WHY I TOOK MY BABY ON AN ADVENTURE

WHY I TOOK MY BABY ON AN ADVENTURE ~ I have had some raised eyebrows when I tell people I left home with both of my kids, when they were just a few weeks old. Packing my house up, renting it out and selling our belongings in a postpartum daze was not so fun. Its pretty scary because nesting instincts are usually in full swing. All I really wanted to do at the time, was cuddle up with my newborn on the sofa. An adventurer at heart, I had made plans of travelling during maternity leave before I knew what it was going to be like. When the time came, I wondered what the hell I was thinking? Why would I schlep my newborn across to the other side of the world?

The truth is, with a little encouragement and a ‘we can do it’ attitude from hubby, we got through the hardest part – leaving! Once we sat our bottoms on the plane on an overnight flight to Singapore, we thought it’s going to be fine and it worked out to be the best time of our lives. Of course it had its ups and downs, but it was mostly filled with incredible family memories. That’s why we decided to take our second baby Quinn on an adventure too. The packing, the renting and selling our car were all the hard parts again. However we felt so much better prepared from our previous experience, that we just couldn’t wait.

I like to say to people if you are thinking about it, you are already half way there. It’s usually the ‘ I’m not sure what to expect’ that puts people off. So wether you are considering a mini gap year, or your first holiday, here is why I took my baby on an adventure he will never remember!

WHY I TOOK MY BABY ON AN ADVENTURE

MY SANITY

For the most part, we have had a lot of positivity and encouragement about our choices. However we have equally experienced our fair share of criticism. The common thing I’ve read is, ‘your selfish, it’s not about the baby’ You know what, I have to agree with our critics to a certain extent. The thought of being at home for a year with a couple of outings a day to meet a friend for a coffee, or a baby class wasn’t for me.

WHY I TOOK MY BABY ON AN ADVENTURE

I go stir crazy at 10am on a normal day, so an entire year of spending a lot of time at home was not appealing. In truth, I can see why post-natal depression is really a thing! I can’t talk from experience, but I imagine it can feel quite isolating being at home. The sleep deprivation, the lack of time for one self, the lack of adult conversation, the relentlessness of not being sure why baby is crying. Doing it at home alone must be hard. Or at least I was thinking that I would find it hard.

I felt if we were out and about exploring most of the time, I would feel happy. I never wanted to distract from our new baby. The main thing was, not to isolate myself. It has worked out really well and I have never felt isolated whilst travelling. You know the saying ‘happy mum, happy child’, I really believe that.

TIME

The most amazing part of going on an adventure with a baby, is the undivided quality time together. At home, there is always cooking, cleaning, or errands to run. It can be a job in itself trying to work all of those things into the day, alongside caring for a little one. We have been able to spend every minute of the day with our baby. We don’t miss anything.

I know it will be all too soon before I have to go back to work and it could be days on end without seeing him. That’s the nature of my job as a nurse! Long shifts, with early starts and late finishes. I have loved having the time to see how Quinn reacts to different people. What things he notices when we go for a walk on the beach, in the mountains, or through a busy market. I am cherishing every moment, the quality time getting to know him is second to none.

WHY I TOOK MY BABY ON AN ADVENTURE

DEVELOPMENT

I have read that the first year of life is the most important from a development perspective. How many times have you heard the saying a baby’s brain is like a sponge? They go through the biggest developmental leap in the first year. From learning to laugh, smile, eat, drink, move around and interact. If they really do develop as much in that time, I wanted to stimulate baby as much as possible with different sites, smells and sounds.

I am almost certain my son was destined to be a shy character, just like his dad. He was incredibly coy for the first few months of his life. Travelling in the way we have has left very little room for that characteristic. He sees other people all day ever day. From people sitting in the restaurant at breakfast, to those walking down the street, everyone says hello to a baby. Even when we are not looking, people wave at him and make friendly faces. WHY I TOOK MY BABY ON AN ADVENTURE

He waves at everyone, its kind of hilarious he has a full regal wave. However he’s still quite cautious of anyone picking him up. Interestingly thats so different from our older daughter that will happily go to anyone. I guess having an older child its been easy for me to see how the experience has paved his developmental path. I am almost certain the experience has changed him already. Of course this is all presumptive, but it’s going to be interesting when we go home. Will he retreat back into his shell? I know he won’t remember any of this time but I am sure it has excelled his development, particularly from an interaction perspective.

WHY I TOOK MY BABY ON AN ADVENTURE

EQUAL PARENTING

I am all for equal parenting. As a mother, I carried baby for nine months, and I have been breastfeeding him for ten months now.  Dads, or the second parent don’t generally get enough time with their new baby. Not unless they live in Scandinavia where they value both parents equally.

I guess we have a relatively unique situation in that I am the higher earner of both of us. For that reason it gave us the freedom to do what we wanted. We have always worked in a situation whereby my husband renovates our home, I fund the build and generally support us by working. So in one way he is earning a lot for us in the long run, but not cash here and now. So I have to admit we are lucky with our setup. WHY I TOOK MY BABY ON AN ADVENTURE

Hubby has had the chance to bond with both of our kids as much as I have. He has been with them every day of their life. We are both parenting in equal measures at the moment and we really love having each other around all of the time. Its helped us both to be compassionate with the other when the day has been difficult. We have time to talk about the hows and whys of parenting.

I feel we argue less about certain things to do with parenting, than other couples. We both know how we like to do things when it comes to the kids, so there is no confusion. I am so glad for our baby that he has had time with both of us. Its also less confusing for him when we both have a similar approach. If we were at home, we would be taking turns working and caring for the kids. Doing it together is the best.

WHY I TOOK MY BABY ON AN ADVENTURE

MEMORIES

As parents we have developed some incredible memories of our baby’s first year of life. From visiting Machu Picchu with him on my back to swimming in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Ocean together. Not to mention coming across bears in Canada on a morning hike. We have some fabulous stories to tell him when he is older. Our critics always say its pointless because he won’t remember anything. I disagree wholeheartedly. We have some awesome photos, it’s not your typical baby album. Is it really selfish to create memories as a parent?

 

WHY I TOOK MY BABY ON AN ADVENTURE

Just like our daughter, we will continue to adventure with him as often as possible. It’s not like this is once in a lifetime opportunity. He will have travelling memories, lots of them. Our now four year old recalls being on a gondola in Venice aged two. She has plenty of childhood adventure memories in the bank already. I can’t wait to figure out Quinn’s first memory.

Have you enjoyed my reasoning ‘why I took my baby on an adventure?”

Leave a comment, I love to hear from you.

2018-05-02T02:44:16+00:0024 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Lanre Makele May 2, 2018 at 3:17 am - Reply

    Thanks for this! We have just had our second and the older one is 3..all roads still point to us going on an adventure but, we do have some Negative Nelly’s telling us how big a mistake we are making (and how 4 weeks holiday should suffice – luckily, we don’t agree). You and your family are an inspiration. If you’re ever in London, you can have a coffee on us!

  2. D O’Driscoll May 2, 2018 at 9:41 am - Reply

    Lovely piece, I love following your adventures!

  3. Meghan May 2, 2018 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    I absolutely cannot agree more we took our then 4 month old on a 9 month back packing adventure, (he’s now 2) and our 3 month old now we are on another 9 month long trip travelling again! I find it’s incredible how adjusted children who travel are and the development especially socially is fantastic! Our kids will always travel and will always have incredible memories and international friends. Also the equal parenting is a huge difference we both raise our children and are in it at the ground level my son now 2 will go to either Mom or dad without picking one over the other! It’s great to see my children able to bind closely with their father and also for their father and our family to bond and continue to be so tight knit!

    Congrats on your travels!!
    I know we are enjoying ours

  4. Gill May 2, 2018 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    What a fab read babe – you are an inspiration x

  5. Lisa May 2, 2018 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    Love and agree with every word you say!!! You are absolutely right! So well written!!! Thanks for sharing your heart! I love following you and always talk about your family travels to my friends, family and hubby.

  6. Maire Collins May 2, 2018 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    Loved this blog post. I’m currently on my first mat leave. My baby girl was born in November. I love being at home with her and going to baby groups etc. But I think it’s brilliant what you’ve done. Travelling with your babies is what’s right for you and for them and that’s what’s important. I think it’s lovely that your hubbie gets to spend so much time with the kids too. Definitely a big plus!!!

  7. Tracy May 2, 2018 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Amazing!!! What an epic adventure and what great role models you are to your kids!

  8. Koosje May 2, 2018 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    What you are doing is incredible! Every child should be so lucky! Very sorry you have had critics. Happy Travels!

  9. Georgina May 2, 2018 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    A great post! I started following you guys on Instagram last year before I got pregnant and a few weeks ago I gave birth to our first baby boy. We are taking him on his first trip in a few weeks and then have regular holidays until September when we take him to Central America for 10 weeks (have taken lots of your itinerary tips!). Lots of people have already told my husband and I that we are crazy, but travelling families like you really inspire and motivate us to keep living our adventure and to introduce our baby to the big wide world in the best way we know. Keep at it! X

  10. Pip May 2, 2018 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    Such a great blog, we have a 5 week Europe trip planned for our baby, and every time I talk to someone about it, I feel I have to caveat it with ‘I know we are mad’ or ‘as long as he is a good sleeper / traveller’, when really, it’s our decision, and there are so many positives that actually, we may as well be sleep deprived by Lake Como or in Slovenia! Keep on inspiring your positive followers and ignore the haters ?

  11. Dawn May 2, 2018 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Another inspiring read … fab and again I urge you to write the book together too!

  12. Sofia May 2, 2018 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    You, and your family, are an inspiration! I guess the critics are either jealous or they just don’t get what travelling is all about… I’m a sole parent to a 1,5 year old boy so for the time being I’m not going on big adventures but planning a trip to Bali and Gilis next year – to a large extent inspired by you!

  13. Dianne May 2, 2018 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    Great post fair play to you both! Find it hard to understand why anyone would have a problem with this!!!! it’s fantastic what ye are doing the more experiences the better!!! ❤️

  14. Katy Grainger May 2, 2018 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    Such a beautiful blog post. We’re travelling with our three year old at the moment and the time that we are spending together as a family is undeniably the best bit about it. Her Daddy works away from home and in these past 5 months that we’ve been away their relationsabip has just blossomed – for that alone all the stress we had to get us here has been worth it. Hopefully your amazing blog will inspire more people to do what you guys are doing! And screw the critics!

  15. Ciara L May 2, 2018 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    You and your family are fantastic, and so inspiring! I am currently 23 weeks pregnant with baby number 1 and spend most of my time coming up with adventures and places we can go when my maternity leave kicks in. My parents took me on a 3 month trip when i was 3 months old and although i dont remember it, I havent stopped travelling since. I truly believe it has shaped who I am today. Thank you for your blog and photos! (And Esme may be number 1 on our baby name choices currently because of you too!)

  16. Hina May 3, 2018 at 12:44 am - Reply

    Absolutely love you and your adventures. And I completely agree with your thought process about taking your baby on this adventure.

  17. Lindseh May 3, 2018 at 1:25 am - Reply

    We aren’t traveling to nearly the same level, but we got questions and looks about simply taking our 11-month-old and 3-year-old on a weeklong vacation. It hard; the Big didn’t understand that we wouldn’t be going home every day, but these are amazing memories we are making and we are getting to know our kids in ways that we don’t experience during a regular work week. Totally worth it.

  18. Samantha May 3, 2018 at 7:31 am - Reply

    Love this post!! My boy is coming up to 6 months. Next week he would have been on his 5th plane ride. We are randomly going to Lithuania for a few days next week. As we moved into our new house at the start off his life time/money, meant it was not practical to travel. Though we have kept our holidays going still got Europe this summer, Miami at New Year, Then a few other not yet booked holidays before the year ends. By the end off the year Louie would have been to 12 countries. My travel addiction started at 11 when my mum and dad started taking me on adventures. Now I have 66 counties under my belt. With a year spent in Australia and 4 months South East Asia. Me and my husband have already agreed!! When we have our second child we are both going to share mat leave and travel for the 6 months with the two children.

    Keep living your dreams. Like they say ‘one life live it’ I believe people say things because they are jealous. Make sure once your back working, you get a holiday booked up to have something to look forward to.

    P.s not gonna lie I’m only going back to work mainly to pay for our adventures ?

  19. Jess May 3, 2018 at 9:21 am - Reply

    Aah this really puts my mind at ease. My partner is the adventurer and I knew when we met that he has wanderlust and really can’t sit still for too long. When we had our son, my partner had a few weeks off work and before I knew it, we were packed in the car with our 3 week old driving 9 hours to Byron Bay for a getaway! It did the 3 of us wonders, for all of the reasons you listed above. 14 weeks now and our darling boy has been to Byron a couple of times, his first gig with Mum and Dad and our extended families and now in the process of getting his passport for a month in Bali. I know that a lot of people have questioned our decision but it’s our decision and we truly feel that we are all benefiting from our adventures. We really value travel and everything it brings and we really hope our children do too. I love your blog, looking forward to your next post.

  20. Kim May 3, 2018 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Only just come across your blog from you liking a post on my Instagram – absolutely love this post! Your courage and “do it” attitude and it has inspired me to take a leap of faith in the future with my 4 strong brood! Looking forward to having a good read through your blogs! Thank you for this ? lots of love to you and yours xxx

  21. Ashlee May 4, 2018 at 1:40 am - Reply

    I just love your blog, your pictures, and your approach to parenting & life…thanks for sharing! Excited to take our little one on her first adventure 🙂

  22. Gemma May 4, 2018 at 6:32 am - Reply

    I love this and absolutely admire your courage to take the plunge and do it! Despite any negativity & potential pitfalls. I would have loved to do it but never made the steps to make it happen so I’m planning on taking my now 2.5 year old on a 6 month trip next year before she starts school. Her dad won’t stop working though so can only make part of the trip. I’m so excited though and think it will help her grow more confident as she too is shy. I can fully relate to not wanting To have endless coffee and play dates on maternity leave, it drove me insane! Look forward to reading more of your adventures! Gemma x

  23. Tina K August 4, 2018 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    The hard part for us is always to choose the destination. Wanting to prepare the “perfect” trip. Only because we are a bit nervous on how to handel the unpredictable and not knowing what kind of baby you have. Traveled 5 weeks in South Africa with our girl (9 month old at the time). Now we are planing 2-3 month maternity leave together traveling with our 3 year old and 10 month old girls. Knowing that when we are on the road every thing is okay and spending time toghether is infact the perfect trip.

    Thanks for inspiration on the blog 🙂

    Best regards
    Tina from Denmark

  24. Lauren November 10, 2018 at 7:45 am - Reply

    I’m so very jealous of your adventures as a family. I’d absolutely love to do it but we’re not in a position to. A 3 week trip back to my homeland (South Africa) & a few nights in Bordeaux later next year will have to do ?

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