Boarding, Planes, and Babysitters

To start 2016, my family went on a ski trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I have skied since I was a little kid so I happen to be pretty good and I was very excited for the trip. It had been 3 years since I skied last and the difference this time was I now had a husband, an 11 month-old baby, and a year-old puppy.

My puppy, Wally, could not come with us on the ski trip so we decided to board him at an animal hospital. I researched places close by and found one that seemed affordable, had outdoor space, had playtime at least 3 times a day, and had great reviews. When boarding your dog, it’s important to have access to all of their records for things like rabies shots and vaccines. I was able to connect the animal hospital with the vet who performed Wally’s vaccines so they could share all the paperwork that was necessary. When it was time to drop Wally off, we didn’t make a huge deal of it so that both him and Sadie didn’t worry about what was happening. Wally was so excited when he got there he didn’t even look back to see us leaving.

IMG_9708This was Sadie’s first time flying on a plane. Each flight was 2-3 hours and we had Sadie sitting on my lap. We were pretty nervous about Sadie freaking out so I did a lot of research to prepare. The best things I brought were: Tylenol, Benadryl, formula, and Cheerios. Before we boarded the plane, I always let Sadie play and move around in the gate area to get her sillies out. My husband would board with her stroller and all the bags and then Sadie and I would basically be the last people on the plane. This gave her more time to get some energy out while everyone else boarded. Once we boarded, I’d immediately give Sadie a “cocktail” of the Tylenol and Benadryl so that when we ascended her IMG_20160105_145133850ears would not hurt and she could sleep easier. While we taxied, I’d let her explore a little bit (she loved the window) and my husband would prepare her bottle of formula using water we bought in the terminal. Tip: If your baby is used to warm bottles, try to find water at room temperature. Once we took off, I’d give her the bottle of formula to help pop her ears and get her to relax. After she finished and burped, I’d swaddle her and rock her to sleep. She was able to sleep on each flight and only cried for a minute or so when I first started to rock her. When she cried, I would apologize to the people around us which helped reduce the stares. She would usually wake up when the plane started to descend (because her ears hurt). This is when I’d hold a couple Cheerios in my palm and she’d happily pick them up and eat them. Overall, she was very well behaved on each flight so I recommend having at least these 4 items! (and lots of toys and diapers)

In order for me to ski everyday, someone needed to watch Sadie. My mom had graciously offered to take care of her while I skied so it was a true mommy vacation! My mom has watched Sadie many times before so I knew they would both be ok. I left her with a written schedule and a few tips on how I get Sadie down for her afternoon nap. I’d also put Sadie down for her morning nap right before we left so Sadie wouldn’t have to see me leave and my mom would only have to take care of her in the afternoon.

The last night we were in Steamboat, we had a dinner reservation and my Aunt (who is local) asked her friend to babysit Sadie. We purposefully planned for the outing to be on the last day so that Sadie could have time to adjust to the 2-hour time difference and set the reservation for 30 minutes after her bedtime so that she wouldn’t have to meet anyone new. (She sleeps through the night and has a slight bit of stranger anxiety). My husband and I were a little nervous because this was the first time we left Sadie with someone who wasn’t in our family. However, everything went smoothly and it was very nice to have a night out together!