We’re often asked about traveling with a baby.
Isn’t it difficult?
Well… yes and no.
Here’s the thing about traveling with a kid: it’s different than traveling without one (duh, right?). You have to respect their nap time. You get tired sooner, because now you’re carrying 20 extra pounds all the time. Once they get a bit older, you need to make sure you carry a snack around. You can’t just go to a show, like the Opera, or even a movie theater. You need to be cognizant of breastfeeding social norms, and carry around diapers.
You have to entertain and pay attention to the baby, reading to him, playing with her, etc. Your sleep schedule gets all messed up. This all cuts into your tourism time.
But here’s the other thing: you shouldn’t be comparing traveling with a baby to traveling without a baby, you should compare it to staying at home with a baby.
Presumably, you’ve made the decision to have a baby. Once you have one, the question is: do I want to not travel because of the baby?
For us, the answer is, clearly, no.
Let’s compare traveling with a baby (and the drawbacks mentioned above) with staying home with a baby.
If you’re at home (wherever that is) with a baby, you have to respect their nap time. You can’t just go to a show. You have to entertain and pay attention to the baby, reading to it, playing with it, etc. Your sleep schedule gets all messed up.
In actuality, traveling with a baby isn’t that different than staying home with a baby: they’re both a lot of work.
So when people ask if it’s difficult traveling with a baby, well, sure.
But that’s because of the baby, not because of the travel.
Having a baby is hard. Having a baby and traveling is not significantly more so. If you compare traveling without a baby to traveling with a baby, of course traveling without one is easier. But the correct comparison, in our opinion, is traveling with a baby or staying home with one.
And since we’ll have the baby-raising challenges either way, we’ll also enjoy the kick-ass travel experiences, as well. Annabelle is a bit too young to enjoy the benefits now (though she’s getting to meet lots of people, get comfortable with strangers, hear odd languages, and other things that may stretch her growing brain), but as she ages, I think the benefits of travel will be enormous for her. Well worth any small hassles to us.