International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

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Cycle
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International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Cycle » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:04 am

We are expecting our first child in January and likely going to do some international travel during our maternity/paternity paid time off. My wife (age 36) gets 20 weeks off, and I (age 35) get 6 weeks paid time off. We are looking into traveling with the baby weeks 14-20. Mid April - End of May.

One example might be to travel to a few different places and stay 1-2 weeks in each location. For example, 2 weeks in Patagonia, 2 weeks in Bariloche, 2 weeks in Buenos Aires.

Or we could stay 6 weeks in one place. For example, rent a condo in Kawaii or some small beach town in Greece.

We are very frugal 65% net savers with high income and no debt, and we'll be collecting paychecks and rent during this time off, so there won't be any significant impact to our finances. We'd lean towards low cost travel, ruling out Western Europe, US, Maldives...

I'm interested if anyone has traveled with an infant that age (or any age), and what the do's/don'ts are, what you'd do differently, whether you'd do it again, or whether you regret not doing it.

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vineviz
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by vineviz » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:14 am

We never travelled internationally with our children at that age but did frequently travel domestically.

Generally it was a good experience, but it’s been several years. Travel gets harder as the baby gets older, so this seems like a good time to bond. Just don’t underestimate how tired you will be.

• Buy the lightest most durable gear you can afford.

• Always buy the baby a plane ticket and take a baby seat on the plane.

• Breast feeding is awesome because the baby will never be hungry unless you lose them.

• Don’t even think about buying or using a pacifier.
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Rupert
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Rupert » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:24 am

I don't recommend traveling nomadically with a child that age. Your number one priority at that time will be developing a routine, particularly a sleep routine -- both for you and the kid. Your kid might be a "trick baby," i.e., one that sleeps through the night at 6 weeks and is basically chill. Or you might have a colicky baby who comes into the world screaming and doesn't stop -- day or night -- for a couple of years. Unfortunately, you won't know what you're getting until you get it. (I had one of each -- at the same time!). There will also be lots of doctor appointments for the baby at that age. So I'd opt for the stay-in-one-place-the-whole-time option, but I would first ask the pediatrician about his/her schedule of well-baby checkups. The schedule, I think, includes checkups at 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, and 12 months, but some doctors vary from that schedule. You'll want to schedule your trip in between those because they are important. Don't forget that your kid won't have a functioning immune system for a while. So I'd strike undeveloped nations off the list.

arka
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by arka » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:30 am

We did it with our second child when she was 6 weeks old. We travelled through Sweden, Malta, Sicily and Spain for around 6 weeks (we are US-based). My recommendations would be:
  • Ensure that the vaccinations are up to date. We kind of pushed the timeline a little bit, she got her shots the day before leaving.
  • Make sure that the baby likes the carrier you are using. She was OK right before leaving the couple of times we used it. She complained a lot during our travels. This made some things really difficult.
  • How comfortable are you with your health care options while traveling? I'm European so I knew the options will be good but a rural area in South America is probably out of my comfort zone.
  • Pack really light. These days I can fit everything that I need in one backpack (an Osprey Farpoint 40). I push a carry on with the kid's stuff. I strap the kid's car seat to the telescopic handle. Much easier to go through airports.
  • Take it easy. Plan for less that you would do on your own (we personally do a lot during vacation).
  • Pockit Lightweight Stroller is the best travel accessory that we've bought recently. I use it with a 2 year old, though.
  • I'd rent a car and skip busy cities. I like the flexibility of not relying on public transport with small kids. Or just stay put in each place for a few days.
We had another child at the time (4) and we had some painful experiences. But with just a baby that will sleep most of the time I don't see any major issues. I did not train kids to sleep through the night till they were at least 6 months old so I wouldn't be worried too much (just know that you won't be sleeping through the night).

Jack FFR1846
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:37 am

What is it you plan to see in your travels? When we adopted our first infant child, while waiting for the legal go ahead to leave the state, we went to the zoo. In an entire day, we saw 2 animal exhibits.

In my humble opinion, travel during this time is silly.

We also adopted a second, 4 years later and knew to have low expectations to do tourist things.
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runner540
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by runner540 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:44 am

Cycle wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:04 am
We are expecting our first child in January and likely going to do some international travel during our maternity/paternity paid time off. My wife (age 36) gets 20 weeks off, and I (age 35) get 6 weeks paid time off. We are looking into traveling with the baby weeks 14-20. Mid April - End of May.

One example might be to travel to a few different places and stay 1-2 weeks in each location. For example, 2 weeks in Patagonia, 2 weeks in Bariloche, 2 weeks in Buenos Aires.

Or we could stay 6 weeks in one place. For example, rent a condo in Kawaii or some small beach town in Greece.

We are very frugal 65% net savers with high income and no debt, and we'll be collecting paychecks and rent during this time off, so there won't be any significant impact to our finances. We'd lean towards low cost travel, ruling out Western Europe, US, Maldives...

I'm interested if anyone has traveled with an infant that age (or any age), and what the do's/don'ts are, what you'd do differently, whether you'd do it again, or whether you regret not doing it.
Have you ever cared for an infant? If not, please get some experience babysitting before you plan this.

I'd suggest you consider using your paternity time to be at home with your wife new baby as she heals from childbirth, instead of the last 6 weeks traveling the world!

bob60014
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by bob60014 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:56 am

Not recommended, imho. Along with getting the child and you in a routine, I am always leery flying around with a newborn in planes, being in terminals for inordinate length of times and other areas of suspect cleanliness that may expose him/her to who knows what, needlessly. Plus mrs might want a little down time!

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by tibbitts » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:23 pm

I don't have kids but had foster kids starting at 5 days old. I think this is a horrible idea. If you want to negotiate with your employer and swap your leave for comp time later fine, it would be far better to just go back to work immediately and save that "vacation" time to use later.

The travel would be far more demanding than your job and defeat the purpose of leave.

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Cycle
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Cycle » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:27 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:37 am
What is it you plan to see in your travels? When we adopted our first infant child, while waiting for the legal go ahead to leave the state, we went to the zoo. In an entire day, we saw 2 animal exhibits.

In my humble opinion, travel during this time is silly.

We also adopted a second, 4 years later and knew to have low expectations to do tourist things.
I'm trying to not be naive, like on one end we would just get a unit in West End, Roatan and stay put for 6 weeks. We've been there and enjoy the town. Activities would be walking, a little scuba / snorkling, reading.

On the active end, an idea would be to go to Huaraz Peru. We've been there several times, and my wife could take spanish lessons and I could do a couple climbs in the cordillera blanca, which i've done before. We wouldn't be taking the baby more than a few blocks from our b&b.

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by tibbitts » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:31 pm

Cycle wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:27 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:37 am
What is it you plan to see in your travels? When we adopted our first infant child, while waiting for the legal go ahead to leave the state, we went to the zoo. In an entire day, we saw 2 animal exhibits.

In my humble opinion, travel during this time is silly.

We also adopted a second, 4 years later and knew to have low expectations to do tourist things.
I'm trying to not be naive, like on one end we would just get a unit in West End, Roatan and stay put for 6 weeks. We've been there and enjoy the town. Activities would be walking, a little scuba / snorkling, reading.

On the active end, an idea would be to go to Huaraz Peru. We've been there several times, and my wife could take spanish lessons and I could do a couple climbs in the cordillera blanca, which i've done before. We wouldn't be taking the baby more than a few blocks from our b&b.
But would you rather do that or take a 6 week trip with the kids when they can enjoy it too? Or retire 6 weeks early? You're convinced you don't need the leave for the conventional purpose so at least try to work a deal.

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Cycle
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Cycle » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:32 pm

runner540 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:44 am
Have you ever cared for an infant? If not, please get some experience babysitting before you plan this.

I'd suggest you consider using your paternity time to be at home with your wife new baby as she heals from childbirth, instead of the last 6 weeks traveling the world!
No, but it appears to be hell from observing my nephews.

I have vacation i can take when she gives birth, enough for 1-3 weeks or whatever she needs.

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Cycle
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Cycle » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:02 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:31 pm
But would you rather do that or take a 6 week trip with the kids when they can enjoy it too? Or retire 6 weeks early? You're convinced you don't need the leave for the conventional purpose so at least try to work a deal.
we're already FI, not interesed in super early FIRE. can take sabbatical in the future when kids are older.

i need the leave for conventional purposes, and definitely want to use it early for bonding. whatever we end up doing is conventional for us.

123
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by 123 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:04 pm

I think it would be a little too early to be looking for diversions from childcare responsibilities. Echoing other comments I would be concerned about exposure to foreign environments before the child has developed an effective immune system (I would not even advise extensive domestic travel with a child of that age). It does not seem like you appreciate the vulnerability of such a young child. Perhaps you can have grandparents care for the child while you and your spouse go and enjoy yourselves (bring a doll along and carefully pose it in your selfies). Daily Skyping with the baby might meet the requirements for bonding for the maternity/paternity time off.
Last edited by 123 on Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Rupert
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Rupert » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:11 pm

No offense, but you're considering taking a newborn to locations where even healthy adults are advised to get special vaccines before visiting. Why would you even consider that?

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by tibbitts » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:21 pm

Cycle wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:02 pm
tibbitts wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:31 pm
But would you rather do that or take a 6 week trip with the kids when they can enjoy it too? Or retire 6 weeks early? You're convinced you don't need the leave for the conventional purpose so at least try to work a deal.
we're already FI, not interesed in super early FIRE. can take sabbatical in the future when kids are older.

i need the leave for conventional purposes, and definitely want to use it early for bonding. whatever we end up doing is conventional for us.
If you are FI you work when/where/if you want. So I don't understand the concept of leave in your case, or the concept of a sabbatical. Some of us got the impression that you were somehow cramming activities into this leave period, when in fact your leave lasts for the rest of your life if you want it to. So then sure, just live for a while wherever you want to be and do as much exploring etc. as you'd like to, for as long as you'd like to. You just have to look at the potential health implications of travel for the infant, but you can avoid some of those concerns by avoiding public transportation. At least some of us were probably thinking in terms of public transportation (airports, airlines, etc.)

sergio
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by sergio » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:32 pm

Do you not plan stay at home with your wife and baby after the baby is born?
Last edited by sergio on Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

ResearchMed
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:42 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:21 pm
Cycle wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:02 pm
tibbitts wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:31 pm
But would you rather do that or take a 6 week trip with the kids when they can enjoy it too? Or retire 6 weeks early? You're convinced you don't need the leave for the conventional purpose so at least try to work a deal.
we're already FI, not interesed in super early FIRE. can take sabbatical in the future when kids are older.

i need the leave for conventional purposes, and definitely want to use it early for bonding. whatever we end up doing is conventional for us.
If you are FI you work when/where/if you want. So I don't understand the concept of leave in your case, or the concept of a sabbatical. Some of us got the impression that you were somehow cramming activities into this leave period, when in fact your leave lasts for the rest of your life if you want it to. So then sure, just live for a while wherever you want to be and do as much exploring etc. as you'd like to, for as long as you'd like to. You just have to look at the potential health implications of travel for the infant, but you can avoid some of those concerns by avoiding public transportation. At least some of us were probably thinking in terms of public transportation (airports, airlines, etc.)
We haven't thought about it this way, but we are also FI (gotta remember to phrase it this way to DH :happy )

But he has NO interest in retiring, and although he's well past "regular" retirement age, he's starting a new multi-year project.
(True, he did announce that he's considering retiring in "maybe 5 years"... we'll see...)

So I assume that OP also is not interesting in walking away from the work life.
That means that there are likely to be some constraints, especially around work scheduling.

No surprise there.

Just because you CAN "walk away" doesn't mean you WANT to walk away.

This doesn't suggest that OP "should" take a very young baby to places where there are assorted biomedical "hazards", even for adults, but especially for babies who haven't even had full sets of vaccinations, and probably can't yet get some recommended ones.
I'd suggest speaking with a travel clinic physician for some feedback, especially about particular destination choices.

I say this as someone who set out (decades ago) on a cross-country car trip with a 3-week old.
We sterilized pacifiers and bottle parts in the little electric coffee machines each night.
We had to move cross country, and the choice was for me to go with then-H, or fly a week later on my own, and I was not at all up to the latter yet. We basically just went from our car to the motel/hotel room and back again each day/night. No crowds, etc., except occasionally a stop for adult food, and a week later we were in our new already furnished home.
This, fortunately, was a baby who slept about 5+ hours at night almost from the start - a life-saver at the time. (Next baby, nothing of the kind :shock: )
That's different from what OP is describing.
Also, a *very* young baby often does little other than sleep and eat. By a few months later, that is changing. Sometimes a lot.
(And yes, we had medical clearance from both the OB and pediatrician. No special vaccinations needed, etc., or "special exposures". That matters! Or... it might matter...)

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warner25
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by warner25 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:01 pm

This thread is fun. I'm actually on paternity leave right now, and I have some relevant experience. This sounds insane at first glance, but in the OP's defense he's talking about doing this with a 4-5 month-old, not a newborn.

We traveled internationally with our first kid at 6 months, but not by choice; we were returning from an overseas job assignment. Our biggest concern at the time was upending a good sleep routine that we had worked very hard to build. That turned out fine because she was happy to nap in a carrier, and it was night by the time we got settled in at our destination, so she mostly stayed on track. But the sleep routine is sacrosanct for us. This seems especially important if you're both going back to work full-time after this trip.

A lot of how-to advice depends more on personal parenting decisions than anything else. For example, room/bed sharing or not, breastfeeding or not, pacifiers or not, etc. I agree with the comments about synchronizing this with check-ups and immunizations. I agree that the baby should get its own seat on the plane, even if the baby will sleep on your lap, just so you have extra space. If there was ever a time to spring for trip insurance that would cover medical evacuation back home, this is probably it.

Where I think you sound naive is with some of your planned activities. Scuba diving, rock-climbing, and Spanish classes? Maybe if you bring a nanny on the trip with you. Going for short walks and reading during naps are good ideas.

I still think you'd be better off using all 6 weeks of leave from the beginning at home with your wife and newborn.

carguyny
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by carguyny » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:16 pm

Unless you take a nanny, you're just going to spend money on a accomodations and not see much. Also, an infant in a b&b will likely end up with you being asked to leave.

Some kids also have complications and need to have far more frequent medical care. Some kids are easy, but as a first time parent will probably seem tough.

Nate79
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Nate79 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:44 pm

This is just about the worst idea I have heard in a long time. As someone who just took a 10 month old to an all inclusive resort on vacation (that was booked before we knew better) it was a big mistake, personally and financially. We couldn't do any activities and our daughter got a cold that made her (and our trip miserable).

Even considering at a younger age is just crazy.

I'm thinking this is your first kid......

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:56 pm

Get junior the Measles and Pertussis vaccines before you travel, even domestically. Measles can be lethal to infants and lingers in the air for hours after a single infected person walks through. Because measles outbreaks are on the increase due to lack of vaccination, I’d be hesitant to travel anywhere until he / she is old enough to get the shot.

+1 on booking a seat for the baby and bringing a car seat on board. Get a seat that’s approved for use on a plane Leave the ugly stickers on the seat that indicate it approved for use on airplanes.

Most infant car seat carriers have seat belt loops in them that allow them to be secured rear facing in a taxi or plane without much effort. We loved traveling with our Chicco KeyFit. Maxi-Cosi car seats are ubiquitous outside North America. Check the base in the belly of the plane if your plans involve a rental car.

Most decent and chain hotels have portable cribs or pack and play available. No need to lug your own with a little planning. I’d buy a cheap pack and play at my destination and throw it away (or resell it at a used kid’s gear shop) before I ever would check one in the belly of a plane.

Consider that postpartum depression can strike anyone, and upending what little routine you have may make things worse. Consider buying “cancel for any reason” travel insurance.
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

28fe6
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by 28fe6 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:18 pm

Worst idea ever.

I would suggest staying home with your baby, then sending somebody else on the trip instead. At least then somebody will enjoy the trip, and your baby will be happier and safer.

In all honesty you should have done the trip before you had a baby. This is one of the reasons people don't have babies...

I have three but I'm not in denial about their impact on my lifestyle.

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Cycle
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Cycle » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:25 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:21 pm
Cycle wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:02 pm
tibbitts wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:31 pm
But would you rather do that or take a 6 week trip with the kids when they can enjoy it too? Or retire 6 weeks early? You're convinced you don't need the leave for the conventional purpose so at least try to work a deal.
we're already FI, not interesed in super early FIRE. can take sabbatical in the future when kids are older.

i need the leave for conventional purposes, and definitely want to use it early for bonding. whatever we end up doing is conventional for us.
If you are FI you work when/where/if you want. So I don't understand the concept of leave in your case, or the concept of a sabbatical. Some of us got the impression that you were somehow cramming activities into this leave period, when in fact your leave lasts for the rest of your life if you want it to. So then sure, just live for a while wherever you want to be and do as much exploring etc. as you'd like to, for as long as you'd like to. You just have to look at the potential health implications of travel for the infant, but you can avoid some of those concerns by avoiding public transportation. At least some of us were probably thinking in terms of public transportation (airports, airlines, etc.)
I have a rewarding engineering career at a megacorp, which is where/when I choose to work. I'm in the middle of a multi-year project. I plan to keep it up until I can find something more interesting. LeBron James was FI after one season, but u don't see him quitting his day job to do home improvement projects and blog about mustaches and consumerism.

Might be tough to avoid airports. I believe babies can be in public after 14 weeks, but we'll ask our doctor for advice on that.

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Watty
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Watty » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:01 pm

Cycle wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:04 am
We are looking into traveling with the baby weeks 14-20. Mid April - End of May.
A few practical problems;

1) You will need a passport for the baby and that can take a while since you probably cannot even apply for a passport until you get their birth certificate, each step can take a month or more if there are no glitches. You might be able to expedite that some but dealing with that will likely be the last thing you want to do then.

2) You would not want to book any non-refundable plane tickets until you are sure that everything is going OK and you really are really OK to take the trip. Buying tickets shortly before you want to travel is often very expensive.

3) You may be entitled to take the maternity/paternity time but using that time for a big trip might not be the best move for your career. Your employer may feel uncomfortable with you using maternity/paternity like that even if they don't say anything.

4) Newborns sleep something like 16+ hours a day if you are lucky. Being someplace exotic and spending most of the day in a hotel room with a sleeping baby does not sound like a good trip to me.

5) The baby will be waking up several times during the night and if you are in a hotel room that will mean that both of you will be awake since the other spouse will not be able to take care of the baby in some other room. You may not even have something like a microwave or sink to heat water and wash bottles in unless you rent some sort of condo.
Last edited by Watty on Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cycle
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Cycle » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:04 pm

28fe6 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:18 pm
Worst idea ever.

I would suggest staying home with your baby, then sending somebody else on the trip instead. At least then somebody will enjoy the trip, and your baby will be happier and safer.

In all honesty you should have done the trip before you had a baby. This is one of the reasons people don't have babies...

I have three but I'm not in denial about their impact on my lifestyle.
Huh? Last year went on a three week trip to Ecuador and Galapagos, a one week trip to Denmark/sweden, a one week trip to Spain, and a one week trip to crater lake / Oregon. You're proposing we should have squeezed in a little more travel?

This thread was about doing baby bonding in a vacation spot using our paternity/maternity time, which we don't get until the baby is born.

Im just gathering information.

I have a friend who did what I am proposing for two weeks in Costa Rica. They were at an all inclusive, and there is a direct flight there (Liberia). He recommended the idea. Perhaps he is "in denial" and really had a horrible time with his wife.

supalong52
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by supalong52 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:12 pm

You should do it, and then report back to the rest of us on whether it ended up being a good idea or not. I can see driving a few hours to the coast and staying in a nice cottage, etc., but not really nomadic travel (which we've also done).

stan1
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by stan1 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:16 pm

I'd try to give yourself some flexibility. It might work out just fine, but maybe you'll want to return home sooner than expected.

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Cycle » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:30 pm

vineviz wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:14 am
We never travelled internationally with our children at that age but did frequently travel domestically.

Generally it was a good experience, but it’s been several years. Travel gets harder as the baby gets older, so this seems like a good time to bond. Just don’t underestimate how tired you will be.

• Buy the lightest most durable gear you can afford.

• Always buy the baby a plane ticket and take a baby seat on the plane.

• Breast feeding is awesome because the baby will never be hungry unless you lose them.

• Don’t even think about buying or using a pacifier.
Why buy the baby a plane ticket? Many people have told us to fly with them b4 they get too big and we have to buy the baby a ticket.

Our nuna panda car seat fits into our stokke stoller, otherwise we have a smaller travel stroller, an uppe baby. Would u recommend taking the bigger stroller or the travel stroller?

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Cycle » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:34 pm

stan1 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:16 pm
I'd try to give yourself some flexibility. It might work out just fine, but maybe you'll want to return home sooner than expected.
This is a good point. If we don't go too far, we can easily hit the abort button.

We rented a house on Salt Cay in Turks and Caicos once... That would be a very relaxing place to do it... But there is no doctor on the island, so that is probably out.

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Cycle » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:43 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:44 pm
This is just about the worst idea I have heard in a long time. As someone who just took a 10 month old to an all inclusive resort on vacation (that was booked before we knew better) it was a big mistake, personally and financially. We couldn't do any activities and our daughter got a cold that made her (and our trip miserable).

Even considering at a younger age is just crazy.

I'm thinking this is your first kid......
Yes, our first kid. My fear is that it would be hell and that we would just wish we were at home, while we are stuck somewhere spending money on a hell experience.

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Katietsu » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:16 pm

I don’t think the idea of spending several weeks in a different location is insane. I do think that you might need a new vision of what the experience will be like. I would identify a half a dozen possibilities and wait until it is closer to the time of the trip to make any non refundable reservations.

I think after the baby is here, you will have a much better idea of what will work for you. You are going to need accommodations that you are happy to spend a lot of time in and where a crying baby is not a disaster.

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by jbmitt » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:21 pm

Cycle wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:04 pm
28fe6 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:18 pm
Worst idea ever.

I would suggest staying home with your baby, then sending somebody else on the trip instead. At least then somebody will enjoy the trip, and your baby will be happier and safer.

In all honesty you should have done the trip before you had a baby. This is one of the reasons people don't have babies...

I have three but I'm not in denial about their impact on my lifestyle.
I have a friend who did what I am proposing for two weeks in Costa Rica. They were at an all inclusive, and there is a direct flight there (Liberia). He recommended the idea. Perhaps he is "in denial" and really had a horrible time with his wife.
I wonder if your friend is one of our family members. Location and timeline matches. There was some concern about the access to medical care and common infant allergies and rashes that hadn’t been all sorted out.

Some babies travel well, others don’t. You must be a gambler if you’re going to plan out an extended international trip before knowing that you have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

I wouldn’t do it, but that’s my opinion.

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HueyLD
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by HueyLD » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:27 pm

I was stuck in a full trains-pacific flight of 15 hours with a crying baby right behind my seat. Between crying, yelling, pounding on my seat, etc., it was the most miserable flight experience I ever had.

Please don't do that to other passengers. Mercy!
Last edited by HueyLD on Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Nate79 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:32 pm

Cycle wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:43 pm
Nate79 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:44 pm
This is just about the worst idea I have heard in a long time. As someone who just took a 10 month old to an all inclusive resort on vacation (that was booked before we knew better) it was a big mistake, personally and financially. We couldn't do any activities and our daughter got a cold that made her (and our trip miserable).

Even considering at a younger age is just crazy.

I'm thinking this is your first kid......
Yes, our first kid. My fear is that it would be hell and that we would just wish we were at home, while we are stuck somewhere spending money on a hell experience.
Nothing is predictable. Every baby is different. Health, sleep, eating, etc. Even when you plan for one thing (for example breast feeding) life will throw a curve and you will have to do formula. Our baby was a HORRIBLE sleeper the first few months.

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:33 pm

Cycle wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:43 pm
Nate79 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:44 pm
This is just about the worst idea I have heard in a long time. As someone who just took a 10 month old to an all inclusive resort on vacation (that was booked before we knew better) it was a big mistake, personally and financially. We couldn't do any activities and our daughter got a cold that made her (and our trip miserable).

Even considering at a younger age is just crazy.

I'm thinking this is your first kid......
Yes, our first kid. My fear is that it would be hell and that we would just wish we were at home, while we are stuck somewhere spending money on a hell experience.
A few additional comments:

My main concern is for health of baby. I'd second the idea of "Cancel For Any Reason" (CFAR) travel insurance IF there would be significant costs associated with heading home early (e.g., pre-paid, non-refundable lodging or air/other travel). If you are willing to eat such costs, and also pay what might be hefty fares to head home on very short notice, then you don't need CFAR.

Or if it turns out that you decide closer to the trip that you don't want to go just then after all, for any of a variety of reasons.

--> Does your health insurance provide FULL coverage in any international locations? Some do, some don't, some only "if emergency", and you want to *avoid* having something get to emergency, especially if earlier medical attention would have helped.

And... would you have TIME to get baby to emergency medical care?
Babies can spiral downhill remarkably fast. Worse, they can't say things like, "It hurts when I breath" or "It hurts when I pee" or "I have a horrible headache".
[In this regard, I've sometimes compared pediatricians dealing with infants to be sort of like veterinarians, with *zero* insult meant to either; instead, a bit of awe in how they diagnose sometimes, etc.]

When do you have to make/announce your decision about time off?
However... even if things are going very well, there's still the "what if baby gets sick?" concern. Especially for first time parents, it's difficult to know what's "normal" and what just... isn't.

It might go well. After all, LOTS of babies grow up very healthy without access to top medical care.
But some... don't. Which probability is your preference?
And that's separate from whether you'll both have a heavenly or hellish "bonding" vacation.

Two weeks in one place, and at a comfy "all inclusive" in Costa Rica is quite different from what you described in terms of length of time and also location(s).
Even so, what about a health emergency...? That is the main thing that would *really* worry me, and that's different from a long air trip from a place with good medical care to another similar place.

RM
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Kennedy » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:40 pm

My vote is no. Think how miserable life is when one is sleep-deprived. Now imagine feeling that way in a strange environment without the comforts of home and for which you have paid a boat-load of money.

Life with a new (or newer) born child can be a very stressful time. Don't underestimate that. Establishing strict eating and sleeping routines can be a sanity saver.

Further, I couldn't imagine unnecessarily exposing a baby to germs in airplanes and airports without access to a trusted medical provider. A sick baby (even with an URI) is a miserable baby who doesn't sleep well and who cries all day/night long.

You might have a chill baby who sleeps well and is easy-going. However, I wouldn't make firm plans until you know what comes out.

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by deikel » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:20 pm

Traveled with infant at 16 weeks to Europe for two weeks and three cities - no problems at all. At that age, their universe is mom and as long as mom is OK, the kid is happy.

They have their own time anyway, so you will be jetlagged, the child will be on its own time and stay there.

I would not exactly go to exotic locations and if I were you, I would plan on one location to enjoy more time rather than travel a lot - its the travel part that gets a bit tricky. The child does not care, but its exhausting for the parents to lug all the required gear and not all countries are child friendly (sad to say). Baby carrier is a blessing.

Also plan for sickness and healthcare in reach, unlikely to happen, but when it does and your new parent panic sets in, it helps to have a doctor at hand to put things in perspective.
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by vineviz » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:29 pm

Cycle wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:30 pm
vineviz wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:14 am
We never travelled internationally with our children at that age but did frequently travel domestically.

Generally it was a good experience, but it’s been several years. Travel gets harder as the baby gets older, so this seems like a good time to bond. Just don’t underestimate how tired you will be.

• Buy the lightest most durable gear you can afford.

• Always buy the baby a plane ticket and take a baby seat on the plane.

• Breast feeding is awesome because the baby will never be hungry unless you lose them.

• Don’t even think about buying or using a pacifier.
Why buy the baby a plane ticket? Many people have told us to fly with them b4 they get too big and we have to buy the baby a ticket.

Our nuna panda car seat fits into our stokke stoller, otherwise we have a smaller travel stroller, an uppe baby. Would u recommend taking the bigger stroller or the travel stroller?
Mostly for convenience and sanity.

Having a ticket for the baby means you have a place to strap in a car seat. That means baby has a place to sleep.

It also usually means your family has the whole row to yourself, with room to spread out and no risk of an annoying anti-baby flyer sitting in your way.
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by sergio » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:47 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:32 pm
Cycle wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:43 pm
Nate79 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:44 pm
This is just about the worst idea I have heard in a long time. As someone who just took a 10 month old to an all inclusive resort on vacation (that was booked before we knew better) it was a big mistake, personally and financially. We couldn't do any activities and our daughter got a cold that made her (and our trip miserable).

Even considering at a younger age is just crazy.

I'm thinking this is your first kid......
Yes, our first kid. My fear is that it would be hell and that we would just wish we were at home, while we are stuck somewhere spending money on a hell experience.
Nothing is predictable. Every baby is different. Health, sleep, eating, etc. Even when you plan for one thing (for example breast feeding) life will throw a curve and you will have to do formula. Our baby was a HORRIBLE sleeper the first few months.
Our first two months were miserable. Our newborn daughter never slept more than an hour at a time, and basically needed to be held 24/7. We averaged 2-3 hours of sleep a day. Throw in extreme gas, colic, and a milk allergy. And my wife was recovering from an emergency c-section through all of it. The absolutely complete opposite of what we were expecting/hoping for.

Between weeks 7 and 8 she took a 180 and started sleeping deeply 2-3 hours at a time, could entertain herself for 20-30 minutes without our attention, and the fussiness went down by about 70%. We're paranoid it's going to re-flare up at any second :( I've heard numerous horror stories of it happening months later.
Last edited by sergio on Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by BW1985 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:48 pm

Man, that's an outstanding amount of paid time off. Is that including your vacation time or do you both just get that time off post-child birth? Would you mind sharing what kind of work you both do? We only get 2 weeks off and then my wife has to take 4 weeks short term disability, even then that's only 6 weeks total.
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leeks
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by leeks » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:34 pm

runner540 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:44 am

Have you ever cared for an infant? If not, please get some experience babysitting before you plan this.

I'd suggest you consider using your paternity time to be at home with your wife new baby as she heals from childbirth, instead of the last 6 weeks traveling the world!
+1

Whatever you do, don't book anything nonrefundable until baby is about 2 months old, everyone is healthy, and you still think it might be a good idea.

Don't underestimate the challenge of sleep-deprivation. It makes even normal day-to-day activities seem hard.

But I would take the bulk of that paternity leave at the start and stay at home where you are needed. Or maybe 4 weeks at home and spread the last 2 weeks out to have a part time schedule the first month you return.

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by leeks » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:54 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:32 pm
Nothing is predictable. Every baby is different. Health, sleep, eating, etc. Even when you plan for one thing (for example breast feeding) life will throw a curve and you will have to do formula. Our baby was a HORRIBLE sleeper the first few months.
Our first started sleeping through the night at 14 months. I thought that was the worst it could be until our second who didn't do it until 21 months.

I love international and adventure travel but no way would I recommend what you are proposing.

I have stayed at home since the first was born. I was lucky enough to have my husband home (writing his dissertation *very slowly*) for 7 months with our first baby (very colicky ie cried a lot). With our second (calmer baby thankfully, but there was also a 2-year-old), he had 6 weeks paid paternity leave and was able to tack on 2 more weeks of regular vacation. Those 8 weeks flew by, me and the kids would have loved to have him home longer. He was honestly ready to head back to work by then (days with a toddler and a baby are exhausting...).

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Cycle
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Cycle » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:21 pm

BW1985 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:48 pm
Man, that's an outstanding amount of paid time off. Is that including your vacation time or do you both just get that time off post-child birth? Would you mind sharing what kind of work you both do? We only get 2 weeks off and then my wife has to take 4 weeks short term disability, even then that's only 6 weeks total.
DW gets 18-20 weeks paid maternity + 5 weeks PTO + 2 weeks holiday (like 4th of July) + 12 sick days - any vacation that would accrue during that 20 weeks. I get 5 weeks PTO/sick + 2 weeks holiday + 6 weeks paternity.

We file tps reports at initech as engineers.

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Cycle » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:22 pm

leeks wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:54 pm

Our first started sleeping through the night at 14 months. I thought that was the worst it could be until our second who didn't do it until 21 months.

I love international and adventure travel but no way would I recommend what you are proposing.

I have stayed at home since the first was born. I was lucky enough to have my husband home (writing his dissertation *very slowly*) for 7 months with our first baby (very colicky ie cried a lot). With our second (calmer baby thankfully, but there was also a 2-year-old), he had 6 weeks paid paternity leave and was able to tack on 2 more weeks of regular vacation. Those 8 weeks flew by, me and the kids would have loved to have him home longer. He was honestly ready to head back to work by then (days with a toddler and a baby are exhausting...).
So even if we don't go anywhere, you'd advise overlapping the paternity/maternity?

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by leeks » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:45 pm

Cycle wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:22 pm
leeks wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:54 pm

Our first started sleeping through the night at 14 months. I thought that was the worst it could be until our second who didn't do it until 21 months.

I love international and adventure travel but no way would I recommend what you are proposing.

I have stayed at home since the first was born. I was lucky enough to have my husband home (writing his dissertation *very slowly*) for 7 months with our first baby (very colicky ie cried a lot). With our second (calmer baby thankfully, but there was also a 2-year-old), he had 6 weeks paid paternity leave and was able to tack on 2 more weeks of regular vacation. Those 8 weeks flew by, me and the kids would have loved to have him home longer. He was honestly ready to head back to work by then (days with a toddler and a baby are exhausting...).
So even if we don't go anywhere, you'd advise overlapping the paternity/maternity?
Yes! The only reasons I would consider not overlapping are (1) you have a retired relative in your same city who can help out weekdays (or something like mother-in-law comes to stay for the first month or two), (2) you hire a postpartum doula for the first month or have an au pair or nanny lined up at least part-time from the start, or (3) your financial situation is dire and saving money on child care by not overlapping is a significant impact on your ability to afford housing/food/health care. Even if (1) or (2) above, I would strongly suggest taking at least the first 2 weeks for both parents to be with the baby and with each other.

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by obgraham » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:16 pm

Why am I always the contrarian?!

We went on a cross country plane trip for a week in Vegas with our first who was 6 weeks old. Piece of cake. She was very easy, but it is true, we did not venture very far afield. We hired sitters and attended a couple of shows.

We then went on a 3 week rented-RV trip with a three year old and 12 week old twins. Also in the Southwest. We managed fine, though again we had to be very organized, and we certainly didn't get as adventurous as we might have. We didn't annoy anyone on the flights except a nasty Northwest flight attendant.

It just depends on what you want to do and how patient you are. Of the choices OP mentions, I'd be more for staying put, be it Europe, Costa Rica, or Hawaii.

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Kennedy » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:52 pm

obgraham wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:16 pm
Why am I always the contrarian?!

We went on a cross country plane trip for a week in Vegas with our first who was 6 weeks old. Piece of cake. She was very easy, but it is true, we did not venture very far afield. We hired sitters and attended a couple of shows.

We then went on a 3 week rented-RV trip with a three year old and 12 week old twins. Also in the Southwest. We managed fine, though again we had to be very organized, and we certainly didn't get as adventurous as we might have. We didn't annoy anyone on the flights except a nasty Northwest flight attendant.

It just depends on what you want to do and how patient you are. Of the choices OP mentions, I'd be more for staying put, be it Europe, Costa Rica, or Hawaii.
The problem is that you don't know if you are going to have an easy baby like Obgraham's or one (like one of mine) who sucks every last bit of energy out of you, mind, body and spirit. An infant/baby/toddler who cries all day long and sleeps poorly can turn a "vacation" into a living hell due to lack of routine, disruption of sleep schedules and lack of familiar environment. Seriously. Wait until baby is born, and get to know their ways before committing to a trip such as you proposed.

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Misenplace » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:28 pm

We had an easy baby. We each took 3 months leave (consecutively). I could not have left our infant with a stranger at that time, even for a few hours to snorkel or go out to dinner.

As for traveling in Central and South America when you are not fluent in Spanish or Portuguese (depending where), I could not deal with the health care risks. Emergencies come up All The Time with kids. I could not fanthom going to a less developed country with my infant where I did not speak the language. Heck, we took our 2 year old to Puerta Vallarta thinking that was fine, where he came down with a mysterious virus. Luckily we were traveling with a friend who was a pediatrician (and spoke Spanish). Otherwise we probably would have had to evacuate back to the US.

Edited to add: I was going to build a canoe during my 3 months leave. Hah! I never even ordered the kit. No time. But I had the bottle in his mouth before he knew he was hungry. Time and motion.
Last edited by Misenplace on Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by sergio » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:33 pm

Kennedy wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:52 pm
obgraham wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:16 pm
Why am I always the contrarian?!

We went on a cross country plane trip for a week in Vegas with our first who was 6 weeks old. Piece of cake. She was very easy, but it is true, we did not venture very far afield. We hired sitters and attended a couple of shows.

We then went on a 3 week rented-RV trip with a three year old and 12 week old twins. Also in the Southwest. We managed fine, though again we had to be very organized, and we certainly didn't get as adventurous as we might have. We didn't annoy anyone on the flights except a nasty Northwest flight attendant.

It just depends on what you want to do and how patient you are. Of the choices OP mentions, I'd be more for staying put, be it Europe, Costa Rica, or Hawaii.
The problem is that you don't know if you are going to have an easy baby like Obgraham's or one (like one of mine) who sucks every last bit of energy out of you, mind, body and spirit. An infant/baby/toddler who cries all day long and sleeps poorly can turn a "vacation" into a living hell due to lack of routine, disruption of sleep schedules and lack of familiar environment. Seriously. Wait until baby is born, and get to know their ways before committing to a trip such as you proposed.
Worst part is that things can change at any minute. Our daughter was incredibly difficult during the first two months. Then between weeks 7-8 suddenly became a lot easier. The gas , colic, and fussiness went down about 80% and she started sleeping for 2-3 hours at a time. She had only been sleeping 30-60 minutes at a time the first 2 months and only if someone was holding her. Beyond exhausting.

Then you hear the opposite stories - babies that are "easy" during months 0-3 and then nearly drive the parents to suicide months 4-8. Really, really hard to predict.

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Watty
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Watty » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:34 pm

sergio wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:47 pm
Between weeks 7 and 8 she took a 180 and started sleeping deeply 2-3 hours at a time......
To the OP, please note the post where someone bragged that their kid was sleeping 2-3 hours at a time.

I have never know anyone with a newborn that was not pretty sleep deprived.

On a more practical side if you do take the trip then you might want to plan it so that you do not need a rental car. Driving in a foreign country while sleep deprived is not a good combination.

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