Raising a Bitty Fish® traveler: Traveling doesn’t have to end because you become parents!
Prior to having kids my husband and I traveled quite a bit personally and professionally for both of our careers. We promised each other that when we had a little one we would be sure to integrate them into our lives and continue to travel (whether day trips or weekend get-a-ways). We acknowledged that traveling would slightly alter, and we would need to be flexible as it wouldn’t always be perfect, it’s the stubborn streak but we weren’t going to just stay home because it became tougher.
Fast forward to our daughter being born and her first flight (for a work trip) was at 11 weeks old. I was determined to make a working traveling mom and family life gel together. I knew it wouldn’t always be easy and went into it with an open mind and patience (which is not my strong suit). She did great on the flight and made it through every work dinner and schedule change. A week later we hopped on another plane for a relaxing beach vacation as a family. Our Daughter did great once again! We are not the best at having the routine kid nap schedules and bed time schedules, so she was forced to nap anywhere we brought her. I truly believe because she has been made to nap anywhere whenever tired and not in a set location with a sound machine and at a set time she became a very flexible baby and now toddler. Now I do know a lot of kids have to have routines and there is nothing wrong with that. Our daughter is a “threenager” and definitely not perfect… we have to step out of restaurants to have chats but nine times out of ten she does really well…until we get in the car and all “hell breaks loose” and back to reality.
We are always confused when friends or colleagues compliment us on packing up our two kids and traveling with them being so young; both under three. Our daughter is Three and our son is six months to be exact. Even if you cannot financially afford to travel via plane or take long vacations I strongly urge brand new parents to start your kids from an early age to be flexible with naps, dinner outings (even when they seem impossible), and day trips. We learn so much by experiences that the earlier you can exposure your kids to the many different environments and situations the easier they will do as they get older. Our toddler now jumps out of bed at 4AM excited and eager to cooperate because she is so excited to get on an airplane or jump in a car for a beach day.
Trust me it will not always be ideal or easy but the memories you will make and the older they get they will learn to adapt to life and new situations. You can’t expect for a child to suddenly adapt once they have had the same routine day in and day out for the first 2-3 years of their lives. It is all they have known…So I say if all they have known is “up and go” and adapting then that is what they will continue to do. Or at least this is our justification for our own mental stability.
One other tip: I learned the hard way…pack lots of extra diapers and a change of clothes for you and each of your little ones. Can be a rough travel day without a change of clothes!
*A great reference article: https://upgradedpoints.com/best-tips-family-travel-with-kids/