CAMPING WITH MY BABY IN KAUAI
AMY - OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA
We travelled with Ruby really early. We went to Seattle to see Jeremy’s family when she was six weeks old. That’s not particularly adventurous, maybe, but everything seems adventurous when you have a six week old! Packing for traveling is no joke. We clipped a pacifier to our daughter for use throughout the trip, as it is a nice distraction from waiting in lines and a comfort as the plane takes off. When we’re in the air, we use a pillow we bring along to support Ruby and save our shoulders and arms! She gets pretty sleepy on planes and usually naps.
Probably our biggest trip has been to Kauai in Hawaii, on a camping trip. It was a friend’s 40th birthday celebration and we didn’t want to miss it. In packing, we had to pare down all of our personal stuff to accommodate the tent, our sleeping bags and other camping gear. On the day we arrived, we went to the grocery store and bought diapers and a kiddie pool for our daughter to take baths in. We also rented a stroller and a little Bumbo seat from a rental company. I've found it's really helpful to have a stationary place to put the baby while you're camping, otherwise they get covered in leaves and dirt every time you want to free up your hands. Not the worst thing for them, but a seat makes it easier. We also used a baby carrier since many places we went didn’t have paved sidewalks.
Ruby was about five months old. I was breastfeeding her, so we didn’t have to bring much equipment. She slept in our tent, on a little pad of her own on the ground, perpendicular to us. The tent was supposed to be a 4-person tent but it was quite cramped. I thought it would be much worse sleep-wise, but it was sort of sweet to sleep so closely, as a unit. We never co-slept, so it was a unique experience.
The experience was tiring but it was really fulfilling. She had a great time, so we had a great time. We were camping all together in a group—probably fifteen of us in total. We made a little community. Every morning we’d get up and convene at these little picnic tables and start making breakfast. Ruby just loved it. She just wanted to be with everyone and listen to them. She smiled at everyone! It really did work to take the risk and do something completely different.
On our next trip to see our parents, it’ll be a different story, I bet. She’s much more wiggly now, so I anticipate a little more boredom and frustration on the plane. Oh well! We think it's worth it