We are still on our 3-month long Elternzeit vacation in Down Under so this mom life update will be a lot about my experiences traveling with an infant – to date. We‘ve spent 7 weeks traveling in a motorhome through Tasmania. Now we have arrived in Sydney after a 10-day road trip from Melbourne.
How is the little one at 7 months?
She has grown so much! Sometimes when I look at her I see a toddler, not an infant. Where has my tiny baby girl gone?!
She is definitely developing a little personality. She knows what she wants. But she is also, how can I put it… polite? She tries to let us know that she wants to play with another toy/has had enough baby food/is tired… a few times in a calm manner – before she starts screaming 🙂 I appreciate that A LOT (the politeness, not the screaming…) and we are getting better and better at reading her mind I think. There are, for example, nights when we react to the first sign of her getting tired and we don‘t need more than 15 minutes to take her to bed and she goes to sleep. Those are the days my friends 🙂 Of course, there are other nights, when we need 1.5 hours…
Another thing that is new: She is shy towards strangers now. As we are traveling at the moment we meet new people every day. At the beginning of our trip two months ago she was super open towards new people and smiled at everybody. That has changed in the last two weeks. We first noticed it when she started crying after a super friendly waitress bent down to her (she was sitting in her stroller), talked to her and touched her feet. The poor waitress… She didn‘t dare to come back to our table after it took us 10 minutes to calm the little one down. We were served by her colleague for the rest of our lunch…
Something similar happend while we were having a picnic at a rest area. A nice elderly man came over to our table, asked how old our little one is and then bent down to talk to her. This time, I noticed right away that she didn‘t like the attention so I intervened, told the nice man that she was a bit shy these days and picked her up and held her on my arm. So I prevented her from crying and she was fine again right away. But this is really new to us. I wonder how long this phase will last…
And then we think she is also teething. Her cheeks are often red or flushed, she is drooling more than usual and she frequently sticks her little fingers in her mouth. She then looks at us and starts crying or says something that sounds like „auauaua“. Poor thing! I don‘t get mother nature when it comes to teeth. Why is it so hurtful to get them?!
And last but not least, she is reacting to her name now. I love it! When I call out her name she turns her head, looks at me and smiles! This kind of smile makes your heart melt and fill with love 🙂
What is she loving lately?
Wheels! We noticed it the first time when she started playing around with the wheels of our suitcases. It fascinates her that she can make them turn. That entertains her for quite a while.
As I am not super happy with her playing with wheels that have wheeled across a few airports and streets already, we bought her a little toy car now. It even has little beads inside the wheel that rattle when she moves the car. Well, she still loves the suitcase better but she is polite enough to play with her new toy from time to time, too. 😀
Another thing she is loving lately is being on the swing with me. I have her in the carrier and she is looking out of it and laughs full of joy. Too cute.
Moreover, she thinks it is super fun when I drag her through the apartment while she is laying on a towel or a sheet.
And she seems to have a lot of fun rolling around on the floor. She hasn‘t figured out yet how to crawl so rolling is her way of getting from A to B. She can‘t quite control where she rolls though so we have to retrieve her from various locations regularly, like underneath the bed or sofa.
How is traveling with a 7-month old baby?
Different to traveling as a childless couple 🙂 When it was just the two of us we loved to be active on our vacations. We got up rather early, had a quick breakfast and hit the walking trails (we love hiking :-)) or the road (we love roadtrips :-)). And we kept hiking or driving for hours. Then we fell into bed rather early because we were worn out from a day filled with exploring.
Two things haven‘t changed: We still get up early and we still go to bed early 😀 But with an infant, you have to plan your days differently and mainly around the needs of your baby. So this is a normal day of our vacation:
6:00 am – The little one wakes up. We try to get her fall back to sleep. It doesn‘t work.
6:15 am – We take her into bed with us, still hoping she might fall back to sleep.
6:30 am – We surrender. Moritz gets up and prepares breakfast, I feed the little one, change diapers and dress her. Well, at least we got to see a lot of very pretty sunrises on this trip… 😊
6:45 am – We are having a quick breakfast while the little one is playing on the floor.
7:00 am – We get ready, one after the other because one has to watch the little one.
7:30 am – We both play with the little one.
8:00 am – We prepare to go for a short hike. This means we change diapers again, dress the little one again and pack some snacks.
9:00 am – We start a short hike. Most of the time we are the first ones on the track (not so good with snakes and spiders, as nobody walked on the track before us and thus scared them away already. I have seen a few too many snakes for my liking on this trip…)
9:15 am – The little one falls asleep in the carrier. Now we know that we have around 1.5 hours until she wakes up again and doesn‘t want to be strapped in the carrier anymore.
And before you ask: yes, I am wearing very fancy anti-snake-bite gaitors in this picture. In camouflage design. Fashionable, right?! 😂
10:45 am – The little one wakes up again and doesn‘t want to be strapped in the carrier anymore. If our timing was good, we are close to completing the trail, if not, we walk the rest of the trail with a protesting baby strapped to one of us.
11:30 am – We are back at the accommodation (we were traveling through Tasmania for the first 6 weeks of our trip with a motorhome, now we are on the mainland, on a road trip from Melbourne to Sydney where we stay in hotels and motels) and play with the little one.
Noon – Lunch! And more play time.
1:00 pm – The little one gets tired again so this is our chance to get out again. We put her in the stroller or carrier again and leave for an afternoon stroll.
3:00 pm – We come back from our stroll. It‘s time for some coffee for us and time for a vegetable puree for the little one.
6:00 pm – Somewhere in between the last few hours and a lot of time on the floor with toys all around us we have also washed the little one and got her ready for bed. Around 6 pm she gets tired.
6: 30 pm – When we are lucky, the little one is asleep and we have dinner and enjoy a calm evening.
9:00 pm – When we haven‘t been lucky, the little one is asleep just now and we had a quite stressful dinner sometime in the last few hours with an unhappy baby next to us.
10.15 pm – Sleepy time
Yes, traveling with an infant is A LOT different to traveling as a childless couple. But it is also so rewarding. Now, it is not only the sightseeing and the exploring that makes your days. It is the little developments of the little one. It fills my heart with so much love to see how she reacts to all the new situations. It was cute to observe her while she saw a kangaroo for the first time in her life. How she stared at a parrot. How she was fascinated by raindrops running down the windows of our motorhome. It‘s these little things that now form memories of our trip, too.
It took us some days to get into this new way of traveling, the rhythm of traveling as a family. But once we found it, it all came naturally. I loved how we vacationed pre-baby. But I am totally fine with taking 5 gears out of our trips in the future and trading the big adventure for the small wonders that come with mom-life 😊