Mr. Magpie and I have been planning for months to go to Tuscany this summer along with his extended family. A villa has been rented, deposits have been paid, and we had begun edging towards looking at plane tickets when we paused and asked ourselves: “Should we be traveling internationally with a baby that will only be one month old at the time?” I’d had a pit in my stomach on this topic for months. It was one of the first thoughts that skittered through my mind after I found out I was expecting, in fact, and a subject that has occasionally kept me up at night: “But we’ll need two pack and plays…” and “Maybe a friend will lend me her Yoyo so we can take two Yoyos with us” and “I wonder if I could sleep on a couch in a common area so I don’t wake mini up with nursing micro every 2 hours…” and “How will I feel if I do need to have a c-section and am still recovering?” Ya know, privileged problems but problems nonetheless. I’ve shuffled these mild anxieties under the rug, telling myself that we’ll figure it out, that I shouldn’t be so precious, that a trip abroad with a young baby will be good for everyone.
I decided to investigate more formally. I had read online that there’s nothing strictly prohibiting a baby from traveling at any age, other than the hectic finagling of a last-minute passport for a wee one. My pediatrician echoed this sentiment, but added, gently: “It’s not bad per se. The altitude isn’t a problem. But planes are dirty. And if your baby catches something on a plane and develops a fever at a young age, you would need to bring him to a hospital. And it’s just — not ideal. But if you need to travel, you can.” This, coming from a highly pragmatic, non-alarmist French doctor whose advice I trust implicitly. She added, a bit later: “Think also of yourself. Would you enjoy a trip when you are already adjusting and sleeping so little? With none of your creature comforts around you?”
And so my entirely unfounded and implausible visions of laying out by a pool behind a Tuscan villa, a glass of wine in my hand, evaporated.
I’m simultaneously disappointed, relieved, and nonchalant about it all. While I’m devastated to miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime family reunion, what happier reason to cancel a trip than the birth of a child? It is what it is, and this is the fortunate and chaotic season of life we’re in right now. International travel can wait. We’ll be hanging close to the fold and are instead planning a trip to the Hamptons (around two hours away by car). POOR US.
I had been doing research on travel gear (both in anticipation of our trip to warmer climes next week, and in over-eager excitement over the prospect of this Italy trip) and thought I’d share some finds nonetheless…and I pretty much imagine myself looking like the ultra-chic pregnant woman above — could I pull off a gray wool fedora and a popcorn knit sweater (on sale for $32!!!) with such aplomb?
+I’m not a pajamas-on-plane person, but these ribbed cashmere leggings look like heaven for a long flight (or some basic blush ones). (Maybe with GG high tops.) Mini could coordinate (in non-cashmere) with these jams and these kicks (or these). So neutral-chic!
+I usually like to travel with a pashmina that can be tied as a scarf when cold, draped over bare shoulders in the evening, and repurposed as a travel blanket. I’ll be swapping in my St. Frank Textiles throw this go around! It’s super lightweight but warm.
+Lusting after one of these metallic Rimowa suitcases.
+I absolutely LOVE these toning and makeup-removing pads (one of the first things I did after delivering mini was wipe one all over my face! ha!) but am drawn to these individually-wrapped wipes for travel situations. (I swear by their living luminizer — it’s like a corpse reviver for those days where you are hanging on by a thread.)
+I’ve been meaning to buy one of these long iPhone charging cables forever, and just added one to my cart. Handy for travel, where you can adapt to any sleeping situation, or for my impending hospital visit (the plugs are almost never close to the bed!)
+I’ve been over this topic 2398293829382 times, but I swear that the only way to stay organized when traveling with children is to keep everything in little pouches. I have two sets of these and will use one for mini and one for micro. (The different colors will help keep their stuff separate and organized!) I also have a few Truffle pouches for my liquid carry-ons and for miscellaneous in-flight must-haves, like earbuds, pens, Advil, lip balm, etc. I also recently bought a couple of clear larger cosmetics pouches because I find it so much easier to find things (duh) — I’ll use one for skincare, a second for makeup, and a third for mini’s stuff (in case of emergency medicine, shampoo, diaper cream, etc). I still love my Cuyana cases but am finding I reach for the clear ones when traveling with the family.
P.P.S. More life lessons.