We are on day three of sleep-deprivation right now. The lack of solid slumber can take a serious toll on your body, your mind, and your blogging abilities. So forgive me if this blog seems a bit convoluted, lacks logical structure, and is riddled with grammatical errors. With each passing day we hope and pray it’s the last in what has become an all-too-familiar process for us… Reprogramming our baby after returning home from a trip.

Returning home from a trip with a baby

Every time we return home from a vacation Avery is about as hard to deal with as a slow computer. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find the CTL+ALT+DEL function so we can’t just do a quick reboot and start over. Instead, we have to suffer through the painful process of reprogramming her entirely. It can take days… And oh, are those days long.

There are tantrums, and meltdowns and a lot of tears… Avery takes it pretty hard, too. Her schedule is all messed up, and her sleep somehow reverts back to the newborn days of waking up every two hours. Nights are a struggle.

Baby awake at 4 a.m.
Wide awake at 4 a.m.

The reality of traveling with a baby

It’s the harsh reality of traveling with a baby. It’s not all beautiful and magical, although watching them experience new things certainly can be. There are very real portions of traveling with a baby that straight out suck. The first few days after returning home from a trip definitely fall into that category. It has gotten easier as Avery has gotten older. She seems to understand more what traveling means, or maybe we are just getting better at it. We also know to expect her temporary relapse in the sleep department, which is much better than being blindsided by a cranky kid whose eyes pop open precisely 15 seconds after you lay her down.

Hotels: Why I blame them

So why does our tiny traveler turn into an irritable mess of inconsolable dysfunction the first night we get home? I blame hotels. The walls are thin and there are other travelers you have to consider. I’ve never actually asked any of them, but I’m fairly sure the other hotel guests don’t particularly enjoy a crying baby in the next room at 3 a.m.. For that reason, we immediately rush to Avery’s side the minute she wakes up crying in the hotel, which will inevitably happen, even though we do what we can to make the hotel feel like home.

In contrast, if she wakes up crying at home we typically hold out for 10 minutes before going into her room. Nine times out of ten she puts herself back to sleep and we never have to go in. But traveling is a different story, and she has our number. By the second day of any trip, our little manipulator has figured out that we will rush to console her in the middle of the night. So she milks it for all it’s worth and proceeds to wake up multiple times to watch us jump out of bed, stub our toes on the unfamiliar furniture and leap across the room to her side. (I just know she’s silently laughing at her dancing puppets she calls parents.)

returning home after a trip with the baby
Returning home is exhausting

She seems to think she can keep up her hotel antics when we return home, too. But when we are in the familiar surroundings of our own home, we refuse to give into her manipulative ways. Avery doesn’t give up easily though. You’ve got to admire her tenacity. By night four, even if you aren’t an advocate of the cry-it-out method, you might find yourself resorting to it for your own sanity, if your child is as persistent as ours.

Inevitably, just as we finally get our baby reprogrammed, it won’t be long until we’re off on another adventure. Our next trip is in a week and a half. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

I’ve come to accept that this is part of traveling with a baby. You take the good, the bad and the sleep-deprived.

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