The Portable Baby
Lots of choices available for getting tots around on vacation
You may be able to get away with carrying your babe in arms while close to home, but if you are going to be out and about for any length of time not to mention toting suitcases and other travel paraphernalia around, you’ll need some sort of aide.
You’ll no doubt already have a favorite baby carrier – sling, front pack, hipster or backpack. These keep the baby snug and close while leaving your hands free for other duties. Carriers are great, but limited in terms of how long both your muscles and the baby’s tolerance will last. They should buy you at least 30 minutes to two hours of portability at a go.
For longer stretches, nothing beats a stroller, where baby can sleep or observe while you amble around – but it all depends on where you are going. They’re not so good on quaint cobblestone streets, meandering staircases, sandy beaches and sidewalk-free locations. Think before you schlep a stroller to your particular destination. It may or may not be worth the effort. There are some stroller/backpack hybrids on the market that give you a compromise for different terrains.
If you are traveling to a paved and pathed area, a stroller is a must-bring piece of equipment. Young babies unable to sit up are not quite ready for a lightweight umbrella stroller, so a larger model is required – most are surprisingly compact when folded up. Not only will you be able to comfortably push your baby around on your trip, it’ll also make a handy nap spot, restaurant chair, diaper change area, night-time bed and baggage carrier.
Infant car seat carriers are handy for short totes. Simply remove the bassinette from the base and even a sleeping cherub can go from point A to point B without disruption. You can even use these to gently rock your baby on the floor. However, the portability of these travel systems is limited, especially as your baby puts on some pounds. The side-hold or front-stretch required to carry these is not practical for long hauls.