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So often I hear people justify their lack of family travel because their children are not old enough to remember the vacation. This reasoning is so perplexing to me. Who would travel based on another person’s memory?


Of course the kids aren’t going to remember in infancy or as a toddler, but you will. You will remember the smiles on their faces when they see all those colorful toys in the gift shop. You will remeber them dancing along to popular songs or their sweet waves as floats pass by during the sardine-packed parades.

Those are the stories you will recall and retell when your child is going off to college or getting married. The ones they will hear over and over again and smile at the memories.

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As humans, our retelling of the past is what makes our future. Why not start as soon as we possibly can?

Is the fact that they “won’t remember” really a valid reason not to experience… life?

My parents would take me to Guatemala as a child. I don’t remember a lot of the trips, but I do know that when I went back as a young adult, I felt comfortable in my surroundings. I didn’t spend my time there discovering a new way of life. I spent the time having fun with my family. The familiarity of previously visiting when I was younger allowed me to do that. My grandfather passed away when I was an adult so I remember him more than my grandmother, but I still love looking at these pictures that we took together when I was my son’s age. I don’t remember being here in front of this volcano with him, but that’s not the point. The point is, I was there with my family, and I know I was happy.

One of the last trips I took with my grandmother, very soon before she died, was to Disney and SeaWorld. Again, I don’t remember this trip at all, but I have the pictures and the stories from my elders to know how much my grandmother loved us. Since my grandmother passed away unexpectedly, I didn’t grow up knowing her. What I do know is that we had this time together, time she could look back on for the remainder of her short life and now time I know my parents are grateful for. Now that I’m a parent, I can’t help but be inspired to do the same.

Last year, we took our then-2-year-old son to Disney alongside his great-grandmother (Nana), uncle, aunts and cousins. He got to ride some of the same rides his Nana and father rode together when my husband was his age. It warmed my heart and will forever be a memory that I will carry for my son. I’m sure now, a year later, he’s forgotten how much fun he had with everyone, but I haven’t.

You see, his great-grandmother was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s (although we knew her decline began before our trip to Disney). That trip was unintentionally timed in the most magical and serendipitous way—right before my son was old enough to remember it and right before his great-grandmother began to forget.

The magnitude of this is really almost breathtaking and makes me want to cry for them both. How did we get so lucky to have this moment to share with each other before big changes impacted our family forever?

What memory would have filled its place if we had chosen to stay at home because my son was too young to remember Disney?

Realistically speaking, many families do not have the means or opportunity to travel internationally or visit pricey theme parks. (Hot tip: children under 3 are admitted free at most amusement parks.) I understand this more than you know, but I’m talking beyond that. Yes, they are young but these forgettable moments are still changing them. They are significant, and they will shape your child and mold them into who they will be tomorrow. The memories we absorb as their parents are also as impactful as we have not finished learning our truths either.

So my question is, why wait on the memories of your children to travel?

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It may have been hard to imagine just a few weeks ago, but life with your baby is probably starting to feel like the new normal. From establishing sweet rituals throughout the day to finding ways to carve out that all-important time for yourself, you are really doing great, mama!

Your baby is also getting the hang of life on the outside, too. Especially if you two waged a battle against colic together, this is the point where you are probably claiming victory, which means interactions are getting all that much sweeter. As your baby feels more comfortable with their new world, you will probably notice that some new routines are falling into place, which makes this a good time to reinforce some healthy habits around nap time and bedtime.

With more reliable sleep schedules, you two might also have more energy to take on some stimulating at-home activities. If returning to work is also on the radar, whether in a home office or in a workplace, you might be wondering how you will balance it all. Trust us when we say that you can and will figure it out, just like millions of mamas and babies before you. Thankfully, you can also learn some of the best tips and tricks from them, too.

As you continue to settle into this exciting phase, here are some of our 3-month essentials for you and baby:

To takealong a favorite toy anywhere: Infantino Playtime Pal

Infantino Play Toy

Now that your baby is awake for longer stretches of time, a tactile toy can help keep their focus while you cross tasks off the list around the house.

$14.99

To keep organized: GO by Goldbug stroller organizer

stroller organizer

Why is it that blow-out diapers happen at the worst times?! Keep everything you need organized and within reach with a stroller organizer so you don't spend precious time searching for the wipes.

$16.99

To bottle-feed with ease: Dr. Brown’s bottle set

Dr. Browns

Cleaning bottles can feel like a part-time job, so make it as simple as possible for yourself with a set that is easy to clean. (A bottle-specific brush helps, too!)

$39.99

To offer tummy-friendly formula: Up&Up gentle formula

Babies often arrive in this world with mighty sensitive stomachs. If you are formula or combo-feeding, finding an option you both feel good about can do wonders.

$19.99

To entertain your mini Mozart: Baby Einstein ocean orchestra

baby einstein

Piano lessons might still be years in the future, but it's never too soon to start fostering your baby's music appreciation! By stimulating multiple senses during playtime, research shows babies experience even stronger cognitive benefits.

$19.99

To simplify pumping breaks: Spectra breast pump

breast pump

Whether you are going back to a job outside the home or simply want to help your baby get comfortable with an occasional bottle, breastfeeding mamas are going to want a workhorse pump that makes those pumping sessions as easy as possible.

$200

To keep breakfast simple: KIND breakfast bars

Kind bars

Gone are the days of taking your time to get ready in the morning. Make sure you always have breakfast covered with a supply of nutritious bars you can eat while multitasking.

$2.99

To get past the midday slump: Keurig k-mini single serve

Keurig

Unfortunately, multiple wake-ups during the night doesn't mean you'll get to sleep in longer. If the alarm went off too early, it can help to have a midday coffee break (or two).

$89.99

To protect your lobes from a grabby baby: A New Day stud earrings

New Day earrings

If dangling earrings are suddenly feeling like quite a hazard in the proximity of a handsy baby, swap them out for some stylish new studs. Your ears will thank you!

$7.99

To manage your day: The Time Factory mom life planner

mom life planner

Show mom brain who is boss by keeping all of your tasks and commitments together in one place. Now you'll know exactly what you're supposed to do on any given day.

$8.19

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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