Sydney is now 14 months and officially a toddler. She’s been walking since she was 11 months so this feels like a long time coming but we’re excited to start bringing her places and have her really experience it! Traveling with toddlers can be intimidating BUT toddlers LOVE being out and about so plan away, fellow parents. At the end of the day if your trip is a bust you’ll at least be able to say you tried and hopefully you’ll get a few laughs and memories out of it.
I’m not going to lie, we’ve been SO hesitant to travel because Sydney is a horrible napper. There, I said it. We’ve struggled for SO long with her naps. It’s truly been an uphill battle. I’ll have a post soon on our whole nap saga but what we’ve finally embraced the fact that we have to keep on LIVING… and traveling, despite our nap woes. So, here goes.
We decided to join our friends at Sunday River for a New Years baby extravaganza. 4 couples, 4 babies under 18 months and 2 dogs. Why not? Ha. The drive was about four hours so long enough for a baby to be OVER IT (and all distractions) after a while. We were prepped with an arsenal of “things” to throw back at her if worst case scenario ensued. Luckily Syd slept for over an hour, we stopped at a Panera on the way up and during the last 30 minutes whilst meltdown ensued we pulled out the iPad and put on the Wiggles…our secret weapon. She was glued to that iPad for the duration of the trip. So very few tears later we made it. Don’t worry, she doesn’t get any screen time at home. Also, if you’re interested in our iPad setup, here is our $10 solution.
We were lucky enough to stay at our friends ski house. Fully equipped with baby gates and all the necessities. We set up the pack and play in our room. We have the 4moms breeze so this was a quick setup… with all the essentials, which for Syd means Mrs. Kangaroo and her two kitties. She took a nap upon arrival and then it was just eat, sleep, play, repeat. Here is what a full house of babies looks like during dinner prep. I will note that Sydney slept the worst out of all 4 babies. Surprise, surprise. She woke up a lot and cried and by some miracle didn’t wake the other babies. But, it was a lot of up and down. Some babies adapt well to new environments. Not Syd. She actually napped fairly well considering but by the third night got the hang of things for the most part. I think that if we had stayed another night she would have slept without waking up at all but that is the challenge of traveling…by the time they get the hang of it, you’re generally packing up to head home. Here’s what I will say. We were all in the same boat and every one of us had been there at some point so we had lots of support from our friends that she’s doing GREAT and not to stress about it. So to any traveling strangers on an airplane giving you looks when your kid is crying… IGNORE it!!! They don’t matter. What matters is that you focus on your baby and their needs… not rude glares from people who have NO clue what you’re going through. It’s all about support and remembering that the moment you are in is very temporary!
Sunday River! We took turns heading to the mountain and skiing. Some of the babies were in the child care for the morning, which was super convenient for those skiing. We hung out with Syd and walked around and met for lunch at the lodge. It was busy so we did our best to stay out of the way and we did lots of gawking at those crazy boots and skis. It was really fun watching Syd process everything. You could just see her brain going a million miles an hour trying to figure it all out. The fire pit was great and the perfect place for us to get a little outdoor time and feel like part of the action. We also had fun talking with some of the ski instructors and Syd should be up on skis by age 3, so that’s settled. HA!
We did our best to be outdoors as much as possible and hikes in the snow were SO great. Syd snoozed in her carrier while we walked and talked and I’m telling you any chance to be outdoors is fine by us! And my boots from Santa got lots of comments. They’re Keen, if you’re wondering and you can find them on sale right here. They’re SO warm and comfy and I plan on wearing them for a long time! Let’s talk food. We did a lot of cooking at the house because it was so convenient but be sure to stop by the Sunday River Brewing Company for a beverage and if you’re heading through downtown Bethel be sure to stop by Cafe de Cocoa for some coffee and snacks!
In summary, Sunday River is a great family ski destination… even with toddlers who can’t ski yet. Our biggest ski tip with a baby is that taking turns skiing is a great option. Have one person ski the morning and one the afternoon and swap a jacket if you want to take just a few runs! And don’t feel like you have to be stuck at the house or lodge. Get out there and explore and enjoy that fire pit!
All opinions are my own.