Traveling with Babies
Before becoming a parent, I heard all sorts of things about life as
a parent, including the idea that fun and travel would end.
Thankfully, it hasn’t. We travel less, take more stuff, and choose
mellower exursions, but by no means have we stopped traveling. I
thought I’d post a few of our adventures here.
Near Mt Lassen, December 2009, 2 months old: Seth’s dad Dick and step-mom Kathy rented a cabin near Mt Lassen just big enough to accommodate the folks you see in the photo below. We did some cross-country skiing with Moby bundled up in a Bjorn baby carrier. Our Subaru station wagon was packed full with clothes, skis, and baby gear; I’m not sure we could see much out the back.
Colorado, August 2010, 10 months old:
Our first big trip with Moby was to Colorado for a family get-together
organized by Seth’s dad Dick and step-mom Kathy. This was Moby’s first
time sleeping neither in his parents’ bed nor in his own crib, and he
freaked out. I nursed him to sleep for every nap and every night.
He was a little extra fussy when we backpacked for one night to higher
altitude, but otherwise did great. Adult Patagonia down jackets make
great little sleeping bags. Rocks, dirt, water, and Camelbak water
bladders are great toys.
Tahoe, August 2010, 10 months old:
Our second camping trip was a week later near Lake Tahoe, with our
friends Greg and Amy who brought their 16 month old son Max. We
car camped and this time Moby had a much easier time sleeping in
the tent. Our excursions were much shorter than before kids,
including a short hike and some paddling with two parents out on
the water while the other two stayed on shore with the boys.
Carmel, September 2010, 11 months old:
We’ve only gone diving once since Moby’s birth, the previous time
before that being along the Antarctic Peninsula with Moby merely a
2 month old fetus. When our good friend Heidi decided to visit
from Seattle, I jumped on the opportunity and found a 3-tank
dive on the Silver Prince. Each adult got 2 dives and 1 on-board
New York, October 2010, 1 year old:
The following month brought a wedding. My brother Piotr married
his girlfriend of several years, Stefie, at Letchworth Park in upstate
New York. We flew with Cherry, Seth’s mom, who was a huge help.
Unfortunately, during the trip Moby came down with one of his first
sicknesses. We had a baby who had barely
eaten in days, few options for food in the small town near the park
and none of Moby’s typical standbys, and errands to run at the bride
or groom’s request. Moby looked quite dapper in his tux and we had no
trouble with sleeping arrangements, but the combination of sick baby
family expectations made for a stressful few days.
Taiwan, November 2010, 1 year old:
The wedding of Seth’s brother, Evan, to his Taiwanese girlfriend Huiju
was an easier affair, in spite of the longer flight. Moby stayed healthy
throughout the trip and we somehow always managed to find food he liked.
His good looks, dapper tux, and big blue eyes made him a favorite with
the ladies. We were repeatedly asked to let someone hold him or take a
photo with him. Moby got to play a minor role in the wedding, sitting
on the groom and bride’s bed in hope of encouraging male progeny.
Traveling with a baby had its compromises. There were afternoons when
Seth, Moby, and I headed back to our apartment for nap time, while the
rest of the family set out to visit museums or explore.
Tahoe, January and April 2011, 1+ year old:
Early 2011 brought two trips to Tahoe. While Moby hated riding in the
car for most of his first year of life, apparently unaware that babies
are supposed to fall asleep in moving vehicles, by now he was getting
much better with road trips.
Galapagos, August 2011, almost 2 years old:
This was Moby’s second international trip and he did great. All those
dinners encouraging him to eat whatever we were eating paid off, and
never was there a meal at which Moby couldn’t find something to fill his
belly. Seth’s mom Cherry traveled with us, which enabled me and Seth
to do some SCUBA diving on most days of the trip. A trip for four
people of three generations and thus three sets of needs and abilities
is certainly more complicated than a trip for two would have been in our
child-free days, but we all saw many wonderful things and enjoyed ourselves.
Seattle, October 2011, 2 years old:
By two years old, Moby was a seasoned traveler. We flew to Seattle for
Chris and Patsy’s wedding. We stayed with Heidi, who babysat Moby while
we went to the wedding. Moby was not happy to see me leave and apparently
spent about 45 minutes screaming before bedtime. He then marched up the
stairs, sobbing, and laid down in his makeshift bed. Realizing he forgot
his sippy cup, he got up and reached for it, laid down again, and went
Montara Beach in California, December 2011, 2 years old:
Bringing a baby definitely changes the nature of trips. Moby’s aunt
Stefie and I visited the beach for a couple hours. Our activities
centered around digging in sand, introducing Moby to crabs and starfish,
and supervising Moby’s cautious curiosity about waves. Yes, it was all
about the kid.
Northern California, January 2012, 2 years old:
Sometimes, traveling happily with children means learning how to
happily leave them behind. In January, with me 4 months pregnant
and realizing my belly would soon be too large for a backpack, we
spent about 5 days backpacking in the Marble Mountains. Moby stayed
with his grandparents in Eureka and had a fabulous time. The grandparents
said they’d be happy to have him back and we hope to take them up
on the offer!
Monterey, June 2012, 2.5 years and 4 weeks old:
Now we have two! This was Arlo’s first camping trip and he did great,
mostly unaware that anything was different. Moby is quite the camper
now, excited about the prospect of sleeping in a tent. We went with
our friend Emily. When discussing the trip with Moby before our
departure, he proclaimed: “I want to sleep with Enemy!” And so he
did, sharing Emily’s tent, although resultingly she did less sleeping
than she’d hoped. Seth was quite the trooper and did most of the
heavy work, since I wasn’t quite recovered from the birth and was
busy nursing and tending little Arlo.
This post is duplicated on my old blog