News For Your Brood Family Time
Good news for the adventure-hungry: Your jetsetter life need not come to a halt when you become a parent. In fact, science has found that traveling with your kids—toddlers and babies, included—is a good idea.
New experiences stimulate brain growth in babies. Sure, your child may not remember going to Disneyland at age one or two, but the exposure to new sights and sounds can do wonders for his development. According to the Centre of Educational Neuroscience in London, the first three years of a child’s life is when most of total brain growth takes place. Thus, exposing him to engaging stimuli (say, Mickey and Minnie Mouse in the flesh) can help him hone skills he’s just beginning to learn—like saying his favorite characters' names!
travel can improve kids’ grades. After tracking the academic progress of 21,600 kids from kindergarten to the fifth grade, the U.S. Department of Education found that compared to their non-traveling peers, kids who went on family vacations tended to perform better in school, particularly in reading, math, and general knowledge. Explains researcher Dr. William Norman, “[Travel] contributes to cognitive growth and stimulates a child’s sense of wonderment. Providing kids with the experience of travel broadens their horizons and opens up their minds to learning.”
it boosts the family’s team spirit. Vacations promote the “crescive bond”—or what sociologists call a “shared experience”—by providing opportunities for bonding and communication, says a study from the Purdue University in the U.S. And while family trips can get stressful at times, the benefits outweigh the risks, even in families that are not particularly close, according to study co-author Xinran Lehto.
You don't necessarily have to put your travel plans on hold just because you have a baby.