August 11, 2009

A visit to Maryland

In July, Eliot and I traveled to Maryland, by ourselves, to visit Natalie's Maryland folks and to go to a wedding. We visited Baltimore and spent time with my father, Rollie, and his wife, Roxie, who will be known to Eliot as Pops and Nana. We also went to Cambridge to see my godmother, Amy, and her husband, Kirk, who will be known to Eliot as Mamie and Pappi (or Papi, not sure how to spell it). Kate was there too with her daughter Eliza Jane. Then we went to D.C. to attend Desaray and Lauren's lovely Quaker wedding (their blog), where we also saw some old, good friends.

Eliot was a champion traveler, with the help of a little children's Benadryl. We flew cross country, with one layover each way, and everyone seated near us was always very sweet and helpful and tolerant, even when Eliot would kick them while he nursed (his legs are so long and he kicks a lot when he nurses). Even the two Vietnam vets seated next to me on my last leg from Chicago to Portland were so nice and helpful (even if the one next to me did tend to Bogart the
armrest a bit). Usually what I did is let him stay awake for the first leg, then for the second leg I would nurse him, change him, put him in the Ergo baby carrier, and give him Benadryl. Then I would have to walk to the back of the plane near the bathroom and bounce him in the Ergo until he fell asleep. The Ergo has a nice cover that goes over his head to keep him from looking around too much and to make it kind of dark for him. Once he was asleep, I would go sit down (it was hard to keep his legs from knocking too much against the armrests) and try to stay pretty still while he slept, so as not to wake him up. Even with the Benadryl, he would wake up a little bit occasionally, and I would bounce in my seat and he would go back to sleep. All in all, it wasn't too bad.

During our visits, he slept pretty well in his little travel tent with the blowup baby air mattress inside. I brought white noise for him. And I found relatively dark places to put him to sleep everywhere we went (including the closet at Amy's house and at the hotel in D.C. where we stayed the night of the wedding). He did really well, and got all his naps, and got to bed on time most nights too. Yay, Eliot! A champion traveler. I found that yes, it is difficult to travel with a baby, and yes, it is easier when there Dad is with us, and yes, you need a lot of stuff. But with the help of a rolling suitcase and the small strollers where the car seat just locks into it, I was able to bring only what I could carry. And the Benadryl really was a life saver. I think the flight would have been much harder without that.

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