[Parentsgroup-list] traveling with an infant

wenc at fas.harvard.edu wenc at fas.harvard.edu
Mon Dec 17 14:10:07 EST 2007

Here's my novel-like response.  It is MUCH easier to travel with an infant than
with a toddler, assuming you're breastfeeding.  I have friends who backpacked
all over India and Malaysia for months starting when their baby was 5 months
old.  (When he started walking they got an apartment.)  I would absolutely take
the trip.

Breastfeeding will also pass your antibodies on to the baby for whatever bugs
might be around.  It will also save your life on the plane.  If you are nervous
about nursing in public, maybe get one of those poncho things you can put on to
cover everybody.

For vaccines, see what the guidelines are there--they may be different from the
U.S. (as in requiring fewer shots).  I would avoid loading up on vaccinations
or getting ahead of the typical schedule before you go--you can always get them
there if you need/want to.

I would also highly suggest getting out of the stroller mentality altogether and
just using an Ergo or Baby Bjorn pack, so your hands are free and you aren't
dragging a giant plastic thing around with you all the time.  When baby is a
little bigger, maybe get a backpack.  (Snugli makes one that isn't as massive
as the Kelty packs, though the Kelty does have storage)

You also do not need a porta crib or anything like that--just put the baby in
bed with you if you can make it safe (no big fluffy European down duvets, for
instance).  If that won't work, just buy a bassinet when you get there, or do
it the old-fashioned way and put baby in a dresser drawer.

With a baby that small you will not even need any toys (trust me--you will
regret bringing them,) and basically no other paraphernalia other than enough
diapers to get you to the next location & a few changes of clothes.  Once she's
4-6 months old, baby will be completely entertained by what she sees just
traveling around with you, or by chewing on spoons at the cafe etc., and before
that just keeping her close to your body and breastfeeding whenever she wants
will probably be all you need to keep her happy.

Just ignore the mareketing forces that tell you that you need to buy a truckload
of stuff for a newborn, travel very very lightly, and take naps as often as
possible!  The only issue might be is if you end up with a c-section or have
other major issues, you might still not be feeling 100% 8 weeks after the
birth.  So just plan on taking it very easy at first.


Quoting Maryann Shenoda <mshenoda at fas.harvard.edu>:

> Dear all,
> My husband and I are expecting in early May.  We have an opportunity
> to go to Budapest with the baby in late June and we were wondering if
> it is advisable to travel with such a young infant.  We'll be staying
> in Budapest for two weeks.  What might traveling with an infant
> entail (shots, medicine, what to take with us, tips for the airplane,
> etc.)?  This is our first child, so any suggestions would be much
> appreciated.  Thanks.
> peace,
> Maryann
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