Disclaimer: everything you read below is only our experience and our opinion.
I feel I should begin by saying that even before our Little Turtle was born, we kind of promised each other that as long as he turned out healthy, we would not stop traveling (and living) only because we have a baby.
This dialogue from the “Paris, Je T’Aime” movie is very close to my heart:
Vincent: Claire, make Gaspard a balloon, not a ball and chain.
Claire: Was I a ball and chain?
Vincent: Mon Petit Claire, You were not the ball and chain. You were the zeppelin.
Well, we got us a sweet little zeppelin (in my best Southern accent.) I tend to think that some of it is luck, and some of it is our decision.
After 8 weeks and 9 flights I came to the conclusion that traveling with a baby is not different from doing everything else with a baby. We only needed 4 things: my milk, diapers, patience, and flexibility.
There were only 2 times, I believe, when Turtle thew a fit: once in Maine, when his 5 cousins aged 7 to 14 were overly excited to meet him and he didn’t know what to make of it, and in the car somewhere in Europe when he was just tired of being in the carseat. The rest of the time, he ate (at every sight worth seeing, in every museum), slept in his carrier (we have a Boba Air and love it!), observed his surroundings, and made friends.
A side-note on the carrier: there was only one time we wished we had a stroller. In Sri Lanka, it would have been nigh impossible to roll it, in Europe, there are cobblestones everywhere. There was never the question of folding/storing/hauling something, which we loved.
Some practical stuff:
In Bonn, we ended up in a bigger hotel room, because they saw we had a baby. I suspect it would have happened at other places, too, if we went to check-in together.
In the Dubai airport, we didn’t have to stand in a single line. In Amsterdam and somewhere in the US we were allowed to board first. KLM was fantastic: the staff was very friendly and thoughtful. They actually provided us with an infant life vest, an infant seatbelt, and a little bag of goodies (even though Turtle was a bit too young for it.) Delta was much less impressive, I’m sad to report.
We were given a bassinet on 2 flights, and an extra seat on 2 flights. We found the extra seat to be more convenient.
At one of the restaurants, the waiter picked up Ari and carried him around during our whole meal, so that we could relax and enjoy our food, which we did!
Not once did I catch anyone giving me the evil eye for nursing in public (I don’t go all-bare, but I don’t use one of those nursing tents either.)
Everywhere we went, people on public transportation were quick to give up their seats so that one of us could sit down. So very sweet.
So there are definite benefits 🙂 The drawbacks are few and far between, the main one being the slower pace: we had to stop to feed him, or he’d get tired of being in the carrier, or our arms/back would get tired. But it’s such a minor thing! We just travel differently now, that’s all.