If there were ever a time to go on vacation, it would be when a new baby is in the house. The late nights make parents feel like zombies, the diaper changes are never-ending, and trying to read a child based on their cries and body positions is incredibly difficult for a new parent! A break is much needed. But as we all know, it can be hard to vacation with a baby... or is it?
There's definitely a debate about bringing a baby on vacation. On the one hand, babies do fly free on planes, making traveling cheaper. On the other hand, the baby isn't even going to remember or appreciate the flight, so why bring 'em? Whatever a parent wants to do is their own personal right. Here are five reasons to travel to another country with a baby, and five to avoid it.
9 DO IT: IT MAY BE EASIER TO FLY WITH A BABY THAN A TODDLER
Flying with a baby could be a good idea because they're easy to travel with. Sure, babies may come with more luggage (literally), but they're completely dependent on you. This means they won't be running around the airport screaming because they don't want to go or they saw a candy bar they wanted to buy.
Babies just chill. They're going to cry but once they're fed or changed, it's smooth sailing from there.
8 AVOID IT: THEY'RE NOT GOING TO REMEMBER THE TRIP (AND WILL WANT TO GO WHEN THEY'RE OLDER)
Think about this: a child (or teen) looks back on old family vacation pictures and realizes they've already been to the likes of Italy, Spain, and Florida. The problem is, they don't remember a thing about any of those trips. What will they want to do?
They'll want to go back so they can actually create and remember memories with their family or friends! This means parents either need to re-plan a trip that they've done years beforehand... or ignore them entirely and pick a new place to explore.
7 DO IT: DIFFERENT SIGHTS MAY INFLUENCE A BABY'S COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
One mom encouraged women to bring their babies on vacations via the Huffington Post. From a learning standpoint, she explained the new sights, smells, food, and faces heightened her child's curiosity.
Going to places like Vietnam and also on cruise ships inspired new words and passions for her kids, which is incredibly endearing. Many of us can get stuck in the little bubble of our homes so it's important to explore different cultures for our children to learn from.
6 AVOID IT: A BABY'S SCHEDULE OVERRULES PARENTS'
There are two types of people when it comes to vacation. There are those that plan everything down to the last minute and those who go with the flow. With babies, it's hard to go with the flow. This is especially true if they're potty or sleep training.
Naps are important in a young kiddo's life, but does that mean the parents need to leave the museum early so their baby can nap? Kids also go to bed earlier, so will dinner need to be planned at 4 p.m., even though there's still so much to see? Even if mom or dad wanted to go to the bar for a drink, it's very hard to do that with a baby attached to you.
5 DO IT: TRAVELING MAKES THEM MORE FLEXIBLE
Traveling often with a baby will make them more flexible and adjustable as they age. Planes, trains, car rides — nothing will phase your little one.
Kids who travel a bunch will also get used to different cultures and situations, making them more patient in their life at home. They'll learn different manners and rules—depending on the country they're visiting, which can play a big part in their lives as they age.
4 AVOID IT: BABIES COME WITH A LOT OF BAGGAGE
Babies, as soft and cuddly as they are, come with a lot of baggage. From a car seat (for the flight and for the car) to a stroller to a breast pump (if needed) to toys to diaper changes — it never ends! Traveling with babies will need mom or dad to plan a little harder, especially when going through the airport.
TSA will scan everything to make sure it's safe enough to fly, which means you may be in line for quite some time (don't worry, most airports have a family line for situations like this). Nevertheless, parents still have to lug it around while traveling!
3 DO IT: TRAVELING WITH BABIES UNDER 24 MONTHS IS CHEAPER
Most airlines follow the customary rule of children under the age of two flies for free. Sure, they may need to be in mom or dad's lap during the flight (depending on if it's domestic or foreign), but they still fly for free. This means all mom or dad needs to worry about is paying for their own two tickets (along with finding the appropriate paperwork for their little one).
Considering how pricey plane tickets can be, anything can help. So if parents want to see as much as they can while baby is still "free," then hop on the next plane!
2 AVOID IT: NO ALONE TIME FOR PARENTS
Vacations for couples are so lovely because it's a time to reconnect. It's a chance to be around each other and enjoy every second. From morning cups of coffee at a local cafe to late-night walks on the beach, parents need as much alone time as they can get when kids are brought into the picture.
But when kids are in the picture, going on a date night or a late-night glass of wine may be impossible. Some resorts or hotels have space for kids to play and be looked after while the parents' do their thing, but it's up to the parents if they trust it, of course.
1 DO IT: CREATING ADVENTURES AS A FAMILY
Life goes by fast, especially with kids. Creating experiences with family is what life is all about — no matter how old your baby is. Although your baby may be too young to remember much, as long as they're having a good time at the moment—and the parents are loving every second of being in a new place with their child—then why not?
Childhood is an adventure in itself, so you may as well heighten the experience by bringing them somewhere new!