Damon and I have always been backpackers… Minimalists, really, at least when it comes to luggage. We have packing down to an art and know how to fit everything we need into a carry-on bag. Twice, we’ve traveled across Europe with only backpacks.
Up until we had a baby, the only time we actually had to check luggage was when we were going skiing and had to bring our equipment.
But then Avery came along. And packing as we knew it changed.
It takes days of thoughtful planning, list making, and even shopping to pack for the tiniest human in our household. Gone are the days of throwing a few things in a bag and spontaneously heading off to a new city, state, or country. Nowadays, packing is a process… A long, complicated process.
I’m writing this as I stare at an open suitcase, preparing to pack Avery’s things for another adventure… Our first family ski trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Packing for a winter trip requires a bit more work, in general… Besides your daily clothes and toiletries you have to worry about shoes, gloves, hats and coats. All that extra stuff takes up a lot of room in a suitcase!
But regardless of the season, packing to go anywhere with a baby can be tedious and overwhelming.
Diapers, wipes, rash cream, baby wash, lotion, more diapers, a sheet, a blanket, a lovey, even more diapers, baby food, formula, bottles, soap to wash the bottles, a kitchen sink to wash the bottles in… And that’s just for a trip to the grocery store! Just kidding… Kinda.
We’ll be in Colorado for a week and I’m currently trying to cram our entire house into my suitcase. I don’t know why I do this when it comes to Avery’s things, yet I’m a minimalist when it comes to my own. I guess, as a first-time mom, I just want to be prepared should anything happen.
I know what you’re probably thinking: it’s Colorado. It isn’t like we’re traveling to a third world country. Heck, we aren’t even leaving this country. I’m pretty sure they have stores in Colorado where I could buy most of these items. In fact, we will likely have to hit up one of those stores anyway. Do you know how many diapers a baby goes through in a week?! It’s ridiculous. How can someone so tiny poop so many times a day? But, I digress.
At least our backpacking experience has made us extremely organized packers. I’ve learned if you roll your clothes instead of fold them you can fit more in your suitcase. Better yet, I like to roll entire outfits (pants, shirt, accessories, etc.) together so I don’t have to dig through and constantly refold clothes. This is especially helpful with baby outfits. I also stuff all our socks or my curling iron inside my shoes before I pack them to save room.
After I finally get everything packed, it usually requires sitting on the suitcase just to close it. Sometimes, it requires both Damon and me sitting on the suitcase. I’ve come to accept this is our new way of packing… at least for now. Kids come with a lot of crap. And no amount of organization can condense all that crap to fit into a backpack.