How to Thoughtfully Pack for Your Kids
My husband and I are leaving to Switzerland and we are not taking the kids. I spend a lot of time with my girls since I am a stay at home mom and leaving them is always so tough. I have found that leaving everything organized makes it easier for my family and gives me peace of mind.
THE MASTER PLAN
I create a packet for my family. The first page includes my daughters' schedules. The schedule is detailed from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep. I have a 15 months old so it has her naps and feeding times. My 5-year-old doesn't have such a rigorous schedule. She will tell you when she is hungry and needs to be bathed. The next page includes the schedule for the week I'm gone. In my case, my mother-in-law, sister, and mom will be taking care of the girls. So I have a schedule of who has them when and at what time is the drop-off and pick-up of each. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect. The next page includes medicine instructions. My 15-month-old received vaccines this week that could give her a fever so in this page I detailed the dosage of Motrin and Tylenol. I did the same for my 5-year-old just in case she has a fever. Next page includes all the important phone numbers and addresses of doctors, other family members, school, handyman, insurance cards and the alarm code. The final page includes our flight and hotel information. I do all this in Google Documents online, that way I share it with everyone involved. I send it a couple days before my trip to make sure I answer any questions that may come up. This also serves as my list of things I need to take and pack.
Whenever I drop off my girls at my parents, sisters, or in-laws they always take their own luggage. Inside they will find everything they need. Clothes, stuffed animals, diapers, shoes, books, etc. I lay out an outfit for each day with a couple of extra ones just in case. I also include sunscreen and bug spray. I use individual luggage cubes I bought on Amazon that come in several colors. I bought the hot pink for my older daughter and light pink for my 15-month-old (it matches their personalities hahaha).
My 5-year-old eats everything but I still make food for my 15-month-old. I liquify her food and store it in these baby food freezer trays I also bought on Amazon. I really should buy stocks of Amazon at this point. I also make sure to get yogurt, cheerios, milk, and oatmeal for her. I make sure to pack her bottles, bibs, and sippy cups. Since all this goes in the kitchen I pack it separately in a reusable bag.
I make a list of everything that needs to be taken to my family's house. My 5-year-old packs her favorite toys and books. Since my girls sleep with a white noise machine, I pack that and the baby monitor.
My girls are spending the first couple of days with my in-laws so I take these items the day before I leave. That way they have the day to situate themselves with all the items. Making lists and doing things in advance eliminates any confusion, answers any questions and clears up any doubts. Then my husband and I can relax and enjoy our time together. It's hard to leave the girls but every once and a while it's necessary. My relationship with my husband is important to me and it's one I plan to last a lifetime.
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Baby food freezer cubes: