A Road Trip of Firsts: Traveling with an Infant

Traveling with an InfantAs a new parent, I want to introduce my child to all of her firsts. Science tells us that early exposure to the world–the sights, the sounds, the textured toys that are marketed to teach our children empathy or long division–helps to transform infants into precocious toddlers and eventually doctors or superheroes. So earlier this year Marissa and I took our daughter Harper on her first trip. We picked the White Mountains in New Hampshire as it is home to some of America’s most beautiful natural scenery. Harper had just turned 10 weeks old.

 

Traveling with an Infant for the first time…

 

On our trip, Harper had many firsts. We took her to her first restaurant, where a talented guitarist performed the classics of the ’60s. The sounds of Billy Joel and Cat Stevens–names that I whispered into Harper’s ear, this way she would have them logged away for the future reference–were made more beautiful by a raging wood fire and displays of antique snowshoes hanging about the place. Harper, however, was more enamored with the bar’s television, which played infomercials featuring back-hair-removal products. Then we took her on her first horse-pulled sleigh ride. We traversed a snowy field–one from a Frost poem or Narnia–that was enclosed by granite mountains, an ice-rimmed river, bare maples and sumacs. It was gorgeous; a scene that would forever be ingrained into the inchoate mind of an infant. Harper slept the entire time.

 

Back at the hotel, The Mountain Club at Loon, I purchased Harper a swim diaper and hit the pool. I’ve always been a water-rat: I swam competitively in middle and high school, played water polo in college, lifeguarded at the ocean after graduation, and sustained year-long globetrotting only because of my companion… my surfboard. Harper, genetically speaking, was going to love the water. I changed her into her bathing diaper and we sunk into the water. She hated the pool.

 

While Marissa and I might not have been as successful as we had hoped in exposing Harper to the beauty of the universe and the joys of a chlorinated pool, we as parents learned heaps from traveling with our infant. Harper is incredible–she spent the entire trip smiling, alert to everything else besides the bar singer and sleigh ride, and she slept all six hours of the long-haul back from New Hampshire–and, like her father, she really had no qualms about using public restrooms. (She was, in fact, most giggly in the men’s room, probably because she was able to relate to the sounds.) I’m looking forward to all of our future travel, trips where I’ll attempt to expose Harper to the novelties she has yet to explore. And if, in the end, her take-away is something that I didn’t set out to teach her, like how wonderful a public restroom may be, that will be fine, too. (In her defense, you can learn quite a bit about the world from public restrooms.)

 

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Posted on by Noah Lederman in Baby Voyage

4 Responses to A Road Trip of Firsts: Traveling with an Infant

  1. Lauren

    Loved your post; Harper is a super lucky kid!

  2. The Funster

    Noah,
    Wow, what a great write up! As I understand it, the first 6 months of a child’s development are crucial, and you and Marissa are clearly aware of this as evidenced by what you posted. It’s exciting to see how your child will develop over the years. I have two daughters that are older now, but the growing and development process was very rewarding! Enjoy the journey!
    The Funster recently posted…Are Board Games Becoming More Popular?My Profile

    • Noah Lederman

      Thanks. I’m certainly looking forward to watching her grow.

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