Thursday, April 26, 2012

Baby on a Beach

As you now know, I was on vacation last week.  A tropical Caribbean vacation.  It took a couple planes to get there, one being a 10 person puddle jumper, and once on sandy ground there wasn't much to do other than soak up sunshine.  Picture clear blue water, tiki umbrellas and a light ocean breeze.  My husband and I read lots of books, wore lots of sunscreen and ate lots of dessert.  It was peaceful and relaxing.

You can imagine the scene, yes?  Remember the photo from Tuesday's post (below)?




Okay.  Add a baby to that photo.  Add a 6 month old baby.  Add a stroller.  And a baby bjorn.  Does that image work for you?  Can you picture a baby on that beach?  Day two of our vacation, there was a 6 month old baby on that beach.  He was breastfeeding one tiki umbrella over.  

You know I'm baby crazy.  So first things first, I ooohed and ahhhed at the baby's cuteness.  He was adorable.  Once I moved on from him and his fantastic striped onesie, I pondered whether I would have the balls to bring a 6 month old to the Caribbean.  Then I pondered whether it was balls or whether it was an easy going attitude or whether it was lunacy.  The parents seemed functioning and stable, but appearances can be deceiving.

I started to consider all the reasons why one would or would not bring a baby on vacation and cem up with three considerations: Will bringing your baby enhance/detract from/not effect your vacation? Will bringing your baby enhance/detract from/not effect other people who are vacationing beside you?  Practically speaking, is it even an option to bring or not bring your baby?


Image from a story on Raising Kvell
about a family's trip to Barbados with
their toddler who got croup and needed
foreign medical attention...ugh)

First, only you know whether you want need mommy/daddy time or family time.  Are you going to stress without your baby (are your in-laws feeding him donut holes...again) or are you going to miss your baby to the point of not being able to enjoy the away time?  Have you not have 5 minutes alone with your husband since the baby's birth?  Next, is your baby mellow and adaptable or is your baby cranky and high strung?  The adorable baby on my vacation didn't cry, at all.  It's likely he went unnoticed by most sunbathers.  I doubt most babies could follow his act.  What is your baby's tolerance for new faces and new spaces?  Last, sometimes practical issues will make considerations one and two moot.  If you don't want to take your baby on vacation, you need a babysitter.  Do you have one or can you afford one.  If you do want to take your baby on vacation, you also need to bring baby things.  Will you need a stroller?  Can the baby deal without a pack n' play?  Bottles?  Diapers?

Just writing about all this is scaring me away from the idea a vacation post life with baby.  I'm not sure I have the patience to weigh the pros and cons, much less bring the baby.

What baby vacationing experiences do you have?  Did you fly a plane or opt for a driving vacation?  How old was your baby?  Regrets?

5 comments:

Chrissy said...

I have been on several trips, but usually for "work" purposes (I'm on the board of a couple of non-profits). I don't bring a stroller because I hate them. My one regret was when traveling to Philadelphia for the weekend, I was stubborn and wanted to carry on all my luggage and carry the baby. I should have just shelled out the $25. I was physically exhausted trying to get out of the airport carrying a baby on my forearms (only position where she wouldn't scream) and all of my stuff. But the flight was totally not a problem.

Emily @ Journey to the Center of Manhattan said...

As always, I love this blog because I no longer feel like I'm the only 20-something who is both baby-crazy and baby-terrified. I have a feeling that I'm going to have the least adaptable children in the world, because I am not good with rolling with the changes. I need lots and lots of routine, and I am such a homebody. I think the biggest upside to that is that I am 100% ok with being stuck in the house with a newborn and not leaving/doing anything for weeks at a time. But I'm a terrible traveler because I need routine and lots of down time, so I'm going to assume our future kids are going to be similar. Which is fine with me!

facilminator said...

My babies hated the sand; keeping them out of the sun was difficult. I'd recommend leaving the baby with Grandma for some 1:1 vacation time. Once s/he is 4-5 years go to Disney World (with Grandma or me in tow).

Brittany said...

Haha - I lol'ed at the donut holes comment. That would totally be my in-laws. I don't think I would ever feel comfortable leaving my future child with them for fear of returning and finding my baby chalk full of Hi-C and three-daily happy meals. I agree with you - I think bringing a baby along on a trip totally depends on the mellowness of your baby!

The Mrs./The Mom said...

I took my 6 month old on "vacation with us. It was the best decision for us. I do not want to be without my little guy over night (I'm just not ready) and he's a pretty good baby so along he came! This was my experience: http://frommrstomom.blogspot.com/2012/03/last-week-on-this-journey.html