Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Traveling Light

At the baby shower before Neal was born, my sister and sister-in-law gave me a diaper bag. It was black and maroon and decidedly masculine so that Utah Dad could carry it and change diapers without feeling like a sissy. The diaper bag was large and had multiple zippered compartments. I found a list from Martha Stewart of what was essential in the well-stocked diaper bag and I set about filling every little compartment. I had everything from extra receiving blankets to miniature bottles of Johnson and Johnson shampoo (just in case I needed to bathe the baby in the sink at Wal-mart--what the heck?). The diaper bag was fully stocked and very heavy. Fortunately I could occasionally stow it under the huge, awkward stroller. I lugged that bag around for the first three kids and it was completely worn out. When I cleaned it out to throw it away, it still had the same little unopened bottle of shampoo in it.

When I had Lilly, I decided to buy a pretty diaper bag. Because as it turns out, Utah Dad didn't carry the diaper bag that often anyway. It was a smaller diaper bag and I filled it up with about half the things I thought I needed before.

Because I now had three older children, this diaper bag took a serious beating and was not exactly looking pretty by the time Molly was born.

I don't carry a diaper bag anymore. I stick a diaper and a travel pack of wipes in my purse (which is old and ugly. It is really time for me to buy a new one--I only have one). It's all I need. There is an extra baby outfit in the car and if I need an extra outfit I probably want to head home anyway. Since I nurse, I don't need to worry about bottles and formula (one of the many benefits of nursing)

Last week when Molly and I traveled to California, I wanted to travel as lightly as possible especially now that airlines have all kinds of new regulations and restrictions on baggage. I packed one small suitcase with the clothes we would need for the four days in CA (fortunately I could leave my winter coat in Utah). I checked this suitcase and Molly's infant car seat on the airplane. I carried Molly in the Snugli and one small bag that fit securely under the seat in front of me. In this bag I packed:

 my camera and equipment
 three diapers
a package of wipes
 Molly's jacket
 a nursing cover
a bag of Jolly Ranchers
Big Red gum
Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund
my wallet
lip gloss
cell phone and charger
a Ziploc bag of Fruit Loops and Cheez-Its for Molly
an empty sippy cup
address book (because I can't remember phone numbers and my cell phone is archaic)

That's all we needed. I didn't have to worry about juggling a baby, my purse, a hefty diaper bag and my camera equipment, not to mention a huge stroller at the gate.

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