WHAT WE BROUGHT (for Olivia only):
3 pairs of pjs
1 pair of pants, 2 pair of bloomers
1 pair of shoes
diapers (2 jumbo packs)
wipes (a 3-pack from walmart)
a headband or two (even though I figured she wouldn't keep em on)
LOTS OF SNACKS***
toddler formula ( just enough for the first day or two and the plane ride home)
3 sippy cups
1 small tupperware container
olivia's huge, heavy fleece blanket that she is attached to...
anti-bac wipes that I cut up and put in a ziploc
Maclaren umbrella stroller**
hanging storage thing I made for the stroller**
an ERGO carrier (bought this one wk. before we left!)**
a Phil and Ted's portable crib (bought one wk. before!!!)**
TOYS: new blocks she had never seen** (ones with multiple things to press and move on each side), a container full of random things (balls, blocks, little people), a leaptop computer, lily, STACKING CUPS**, baby einstein music player.
WHAT WE THANKED OURSELVES FOR BRINGING EVERYDAY:
The stacking cups: a friend suggested these for the plane, and man they were great. they kept olivia entertained forever! I was doubtful, but my friend was right!
Lots of snacks: Okay, we really didn't need to bring QUITE as many as we had, but the same friend had suggested I bring all different types of snacks, new ones that she has never tried. GOOD SUGGESTION. I brought annie's all natural fruit snacks, graham crackers, goldfish, new freeze-dried fruit, granola bars (all natural from costco), fruit loops (I know these are so bad probably, but they were great when we needed her to just make it a little longer), etc. She loved it all, and the fruit snacks were great when she was especially fussy.
The ERGO carrier: OH. MY. GOSH. that thing was awesome. I had a baby bjorn when she was little, but since she was one now, she had far outgrown it. the SAME friend again told me about her Ergo and how much she liked it, so I read a thousand reviews online and decided to use my etsy money to buy one. SO GLAD I DID. oh man. Because of that thing we were able to stay out in Athens all day exploring ruins, in Ephesus exploring ruins, walk all around Venice, Paris, etc etc. She is not the kind of baby who falls asleep easily but that thing was the bomb ( b/c she DID fall asleep in it!). and it has this awesome part that goes over the baby's head when they fall asleep, so that their head doesn't bobble around! And on the plane ride home, when she was fussy but couldn't sleep, I strapped her in that thing, sang to her, and she fell right asleep. And I was hands-free:) It can be used on the back, front, or side. And it goes up to 3 years old! AND it has a hip strap, so your back doesn't hurt the way it does with a bjorn. It rocked.
The Phil and Ted's crib: My husband was second guessing my decision on this one for the first part of the trip, but let me tell you why it rocked. 1. It folds up so small that it only took up half my suit case!!! and it only weighs 7 lbs. 2. It takes 10 min. to set up. 3. Olivia had the consistency of the same bed wherever we went. 3. It was not crusted with another baby's barf (our luggage was lost when we initially landed in Venice, and so we had to use the hotel's portacrib that was crusted with baby barf. DISGUSTING). This was an awesome, last minute purchase I made using my etsy money. I got it from diapers.com, and because I found a discount code online I got it for about $40 cheaper!!
the crib is that red thing on the right
New blocks: really this is just "new toys." someone suggested bringing a few things olivia had never seen. My friend had told me to go to the dollar store and get cheap stuff, but ours didn't have anything good. Luckily I had bought these multi-activity blocks for her to use, and she loved them.
Our Maclaren: I am really not trying to plug certain brands, but just in case someone wants to know, these are the brands of things that we brought. I actually got my stroller on sale with a discount code for a really great price about 6 months ago, and I am so glad I did. I would NEVER have wanted to lug around a huge stroller, even if it meant bigger wheels for the cobble-stone streets. The Maclaren was lightweight and small and easy to run through the airport with (as we almost missed our connection from paris to venice----after our 8 hour flight where olivia decided not to sleep). And when we had to go up and down the millions of stairs in the Paris metro, it was easy to get up and down (though we mostly used the ergo while in paris). And it is so sturdy (unlike most umbrella strollers) that it withstood the crazy cobblestone and 3 weeks of traveling very well.
tying franc's jacket over olivia helped ward of cold and rain when we were in London.The Thing I sewed for the back of the stroller: I really wish I had a photo of this thing, but it was THE BOMB. I should have made a tutorial for it or something, but I haven't. basically I made something like this, but even better:)
So those were our favorite things that we brought. obviously we are glad we brought the clothes and sippy cups, but those are obvious!
WHAT WE DIDN'T BRING BUT SHOULD HAVE:
Diaper cream (olivia never gets diaper rashes so I didn't think about it, but she got a really bad one in paris and so we had to buy $12 diaper cream, even though I have like 4 tubes at home). errrr
socks- I figured it was summer and since Olivia never keeps socks on anyway, why bring them? I had shoes.. right?! well I hadn't anticipated that it would be so cold in some of our rooms, or that London would actually be cold sometimes... we ended up buying some in London.
An umbrella- duh. you are going to London. But we actually ended up needing one in Paris too. It only rained for about 5 hours of our entire trip (2 hours in Paris, 3 hours in London), but we had to buy an over-priced crappy umbrella from the Musee D'Orsay museum shop because of it. (Of course the rain stopped as soon as we left.)
WHAT WE WISH WE HADN'T BROUGHT:
so many darn toys. seriously. the girl loved the stacking cups and the blocks, but we probably didn't need to bring anything else. she was more interested in all the crap around our hotel room than the toys we brought her. And they took up so much room in our luggage. Franc would have been happy to get rid of most of it after lugging it up and down so many stairs. Poor guy, that luggage was HHHHEEEAVY.
see??!! she found so many fun things to play with around the hotel room! I simultaneously freaked out and laughed so hard when I saw her cleaning the toilet with the toilet brush in our hotel in paris.
so much food. we really could have left 3/4 of it at home. We bought her lots of new treats while we were abroad, so all we should have brought was enough for a couple days. that's it.
Wow. now you must be thinking that is a lot for just one tiny little person, but let me tell you, some things you bring can really make your experience much more enjoyable. And we had the time of our lives, so if we had to spend a few extra bucks to make that happen, then so be it!