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Brian Bennett

Traveling With an Infant - Introduction

On our trip October 1996 to WDW we learned a great deal about how to handle a trip with an infant. Our son Allan was all of three weeks when we left for Florida. By the end of the trip, Allan had spent 2/5ths of his life with the Mouse. The following is a summary of our accumulated experience on touring WDW with an infant. 

To start, let me quote a portion of the trip report I wrote back in October, 1996:

"Taking the baby changed some things for us. We learned very early to expect the unexpected. We found out that schedules, no matter how perfectly designed, had to be flexible. Frankly, fluid plans have been a hallmark of our Walt Disney World trips for years, so the only difference on this trip was that taking care of the baby's needs, rather than our own whimsy, drove our day. We couldn't always do exactly what we wanted to do when we wanted to do it, but the baby was not an inconvenience.

"But to those who told us to not take the baby on our trip I say...phooey. I'm an old-fashioned kind-of-guy and I really think that our time together as a family will mean more to us in the long run than distant memories of vacations away from the kids. Allan was wonderful. As long as we did our job of taking care of him, he did fine. If we went too long between bottles, he let us know...and we quickly learned to stay on a reasonable schedule.

"On the other hand, having Mom and Dad on the trip was a blessing. Whenever we needed a hand, they were there. I think one of the joys on this trip was watching Grandma and Grandpa with the little one, really for the first time. Besides that, Mom and Dad's presence allowed us some flexibility to go our separate ways a few times and just relax without the parent's responsibilities weighing on our shoulders at every turn. On those occasions when we did go alone, we spent a fair amount of time wondering how the baby was. I dread the upcoming weeks at summer camp and the college years."

And here's some general issues that just didn't fit anywhere else in this section:

  • Traveling with an infant, and children of any age really, is a team effort. Dads, don't expect Mom to do all the feedings, all the bottle washing, all the changes, and all of everything else. Raising kids is work and there's a good reason why it takes two to make a baby...it generally takes two to raise one too. Don't bombard me with any "Brian is sexist" or "Brian hates single moms" flames...that's not it at all. What I'm saying is that men can do their fair share on vacation (and at home, too) to make things go smoothly.

  • Most pediatricians suggest that babies not fly until they are at least six months old because the baby's ears are just too fragile to handle the changes in cabin pressure that are experienced on an airplane.

  • Consider taking a teenager (a relative or just a family friend) to play nanny during the trip...if the teen is a good student, it may even be possible to spring them from school (probably even as an excused absence with proper permissions). We didn't do this, but I know other folks that have, and it can be a good solution for parents.

 

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