Why traveling with an infant as a new parent is the best idea ever
Did you just have a baby? Congratulations — you can put your alarm clock into storage for a while.
For new parents, having a baby is a huge change in their daily life: lots of learning, trial and error, and repetitive skill mastery (I’m a Diaper Changer LVL 50).
When I first had a baby (currently a 20-month-old) I remember struggling with all sorts of things. I was continuously hyper-aware of every little parenting decision I made. I also worried about hazards like loud noises, being outdoors too much, and strangers. I was a newbie.
When our baby was five months old, I had to travel for work — all the way across the country. It would have been the first time that I would not see my baby for over 24 hrs. So instead I took my wife and baby with me.
Go somewhere far from home
We had about eight bags of stuff, a car seat, a stroller, tons of milk, bottles, diapers … oh and a baby! As parents and a couple, we leveled up our relationship and parenting skills rapidly. We got lucky on the flight over — baby slept, no delays.
On the flight home, I was wedged between my wife and a silent sleeper. About half-way through the flight, I had my wife sleeping on one shoulder, the other passenger leaning on me, and a little sleeping baby in my lap. Hashtag parenting 👶?
Shortly thereafter, I was surprised to find a mid-flight diaper blowout of the number two variety (I think new parents will understand what that means), Basically baby and I had to go into the lavatory and clean up.
Learn and Grow
Overall, the trip was a massive success, having forced my wife and me to improve communication about our baby on a higher degree, not “freak out” during not-so-emergencies, and trust that our baby can handle the world more than we originally thought.
On the day we left, we forgot:
- A toy
- A baby pillow (of the Boppy kind)
- A feeding bottle
- Some clothes
And you know what? We just left it there.
Fast forward to today, and in retrospect, that trip helped immensely.
I’ve found that most new parents sweat the small stuff. I don’t know how other parents move out of this stage of helicopter parenting, and perhaps some never do. But doing something that is controlled stress with your kid and spouse can help you grow out of it.
Go out there and travel
Traveling with a baby is an experience. If you don’t do it, it will take much longer to tolerate the world as it relates to your baby. Likewise, your baby will take longer to adjust to the world.
Bring plenty of diapers!