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!
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, breast milk 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! (See The Best Travel Strollers Compared.)
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.
More help for traveling with infants: