot in most countries.
6. Extra cash for anything that may arise. Kids get sick. You plan to walk somewhere and have to catch a cab back because of the weather.Your market trip gets a little turned off- course because you are with a baby and you need to change plans instantly. Anything can happen. You get the picture, right?
7. I always carry ONE backpack- so all our changing stuff as well as my wallet and travel documents are in ONE bag. I prefer this as I can keep baby close as well as our belongings. Like I said though, I travel light, and in most countries do not have a driver or my car. I should also say, I travel light, but for DIAPERS!
8. Baby blankets, I have never packed them and not used them. Depending on how long I am going for, I carry between 1 and 3. I generally pack 1 blanket per three day stay.
9. Babies laundry soap and fabric softener. Yep. Trust me on this. I don’t like to shop for things I do not necessarily need, and baby clothes are my last priority. I also learned that I am quite pedantic about Mambo’s clothes and need them to always be clean. Even though I always wash them again when we get home. I also do not regret packing her soap because on a few occasions I have had to soak some of them, so they do not stain. She needs to explore and dirty clothes cannot be an obstacle!
10. Battery powered musical toys, or whatever your baby responds to. I have a theory that when kids identify their belongings, they feel more secure. You can prove me wrong, it is purely my own theory.
I think those are my top ten tips, if I think of anything more, I will certainly update this link.
I am going to write in detail about all our trips at each stage, as you can imagine, our packing had become sooooo different with every stage.
Here is to every new adventure!