Ten Reasons Traveling with an Infant May Be Easier than You Think… (an excerpt)

If you’ve been curious what you’ll find inside the new edition of Travels with Baby, here is an excerpt from an early section in Chapter 1: Deciding When to Go, where I list the Ten Reasons Traveling with an Infant May Be Easier Than You Think. Please forward if you have a friend just starting out who could use some encouragement! You might also enjoy the book review of Travels with Baby posted earlier this week at The Vacation Gals. Anything you would add to this list?

baby in airplane bassinet

Airplane bassinets on overseas flights? Just one more reason for traveling with an infant. Read all about reserving and using airplane bassinets for infants in Chapter 15: Before You Book Your Flight.

Ten Reasons Traveling with an Infant May Be Easier than You Think…

1.  The infant is better protected from germs and illness than older babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, because she has very limited access to the surfaces, including the railings, turnstiles, airplane armrests, and floors, that older kids encounter.

2.  She puts far fewer things in her mouth than do her mobile counterparts, leaving whatever may have been overlooked under the hotel bed by previous occupants, thankfully, still under the hotel bed.

3.  You have control over virtually everything that comes in contact with her, and so long as you keep your own hands clean and washed frequently, you’ll have a tremendous advantage over offending germs.

4.  If she is breastfeeding, she has additional immunity benefits from her mother’s milk, which includes white blood cells (leukocytes) activated by microbes the mother is exposed to (see Breastfeeding for Healthy Travels, pg. 156).

5.  The infant’s needs may be frequent, but they are few. With enough diapers, breastmilk or formula, and the comfort of your arms, she can be happy pretty much anywhere.

6.  The infant still spends a good deal of time napping—while you may do what you please (strolling museums, eating in restaurants, flying overseas, or driving down the coast). Take advantage while you can!

Travels with Baby

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7.  The infant is also easier to feed on the go than are older babies and toddlers, without the need to pack strained or finger foods, or deal with the inevitable mess generated by each meal.

8.  Breastfed infants are, of course, especially easy to feed while traveling, though it may take a little time to master the “public feeding” with grace (see Nine Tips for Nursing on the Go, pg. 97).

9.  The infant is also incredibly portable. You can pretty much strap her on and wear her to the ends of the earth, conquering stroller-prohibitive terrain like the stairs of the Paris Metro or the ruins of Carthage with ease.

10.  Infant carrier car seats are significantly easier to travel with than the car seats that will follow, allowing you to transport baby from taxi to stroller frame without disturbing her sleep—and providing a convenient place to set her while eating in restaurants.

Excerpt from Travels with Baby: The Ultimate Guide for Planning Travel with Your Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler, 2nd edition.


Safe journeys,

Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning Travels with Baby guidebooks

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11 Comments

  1. Vagabond Family

    The worst is the kick-the-seat-in-front-of-you impulse that seems to be natural to all kids (and their legs are just the right size for it). Aside from constantly saying ‘put your legs down’ I wonder if there are any good solutions/tricks for that?

    1. Shelly Rivoli

      Ha! Vagabond Family, you barked up the right tree: http://www.travelswithbaby.com/blog/toddler-kicking-airplane-seat/

    2. Vagabond Family

      Thanks Shelly. Nice read! But unfortunately it’s not always possible to chose the seats on the bulkhead row 🙁

  2. Jonathan

    I totally agree with what you’ve said here. We flew from the UK to France with our son last year when he was about four months old and it went fairly well – he didn’t have any problems with the flying and we managed to travel light.

  3. wanderingeducators

    LOve this – and that baby looks so happy! looking forward to a lifetime of travel, I bet. 😉

    1. Shelly Rivoli (Post author)

      Indeed, Jessie!

  4. Erica

    Yes! I credit your book with giving us the confidence to take an amazing parental LEAVE with our new family. I love the section about suggested trip types for different ages of kids – so helpful! Without that information, we probably would have missed the opportunity.

    1. Shelly Rivoli (Post author)

      Wow! Thanks so much for the feedback, Erica! If you have a chance to leave customer feedback where you bought it or on GoodReads, it would be greatly appreciated (if you haven’t yet)! 😉

  5. Erica

    Yes to all of the above! We spent 3 months travelling with our baby (age 6-9 months) in Thailand, Indonesia, and Fiji. It was NO BIG DEAL and tons of fun.

    A huge unexpected perk was that everywhere we went, people loved babies! They’d play with him, sing to him, hold him, and offer to take care of him while we ate dinner. Result: mommy and daddy have relaxed meal together, baby gets to know the entire wait staff and tour of each restaurant

    In addition to what is listed above, babies are on a somewhat random sleep cycle, which means when you stay up all night waiting for a train or have to get up at dawn for the ferry, they don’t care; they’ll sleep and wake as they wish.

    They also don’t crawl out of places at night! Just a couple rolled up towels under the bottom sheet to make a baby “trough” and they have a safe place to sleep every night.

    1. Shelly Rivoli (Post author)

      That’s awesome, Erica! Thanks so much for sharing. Agreed on sleep flexibility, too – that’s actually on… the FIRST page of chapter 1 (lol)! 😉 I remember a few flight attendants rushing to my side as I approached the lavatory on our China Airlines flight – each hoping they could hold my baby while I used the facilities. One problem – I was there to change her diaper! It was nice to know we were in baby-friendly territory.

    2. Shelly Rivoli (Post author)

      Very true – it can be so scary staying some places… with stone or tile floors… and small portacribs when there’s a chance your baby can climb out. I remember piling sofa cushions around a wooden cradle we were given once in Mexico!

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