Wow everyone! Thanks for all your suggestions on my last post. I thought I’d respond here, since my comments are plenty long enough…. I’ll probably still miss some things though.

Re: pumping and breastfeeding. I am planning to nurse on the plane and during the conference proper. Unfortunately the first day I have an off-site field course for 10(!) hours. Hence the need to bring the frozen milk and pump that day. I’ll probably end up tossing what I pump, but if I don’t pump at least somewhat I’ll be in serious pain. I’ve got a manual Avent pump for that purpose. Apparently, in addition to a daycare the conference has a special bfing/pumping room that I can get access to if I want. I’m more of a plop down in the hallway kind of gal for bfing, but it’s nice to know that they have accommodations. In fact, what’s really cool is that the person I called to ask about the short course was in the course of pumping while we spoke. -ology is still pretty male dominated, but the conference is being administered by a bunch of moms!

Is there any way you can get Mom to come along as a nanny?

That’s a great idea. Unfortunately, my mom is still recovering from her cancer treatment and can’t travel until at least Christmas. (yeah, it’s been a rough couple of months.) It’s a bummer too, because she’d really love to go. As for Fish, he works in a pretty rigid corporation and was faced with a choice of being able to take time off at Christmas or help me out now. And we’d both rather have him take time at Christmas.

Consider NOT taking the stroller. Just the sling (or other carrier of some type). Check the carseat

I’m planning to use the stroller for feeding her when high chairs aren’t handy, so I’d really rather bring it. Plus, on previous flights I’ve found it to be really handy when navigating airport diaper changes, so that I have a clean place to set her as I pick up the pad, etc. But, yeah, the stroller might not go. The Ergo is definitely going. But last time I flew, I didn’t take the stroller and I regretted it the whole trip. And the last time I flew, they lost the checked carseat on both the outbound and return flights. That makes me mighty nervous. It turns out that airlines have spare carseats in their lost baggage offices, but those are a finite supply. On one flight, they lost minnow’s seat and three other carseats (belonging to one mom!). They only had two spares, and I got one, so I have no idea what happened to her. I’ll probably have to check the carseat again anyway, because I can’t manage it in the airport. I’m hoping to find a student or faculty member on the same flight who can help me out, but so far no dice.

Also, don’t forget the restrictions on bringing liquids on board, they might give you a hard time with it.

They are not supposed to. I’ve printed a copy of their guidelines (linked above) and will take it along.

Could you maybe rent a stroller at the conference city? Or check your stroller in with the rest of your luggage—that would help with getting through security, at least.

Maybe I’ll borrow Kim’s friend’s stroller… Thanks, Kim! But I’ve flown by myself with the stroller before so I know what to expect. Even if I end up carrying Minnow, it gives me a place to set the carry-on. I don’t know what I’ll do. But I can’t check the stroller, the car seat, and a suitcase without paying the extra baggage fee.

Just what you need, unsollicited advice on diaper rash. But here it is anyway, feel free to completely ignore me.

It actually doesn’t look that painful, but since Fish or I have to call the doctor anyway to reschedule her appointment, I think I’ll ask about it. It’s just a couple of persistent spots on one buttock that despite trying: not treating, treating with A&D, treating with a zinc oxide, just won’t clear up.

you can always buy more diapers (and dish soap for that matter) at Conference City.

True. And I probably will. Usually I try to bring 2-3 days with me to give me time to find diapers at my destination. But I do hate opening a package and then leaving half of it behind.

One thing you want to add to your ‘to do’ list is to call the hotel and make sure the fridge in your room is appropriate for storing breast milk. I went to a conference and the hotel told me the fridge was NOT for storing medicine or milk.

Weird. But I’ll ask. I’m not shy about telling people that I’m breastfeeding. It’s a natural thing and doesn’t deserve to be so stigmatized.

Can Minnow’s Mom avoid burn-out during her first year of tenure track?… just speaking from experience that sometimes it’s good to lower the standards a bit to keep one’s sanity for longer.

This remains the open question. Standards have been dramatically lowered in a number of areas, but I’m just not good at backing out of things once I have committed to them. It’s one of my weaknesses – and not just in the interview sense.

Last but not least – accept you can’t do everything.

I do realize that. My goals are to attend the short course and present the poster. The sessions I really want to hear/network at, I’ve booked daycare for. Beyond that for social gatherings etc, it’ll all depend on what Minnow will put up with and whether other people are willing to have her present.


  1. #1 ecogeofemme
    October 18, 2007

    Good luck!

  2. #2 another female -ologist
    October 18, 2007

    Good luck!

    (PS: we’re in the same -ology, but I won’t be going to the conference… I’m very curious to hear how it goes, and how baby-friendly it is!)

  3. #3 Lisa
    October 18, 2007

    La Leche League says that breastmilk is still good after 10 hours at room temp, and for 24 hours if kept at 15 deg.C.
    “In a landmark study, mature human milk was expressed into clean, not sterile, containers, some stored at room temperature (19-22o C or 66 to 72o F) and some refrigerated for ten hours. The milk was then cultured to evaluate bacterial formation. No statistically significant difference was found between levels of bacteria in the milk that had been refrigerated and the milk stored at room temperature (Barger and Bull 1987).”

  4. #4 Amelie
    October 18, 2007

    Best of luck! I hope you get to see the sessions you’re interested in, and that nobody complains about bfing, Minnow being around, etc. Actually I find it sad that one has to worry about this, you have enough on your mind with just the kid and the science.

  5. #5 Carrie
    October 18, 2007

    You are going to have a great conference SW. Your expectations and goals are valid and not overreaching, and you and Minnow will survive the trip to and from without too much stress!

  6. #6 Amanda
    October 19, 2007

    If you are flying domestically, strollers and carseats don’t count as checked luggage. They go in addition to your two baggage items without extra fees, whether you check them curb-side or with the baggage. Not sure if this is true internationally. Just thought you might want to look into that, if it’ll give you extra wiggle-room.


  7. #7 ScienceMama
    October 22, 2007

    Good luck, ScienceWoman! Good thing Minnow has already proved she’s a trooper! Let us know how it goes…

  8. #8 Monica
    March 7, 2008

    I’m a conference planner, so I have to travel almost every month for work. When my daughter was born I couldn’t stand being away from her that long plus I nursed for over a year. The best was when my mom could meet me there and play nanny. She lives so far away and it was nice for them to get to hang out. Here’s my best advice-

    Watch Craigslist and get a sit-n-stroll. I got one last weekend for $50 and am KICKING myself for not getting it about 15 flights ago! (It’s a carseat and stroller in one.)

    Don’t forget if you are on United or US-Airways you can no longer check 2 bags for free. It’s $25 extra for the 2nd bag. But like others said, carseats etc don’t count. Check the airline site for info.

    Finally, don’t worry about forgetting some necessity. They have drugstores everywhere. I finally started just buying most of the diapers, etc. once I landed so it left more room in the suitcase.

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