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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm starting a new job next month and just about the first thing on my plate is a 3-day business trip to Chicago (we are in NYC). I'll be gone Wednesday - Friday. Although I've traveled on business before, I've never been away from ds for more than about 36 hours (and never more than one night). As I am a cosleeping, breastfeeding mama with a babe that reverse cycles (he will take a bottle at night from DH or the sitter, but won't during the day), I'm very nervous about the whole separation thing and not sure how to handle. Anyone out there been down this road before and can offer some tips?

(Note I did briefly consider taking ds and the sitter with me -- at my own expense -- but I won't be in the city, I'll be in a hotel in an office park in the 'burbs, and so they'd be stuck in the hotel all day while I'm in meetings 8am - 5pm and then schmoozing with clients over dinner. In the end I think ds would be happier at home where he can go to the park, the playground, and see familiar faces all around.)

DS is 14 months old, if that helps!

Thanks, mamas!
 

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I've done it. It's possible, but it's rough on all parties. I agree about taking the kid and spouse/sitter along -- it has to be somewhere they can do something during the day besides sit in the hotel room.

Read up on nursing strikes in older infants. There's next-to-nothing written about travel away from a baby, so the best I could find was about nursing strikes. I just thought of it as a forced nursing strike.

I would plan a day when I return to not go into work and stay home and take care of dd and let (then a sahd) dh rest.
 

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I've done it as well. Went on my first overnight biz trip when DD was 3 months (no flames please, if I don't/won't travel, I cannot have my job), and just got back from 2 nights/3 days away from DD (who is now 18 months).

DD does not nurse at night, and has not done so since about 10 months, but when she was, DH or my mom would just do bottles when she awoke. It was rough, since it was sometimes as many as 3 bottles/night, but everyone made it. We also co-sleep, so DD just slept w/DH or my mom. DH works swing shifts, so if he works nights, DD is w/my parents.

Anyway, it can be done, even if it is stressful!

As far as bringing DC & a sitter w/you - I did this twice. Once when I had to go on a 5 night biz trip. BUT, my Dad was also going to the same conference, so my mom came to watch DD, and had my Dad as well as me for company, at least at night. Also, I didn't need to do much after-hours biz socializing on that trip. I also brought my my mom & DD to a wedding I went to when DD was 6 months old. DH couldn't come, but it was in beautiful Vail, and we stayed @ a nice hotel which in the village, so it was kind of nice for my mom. Still, she's a saint!

HTH!
 

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I've travelled a bit on business since DD was 9 months old. It's worked out just fine, but she didn't night nurse that much. We've had no problems with nursing and at 3.5 she's still going quite strong, showing no signs of disinterest.

You may need to pump and bring it back home, or just dump it. I was recently gone for 2 nights and didn't pump, but boy did I feel pretty full!

My experience is that children are adaptable and will learn that things work differently when it's just daddy, when they are in day care or when they are with other people. I assume your partner will continue to co-sleep while you are gone?

I'd advise talking about the trip a few days ahead of time, discussing how nursies won't be there and giving your child something of yours for comfort in the night - your scarf, nightshirt that smells like you, favorite bra - whatever. Then your partner can bring that out if it's rough at night.
 

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I've also done this. I try and take my son and dh along when possible (dh is a sahd). When it's not possible DH is there to give a bottle at night and co-sleep. It's not as easy on my son as when I'm there since he's also a reverse cycler but he does ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the support!!


DH is not a SAHD, though he is very hands-on and does co-sleep and will give DS a bottle at night/early a.m. (When I had to be away overnight before DH just slept with a bottle of EBM on the nightstand so he could grab it and snuggle/bottlefeed DS when he stirred.)

I've arranged for the sitter to arrive early (7 - 7:30am) so DH has some backup while he gets ready for work, and so he can get the car out before alternate side parking starts at 8am. One night our friend and next-door neighbor is going to come over and make dinner, and the second night my SIL will come over after work to give DH a hand, so I think he'll be ok (exhausted, but ok) when I return on Friday night. And of course we'll have the whole weekend together as a family when I return, so that should be a help.

But I have one more question: I will be pumping while I'm gone, and don't want to dump, as it's very hard for me to build up a freezer stash -- in fact, it's really only during these trips away that I get any significant amount when I pump. I have a PIS with the little freezer pack inserts, but am wondering how to keep the EBM cool (and the freezer packs frozen) while I'm in the hotel. I suppose I can always ask the concierge when I get there, but in the meantime, how have you all handled this?

Thanks again!!
 

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I'm assuming that you'll be staying at a reasonable business hotel, since you're traveling for work. What I've done, at least 4 or 5 times, is to call ahead & request that a mini-fridge be put in my room. I've never had a problem. Bring extra freezer packs, and be sure that your cooler bag is big enough to carry all the milk you have home. I had a little rolling cooler bag that I used for this.

If the freezer compartment in the ice box they give you isn't cold enough to freeze your packs, you can always ask the hotel to put them in their freezers, and then remember to grab them as you're checking out. I would stick them all in a plastic shopping bag w/your name on them so they stay together, etc.
 

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I have traveled a lot I took Marah Jade once when she was 6 months. I was able to postpone most trips until she was over a year, to the detriment of my career BTW, and I took my first trip alone when she was 16 months old. She did REALLY well. She co-sleeps and DH is a SAHD so she was used to being with him and fed by him. The first night she woke up crying a few times looking for me. After the first night she only woke up once a night for the remainder of the trip.

The hotel will be required to provide you with a fridge. Most keep them because of people who travel with diabetic medication so any public hotel either has to have an in room one or one you can use. I would have one in my room and freeze my ice packs in the little freezer tray in the fridge. I am not sure what kind of hotel you are going to but the Hilton's are the best for fridges.

I bought two 64 oz nagalene bottles and the first trip just put the milk directly in those. However one leaked and I lost half of the milk in it
. After that I just put the milk directly into the bags I normally freeze in. I bought an insulated thermos so I could put the bags in it with my ice. That worked really well. I would use a seperate insulator for your milk other than the one in the PIS. It isn't very temperature consistant and my ice kept way longer in an insulated lunch bag.

Let me know if you have more questions, like tips for pumping in airports etc. I took 7 trips in 2005 and I will start traveling again next week after being trip free since October
:

If you fly don't check your milk in your luggage, carry it on the plane.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JaneyHD
I'm assuming that you'll be staying at a reasonable business hotel, since you're traveling for work. What I've done, at least 4 or 5 times, is to call ahead & request that a mini-fridge be put in my room. I've never had a problem. Bring extra freezer packs, and be sure that your cooler bag is big enough to carry all the milk you have home. I had a little rolling cooler bag that I used for this.

If the freezer compartment in the ice box they give you isn't cold enough to freeze your packs, you can always ask the hotel to put them in their freezers, and then remember to grab them as you're checking out. I would stick them all in a plastic shopping bag w/your name on them so they stay together, etc.
I did just what Janey did. We need to write a book for Working and Pumping without Guilt to show WOHM how this all can be done! My sister told me you could request mini-fridges and they wheel them up on a dolly. Who knew?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ellien C
My sister told me you could request mini-fridges and they wheel them up on a dolly. Who knew?
Yup, I did that several times. In fact a couple times they wanted to charge me and I made a stink because I said it was for BREASTMILK to feed my child, not beer or some other nonessential. But usually they were very nice and accomodating. And once I even got bumped up to a suite for the same price because that way they could get me a fridge.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ellien C
We need to write a book for Working and Pumping without Guilt to show WOHM how this all can be done!
:

Nursing Mother, Working Mother is helpful, but it has so many gaps. I always would go to the book with a question, and realize I was reading "Nursing Mother, Working Mother for Beginners" when what I really needed was "Advanced Nursing Mother, Working Mother." There's so much accumulated wisdom here you can't find elsewhere.
 

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I'm a chicagoian myself (I moved to dallas when I was 21) and my entire family lives there right now. Depending on where you are at, there should be plenty around that if you do decide to take someone with and your baby....they won't be stuck in the hotel.

Chicago has the weird situation where the bigger it grows, the more smaller towns are getting swallowed up, so they really arn't burby anymore. Dallas was a hell of a cultural shock for me! lol!

if you are say, near shaumburg area, there is a great mall (woodfield) that they can stroll about and play...for a couple hours anyways! great parks all over the burb area, etc.
Since it's only 3 days, you might have to spring for a rental car or taxis, but it won't be TOO bad...

Depending on where you are, you might be able to use public transport (i'd probably still reccomend going taxi/car route though)

anyways, depending on where you are at, there is quite a bit of easily accessable stuff they could do
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm still OPEN to the idea of taking ds and the nanny, I just thought the location wasn't very workable. But, just in case there are other mommas who know the area, here are the details: We'll be in Naperville, at the Holiday Inn (which, based on the website, actually DOES look like a business hotel, much to my surprise). However, my nanny doesn't drive, so even if I rented a car for her it wouldn't do her any good. And cabs are not all that helpful as ds is 14 months old and needs a car seat -- we would bring ours, obviously, but it means the nanny would not only have to install it for each cab ride, she'd have to haul it around with her at their destination so as to have it for the ride home.

Thanks much for the tip on the in-room refrigerator; I'll definitely request one. While travelling I pump into the Medela plastic bottles and only keep the milk in the PIS cooler while I'm actually en-route. They are the last thing I pack before I leave and the first thing I unpack when I arrive! I'm hesitant to haul an extra cooler as I'm already carrying the PIS, laptop, and roller bag -- and since I have 45 minutes to make my first meeting after landing at O'Hare I wasn't planning to check anything. (Though I suppose I could check the suitcase coming home.) What kinds of coolers have worked for you? Any you would NOT recommend?

Meanwhile, ARE there any books out there that you working, travelling, pumping, attachment-parenting mommas have found useful?

Thanks again for all the tips!!!
 

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This site might be helpful: http://www.workandpump.com/

I haven't checked it in quite a while, since I quit pumping, though.

It sounds like it might not be all that fun for DC and the nanny to come, but maybe some locals know otherwise! Will you have client dinners and/or early-morning meetings?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by lyttlewon
I have traveled a lot I took Marah Jade once when she was 6 months. I was able to postpone most trips until she was over a year, to the detriment of my career BTW, and I took my first trip alone when she was 16 months old.
Oh boy do I hear you on this one. This job was actually offered to me last summer (while I was still on maternity leave) and I turned it down because I knew the travel requirements were more than we could cope with at the time...but needless to say both my career and our family finances would be in better shape had I taken it. *sigh* Don't regret my choices at all, just regret that our society doesn't support better child care options (or health care, or, or or or
:
) Ok, I'll get back on topic now!

Quote:

Originally Posted by lyttlewon
Let me know if you have more questions, like tips for pumping in airports etc.
Yes yes yes! I somehow missed this when reading your post the first time. How DOES one pump in airports (assuming no access to platinum frequent flyer club lounge...)?!

Thanks again,

Cary
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by JaneyHD
This site might be helpful: http://www.workandpump.com/

I haven't checked it in quite a while, since I quit pumping, though.

It sounds like it might not be all that fun for DC and the nanny to come, but maybe some locals know otherwise! Will you have client dinners and/or early-morning meetings?
Thanks for the site reference; I'll check it out!

My meetings will run from 8am to 5pm three days in a row, and I'm booked for one dinner with my project team. Beyond that, I'm not sure. (But, FWIW, everyone on my project team is female, and most are WOHMs! So, I'm hoping for some support there. Cross fingers!!)
 
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