Thursday, June 7, 2018

Traveling with a Two Month Old

Three weeks ago we made our fourth trip to New York City.  Well, fourth for Matt and I.  Second for Luke (although third since he had been alive...), and first for Sam.

Sam is 3 months old, when we went he was 11 weeks.   Before we even met him, when we were just signing papers in the middle of that crazy day, we already knew we were still going to go.  I had been trying to convince my parents' to go with us for almost two years.  Matt had asked his parents to go.  By early March we had booked our Amtrak tickets, put a deposit on an apartment, and bought crown access Statue of Liberty tickets for all.  We had enough money invested in this trip that NOT going wasn't ever something we had discussed.

That doesn't mean it wasn't stressful.  We got Sam in early March.  I feel like I spent the rest of the month pretty stressed between waiting on the putative father registry to clear (that was 75% of it), prepping Luke's birthday party, figuring out baptism, and, yes, New York.  The last week of March I made a "stress list".  Thirteen things that were stressing me out, in an effort to get them off my mind.  It only half worked.  I was still stressed but it did feel good to slowly get those items crossed off.

Sleeping on the Amtrak
To ease my New York stress, which still needed a decent amount of planning work, I bought a whole bunch (14 boxes) of Enfamil pre-mixes when they were on sale.  Then I decided that I'd put off stressing about a baby in New York until after baptism, which was exactly one month before we left.

Among the New York with a baby things stressing me out:
1) Where would he sleep?
2) Would we have room in our luggage for all his diapers and bottles?
3) Would he sleep?
4) Would any of the rest of us sleep?
5) How would he do with all the noise?
6) Would he be allowed everywhere we were going?
7) Would he spit up on all our clothes?

And on and on and on.

Becoming a subway expert
We wouldn't have planned that trip if we knew we were getting a baby just a few months earlier.  But we've planned many trips while waiting (NYC #2, Gulf Shores, NYC #3, Boston, Miramar Beach), always with the "what if we get a baby before then??" question in our mind.  Just this time, it came true!

Turns out, 11 week old babies are pretty easy travelers.  They aren't too picky about where they eat/sleep/poop (at least this one isn't). 
86th floor of the Empire State Building

I wouldn't have wanted to take him much (any) younger since it felt like we had just figured out so semblance of a schedule or at least a routine.  We can tell when he needed to eat, when he needed to nap, when he needed a diaper.  We were pretty good at getting him to sleep and he only wakes up once a night.

It was almost the easiest age to take a baby.  He isn't mobile at all and in a few months he'll be wanting down constantly to get around.  He's still pretty small so carrying him around all day in the front carrier wasn't a strain on my back.  He fell in a nice window of having a routine but not being mobile.  Because once he's mobile it would be pretty hard to take him until he was about 3 (when we took Luke for the first time).

Hanging out on the Statue of Liberty pedestal

It did feel a little crazy to be walking around the pedestals of the Statue of Liberty feeding a baby strapped to my front.  Or on top of the Empire State Building.  Or in Times Square.  So many people asked how old he was and most seemed pretty surprised when we said 11 weeks.  It's not an age most people plan on traveling with.

We wouldn't have planned it if we knew.  But it also really worked out that we didn't know because then we just had to make it work.  And it worked pretty well.  For the most part, he was the easier kid on the trip!

Getting fed at the Statue of Liberty
Sam isn't going to remember a thing from the trip.  Luke only remembers parts of our trip two years ago.  But given that New York has, strangely, played a part in our adoption journey, it seemed fitting that that is the first place we took Sam.  And it certainly worked much better than taking an 11 week old on a beach vacation!

Maybe it'll teach me to stress less (doubtful, although needed).  Maybe it'll teach me to trust God more (also needed).  Things usually have a way of working out, our two boys are living proof of that.  The not knowing can be a blessing even though it often feels like a curse.  And it's hard not to be anything but delighted with how this year has turned out!

Getting fed in Battery Park

(More New York posts coming once I finally finishing sorting and editing pictures!)

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