Before my daughter, Hannah, was born, my husband and I knew we were going to be on the move a lot with her. My husband, Shannon, is Australian and I am American. He had just been offered a new job while I was seven months pregnant which meant we would be uprooting our little family once Hannah was born and moving from Sydney, Australia to Atlanta, Georgia.
As new parents, of course we were very nervous about doing such a big trip with a newborn. We did a lot of research on the best way to move with a six week old baby and how to protect them in the airports and on the planes from germs. After all, airplanes can be full of germs. There is no fresh air and you never know who could be sitting next to you on the plane or practically breathing down your neck in the customs line. Not to mention, complete strangers love crowding around a new baby and trying to sneak a peek! As wonderful as the attention is, it can be overwhelming and unhygienic.
Our babywearing and traveling experience…
The first month with Hannah flew by and before we knew it, she was six weeks old and our flights to Los Angeles were booked for the following day, just two days after she received her two month vaccines. We packed up our lives into two suitcases each, plus one for Hannah! The biggest piece we had with us was her stroller. However, the stroller served more as a shopping cart as we went through the airports. We loaded the stroller up with our laptops, carryon luggage, and diaper bag. Meanwhile, my husband wore Hannah in her Baby Bjorn carrier, allowing us to both be hands free to grab our passports and boarding passes easily.
She slept the entire way through the terminal and onto the plane as we boarded. She never cried. She loved to sleep on her dad’s chest from day one. It was her favorite naptime position. I also brought with me her Moby wrap which was excellent for keeping her tightly wrapped once we landed in LAX. Believe it or not, the 13 hour flight was a breeze. Hannah loved being held by me the whole time and being able to breastfeed whenever she wanted.
Shannon and I were so relieved once we got to California, but we knew our journey wasn’t over yet. The next day we flew five hours to the east coast and again we used our Bjorn through the airports which was excellent. Hannah felt safe because she knew we were right there with her. She could smell us, hear us, and feel us the whole time. This interaction and participation allows a baby to be exposed to our world and learn about it in a natural way.
Shannon and I have worn Hannah every day since she was born for a little bit each day, whether we’re cooking a meal, working from home (blogging!), vacuuming, gardening, or just going for a walk around the block. We continue to travel with her and have done four flights with her so far with another coming up in October when she is six months old.
On our most recent trip to Colorado, she faced outward in her carrier for the first time which she absolutely loooooved! We were able to take her hiking and she could see everything from up high at her dad’s height, getting a great view of the Rockies and taking it all in.
Now that Hannah is almost five months old, I bought a ring sling which has been great to take with me wherever we go. It fits nicely in the diaper bag and goes with almost any outfit, too! Not only is the sling a safe way to carry her, but it gives our backs a break as parents. Carriers are much more ergonomic.
At the moment, Hannah is wide awake and alert in her sling while I’m typing this up and reading it aloud to her. By listening closely to my voice, her speech and listening skills are improving. There are so many wonderful benefits and advantages to wearing your baby that I could go on and on. But I think the best part of all is having a cuddly baby with you while you experience life together wherever it takes you!
We’d love to hear from you! How has your babywearing and traveling experience been?
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