Traveling with a Baby
Having a child is an equally wonderful and scary adventure. When you hold them in your arms for the first time, you’re amazed at how tiny and lightweight they are. At birth, babies usually weigh less than the average housecat. When it’s time to take them home, you very carefully place them in their carrier. As you grab the handle, you’re very careful not to swing it around too much. They’re so small, it’s easy to forget that they’re even in there. During the first months of their lives, you pick them up more times than you can count. Gradually, you notice your back starting to ache. You pay no attention to it, you’ll adjust to it eventually. Some weeks pass; it’s time to start going outside more. You find yourself juggling a diaper bag, a stroller, a car seat, and the (now significantly heavier) baby. You muster all the strength in your body and get the little one in the car seat. You get to the park and immediately head over to a bench to catch your breath. Everyone warned you having kids is a difficult job, but no one ever told you it’s going to wreak havoc on your joints. And don’t get me started on taking a baby on a plane. Lugging everything around through a busy airport is nothing short of exhausting. Depending on where you go, you might have to bring a portable crib on top of your usual stroller and luggage. Who would have thought traveling with a kid could replace a visit to the gym?
Making Light Work of It
There are no hard rules when it comes to buying things for your child. It all depends on your needs and parenting style. Sure, there is some stuff you can’t afford to overlook, such as a stroller, a car seat, a good bassinet or crib, but don’t rush to buy expensive diaper bags. sleep monitors, or fancy toys. No one child needs 10 blankets. Trust me on this one. When choosing the essentials, heavy doesn’t always mean more sturdy. Oftentimes, it’s exactly the opposite. Heavy car seats are more difficult to lug around and install in your car. A heavy cot or crib could be good, but not if you plan on moving it around a lot. Out of all of the new purchases you have to make, I’d argue that a stroller is the most important. It’s the key element that can either make your life easier or more difficult. When picking one out, remember that its weight will almost double once you add the baby and a bag full of diapers, bottles, and snacks. Lille Nord is a website dedicated to new parents struggling to navigate this new way of life. They have articles on everything baby-related, including a particularly helpful one on how to choose the best lightweight stroller. You might be tempted to go with one that looks robust and weighs as much as a tank. You know just know that thing will not turn a corner, no matter how strong your core is. What’s more, featherweight strollers are oftentimes more compact and portable, so you won’t need to worry about long drives or packed airplanes. Keep it light!