Family vacations

Tip: Baby Passports – It doesn’t have to be painful

The greatest day as a parent is the birth of your child, and milestones like the first smile and the first giggle top the list for memorable moments. However, if you are travelling parents like us, one of those exciting milestones is when your little bundle of joy receives their first passport. FREEDOM! You can finally travel outside of your country and start earning passport stamps for your little one.

However, picture this: Saturday at Walmart. We are at the photo section, with a line up of people behind us. We are desperately trying to ensure our four week old meets the Canadian passport requirements, such as being awake (no small feat for a little one that sleeps approximatley 18 hours a day), holding their head up without your hand being in the picture (mission impossible), and make sure they do not smile (which means for a four week old…not have gas).

There are people sitting at the McDonald’s located in Walmart, which is right next to to the photo area, eating their cheeseburgers and laughing at the sight of us snapping our fingers, jumping up and down, and doing everything we can to try and accomplish this task. A crowd gathered, sympathizers contributed various cooing noises, and we, the parents, had sweat pouring down our faces by the end of the photo session.

Despite the difficulty, we did get the passport photo successfully taken. But we did not have the same luck with our second child. The picture that we had taken was rejected by the passport office. There goes $20 and a frustrating 45 minutes that we won’t get back.

It wasn’t until our second attempt that we discovered the “Infant Paaport Zen Secret”. Trust me, phone around, usually by the passport office there is an intelligent passport photo place that offers a brilliant solution: a baby bed!

The bed is white (it is actually just a covered foamy) and the baby lies on it, eliminating the need to” invisibly” hold your baby’s head up. Your baby is not complaining about the awkward position, and is often amused by the lights and camera. It cost us more, but was an easy “in and out” painless experience, and no photo rejection. In Victoria BC, you can go to Prism Imaging (, at 791 Fort Street.

Let me know if you have found places around you that offer this same service, so others can benefit and not have to endure a painful infant passport photo experience.