The tickets are booked and the bags are... well, they're getting there.
Next week Whitney Port and her husband of two years, Tim Rosenman, are flying to Florida to spend Christmas with his family—and not only is this their first holiday season as parents, this will be the first plane ride for their nearly -month-old son, Sonny.
Understandably, planning for a cross-country flight with a teething baby comes with its own unique to-pack list.
"A lot of new moms have told me to pack Tylenol with me," Port, who has partnered with the classically family-friendly brand, told E! News in an interview Wednesday, ticking off her must-haves for the trip. "On the plane you want to have something that eases his pain so he's not that crazy, crying baby the whole time." And luckily Tylenol comes in formulas for all ages.
Fully aware that planes are where healthy people go to catch colds, she added, "I'm really, really scared about catching something, so I feel if I have the Tylenol, I'll be armed."
Port says that she's finally mastered the hands-free baby carrier, the baby headphones are at the ready to pipe in some soothing lullabies, a bottle is key so he has something to suck on to help relieve pressure in his ears, and there will be books and toys—"things for him to stare at and be distracted by with lots of color."
Port is still up in the air (so to speak) when it comes to her go-to bag: she knows she'll need something bigger than her day-to-day diaper bag, so she's leaning toward stashing Sonny's essentials in a regular wheelie carry-on. In the meantime she's separating the smaller goods in toiletry bags marked with cute labels—such as "Feed Me" for bottles and "change me" for diapers, wipes and assorted creams—to stay organized.
Before they go, she'll also be checking in with the baby registry service Gugu Guru, which helps match moms and babies with the right products based on their needs and lifestyle, to make sure she's not missing anything.
Admittedly a "notorious over-packer," Port says that, while she could easily conceive of a hundred things she might need, she's planning to try to streamline her luggage as much as possible—"that's where my husband comes in, to help me edit"—because ultimately it'll be her and Tim lugging everything around.
And the new mom is of course grateful that all three of them are making the trip together, her first time traveling at all since having Sonny. "I don't know if I could physically and emotionally get through it by myself!" she said, laughing.
Rosenman, meanwhile, has taken to fatherhood like a champ, pulling diaper duty and even babysitting already—all by himself!
"I wouldn't say [we're] 50-50 only because I'm the one who has to provide the food," Port said, "but other than that Timmy is a huge, immense help. I trust him to be with the baby, more than anybody else." Last Saturday, he took over while she went to a baby shower and, she admitted, "it felt really nice to be doing my thing and knowing Timmy was actually really love and enjoying being home with the baby. He wants as much time with him as possible."
Recently Whitney and Tim have been marveling over Sonny's inevitably adorable milestones, from the usual strengthening of the neck so a baby's head doesn't need as much support, to the way he mimics their sounds "so we feel like we have our own little language."
"It's fun to see a personality start to grow," Port said happily.
Once they're in Florida (usually they go to Vermont for the quintessential Christmas setting but it so happens that this year she'll be trading one mild climate for another), Port says that she's looking forward to the usual—vegging out with family, watching movies and eating candy. Plus, while her mother-in-law was recently out to L.A. to visit, this will be the first chance for most of the Rosenman fam to get more quality time with little Sonny.
The former star of The Hills also coincidentally ended up pregnant when her fellow MTV pals Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag were also expecting, and Jason Wahler just welcomed his first child as well in August, with wife Ashley Slack.
Now that the Hills baby boom has come to fruition, and TV cast reunions are all the rage, Port says that she would certainly be open to seeing everybody—but, she admits, while she wishes everybody nothing but the best and they'll always hold a special place in her heart, she hasn't been in regular touch with her Hills crew for some time.
"There hasn't really been that communication back and forth, but it's fun to follow along and see what everyone's up to—and it's definitely fun to see that we're all in this [getting started as parents] at the same time."
"We all have those people in high school and college that we shared that important time with, but don't necessarily keep in touch with," she explained. "It's the same thing with the Hills crew—they'll always be a part of my roots but I don't necessarily talk to them every day."
However, "there's definitely been some discussion" about getting the gang back together for at least a where-are-they-now type event. Spencer Pratt actually reached out to Whitney to see if she'd be up for that and "yeah, why not?!" was her answer. "You know, it would be fun to show people what we're up to, especially since we're all in this similar phase right now," she told us. "But there's nothing like concrete that's happening, yet."
Fellow Hills alum Audrina Patridge welcomed a daughter last year, but this fall she filed for divorce from husband Corey Bohan, and it's been a rocky split. Port says that she's aware of the more dramatic headlines that have been out there, "but we never know what's really happening behind closed doors. I love Audrina and I would totally be here for her if she ever needed anything, and I feel sorry that she's going through something so hard."
So while a Hills catch-up never entirely off the table, Whitney Port's plate is plenty full in the meantime.
In addition to working with Tylenol, she has started writing an online column for Flare magazine; she's serving as creative director of Bloom2Bloom, the online flower delivery service she launched earlier this year with business partner Laurenne Resnik; and she's continuing with her online video series "I Love My Baby But...," on which she's opened up over the past year about everything from breastfeeding to her changing body to the effects that having a baby has on a marriage.
"It's therapeutic in that it feels like a place for me to vent," Port tells E!, "and it's very cathartic and I have a lot of people that are supportive and that validate what I'm feeling and going through—but then it can also cause me to question myself a little bit more, 'cause there are a lot of people who want to give opinions."
She is certainly not alone in that respect. But though Port admits that all the noise can result in her "constantly comparing" what she's doing to all these other moms weighing in with their two cents, "more often than not, it's a really helpful thing for me." Not to mention, her fellow moms are coming to her for tips as well.
"It makes me feel really good, honestly, the fact that I could partner with Tylenol and share this video of travel tips and essentials was really beneficial because a lot of women are asking me for this kind of thing," Port says. "And it makes me feel good to be providing a service for moms. I feel like I haven't done something like that for a really long time."
She added, "I'm wearing a bunch of different hats and it's been really fun to explore all these different sides of my professional life." Speaking of which, she remembered she had a deadline looming for her next column, so it was time to go.
But it's certainly been a year of firsts and major change. Whitney and Tim are also in the middle of renovating their new house, which they moved into a week before Sonny was born in July. "Right now we're currently living without a kitchen, which has been quite the challenge," she said. But, "we're getting through it and we're really excited to be in a home and have all these exciting new beginnings."
Not to mention, the author and lifestyle maven has naturally been enjoying picking out finishes and furnishings and decor for the home. "I feel really, really lucky right now," Port said.