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How to vacation with a baby

Chantal Standafer

 Boyd enjoying our family vacation! 

Boyd enjoying our family vacation! 

“How do you vacation with a baby?”

I was at the gym last week when someone there asked me for advice on this. I immediately began giving him tips on how to travel on a plane with a baby. At this point he clarified, saying he was looking for insight on how to plan activities for his nine month old. As in, what sites to visit and what would the baby like to do while they are on vacation.

Without pausing to think, I quickly blurted, ”Do what you want to do!” And this was immediately seconded by “I totally agree!” from another mom in the gym.

Vacation post-kids is very different than it was pre-baby. Well, at least if your idea of vacation is quiet and restful. Gone are the days of leisurely waking up, reading and dozing off at the beach. Now it’s more like living your normal life, just in a new setting. But that doesn’t mean we should cater to our kids the entire time, especially when they’re super little and their needs are still pretty simple. The nine month old is not going to remember if she went to a museum or on a sightseeing tour. What she will need is time to move around, because babies that age tend to be super active. But with some stops throughout the day to play, eat, and nap (unless she naps on the go), the rest of the day can be filled with activities that he and his wife enjoy.

Okay, so some activities may be off the list because they’re just not feasible with a baby--skiing, scuba diving, etc. If you really want to do these, maybe you and your partner can trade off spending time with the baby while the other does the activity. Or maybe someone will keep the baby for a bit so you can both do it together. But really there are so many things that can still be done easily with a baby in tow. Take advantage of the time when you may not have as many daily responsibilities or distractions (work, housework, appointments, etc.) to do the things you truly want to do. So pack up your diaper bag, and just be sure to have a carrier or stroller with you!

What tips do you have for vacationing with a baby?