Congratulations, you just had a baby. Maybe travel is the last thing on your mind right now. Maybe you think that when the baby is bigger, more independent, travel will be easier. Well, I’m here to tell you that it won’t be and that the best time to travel is with a baby.
Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post and I was paid to write it. All opinions are my own.
Why we stopped travelling with our children
We used to travel a lot when our children were little and we consider ourselves pretty travel-experienced. We took our eldest and later her little sister on journeys to Malta, France, Spain, Great Britain, and many other destinations, not to mention Poland and Germany where we come from. I had no problems travelling while pregnant.
But when our son was born, we stopped. Flying with three children is expensive, not to mention exhausting. And besides, you don’t want to travel with a child with potty training problems. But it doesn’t mean that we’ve stopped travelling at all, we just explore the different cities and locations in the Netherlands by car.
Why babies make better travel companions than toddlers
We find that the best time to travel is when the baby is around 3 months old (yes, I know the baby in the picture is much bigger than that), especially when you breastfeed. You need no baby food, toys or books. You don’t have to make sure no one is falling behind or losing their belongings.
Yes, I know babies cry, and poop a lot. But when they cry, you feed them and when they poop you change them. It doesn’t require the same amount of mental acrobatic the way dealing with a toddler does.
Toddlers, on the other hand, are whiny, and annoying. They have enough energy to be able to walk but are not fast enough to always follow along. They throw explosive temper tantrums and have to be kept occupied.
Why travelling with children is good for the parents
Travelling with my baby can also prove beneficial to the mom. I can’t tell you how good it was to leave the house and just go somewhere. With a baby, you can still do a lot of sightseeing . You don’t have to think about the place being child-friendly: a baby is simply too small to go to playgrounds and you can eat at posh restaurants. We went to lots of museums while travelling with our baby. In fact, we did everything we’d usually do on vacation without the kids.
It was very important to me to make sure that at least some things were just like they were before and travelling made that possible. Not to mention the fact that it was so great to reconnect with my husband.
I know you have concerns
I know that for some, travelling with a baby can seem shocking. I know a baby seems so tiny, helpless and too fragile to fly or travel long-distance. I know that many parents worry about routines and that a flight may disrupt a baby’s sleep. And safety concerns while travelling with infants are of course, always valid.
I know that parents may feel to exhausted and zombie-like to even consider travelling with a baby. But, if you’re going to be sleep-deprived, isn’t it better to be sleep-deprived in Paris?
I know some people wait until their children are school-aged or even teenagers. That’s too late! When you start travelling when your children are really little, you get the hang of it. It becomes routine, just like everything else. At some point, you can teach your children to pack their own things and take care of them. It’s like with everything else: teach them young! Otherwise, what may happen is that you stop travelling for a while and then it’s harder to go back to travelling after a break. No, they won’t remember the trips they took with you, but you will.
One day, you will tell them stories how you took them to so many countries. You will show them pictures, such as this one and you will install in them a curiosity in exploring other countries and cultures. One day, they will want to play “let’s go to another country” and ask you questions about the world. They will be willing to try new and exotic foods or learn a new language. They will grow up to be open-minded and tolerant and smart. And they will make you proud.
Travelling with a baby is not only possible; it’s that the best time to travel when you have kids is with a baby. Never will travelling be so easy (if you don’t believe me, try flying with a toddler who always wants something from you all the time). School-aged children are easier but they require you to pack more things and make sure they don’t lose their luggage. There are of course advantages and disadvantages to every stage.
Life doesn’t stop when you have a child
There’s apparently this belief that having a child changes everything, and that simple pleasures such as going on a date night with your partner or travelling become impossible. It’s not. Yes, it requires some planning and some thinking and remembering to take diapers but if you’ve enjoyed travelling before you had children, it’s a great idea to continue this trend! And if you’ve never been abroad, now is the time to start.
Do it for me
And if you still don’t want to travel with your baby for some reason, please do it for me. Please write about your travels and let me live vicariously through your adventures. Because while you still have relative freedom of movement, I’m stuck here in the Netherlands. The last time I went somewhere, I went alone. Travelling now has become extremely complicated and in all honesty, we got slightly overwhelmed.
But our children nag us. They got so used to travelling and going places that they often ask us when we are going to travel again. In their heads, they’re already planning the next trip and love learning about geography. In reply, we smile at them and say: “Soon.Soon.”
And we hope that we can live up to this promise.