Baby’s First Trip Away

This week we have been away visiting my parents. It was the first time we have been away with Penny overnight so I was quite nervous about how it would go. What would she be like on the long journey? Would she sleep ok in a travel cot in a strange room? Would I forget something vital? Packing was quite a task. Lists and sub-lists were written and checked off. The amount of stuff we had to take for Penny alone was quite phenomenal. Packing the car, I was extremely grateful my mum had got hold of a second-hand stroller for us to use there as there was no way the pushchair would have fitted in along with all the other paraphernalia.

This is just what I needed to pack for Penny!

This is just what I needed to pack for Penny!

We timed setting off for when Penny was due a nap. Sure enough she was soon fast asleep and we made good progress. Stopping at a services for lunch and a stretch, I was impressed with the baby facilities. I have never really paid attention before to what was available, but they had a good size baby changing room, plenty of highchairs, a microwave and bottle warmer, and free baby food on request. The second leg of the journey was not so successful. Having slept for two hours already, Penny was awake and unhappy. As the crying got more and more determined we were desperately counting down the miles to the next services so we could comfort her. Ultimately we ended up shifting everything around in the car so I could sit in the back with her for the rest of the journey.

The calm before the storm!

The calm before the storm!

Once there, we had a great time. Penny loved seeing Grandma and Grandpa again and enjoyed all the fantastic toys my mum had managed to get hold of from charity shops (give them a good clean and they’re as good as new). We visited relatives and friends and Penny was thoroughly spoilt with all the presents and new outfits she was given. She discovered that cucumber from the Harvester salad bar is great fun and learnt how to shuffle backwards on her hands and knees (I get the impression she’ll be crawling very soon).

Mmm - yummy!

Mmm – yummy!

She spent a lovely day with Grandma and Grandpa while Mummy and Daddy went to the races and got shown off to all the other grandma’s at my mum’s coffee morning. Best of all, she slept brilliantly. Her sleep had been improving (more on that in a follow up blog post soon) but I was worried that in a strange travel cot, in a strange house she would be really unsettled. Instead, she was out like a light as soon as she was placed in her cot and mostly only woke when she wanted milk.

Playing with Grandpa. All those lovely toys and she was more interested in a pair of hancuffs (a prop for a play Grandpa is in).

Playing with Grandpa. All those lovely toys and she was more interested in a pair of hancuffs (a prop for a play Grandpa is in).

We returned home yesterday. Yet again, Penny cried once she’d finished the sleeping thing and I ended up in the back with her. Still, overall I would call our first trip away a great success. I will just expect to spend a fair part of our next long journey in the back of the car with her!

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About Laura Cooper

I am a mid-thirties first time mum of one. Formerly a secondary school teacher, serial planner and know-it-all . I have learnt that nothing about being a mum is predictable and am now a strong advocate of making it up as you go along.
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