We recently took a short vacation with our baby- her first extended stay away from home- and we all had a great time. I found that with a little planning ahead and a lot of extra gear, going on a vacation trip with a baby can be even more fun than going only as a couple. I did have to write out an extensive packing list for the baby and plan for some baby friendly activities which were also low cost.
My Baby’s Vacation Packing List:
√ Fully stocked diaper bag- diapers, wipes, plastic bags, rash cream, powder, changing pad, tissues, sanitizer, extra pacifier
√ Extra pack of diapers and wipes
√ 2 outfits for each day and her sun hat
√ Baby bath wash, shampoo, lotion, and sunscreen
√ Baby bowl, spoon, bottle, and bibs
√ Prepared baby food, baby snacks, and juice
√ Favorite doll, book, and a few other toys
√ Portable crib with 3 of her favorite blankets
√ Stroller, baby carrier, and car seat of course
√ Childproofing and safety items (Masking tape is easy and convenient to cover outlets, tape padding to sharp corners, secure cords and cabinets, etc.)
Baby Friendly Activities:
For our mini vacation with baby, we took a trip up to Nashville, the capital of Tennessee and chose some family friendly activities that were also free. We had originally planned to take our baby to the Nashville Zoo but the admission and parking prices were ridiculously expensive. Besides that, I searched around and found so many free activities that we wouldn’t have had time for the zoo anyway.
State Capitol Building
This was my husband’s top pick for activities in Nashville, and it was beautiful. Since there are nearly a million steps to get to the building, if you have a stroller it is best to go through the tunnel which has an elevator. This was fun for the whole family and admission was free- I just wish we had not gone on the school field trip day. For more information read Visiting Capitol Hill on the official Tennessee government website.
Tennessee State Museum
My husband and I really enjoyed the museum but our baby was getting fussy- no food or drinks allowed- so we had to leave before we finished the tour. I expected to pay a small admission fee but this was completely free also (the metered parking space for downtown was outrageous though). At the moment they have some really neat Egyptian relics on display which I found very interesting but if you want to know more, here is their official website.
Capitol Mall and War Memorial
Our baby LOVED walking around the Capitol Mall, and she could have juice and snacks since it was outside. This was absolutely beautiful and I would recommend stopping here if you happen to be in Nashville. To learn more and see pictures of the Capitol Mall and Memorial check out the official state park website.
Of course I had to do a little shopping while we were in Nashville. We took a stroll around the Cool Springs Galleria on our way up there, since the mall nearest us is not very impressive. Then we stopped at the Bass Pro Shop for my husband, but the baby actually really liked it- the huge fish tank mesmerized her. The Farmer’s Market in Nashville is huge, and has small restaurants too, so we grabbed some good local food from there. We spent an afternoon touring the Opryland Resort and my husband bought me a souvenir at one of the shops there.
We wore our baby out with all of the shopping and adventures, but she loved it all. Plus, in the end we had spent very little money since we decided to only do free activities. Overall, our first family vacation with baby was a great success, and I hope yours is too.