Nobody Puts Baby in an Uber

As I mentioned yesterday, I spent a few days in Seattle last week, primarily to see my brother and his new baby. My niece is 3 months old, and my brother has ample paternity leave; his wife was mostly working when I was in town.

I wanted to spend a lot of time with my niece, so she went with us pretty much everywhere…which proved, at times, to be rather difficult. How in the world do people travel with babies?

Aside from general baby stuff (lengthy feeding, constant attention, random naps), I realized just how hard it is to move from place to place with an infant in tow.

As an adult, I have a bevy of options available to me: I can walk, ride a bike, hail an uber, take the bus, etc. But if you have a baby with you, your options are much more limited. Walking is fine–in fact, we took a nice hike near Puget Sound, and I wanted some baby time, so we strapped the baby to my chest. It was quite nice, and I’d like to try it with Walter and Biddy.

Bikes? Nope. You can’t just hop on a Limebike with a baby in one arm. Uber? No again. Babies need proper seats for safety reasons. So that leaves public transportation, which is perfectly fine…it’s just that the bus stop or train hub could be quite far from where you are and where you need to go.

I already have two cats–one of which is diabetic–who depend on me and limit my freedom to a certain extent. In a way, my cats have made me want a human child much less than before, given those constraints. But Seattle was the first time I realized just how far those constraints can go. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing–my niece is absolutely precious–but it made me really appreciate my freedom of movement.

Have you ever traveled with an infant? What’s the secret to your success?

3 Responses to “Nobody Puts Baby in an Uber”

  1. It gets easier with time. Their needs get fewer and you get better at anticipating what is necessary and what is extra stuff you don’t need to bring. Even more challenging is scheduling outings between naps and ensuring the nap schedule. For the sake of our weekends and social life we’ve given up on timing the naps on weekends. The baby gets tired when he gets tired and sometimes that just means adjusting your schedule on the fly. I know some people who have a strict schedule and will leave early if things don’t align to that schedule. We’ve chosen to not be those people. It means a more active social life but we also pay for it with having to readjust the baby’s sleep habits once in a while.

  2. Nik says:

    At home, you use your car with the permanently installed car seat in the back. When away you either bring your car, rent a car or borrow a car and strap the car seat, that you brought from home, in the back. You can toss a car seat in a bag and check it on airlines.

    When it comes to biking, your niece doesn’t appear old enough yet, you bring your bike with the seat strapped to the back or the front.

    When it’s all said and done the best method is the chest rig and just carry them around with you but you’re limited to however far your feet can take you. Not like they care, they’re a baby and it’s farther than they can go.

    As far as all their gear… I was able to get it limited to the extent it fit in a small maxpedition sling bag (which doubles as a chest suspended seat if you for got to bring the actual one). Between the bag and the chest getup We were fully mobile at that point as soon as we stepped out of the car.

  3. Yeah, travelling with a baby is a challenge. We took my son to Czechia and Austria when he was 7 months old. We had a shuttle driver from the airport who had a child seat he was able to install for us. There were a fair number of taxis in Europe with child seats available on request.

    Other than that, we spent a lot of time walking around, with my son in a backpack. It’s a hiking-style backpack with a seat for a kid on top, so it’s really comfortable to wear, and has lots of extra storage for diapers, snacks, and whatnot. We took a lot of trains (local and long distance) which are super easy, with him on my back for short rides, or just sitting next to me on the seat for longer rides.

    On the airplane, we got a seat with a bassinet for him to sleep in, which went about as well as you would expect. It’s much harder to travel now that he’s 2. He still fits in the backpack, but he’s much heavier, and he doesn’t take naps while being held anymore like he used to.

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