You’ve got strollers and wraps, extra clothes, favorite toys and a barrage of diapers stuffed into every bag, but you’re still nervous. After all, it’s going to be a week full of firsts for your baby.
Millennial mamas have read far too much about post-partum depression to resign to a life at home till the baby can learn to talk and walk. And there is no reason you shouldn’t travel with your little nugget. The markets are flooded with things designed to make traveling with babies easy-breezy. Several experienced mothers have compiled detailed lists of dos and don’ts which are just one google search away.
But here are a few things that don’t make it to market shelves or wise old lists. Since knowledge is power, here’s some baby-on-board traveling enlightenment we’ve compiled that only experience can teach.
1. Pack Your Spontaneity
You will pack your baby’s favorite binky and blanket along with an entourage of researched items into the diaper bag, but the thing you’ll need the most while traveling is a hands-on attitude.
Your planning may be on point, but far too many factors lie beyond our control – the very contingencies that make our travels memorable. You may book flights in accordance with your little one’s sleep cycle, but they may decide not to nap at all. They might refuse to sit in the stroller and just ask to be held.
A change of environment is just as challenging and thrilling for your baby, as it is for you. Hence, give your baby time to adjust to the new place. Don’t fuss over their food or sleep, as appetite and energy levels can vary on vacation.
2. Unpredictable Baby
Your little one is on the verge of developing a personality and a vacation often speeds up that process. Babies may start fussing over routine things. They might refuse to sleep in their crib, ask to be fed more and throw relentless tantrums, but fret not, they will be forgiving. Through their teething and drooling, they will reward you with the widest of smiles.
They might refuse to wear the new outfits you packed especially for the trip and enjoy waddling in the dirty sleepwear. Nevertheless, let your baby take the wheel. Kick your hyper-mama shoes off and lay back.
3. Redefine Fun
Always keep an extra day and don’t have long, overly-stuffed itineraries. Your baby isn’t used to being lugged around all day, neither would he appreciate being strapped in and watching the world just quietly pass by. Babies need time to stretch, reach out, touch and discover new textures, shapes, sights, and sounds. Another thing, most babies like to ruin pictures. They don’t care about Pinterest or Instagram, so don’t worry if they refuse to smile or are seen leaping out of frames.
It may seem like traveling with a baby can be limiting, with fewer and often simpler things to do. But what your vacation will lack in adventure, it will make up for in wonder. You might not be able to go scuba diving, but watching your baby’s expression as the sea water tickles the little feet for the first time would be exhilarating.
Yes, traveling with a baby is tricky business, but by the end of your first trip, you will be planning for the next. You might not get a perfect album out of your vacation, but you will get giggles and those in-the-middle-of-nowhere naps on your shoulders.
Ultimately, you’ll experience so much that cannot be squeezed into a frame. You would not only be introduced to a new place, culture and cuisine but also a vacation with your tiny human – an insightful journey into their personality.