Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Becoming "those people": Traveling with a Baby

We are going to be “those people.”  The people traveling with kids.  Our family of three is heading to Washington, D.C.

It has been over six months since traveling farther than to East Central Illinois to visit family.  For JC and I, who love to travel, that has seemed like six years.  Add to that the fact that we have been cooped up in our house for the majority of the past five months due to having a newborn and now the extreme cold we are facing in the Midwest.
When the opportunity arose for the three of us to travel to D.C. for a long weekend, fairly cheap, we decided to take the plunge and be “those people.”

Woohoo we're going to D.C.!
In a previous life, as an impatient, young traveler, I would silently judge, sigh and tap my foot impatiently whenever I got stuck behind “those people” in the security lines.  I was in awe at the amount of stuff parents flying with children brought with them.  It seemed there was a never-ending pile of bags, strollers and various baby supplies.  Now as a Mom, I know that babies have tons of stuff!  To make traveling easier for the entire family, I’ve already started to strategically think about how we should pack; however there’s no getting around the stroller and bags with baby essentials.
I also hoped for a child-free airplane.  I even admit now, as a sympathetic Mom, flying with grumpy children is not pleasant.  We were on a very full plane during an eight hour flight to Germany with a kid who screamed off and on throughout the trip.  It was not fun.  I felt bad for his Mom as I knew she was miserable and totally embarrassed.  With that experience in mind, we’ve looked up tips on how to keep babies content during the take-off and landing while their ears adjust to the altitude changes -- and during the entirety of the flight.  So far bottles, pacifiers (which she doesn’t really like) and luck are the answers I’ve been finding for this challenge. 

We’ve also prepped ourselves about the actual visit to D.C.  This will be our first time to the city.  We both would love to visit all of the monuments, museums and amazing restaurants.  Realistically, we know that we may get one monument or sight-seeing event in a day – whatever will likely be the closest place to our hotel and works around Miss A's schedule.  And our meals may also be whatever is close by or delivers to the room.

No matter how challenging this first time traveling with our almost five month old daughter will be, I have vowed to remain patient and relaxed (which is sometimes extremely difficult for me to do).  Even if we are “those people” with a screaming child on the plane I will try to remember the memories that our little family will make on our first travel adventure.

Have any advice for me? Send me your tips for traveling with a baby. 

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