Traveling with Babies
July 2012

Before becoming a parent, I heard all sorts of things about life as a parent, including the idea that fun and travel would end. Thankfully, it hasn't. We travel less, take more stuff, and choose mellower exursions, but by no means have we stopped traveling. I thought I'd post a few of our adventures here.

Near Mt Lassen, December 2009, 2 months old: Seth's dad Dick and step-mom Kathy rented a cabin near Mt Lassen just big enough to accommodate the folks you see in the photo below. We did some cross-country skiing with Moby bundled up in a Bjorn baby carrier. Our Subaru station wagon was packed full with clothes, skis, and baby gear; I'm not sure we could see much out the back.

Colorado, August 2010, 10 months old: Our first flight with Moby was to Colorado for a family get-together organized by Seth's dad Dick and step-mom Kathy. This was Moby's first time sleeping neither in his parents' bed nor in his own crib, and he freaked out. I nursed him to sleep for every nap and every night. He was a little extra fussy when we backpacked for one night to higher altitude, but otherwise did great. Adult Patagonia down jackets make great little sleeping bags. Rocks, dirt, water, and Camelbak water bladders are great toys.

Tahoe, August 2010, 10 months old: Our second camping trip was a week later near Lake Tahoe, with our friends Greg and Amy who brought their 16 month old son Max. We car camped and this time Moby had a much easier time sleeping in the tent. Our excursions were much shorter than before kids, including a short hike and some paddling with two parents out on the water while the other two stayed on shore with the boys.

Carmel, September 2010, 11 months old: We've only gone diving once since Moby's birth, the previous time before that being along the Antarctic Peninsula with Moby merely a 2 month old fetus. When our good friend Heidi decided to visit from Seattle, I jumped on the opportunity and found a 3-tank dive on the Silver Prince. Each adult got 2 dives and 1 on-board babysitting session.

New York, October 2010, 1 year old: The following month brought a wedding. My brother Piotr married his girlfriend of several years, Stefie, at Letchworth Park in upstate New York. We flew with Cherry, Seth's mom, who was a huge help. Unfortunately, during the trip Moby came down with one of his first sicknesses. We had a baby who had barely eaten in days, few options for food in the small town near the park and none of Moby's typical standbys, and errands to run at the bride or groom's request. Moby looked quite dapper in his tux and we had no trouble with sleeping arrangements, but the combination of sick baby family expectations made for a stressful few days.

Taiwan, November 2010, 1 year old: The wedding of Seth's brother, Evan, to his Taiwanese girlfriend Huiju was an easier affair, in spite of the longer flight. Moby stayed healthy throughout the trip and we somehow always managed to find food he liked. His good looks, dapper tux, and big blue eyes made him a favorite with the ladies. We were repeatedly asked to let someone hold him or take a photo with him. Moby got to play a minor role in the wedding, sitting on the groom and bride's bed in hope of encouraging male progeny. Traveling with a baby had its compromises. There were afternoons when Seth, Moby, and I headed back to our apartment for nap time, while the rest of the family set out to visit museums or explore.

Tahoe, January and April 2011, 1+ year old: Early 2011 brought two trips to Tahoe. While Moby hated riding in the car for most of his first year of life, apparently unaware that babies are supposed to fall asleep in moving vehicles, by now he was getting much better with road trips.

Galapagos, August 2011, almost 2 years old: This was Moby's second international trip and he did great. All those dinners encouraging him to eat whatever we were eating paid off, and never was there a meal at which Moby couldn't find something to fill his belly. Seth's mom Cherry traveled with us, which enabled me and Seth to do some SCUBA diving on most days of the trip. A trip for four people of three generations and thus three sets of needs and abilities is certainly more complicated than a trip for two would have been in our child-free days, but we all saw many wonderful things and enjoyed ourselves.

Seattle, October 2011, 2 years old: By two years old, Moby was a seasoned traveler. We flew to Seattle for Chris and Patsy's wedding. We stayed with Heidi, who babysat Moby while we went to the wedding. Moby was not happy to see me leave and apparently spent about 45 minutes screaming before bedtime. He then marched up the stairs, sobbing, and laid down in his makeshift bed. Realizing he forgot his sippy cup, he got up and reached for it, laid down again, and went to sleep.

Montara Beach in California, December 2011, 2 years old: Bringing a baby definitely changes the nature of trips. Moby's aunt Stefie and I visited the beach for a couple hours. Our activities centered around digging in sand, introducing Moby to crabs and starfish, and supervising Moby's cautious curiosity about waves. Yes, it was all about the kid.

Northern California, January 2012, 2 years old: Sometimes, traveling happily with children means learning how to happily leave them behind. In January, with me 4 months pregnant and realizing my belly would soon be too large for a backpack, we spent about 5 days backpacking in the Marble Mountains. Moby stayed with his grandparents in Eureka and had a fabulous time. The grandparents said they'd be happy to have him back and we hope to take them up on the offer!

Monterey, June 2012, 2.5 years and 4 weeks old: Now we have two! This was Arlo's first camping trip and he did great, mostly unaware that anything was different. Moby is quite the camper now, excited about the prospect of sleeping in a tent. We went with our friend Emily. When discussing the trip with Moby before our departure, he proclaimed: "I want to sleep with Enemy!" And so he did, sharing Emily's tent, although resultingly she did less sleeping than she'd hoped. Seth was quite the trooper and did most of the heavy work, since I wasn't quite recovered from the birth and was busy nursing and tending little Arlo.

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Last updated 18 July 2012
© Anna Mitros
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