Parent Traveler - Infant Alarm
When you get your kicks on route 66, or wherever, don’t forget to take the kids with you – after all, you want to imbed your vagabond spirit into your own flesh and bone, don’t you?
I too had this vision of perfect family outings, where we would happily discover the world together
But when my firstborn son showed up it turned out to be a little more complex, and hiking turned into driving:
I know they warn you that the amount of stuff needed for traveling with a baby is reversely proportional to the baby’s size. Well, it’s true. But having a baby doesn’t have to cure you off your itchy feet, you’ll just need to adapt to the new situation:
You will have noticed the mountains get smaller, and the gear gets bigger, that’s it. So below is my Top Five list of must haves for a weekend away with a baby:
- A bus, an SUV or a VAN – it’s got to be spaciousI know the environment and everything, but believe me – you simply can’t pack a family into a compact unless you want to make your car look like a third wold transportation system:
- A baby car seat – gone are the days where babies could traveled snuggled into their mother’s arms (how did my generation survive our infancy remains a puzzle). It’s the law these days in all civilized parts of the world, not an option.
Just make sure than when you get one you get one which is easy to install. Next time, I’d get one with a detachable base that attaches to the car, allowing you to carry your baby in and out of the car without installing the car seat each time. Also, check that the shoulder pads on the harness don’t fall off the straps, like they do on mine. When you have to deal with a screaming hungry mammal, small things like this drive you crazy!
- A baby carriage – obvious, but notice the all terrain inflatable tires and nice suspension system. You can actually take a newborn on an off-road stroll, the rougher the better, my hand were more likely to fall off from the shaking than my son to wake up. Forget the fancy ones with small plastic wheels – just don’t work. A sun umbrella and a plastic rain cover are necessary additions.
- A baby carriage tote – filled with changing pads, diapers, medicines, ointments and a myriad of other child paraphernalia which I’m not even trying to understand. Thank God I’m married! We keep one permanently in the car and just restock it after each trip so we don’t worry about forgetting something.
- A travel crib – sure you can sleep on a roach infested mattress in a second class motel, but your baby won’t. This is probably my best buy yet – for less than a €70 I got the crib together with a changer, toy bar, and mosquito net and it takes less than a minute to set (here's how to do it ). Simply priceless.
Time flies by and I can’t wait to take my first family hike in the mountains and compile my toddler travel list. I’m looking at baby carriers right now and will welcome any tips, suggestions, and warning