When our son, Granger, was just two months old, my brother married the coolest woman ever…in Massachusetts…and we lived in North Carolina. Did I mention our son was two months old? And that we were first-time parents? Yeah, if becoming new parents wasn’t adventurous enough, we were about to find out with this trip.
One thing we were determined to hold onto when our son was born was our love for adventure. We didn’t want our lifestyle to totally change because we had a kid – we’d seen that happen before. On top of that, we want to teach Granger to love and appreciate life experiences over the things of this world. That’s a priority for us.
So, even though it was tough, I’m extremely grateful we had to get our baby on a plane and travel to Massachusetts for this wedding. We were pushed out of our comfort zone, and survived! The experience loosened up our parenting anxieties and encouraged us to continue exploring with our little one in tow.
Now, that’s not to say traveling, on a plane, with a two-month-old who wasn’t sleeping through the night was easy. Oh, we drove that struggle bus, for sure. But, we learned a lot in that process, and it’s helped us take future trips that have gone smoothly because of this experience.
Babies fly just fine. When I first started telling people that we’d be flying with our son at this age, we got plenty of quizzical looks. “Aren’t you afraid of the germs?” “Won’t flying hurt his ears?” “What if he cries the whole time?” And plenty more. The truth is, though, babies are pretty dang resilient. If you’re that worried about germs, you can wipe down your whole area before sitting down (but, at the end of the day, you can’t protect them from EVERYTHING, anyway). His ears are just fine. In fact, babies naturally suck, and that’s the exact motion needed to get your ears to pop when you need them to. Granger nursed on the way up and down and never had an issue. He did have some fussy moments, but at the end of the day, you can’t let other people’s discomfort stop you from doing what you want! Just put your brave face on, and it’ll pass eventually. And you know what? Those people will be just fine, too.
Bring the stroller. We opted to leave our stroller at home, which was something we learned to NEVER DO AGAIN. It was annoying to pack, and we didn’t want to lug it around. And, that was fine, until we arrived in Massachusetts and we wanted to actually go out and do something. We thought, “oh, we’ll just bring our baby sling and carry him everywhere.” That sounds all fine and dandy unless it’s, you know, the middle of July and you’re melting because it’s so.hot.outside. They do have places in larger cities usually where you can rent baby items, which I totally recommend if you have a brain freeze and forget to pack something like a stroller that you end up needing. Again, we didn’t do this, but I definitely would this time around. Bite the bullet and bring the stroller.
Routines will be off. This is just something you’ll have to come to terms with when traveling. To this day, when we travel, Granger doesn’t sleep, nap, or eat as well. We try and keep him in somewhat of a routine, but everyone will survive at the end of your trip and you’ll be glad you took advantage of your time there. We tried to time naps to happen while we were in the car or in the carrier. His routine was certainly off and he was out of his element, but as I mentioned before, you’re only traveling for an allotted period of time, and .babies.are.resilient. He/she is going to figure it out and adjust. Let loose a little and go with the flow!
Breastfeeding while traveling is hard. Well, breastfeeding in general is hard (at least for me!). I’ve breastfed in some weird places, both covered and hanging out everywhere. I was really nervous about breastfeeding on this trip, because it was the first time I was going to be away from our house – and designated breastfeeding recliner – for an extended amount of time. My advice here is to just do it. I mean, you’re never going to learn how to breastfeed in public if you don’t breastfeed in public, right? I know some mommas who can discreetly put their child under the adorable blanket and/or breastfeeding cover, the baby will latch and nurse easily, and they’ll put everything back in its place without a disturbance. That wasn’t me. I’d be hanging out, my kid would be yanking the cover off (yes, even at two months old), and a latch and position was never an easy matter. But, I got to be somewhat functional at it, and I really learned not to care. Our trip to Boston really helped show me that breastfeeding is hard. Breastfeeding in public is a serious skill. And, I don’t really care that strangers are looking at me funny when I’m trying to feed my kid.
Our Massachusetts trip was one for the books. We saw and experienced more than we could have imagined while having a such a young kiddo with us, and this trip gave us the confidence as new parents to continue our traveling lifestyle with a babe in our arms!
Where will your first trip be?