My wife and I love to travel, and we’ve been fortunate to have explored dozens of countries in recent years. Last week we took a brief international trip with a unique twist….. It was our first travel experience as parents, bringing our three month old son along for the journey.
So I thought that I’d write a brief post about adjusting to travelling with your newborn. It’s easier than you might think. And if you love travelling as much as we do, a newborn shouldn’t get in the way of a travel addiction. In fact, why not get your child used to travelling as early as possible. They’ll thank you later, I assure you.
From our child’s perspective, the trip was fun and worry-free, as Mom and Dad handled all the details. We carried his diapers, change of clothes, food, and his favourite toy (a furry centipede named Rainbow). We even held on to his shiny new passport; he can’t read it anyways, and all he wants to do is chew on its corners.
3 months of age is a good time to travel – everything is new and exciting for the baby, so the environment of the plane entertains so the parents don’t really have to. At this age a child weighs very little, so there’s no having to deal with baby strollers, and you can just carry him like a small piece of (precious) luggage.
Our biggest worry was how the child would handle the flight, as we didn’t want to burden our fellow passengers with a squealing baby. This challenge of course largely depends on the length of the flight ahead and your baby’s temperament. For us, we luckily had only a brief 2 hour flight gate to gate, and after our child had eaten, played with mom, played with dad, played with ‘Rainbow’, and taken a small nap, we were already exiting the plane. Additionally, you don’t need to book a seat for the child at this age on the flight, and they can simply ride on your lap.
One small challenge to overcome upon arrival in Finland was that a newborn must travel in a car seat with seatbelt (by law), whenever in a moving automobile. Public transportation doesn’t have this regulation so bus and train travel are easy, and some taxis provide baby car seats as do car rental companies.
Of course, no two children are the same and each one has different temperaments and behaviours. But we loved travelling with our little one and can’t wait for our next trip. If you’re a new parent, I encourage you do the same. And of course, congratulations!