SHOP MUNCHKIN'S ESSENTIALS FOR GETTING OUT THE DOOR
*We know it can be hard to get out the door when you’re a new mom. So we’ve partnered with Munchkin to share real stories & strategies from real moms that will help motivate you to get out the door and get into your mom flow. Below, mommy blogger Elizabeth Ariola of Mrs. Nipple shares why she travels, even when it’s not easy. Before my husband and I had kids, we were always on the go. We would travel whenever our jobs would allow. But we had very different views about how traveling would change after babies. My husband saw it completely slowing down, while I did not see it changing much. I felt as long as we didn’t have a very fussy baby, we could still be on the go and take trips as a family. When our baby Charlie arrived, we waited a month before taking our first overnight trip. Instead of flying, we stayed within driving distance from our home. The weather wasn’t great, so we came home a little early, and we learned very quickly that you need to be flexible when traveling with a baby. Five months in, I was ready to go a bit farther. My parents were planning a trip to Ireland towards the end of my maternity leave, and I decided to tag along with Charlie. I was so nervous! But I did tons of research to find the right gear for our 12 days abroad, and we had a successful trip. The most rewarding part was knowing I took a chance and believed in myself, and it worked out well. It will always be one of my favorite trips. Traveling with two kids has been much harder for us. I look back and wish we traveled even more when we were a family of three. We have a very fussy baby this second time around, plus a 2-year-old with a crazy amount of energy. That makes for some interesting situations. On a recent trip to Montauk, where we took these photos, Charlie got car sick. There I was, alone with two kids on the side of Montauk Highway, and throw up was coming out in buckets. Thankfully, a very nice police officer pulled up behind us and held Charlie's hand as I cleaned out the car. Of course, Charlie was so excited that a police car was there! You are always going to run into obstacles while traveling. As a parent, it's all about how to handle them. Your reactions will set the tone for the day. That's something I try to be very aware of. We ended up having such a beautiful day in Montauk. You would never know what our morning was like. But it's also just as important to know when to say: this isn't going to work today. Sometimes you just need to go back to the hotel, order room service, and start over tomorrow. Getting away with your kids, no matter how young they are, is so valuable. When I’m traveling with Charlie and Ford, I am able to appreciate certain things about being a mom that I don't get from being at home. And when you are all away together as a family, you are basically forced to spend time together. Not just physically, but also mentally. You bond in a different type of way during travel, which is so beneficial to the family as a unit. Traveling with your kids might not look the same for everyone. If you’re a working mom, maybe your ideal “vacation” is staying home for a week because you don't get to experience that on a daily basis. If you’re not able to travel, just try to shake things up, and do something different. If you’re nervous about taking that first vacation, my best advice is: just do it. After your first trip, you will gain that mama confidence you need. Even if it goes terribly wrong, at least you tried! Home will always be there, but that chance to travel with your baby won’t be. Elizabeth’s Must-Haves for Getting Out the Door 1. Snacks and containers for those snacks. Munchkin’s Love a Bowls keep food very secure and even can resist a few toddler throws. 2. One of the best products I bought was a universal sleep cover that created a blackout environment on our stroller, bassinet and even our Dockatot. 3. Brica’s Car Seat Harness Magnet Clips are great for keeping your car seat straps nice and untangled for quick transfers in and out of their seat 4. Munchkin’s Miracle 360 Trainer Cups are key for long trips. Before I got them, we had our fair share of leakers, and it’s not fun, especially in the car seat! 5. Brica’s Fold and Go Travel Bassinet is great for those first few months, so baby can take a nap anywhere. Photography by Lindsey Belle for Well Rounded.