Visiting Relatives With Baby

Karyn's phone 241After spending three weeks in Southern Illinois with our families, I feel as if I am qualified to write on this subject. The idea of visiting family is fun. Babysitters, free entertainment for the little one, extra snuggles and kisses. But, if you are not prepared, visiting relatives can be less-than-perfect experience. While I am no expert, here are a few tips I have learned.

Tip #1: Pack Smart!

As a mom, it can be overwhelming deciding what to bring on a trip when you’re packing for two. Try using a bag for each category. Do a toy bag, snacks bag, diaper/wipes bag, etc. I have learned it helps to have several bags so that I don’t have to dig through a giant suitcase. Pack for the unexpected. Bring extra clothes, bibs, a teething necklace. You just never know what you need. Baby carriers/strollers are a must, too. I don’t know how many times I wish I had my Boba with me this trip. Don’t be afraid to travel with your cloth diapers, either. It can be done!

Tip #2: Remember, you are the mom!

This is a tip a friend told me before my daughter was born, and I try to remember it daily. You are in charge, mom–not grandma, aunt, cousin, etc. If you don’t want your baby to start solids until 6 months, don’t let a family member feed your baby mashed potatoes over Christmas dinner. If you put your baby down for bed at 8 p.m., don’t let a family relative convince you to keep them up late. Try to keep some normalcy for your little one. This is something to remember with nursing, too. If you nurse your little one comfortably in public, do it around family. Try to create an environment where baby feels loved and secure.

Tip #3: Take Advantage of Having Help!

Our family lives six hours away, and we have made numerous trips to visit since my daughter was born. My husband and I take advantage of these visits, because it’s the only time we get to be alone and go to dinner. Allow grandma to watch baby so you can take a nice, long shower and maybe even shave your legs without someone crying or pounding on the door. Spend time with family members who have little ones. Your baby will be delighted to hang out with other babies, no matter how young they are. Visit friends. Just enjoy being around a group of people who love you and baby. They really do just want to help, no matter how much advice they give.

So mom, you got this. Visiting family with an infant is fun! As I type this, I have been up since 5 a.m. at my in-laws with a teething toddler, but I am still smiling. Find a system that works for you and take advantage of that extra help.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a SAHM of Johanna, her little girl who loves to visit her relatives, but doesn’t love the car ride.


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