Traveling to Puerto Rico with an Infant: Learn from my Mistakes by Erin Baynham

28942874666_36559299b4_o Our wonderful vacation in Puerto Rico has concluded, and the entire family had a fantastic time. Seriously, it was much more laid back and comfortable than I realized. I'm a pretty anxious person, and I have to admit, I stressed out A LOT about taking our baby out of the country.  This trip solidified a bigger thirst for travel. I am absolutely building travel into my year! I have to admit that I made a lot of mistakes while we were there. Here's what I wish I did.


I purchased a backpack for me to use as an airplane carry on, a diaper bag and a purse. This was an absolute lifesaver. I can't imagine carrying a tote bag and a purse or diaper bag while walking those narrow sidewalks, or climbing the fort, or being on the plane.

I spent weeks debating on bringing the car seat. I ended up leaving it at home, and it worked out fine. Anytime we got in a car, I wore him in his baby carrier and strapped us both in with the seatbelt. We took four trips, 

Three types of formula-- individual packs, ready made bottles and a small canister. We bought a 24 pack of bottled waters, and I make his bottles on demand.

We carried a box of teething crackers with us while we ate. I only brought three duo sets, but ended up buying (and using) an entire set later. While we were there, he learned to eat puffs!


It would have been better if I had a lighter stroller for travel. I've been using the large Graco, our everyday stroller from home. It's large and clunky. I'm not sure that I need to invest in one now, since we won't be taking anymore trips this year, and he'll probably grow out of it by next year. Also, For the flight, I should have checked the stroller at the plane, not with our luggage. We always had to wait longer for it, and there was a definite risk that it would be dirty when we arrived. Plus, I could have let Cam hang out in it while we were waiting to board.

I read posts about bringing the pack and play, and I really wish I did. The hotel crib was pretty crappy-it's metal and looks like something from a kiddie psych ward. I would have loved if Cam slept in his Pack and Play. Also, it would have been great for us to have it by the pool. I basically have to hold him on the lawn chair, and it gets annoying.

Bath time was definitely interesting. I basically just held him in the shower and washed him in my arms. Slippery, a little scary and basically ineffective for the both of us. I'm a slight germophobe, so I should have brought a travel tub. 

We packed three onsies/outfits per day. He ended up having three leftover outfits. I'm so glad I overpacked! Cam had four poop blowouts, one of which happened while we were touring El Morro Fort.  I ran out of my travel bag of wipes, and left his emergency onsie at the hotel. Poor kid.

I purchased thick, goopy inspect spray and sunscreen. Bad move. My husband bought insect repellent and sunscreen in spray form and it was super helpful! We sprayed ourselves down in only a few seconds, and before you know it, we were out the door. 


I'd absolutely, 100% plan on going back in the next couple of years. In fact, I'm hoping to take a four day vacation with my husband to celebrate our third anniversary. We stayed at the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, and let me tell you, they have the absolute friendliest staff EVER. The hotel is extremely family friendly, and my daughter loved the water slide, pool and beach that were just a few quick steps away from our room. I definitely recommend it!


Medela Makes the Best Bottles for My Baby by Erin Baynham


I had no idea how many brands there were for babies. When I had to do the newborn prep, I was absolutely overwhelmed. I couldn't believe there were so many options! I tried almost every brand- Avent, Dr. Brown's, Gerber, Lansinoh, NUK, Nuby, Tommee name it. But by far, the best brand was Medela. These bottles come in two sizes, 5 oz and 8 oz. They sell three nipple sizes, so the milk flow gets stronger as baby grows. The one thing that this bottle excelled at, for my child, was the lack of leaking. Every other bottle seemed to create a stream of milk down Cameron's cheek, nestling into his neck.

So if you happen to need a baby shower gift for someone, or just want to try them for yourself or a friend, I whole-heartedly recommend them! I threw out every other brand's bottle last week, and my mom and I use Medela exclusively. If you're interested in getting a set, check them out here at

*This post includes affiliate links.

Sleep Training my 5 Month Old: Our Steps by Erin Baynham

Sleeping babyThe week of June 18th, I made the conscious effort to start the sleep training process with my son. We were co-sleeping exclusively, and to be honest, I have no idea how we got there. It was never my intention to do it, but it was so convenient, we just ended up sticking to it. My son is six months old, and although I love sleeping side by side, my husband and I need our bed back. I don't want to end up with us having to kick him out of the bed when he's three, or five, or ten, or any of the other stories people tell me! There are a lot of battles we have to get through, including:

  1. Getting him to sleep in his crib (which he hated)
  2. Getting him to stop nursing on and off all night
  3. Getting him to sleep through the night

To prepare for the new ordeal, I read that routine is key. So we got it down (more or less) to this:

  • Bath (Lasts about 10 minutes. Even if I don't wash him, I let him soak and play in the water)
  • Soft music while getting pajamas on
  • Read a book or two
  • White noise while nursing and/or bottle feeding
  • Put him down while he's still awake

For the longest time, I was convinced that the bed was too stiff for his liking. To start off, we did the rolled towel under the crib sheet "trick". It was meant to make him feel like he is cuddled. I also laid a flat blanket under the crib sheet to make it a little softer. I decided to (sort of) use the Ferber sleep method, where you lay the baby down while he's still awake, and let him cry it out in increments of time. I messed up by putting him to sleep sometimes. Oops. The goal of Ferber's method is to let the baby self soothe, which he should end up doing in the middle of the night when he wakes up too.

Here's how the seven days went:

Day 1

Put him down at 8:10 Checked on him at 8:15 He was asleep at 8:26 I walked in at 8:30 to get my phone, woke him up 8:39, back to sleep Awake at 10:35 Bottle Down at 10:46 Up at 12:48 Down at 12:52 Up 1:05 Down 1:14 Up 2:28 Down 2:36 Up 4:42 In bed with me--up at 6:50

Day 2 Put him down at 8:35 Thought I smelled poop. Picked him up. No poop. Oops. 8:44 Put him down at 8:48 Asleep at 9:01 Awake 11:15 Bottle at 11:32 Asleep at 11:45 Awake at 2:09 Breastfed, back down at 2:21 Awake 3:40 Asleep (almost) 3:45 Awake 4:20 (Nursed) In bed with me, up at 8:30

Day 3 In bed, 9:10 (already asleep) Awake at 9:56 Asleep at 10:00 (on his own) Moved him at 11:42, breastfed and fell asleep at 11:49 Picked up at midnight and slept with me

Day 4 In bed at 8:57 Breastfed at 9:09 Went to sleep at 9:14 Woke up around 2:30

Day 5 In bed at 8:24 Asleep at 8:29 Awake 8:32 (Teething--cry doesn't sound tired) Rocked and fell asleep at 8:47 Awake at 10:58 Gave bottle, asleep at 11:04 Awake 11:51 Asleep 11:56 Awake 4:29 Breastfed and back down at 4:42 Awake 6:55

Major milestone: First night entirely in his own bed!

Day 6 Down at 8:04 Up 10:44 Breastfed and down 10:47 12:44 breastfed Down at 1:03

Day 7 Down at 8:37 Asleep at 8:42 Awake at 6:13!!!!

Major milestone: Holy crap he slept the entire night!!!!!! (I didn't, because I got up to check on him basically every hour)

And then what did I do? We had a fun weekend and got home late every night, omitted routine....and now we have to start all over again. Uuuuuuuuuugggggggggghhhhhhh. What was I thinking? Ever since we started this, however, I can say that I see his sleep pattern more clearly. He's usually down by 8pm. He wakes up at either 12:30 or 2:30am. From then, I'm usually so tired that I bring him from his crib into our bed. Then I nurse him throughout the night as he wakes us, usually at 4:30ish and 5:30ish. These methods don't work well when the baby's sick, has had vaccines, or is away from home. Of course, he gets his shots next week, and we go on vacation a few weeks after that. We'll keep you posted on round two, which I'll try aggressively when we return from vacation in mid August.