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Preggo and already planning first family vacay

sissyt

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  • Added on: September 13th, 2010
Hi folks,

My husband and I have traveled a lot, done a RTW trip and lived abroad. Now we are expecting our first (most likely only) child and I've already started thinking about a trip after the baby arrives. Nothing big, just a dive trip to Mexico or the Florida Keys when kiddo is about 4 or 5 months old, hopefully with friends who will look after kiddo while mom and dad are under water.

However, many of my friends who are parents (and some who are not) tell me this is totally unrealistic, that we won't enjoy it and that 4 or 5 months is too young to start dragging a baby around. What do you think? I mean, to me it seems like a 2.5 hr plane ride and a week in a villa is not a big deal but am I missing something?

rhythm_blues

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  • Added on: September 14th, 2010
I don't think that 4 or 5 months old is too young to be traveling, especially if you do something low-key and you have friends/family to help you. We started taking short driving trips with our son within our region of the U.S. within a few months of his birth, and farther afield in the U.S. a few months after that. He took his first transcontinental flight, from Seattle to Amsterdam, at 7 months. We have a lot of family members and, at that point in our lives, people were pretty spread out.

I think you have a good idea to rent a villa, so that it's easy for the baby to nap. Babies sleep a lot at that age. They can cry a lot too, so it's nice not to be in a hotel room with neighbors close by.

The only caveat I would offer is to wait on booking the trip until after the baby is born. That way, if you or the baby has any health issues, you'll have time to recover and not feel rushed. Also, you'll want some time -- how much varies from family to family -- to just focus on one another and develop a routine together. Parenthood is a big change, so I suggest that you don't lock yourself into anything too quickly.

MummyT

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  • Added on: September 15th, 2010
I think that's about the right age to do it, to be honest, and it's an achievable destination.

The only thing I would observe is that you will be amazed how much stuff you have to carry with a baby. Packing will take longer. It will take you longer to get out of the house. You will probably be a bit less physically active than you were pre-baby...

But sounds like a great plan...
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Mama-to-many

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  • Added on: September 15th, 2010
Travelling with a baby at 4-5 months is totally do-able.
Assuming you're breastfeeding, all you'll need is a few changes of clothes (or lots if you bubs has reflux and spills all the time), a pile of cloth diapers (I can tell you doing cloth while travelling is do-able becuase we travelled for 15 months and NEVER used a disposable), and a sling. Honestly. OH, and perhaps a carseat.
You don't need to take half the toystore or gadgets. And you'll hopefully be in that window when babies don't yet need solids - it is a nice phase - you've got to know baby, it still sleeps heaps, can't move around, needs parents close and that's about it.
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halfnine

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  • Added on: September 16th, 2010
There are at least two notable travel bloggers that returned back to their home country to have their child and then resumed travel again when the baby was at around 4 months.

Almost Fearless

Location Independent Parents

Anyway, we're trying to sort some of this out ourselves. We'll likely end up crudely going around the world to visit family/friends over a 6 month period while the wife is on maternity leave. The first issue for us is how to best to get from the UK to Australia (20 hour plus flight) with a 2-3 month old baby.

jv

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  • Added on: September 16th, 2010
halfnine wrote:The first issue for us is how to best to get from the UK to Australia (20 hour plus flight) with a 2-3 month old baby.


Good luck. If it makes you feel any better, I can definitely say that 2-3 months is better than 2-3 years!

halfnine

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  • Added on: September 16th, 2010
jv wrote:Good luck. If it makes you feel any better, I can definitely say that 2-3 months is better than 2-3 years!


I have no doubt that is true. And definitely believe it will be to our benefit to do so before the kid is mobile. However, I think the main thing for us is we'd like to leave ASAP but not to too soon. It's a long flight, plus recycled air, dehydration, etc. Just want to make sure the little guy is healthy enough before we go, but I really have no idea how many months old would or wouldn't be reasonable for such a long flight.

WT

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  • Added on: September 16th, 2010
Good advice here. I'm with mama-to- many-- If you breastfeed and co-sleep, you really do not need much at all, few clothes, diapers & sling. Easy!

wait on booking the trip until after the baby is born. That way, if you or the baby has any health issues, you'll have time to recover and not feel rushed. Also, you'll want some time -- how much varies from family to family -- to just focus on one another and develop a routine together.


Also this was great advice. I'm sure it was easier for mama-to-many on her 8th baby, than it will probably be for most first time moms.

It IS a big change & the folks mentioned did that, waited for a while, because you don't really know what it will look like because each baby and each family is unique.We have been traveling as a family for 5 years of non-stop world travel, but we first started traveling together when she was just 2 weeks old and stayed at her first hotel. But it was just a weekend & we did mostly road trips in those early years.We had some great trips, but could adapt to our unique needs.

My baby was and is VERY active, so was crawling fast ALL OVER the place at barely 4 months. ( This is unusual, but it happens, mine went on to walk at 6 months). She was also a "runner" who would go football field distances away from us like lickety split in those early days. Again, unusual, but all babies are different & you do not yet know what yours will be like. ( Mine was sooo mellow in the womb. ha!)

We planned a water birth, but ended up with a very rough birth that left us both with many complications for a good year after birth. My child also totally hated the car seat, had a serious feeding problem, and was not big on sleep for the first several years .

These kinds of things can impact your travel plans. The good news of having a very active baby is once they get a bit older, they are fantastic travelers with endless energy for walking,hiking and biking all over.

The biggest secret for easy travel with any baby? Breastfeeding, a sling ( which can take some time to master), going slow and sleeping/resting when the baby sleeps.

Once they start moving, traveling is harder, but it still can be done. We did a LOT of travel the first year and since.

It takes 7 years for their immune system to develop, and a sick baby is a heart wrencher, so I might pick Fla just to be a little on the safer side.

If you do baby swimming, maybe you can take her/him with you in the water. Our baby started swimming underwater at 4 days old and was a good swimmer at 4 months! Babies are use to swimming in the womb so take to it naturally from birth if started early. Great freedom for them to be in the minus gravity bliss again & strengthens their lungs and all muscles. Our LOVED it & is still a water baby!
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sissyt

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  • Added on: September 17th, 2010
Thanks everyone! Definitely won't book the trip until well after baby's born, I've known enough parents who ended up with big surprises (babies 2 months early, etc) to realize that would be unwise. I just want a trip in mind so I can day dream about sun and fun this winter while it's cold here and I'm large. :D

It's great to hear about other parents traveling with infants and young children so next time someone tells me we won't be able to travel any more I'll point them to this site and some of those great blogs. Hopefully kiddo will be healthy happy traveler.

Mama-to-many

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  • Added on: September 17th, 2010
If it's any consolation, you can even travel with a baby who is not entirely healthy. Our fifth had severe reflux (was hospitalised for it, had tests done.....results of under 3% were "normal", 7% was considered "extreme" - he clocked in at 19%). This meant he vomitted non-stop and screamed - the worst day ever it was for 20 hours of the 24. We had to go to Malaysia when he was 7 months old and so we took him. At that stage he had been on medication that controlled the pain for just over two weeks and so the screaming had stopped - he had become a "happy chucker". All the same, everyone thought we were mad.
In reality, it was a great time to travel.
So travel is possible even with illness (so long as it is not life-threatening) Funnily, the longest sleep he ever had was on the plane returning - he fell asleep just after take-off and had to be woken as we approached Auckland so that he could be strapped to me for landing!
(On the other hand, on a more recent flight we had a two year old and as it was "the middle of the night" for her we had expected she would sleep through the flight. She screamed nonstop for two hours. I tell you, a plane is very small and a small child is very loud under those conditions! However, while we were upset at causing a disturbance, other passengers were so kind and reassuring. When we came to return home 15 months later, having not been on a plane since that ordeal flight, the now-three-year-old said, "I hope my tummy won't be sore and I won't cry." So obviously she had been in pain.)


When things are at their worst, just remember "this will only last for eight/ten/twenty-three hours and then those people will never see me again"!!!!!!!
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KathrynD

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  • Added on: October 5th, 2010
Actually I think it was easiest to travel with my baby when he was 2-4 months because he didn't need any food but breast milk and I was the container for that. Babies are pretty easy to travel with because they sleep alot and don't need much. It"s harder once they start eating mushy foods. I took my son to Hawaii at 11 months and boy did it seem like we carried so much stuff. At 2 years, I remember a whole extra suitcase of stuff for our trip to Easter Island - most of it diapers!

It gets easier again later too, but as long as their healthy babies travel fine. Though sometimes they keep your neighbors up when they cry.

nancy sv

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  • Added on: October 7th, 2010
Travel with a 5 or 6 month old baby is easy - surprisingly easy! I think the suggestion of waiting to book your ticket until after the baby is born is a good one - too many things can happen and you don't want to be locked in with a ticket that simply doesn't work for you.

I took my first major flight when my twins were 6 weeks old - from Idaho to Ethiopia. It was a 35-hour journey and the babies were just fine. I breastfed them, but also had a few small bottles with me so Grandma could feed one while I nursed the other if we needed that.

When the boys were four months old, we flew back to the USA. We went to Idaho for a week or two, then on to California where hubby and I were taking classes for our masters degrees. Then I flew back to Boise with the babies (hubby stayed in California), then on to Connecticut for a couple weeks. When they were 6 months old, we flew back to Ethiopia again. It was very, very easy to travel with them - no issues at all!! By that time, they were in backpacks - one for me and one for hubby.

At 11 months, we went to Egypt - the boys learned to walk on the beach at the Red Sea. They climbed Mount Sinai in backpacks a few days later. We took a Nile cruise. Traveling with the little ones was easy, easy, easy.

I don't think you need a lot of stuff for babies - we traveled very lightly and managed to carry everything we needed, plus the two babies. We used disposable diapers for travel, had a few changes of clothes for each of us, and our toothbrushes. You really don't need a lot.

Anyway, I hope you manage to take your journey. Don't worry abou thte kid - he'll be just fine!
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ianandwendy

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  • Added on: November 22nd, 2010
Congratulations! And why not plan? You can always wait to book the tickets till baby arrives and you see how you're feeling. Many, many people told us we wouldn't travel again once we had children - but we did and do! It also really doesn't take that much stuff to travel with a baby - even if you're not co-sleeping.

While MANY people told us that we should take our first "big" trip with our daughter before she started crawling, for us the bigger issue was sleep. We flew back "home" to visit family (5 hour flight and 3 hour time difference) twice before we took off for 3 weeks in New Zealand when she was 10-months-old. She learned to crawl 4 days before we left and to pull herself up the day after that. Despite the dire warnings, it was fine! We stuck her in clothes we didn't care about and chased her around emptier parts of the airport. We definitely never managed to get the knees of those pants clean again, but she wore herself out and was happy to sit on the plane. Finding time and place for her to crawl was a lot easier to us than trying to enjoy traveling while sleep deprived.

Since then we've traveled lots more and we find it even easier now that she's walking. It's much simpler to take a toddler for a walk on the plane rather than having them try to crawl down the aisle! All of Wendy's stuff, and her stuff and our Phil & Ted's Travel Cot easily fit in Wendy's backpack and it still didn't weigh very much, either - no super-hero gym buffs here ;)!

So, plan away! We're expecting our second one any day now and already dreaming about our next big trip!

Our picks for baby travel toys, our suggestions on what to bring to make travel with baby easy and fun and our Phil & Ted's Travel Cot Review - we consider it to be our best baby/toddler travel equipment purchase, ever.

Good luck with the new little one and happy travels!

Ian and Wendy

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  • Added on: December 4th, 2010
4-5 months is doable and happens all the time- my twin brother and I first flew at 5 months (along with our then 2 year old sister) with our mom to Hungary, because how would we have met our grandparents and cousins who lived there otherwise? (These were during the commie days, so not like they were going to come visit us in the USA!) Biggest advice my mom has from that trip is try and keep a spare change of clothes for you nearby if at all possible- my brother knocked some apple juice onto my mom early on in the international flight so she was wet the entire journey.



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