Some friends have been asking, what we had for our baby when we were traveling in winter.. In this post, I’d like to share our first winter travel experience 🙂
Our first trip after the birth of Aurélie was Walchensee, which is a natural lake south of Munich. At that time Aurélie just turned 8 weeks old. Winter striked in a full force at that time, but we didn’t just want to stay home nevertheless. As Clemens always said to me, „there is no such thing as bad weather.. there is merely bad clothing“.. Yeah, sometimes my German husband doesn’t really have the understanding for my indonesian warm blood 😀 Luckily Aurélie is a winter baby and she loves being in the cold..
Why did we choose Walchensee? Because of its location, it is a good starter for parents-newbies like us. The Autobahn (A9) directing there is usually free, since it has 3 lanes and it has a lot of nice pit stops, in case of milk-time 🙂 By good traffic, we would only need around 2 hours, which is also a maximal duration for our baby to sit in her Maxi Cosi. If we were lucky and baby would sleep through, we could actually drive through directly to our accommodation.
We chose a trip by car, because honestly I was a bit nervous about traveling by train or flight for our first time. We would be more flexible by car and for the first trip, we didn’t really know how much we actually needed. What is really necessary for a travel? Of course we (better said: I) read a lot of books and watched zillion travel videos with babies, just so I could approximate the basic obligatory necessities. But it was winter, where the temperature was below zero, so the basic necessities were already double the normal standard.. And then each baby has their own unique personality and needs of how they need to be stimulated (meaning: how many toys do we need to drag with us??). Aurélie has been a very active baby since day one and she gets bored very easily, so we need to keep her busy and change her activity every half an hour or so. Although we already knew then, that the best thing for her was staying outside or sitting in a restaurant/cafe, where she could observe people.
For our accommodation, we chose a very beautiful apartment (Ferienhaus Gistl am See) with one bedroom directly by the lake. We deliberately chose an apartment and not a hotel, because we felt that it would feel much more comfortable having our own space and privacy. Especially because Aurélie hadn’t had a fixed sleeping nor drinking rhythm.
Back to our travel preparation. Because our Mini Countryman didn’t have a big baggage space, we had to take our Thule roof box for our luggage (which has expanded 10-fold since we have Aurélie).. Because of the roof box and the limited space in our car, we only took weekender and rucksacks instead of hardshell luggages.
This was the very first time, that I minimized MY necessities and travel luggage for the sake of practicability.. Usually I would need at least one cabin luggage, which would be filled to its maximal capacity 😉 This time, Clemens and I actually managed to bring ONLY one hiking rucksack (with a 30 liter capacity) for our clothing, shower AND my facial necessities (hurray! I was so proud of myself).
So with a total of 2 weekenders (one for Aurélies clothing and the other for her books and toys), one big rucksack and 2 daily rucksacks each for Clemens and me, we finally hit the road!
The first hour of the car trip was a little excruciating, because Aurélie wasn’t comfortable at all sitting in her Maxi Cosi 🙁 She kept screaming and crying no matter what I did to soothe her. We did a pit stop just by Ingolstadt to figure out, what we could do to soothe her. We were extremely excited about the „Raststätte Köschinger Forest West“ because of the very modern and clean diaper changing room! The diaper changing room even had warm light and music for babies.. Totally cool!
And so after I breastfed Aurélie and changed her diaper, she was content again. Just by miracle, Aurélie did fall asleep and slept through, even until one hour after we reached our destination! You can’t imagine how relieved and happy these newbie-parents were 😉
Three days in paradise.. Even Aurélie was so relaxed and she instantly felt at home in the apartment by the lake. It was probably the cold crisp air and the serenity of the lake, that Aurélie even slept much much longer and better than at home.. We were beyond happy, that our first trip was successful!
Anyway, I made a check-list of newborn baby winter traveling necessities:
– Vitamin D
– Long sleeved onesies (1/day, in case of diaper leaks or puking)
– Pyjamas (at least 2, one extra)
– Overalls, shirts, pullovers/cardigans and pants (at least one set for every 2 days in winter, one set/day in summer)
– Leggings/stockings (at least 2)
– Winteroverall: we have a fleece overall from Hoppediz. This seriously has a good quality for a very good price! The size (ours is 56-62) runs a bit bigger, so that the overall still fits even for over size 62.
– 2 hats
– A fleece scarf
– 2 pairs of gloves
– At least 2 pairs of socks
– Baby carrier (we had Manduca jersey, but since Aurélie weighed over 5 kg we changed into a Manduca carrier) + winter fleece-cover for Manduca (a must have for the winter! We have one from Manduca by Mam, which is a two-sided cover. One side is fleece and the other side is made of water-resistant material. In cold temperatures we use the fleece side facing the baby. You can use both sides, depending on the outside temperature).
– Facial cloths
– Burp bibs (1/day)
– Baby towel
– Bedsheet (for baby bed)
– Baby blanket and sleeping bag
– Diaper changing mats
– Plastic bags for dirty diapers
– Enough diapers (5-6/day)
– Baby thermometer and nail scissor
– Hot-water bottle (in case of stomachaches or to warm up the bed)
– Cherry-pit cushion (in case of stomachaches)
– Playing mat/blanket
– Baby passport (in case of cross border travels)
– Paracetamol suppository (in case of fever)
– Pacifiers (if baby takes any)
– Toys (small ones) and baby books
– Portable loudspeaker: because Aurélie loves to hear music and we always integrate music (basically any kind, but usually classics and spanish pop 😉
– Room thermometer: because we have the theory that Aurélie sleeps best at around 20 degrees Celsius.
Because I breastfeed Aurélie, we didn’t need to carry bottles and stuffs for feeding..
Another useful things I want to share are:
– A snuggling warm foot muff made of sheepskin for the pram.. I honestly don’t know how we should survive the winter walks without this precious thing! The price is indeed costly (we got ours from Kaiser, bought at Amazon, for around 120€). But if you live in a country, where the weather is cold for almost half of the year and your baby likes to sleep outside, it is just so inevitable! Even at minus degrees temperatures (it was around -2 to 2 degrees in Walchensee), Aurélie always had warm feet and she could sleep very comfortably.
– A fleece blanket/foot muff for the baby car seat. We have one from Vertbaudet, which has a zip that can be opened, once the car interior temperature gets warm. It’s very practical in the winter. Because in the first minutes, the car interior can be still very cold, that your baby can feel very uncomfortable. But once the car is driving, the interior temperature will be around 20-22 degrees, that the baby will start having a heat shock, if we put on their winter jacket for the car ride. And so, with this special blanket/sleeping bag, we can put their normal clothing on avoiding cold or heat shock 🙂
Well, I hope that this post can help any new mommies, who want to travel with her babies.. Yes, even in winter! 🙂