Since moving back home from England, and having a baby, we’ve had a huge adjustment period in our lives! (Obviously) No one can really prepare you for parenthood. It’s the best, yet challenging as you can imagine or all the parents can say amen. Your whole world rotates around that little one as soon as they arrive. We majorly miss living in England and traveling around Europe, but different types of trips are to come with our little green bean!
Our first trip with our baby girl was a one night stay in Washington DC. She was 5 weeks old. I was so nervous. The whole purpose of the trip was actually to get her registered as a Brazilian citizen. We got our paperwork together and made an appointment ahead of time to get it all taken care of. We were in the embassy less than an hour and it was done! (She had one blowout while we were there, messing up her cute outfit of course….whew). When we make our first trip to Brazil, we do have to take the document to the court house there for a birth certificate. But our daughter officially has dual citizenship which I’m excited about for her. She’s half Brazilian so we want her to know her heritage. Marvin is solely speaking Portuguese with her in hopes she will speak the language so she can communicate with our family in Brazil!
The drive to DC was about 4-5 hours from where we live and we stopped 2 times on the way there. I quickly learned how to breastfeed her in the car, and do diaper changes – while we were stopped of course! At 5 weeks old, she really did a lot of sleeping the whole car ride! As people told me, it’s the easiest to travel with them this young because of all the time they spend sleeping!
We used our credit card points to book our hotel, so we stayed for free. Now that we are surviving on one income, being budget friendly is even more of an awareness now! We stayed in an area called Tyson’s Corner, Virginia. We made sure we found a place within walking distance to the metro, and with parking at the hotel. On the metro it took about a 30 minute ride to central DC where we needed to go.
Once we got to the hotel, we got her packed diaper bag, placed it in the bottom of the stroller and we were good to go. She likes riding in her carseat/stroller and it usually puts her to sleep. One thing that we noted traveling with a baby and stroller, we were not used to always looking for the elevators instead of the escalators. This was more time consuming and signs were not always clear. This was a bit frustrating for me on the way back to the hotel when we were trying to keep her calm when she was hungry and we were going back and forth all over just looking for an elevator.
We did not do much sightseeing besides taking a look at the Washington monument, and snapping a photo with it. Even got her a picture with it while crying… which was stressful at the time but so funny to look back on the picture now! Everything is basically planned on her frequent feeding intervals. Which I didn’t prepare for so well with being out. Being a first time mom, I was still getting used to being comfortable with feeding. But we made it through the day and it ended up being just fine. She won’t remember it, but we always will! This was not our first trip to Washington DC so we did not feel obligated to do and see everything.
A plus side for having a stroller is museums usually have a separate quicker line for you to go through. If the weather was better and not raining, I probably would have considered carrying her in a wrap/carrier on me part of the time. But I will think about using one the next time.
At the hotel, they gave us a pack-n-play for her to sleep in. We brought one packed in the car just in case too, but the one the hotel had worked just fine. Luckily she slept well enough in it. We were all exhausted from getting up at 3:30am to make the drive, go to the embassy, spend some time out, then back to the room to order Chinese for dinner!
The next day after we checked out, we found a Brazilian bakery online in Silver Springs, Maryland so we drove 30 minutes out of the way to get some Brazilian food! We thought this was a great way on the trip to commemorate her Brazilian citizenship!
The drive home was similar to the drive there, with her sleeping between planned stops. Overall we felt we did great traveling with her for the first time (minus the one meltdown I had)! We are looking forward to more trips with her in the future. This was our little taste test to get acclimated and somewhat necessary to get her documentation in order. Next up, is Myrtle Beach, South Carolina!
Tips We Learned:
- Pack plenty of extra clothes in the diaper bag for blowouts.
- Make planned stops for road trips to feed and for diaper changes.
- Look for those elevator signs because it’s not always the best idea to take a baby in a stroller down an escalator!
- Take advantage of the quick lines in museums for babies and strollers.
- Try to book hotels that are baby friendly and offer a crib.
- Above all else, remain calm (I needed most reminding of this from Marvin ha, thank goodness for him!)
Have you experienced traveling with a newborn? What was it like?? Any tips you can share with us for the next adventures are welcome!