International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

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PugetSoundguy
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by PugetSoundguy » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:46 pm

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.
This basic point has been repeated by multiple respondents because it is right on the money, at least in our experience. Right now you just don't know how your baby will adapt, and you don't really know how you will adapt either.

When our first son was born, I was fortunate enough to be able to get six weeks off. We primarily stayed home and got the newly upside-down routine somewhat normalized. My wife was a superhero. We traveled a bit, and it was fine, but everything was more complicated and took a LOT longer. Maybe you could fit in climbing outings and Spanish lessons, but I laugh when I think of us trying that in those first months. If you do travel, I would urge keeping it simple and keeping expectations low. You can always adjust later depending on how Baby decides things should be.

I was reminded how tough it can be when I made some ill-advised remarks a few years ago to a wonderful sitter who had been working with us who was expecting her first child. When she asked how we had done the first few months, I said something to the effect of "well, it's a lot of work but unlike later, the baby sleeps a fair amount so you do have some time with each other and to get some things done. That changes later." She called me a few months later and said: "What in the world were you talking about? We're always exhausted!"

I think maybe I misremembered those early months because it did seem later that EVERY SINGLE FREE MOMENT was spent dealing with toddler issues and I thought "yeah, earlier it was a bit easier." Also I was speaking from the Dad's perspective. No matter how hard you work, the Mom always has it much harder. MUCH harder. Always.

So anyway, congratulations and best of luck on your new adventure! Sure, our kids drive us crazy sometimes but it's been a blast! I can hear one of them right now playing some sort of commando game with a sleepover buddy... The years go by quickly....

Afty
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Afty » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:55 pm

I’ll echo the horror stories in this thread. Our first child was colicky and didn’t sleep for more than 2-3 hours at a stretch until she was 1. When she wasn’t sleeping, she was screaming. She also wouldn’t nap unless she was lying on you; our baby carrier was the only thing keeping us from going insane. Plus my wife suffered from postpartum depression. That year was easily the hardest of our lives.

Our second was a wonderful baby. So you never know what you are going to get.

Shallowpockets
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Shallowpockets » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:42 am

This is a flat out bad idea. You have made it all about your time and your desire. You want a baby, but you don't want to adapt to the lifestyle it may create. You want to continue as you are as if nothing changed. But it did, and does.
At that point of your family life it is not about YOU. You are only trying to scam your paternity maternity leave into something other than it was intended. Don't be selfish.

retired recently
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by retired recently » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:26 am

I was working overseas and my wife came to the US and lived with my dad to have my son. The medical care in the country I worked was not great. Our son was born and wife was able to get the passport quickly such that they flew back overseas after a few weeks ( I cannot recall exactly but it did not take very long.) The trip for them overseas was not too bad as my son slept most of the trip.

I think first you need to wait and ensure everyone is very healthy before you plan too much. Then I would think you can definitely do it but I would not go somewhere like West End, Roatan due to medical care. (I have been and liked it but not sure I would want my newborn there.)

Go to a Western country and spend time there. Many places have as good or better medical services than the US. Perhaps somewhere in Europe where you can do short trips around.

Maybe get a nanny to travel with you?

Good luck!!

warner25
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by warner25 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:55 am

I really think the title of the thread has skewed the resulting discussion. If the OP just left out the "maternity/paternity" part I think he'd get a very different set of replies. Like I said earlier, he's talking about a vacation with a 4-5 month-old, not a newborn straight from the hospital, regardless of what his employer calls it. It's not ideal, but surely traveling with an infant isn't totally uncommon or insane. We've had nice vacations, within a few hours driving distance, when our kids were 8-9 months old. The stories of kids with horrible colic, not sleeping more than 2 hours per night at almost 2 years old, are outliers. Others will hate me for saying this, but at 5 months old, I believe an 8-hour stretch of sleep at night is fairly normal. Reference my favorite sleep resource: http://www.mybabysleepguide.com/2013/02 ... y-age.html

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Strayshot
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Strayshot » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:18 pm

I laughed out loud when I first read this post!

Are you not taking any PTO time off after birth? I would take at least 3 weeks off right after the birth as a new father with my first child. If nothing else your wife will need the support.

Your plan as described is a genuinely terrible idea.

If your child has any major medical problems while on international travel and can’t be transported, get ready to live in a foreign country and hope your employer is accommodating as you exhaust your time off and get on unpaid FMLA.

Children that age can’t get flu shots yet, so being in airports around all kinds of stuff is risky.

I could go on and on.

If you really need to try and make a pseudo-vacation out of childbirth absence, do a several day stint somewhere in the US that is less than a 1 hour time change from where you are at.

San Diego makes for a great “parents with newborn/toddler pseudo-vacation” because there are lots of low key activities and a nice climate.

Sam1
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Sam1 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:21 pm

runner540 wrote:
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!
OP is clueless. Breastfeeding is a lot of work and the baby may be still waking up multiple times a night. Your entire life revolves around getting the baby to sleep. More realistic goals would be to try and go to brunch on the weekends and a long walk every morning.

Afty
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Afty » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:28 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:42 am
You are only trying to scam your paternity maternity leave into something other than it was intended. Don't be selfish.
I strongly disagree. The purpose of paternity leave is to bond with your child and support your partner. It's not "scamming it" to do that on a trip. I only take issue with the feasibility of this, or at least planning it before having your child and knowing what being a parent is really like. A lot of people seem to think paternity/maternity leave is a multi-month vacation, where in fact it can be an incredibly difficult and exhausting time.

That said, looking back we actually traveled quite a bit with our colicky daughter in the early days. We did a cross country flight for a wedding at 4 months and a 6-hour car trip at 6 months. Both went fine, or at least I can't recall any horror stories.

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Watty
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Watty » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:30 pm

One more thought. This might have been the best place to ask. I would think that you could find a message board where there are parents of borns and ask the question there.

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dm200
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by dm200 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:32 pm

You cannot assume that the baby will not have health/risk issues that will make travel very unwise or impossible.

Archimedes
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Archimedes » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:48 pm

I think you could do this and it would more likely than not work out well. However, a young infant does have increased risk for infectious disease. The immune system is at its lowest point over the first three months. By six months, with full vaccinations, the risk of infectious diseases does drop significantly. Your child will be 4 or 5 months old and the immune system has become more robust by that age. In addition, if mom is nursing the baby, her antibodies are transmitted to the baby and can help to some degree to ward off infection.

If you and your spouse are adventurers, you could decide to accept the small risk and hope for the best. This is a very individual decision. I would recommend waiting until you get home with the baby to see what life is like before you book any non-refundable flights. I remember when people told me that having a child would change our lives in ways that we could not imagine. I responded, "Yeah, right, of course." Once we got the new baby home, I fully understood what they were talking about. Hah! Get the baby home, settle into the new routine, and then decide if you are up for an adventure.

Congratulations and best of luck with the new baby!

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dm200
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by dm200 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:51 pm

Some mothers have adjustment problems after giving birth. I have known several who faced such challenges. I doubt international travel is wise in such situations.

BSBHead
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by BSBHead » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:58 pm

I think you should have the baby first before making plans. Our kid had a lung issue that was discovered a few weeks post birth requiring a fair bit of time in the NICU, so I'm guessing you'd prefer to address this in the U.S. near home v. in a foreign place where your health insurance might cover a limited number of dollars or the quality might be suspect.

shell921
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by shell921 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:25 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:42 am
This is a flat out bad idea. You have made it all about your time and your desire. You want a baby, but you don't want to adapt to the lifestyle it may create. You want to continue as you are as if nothing changed. But it did, and does.
At that point of your family life it is not about YOU. You are only trying to scam your paternity maternity leave into something other than it was intended. Don't be selfish.
Right on ! Shallowpockets says what I think. YOUR needs will come last when you become a parent or they should - at least at FIRST!

Imagine if YOU were a baby about to be born. Would you want YOUR PARENTS doing what you are planning to do with your baby?
I sure as hell would not.

sergio
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by sergio » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:43 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?
I only had 3 weeks off. I stayed home with my wife for 10 days, then took 5 consecutive Fridays off. My mom was also around for two weeks as well after my 10-day leave to help out. Worked great for us, but I really wish we'd had more time. We seriously considering having me drop to 60% time for 6 months so I can stay home more, but decided against it, esp w/my company's generous work from home policy. Having two people around makes a world of difference when taking care of a newborn.

abonder
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by abonder » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:58 pm

I haven’t read all the replies but I’ve seen there is definitely some negative pushback regarding OP plan. I think it’s really up to OP and his family. For what it’s worth, I’ve known a number of friends who have done what OP describes, including one who did New Zealand with a toddler and nearly newborn. People get really polarized by situations like this. The reality is that there is a safe way of doing this and the parents shouldn’t be shamed for considering the best way to utilize PTO with family. As long as appropriate pediatric care is able to be provided and parents are willing and able to bail on plans in the event of problems, I think it’s a nice idea. To the OP - I’d shoot for slow travel, establishing safe and comfortable base (Airbnb condo, etc) since you really do have your wings clipped with a small baby. Having a nice porch to sit on and have coffee/cocktail while baby is napping is sometimes the best part of the day! Good luck.

ivk5
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by ivk5 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:46 pm

I don’t disagree with all the replies saying you need to stay flexible, keep an open mind, see how Baby is, and see how YOU both are as parents. None of this can be predicted.

That said, we spent 5 wks in Montreal starting when our son was 2 months old. My wife is an academic and used that time to do some research at an institute there using a small travel grant she had been awarded. I was on leave and primary caretaker during the 5 wks. I am sure it was not the most productive research trip of her career but it was important to her and we had a good time overall and really glad I had the bonding time with our son. We found Montreal very baby friendly. Nobody blinked if I walked into a beer garden wearing Baby in carrier. Travel there/back was about a 5hr drive so relatively manageable. We did some day trips while there (Quebec City etc), nothing major, but we did explore Montreal a fair bit.

We also went to Italy for a more extended period when Baby was 8-13 months old. On the way over he still (barely) fit in bassinet and so we got a few hrs of real sleep- that was a win. But anyway that’s older than what you’re talking about so perhaps less directly relevant.

Sam1
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Sam1 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:55 pm

No, I would not travel with a 4-6 month old. Where do I begin??

Traveling is expensive and I would not spend a significant amount of money when most of my time traveling would be spent tending to a baby. You do not understand how much your life will be dictated by this baby.

Even if you have an easy baby who will let you go out to eat and quietly sit in a stroller or car seat, you have 2 periods each day that need to be dedicated to naps. It’s going to be hard to do much in a city/town when you need to be in your hotel room with lights off from day, 9-10:30 and then 1-3 PM. Then the baby goes to bed at 7 PM. You’ll have a max of maybe 3 hours at a time when you can be out and about. Not to mention sitting in the dark in quiet in a hotel room for hours each day is boring and it’s not worth paying for a hotel room to do that. You can be at home and have your baby nap in its room while you do things in other parts of your house. You can’t make noise in a hotel room while your child naps because then they will wake up and you’re completely screwed for reasons I don’t have time to get into. What if another hotel guests slams their door like so many do? Wakes your kid up...you’re screwed. You’ll have a crying and grouchy baby for the rest of your day.

If you forgo naps you’ll have a crazy baby who doesn’t sleep at night. It is strange, but begets sleep. The friends I have who didn’t stick to somewhat regularly scheduled naps had monster babies who didn’t sleep at night, but never seemed to understand why. Um it’s because your kid is up at 9 PM at a neighborhood party.

Even with an easy baby there will be sleepless nights. In a hotel room this means BOTH of you won’t be sleeping. Also you’ll have to jump at your baby’s every cry since you won’t want to disturb other hotel guests.

Even if you live a bare bones existence, a baby requires a lot of gear. If you travel without a car seat this means you can’t ever ride in a car with your child. I think Uber car seat is for kids 12 months and older. Lugging gear around wherever it is you want to go, sucks.

Then there is breastfeeding. Babies eat on demand and if they sleep for long stretches at night, it means they eat even more frequently during the day. Even if your wife is comfortable breastfeeding in public, it’s a pain to do so and you have to at the very least find somewhere to sit down. Then you have to change the baby afterwards. I don’t think you understand how much of the day is spent feeding and changing the baby. This is what you will spend most of the day doing. You feed the baby for 20 minutes, then change the baby, then you have maybe an hour and it starts all over again. You also may have a baby who screams bloody murder when they are hungry. Mine did. I remember mine screaming like mad at a doctors office. I’m not one to breastfeed in public but my baby was soooo loud I just pulled it out and started breastfeeding right there. Is your wife going to feel comfortable doing that wherever it is you are on vacation? Are you going to be okay eating breakfast out and your wife having to breastfeed in front of other hotel guests? Or at a local bakery? Remember you need to carry the bottles (if not breastfeeding) and changing pad, diapers wipes everywhere you go.

The very bad news I have for you is that you want this baby to fit into your lifestyle. Which means this baby will kick your ass.

A much better use of money is to hire a weekly babysitter and go out to eat with your wife every Saturday night. Give yourself an hour or two to run errands without a kid and then enjoy adults only time like a movie and dinner. Also make sure you have a house cleaner and encourage your wife to do nice things for herself like maybe going to the gym, meeting a friend for a coffee, etc. Your wife will have experienced major major changes and your job is to try and support her the best you can.

Financially the best thing you can do is share in household duties and child rearing so your wife returns to work. The friends I have who didn’t return to work had husbands who wouldn’t change their routine (eg leave work an hour early so their kid could be picked up earlier from daycare) OR who simply didn’t do their share at home. Smart women don’t work and do everything at home, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Sam1
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Sam1 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:57 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:51 pm
Some mothers have adjustment problems after giving birth. I have known several who faced such challenges. I doubt international travel is wise in such situations.
Yes. The affects on your wife may be quite large. At this point my spouse was trying to help me survive, not go on a trip.

Sam1
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Sam1 » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:59 pm

Afty wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:28 pm
Shallowpockets wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:42 am
You are only trying to scam your paternity maternity leave into something other than it was intended. Don't be selfish.
I strongly disagree. The purpose of paternity leave is to bond with your child and support your partner. It's not "scamming it" to do that on a trip. I only take issue with the feasibility of this, or at least planning it before having your child and knowing what being a parent is really like. A lot of people seem to think paternity/maternity leave is a multi-month vacation, where in fact it can be an incredibly difficult and exhausting time.

That said, looking back we actually traveled quite a bit with our colicky daughter in the early days. We did a cross country flight for a wedding at 4 months and a 6-hour car trip at 6 months. Both went fine, or at least I can't recall any horror stories.
You’re not scamming anyone if you take a trip while on leave. Why? No matter where you’re located, most of your day and night will be about this baby. It’s not a vacation. The way I see it it’s a huge waste of money. Very little “fun” can happen with traveling with a 6 month old. Like you say, it’s an exhausting and difficult time! Even if you travel, it’s not a vacation so I don’t think you’re scamming anyone.

Scamming someone would be giving your kid up for adoption and then taking all of your paternity leave and traveling

38,000 ft
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by 38,000 ft » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:52 pm

We took our first baby to Maui when he was about three months old. It was a really great time to travel because he slept most of the flights. We stayed at a nice resort and they provided a crib. You’ll want a suite to have plenty of space. I felt a little self conscious about baby noise. We enjoyed nice beach walks and had great food. Just have to calibrate your expectations around the sleep schedule. Unless you are bringing a nanny there won’t be much night life. Not sure how you plan to snorkel, we didn’t have anyone else with us so it wasn’t really an option unless we split up. But we still really enjoyed the trip and are glad we went.

At eight months we took him to Japan for two weeks. We got lucky on the timing because he was still young enough to be manageable. Flying business class was crucial for the space and privacy. But one of the flights did not go well, that’s just the risk you take. We stayed in Airbnb’s for better privacy and noise isolation. Worth it to have kitchen for doing bottles, bigger fridge and a dining area. We had an amazing time, but I can’t imagine going again until he’s a bit older.

One thing we considered was vehicle safety. We would have liked to visit Vietnam but we won’t until he’s older due to road safety. In Japan we did ride in a taxi twice without a car seat. We put him in an ergo baby and put on a seatbelt. But I would not go to a less advanced country and ride in a car with my baby. And at infant age we would not go without a car seat period.

Two big tips for the flights. Bring a boppy. And feed during takeoff and descent, it helps with ears and air pressure.

Don’t let anyone make you feel like you can’t travel during a paternity leave. Just as much or more bonding is happening during a trip than staying at home.

Kennedy
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Kennedy » Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:51 am

Sam1 wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:57 pm
dm200 wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:51 pm
Some mothers have adjustment problems after giving birth. I have known several who faced such challenges. I doubt international travel is wise in such situations.
Yes. The affects on your wife may be quite large. At this point my spouse was trying to help me survive, not go on a trip.
Yes, yes, yes. Survival was my goal for the first year..

metacritic
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by metacritic » Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:00 pm

We did this with both our kids. I suggest picking 1-2 places at most and know you'll be tired, moving slowly, and need to stop constantly for feedings and diaper changes.

Beach could be a bit tricky with a new born as baby's skin will be very sensitive to sun and wind. As much as I love Kauai and Greece you might find it more difficult than some places, unless you have a tent into which you or baby can retreat (which I've seen some people do on the beach). I would find Patagonia remote in the first few weeks of the baby's life (though we went there with our first born at 18 months and had one of our best trips ever). But I never say travel is impossible or even unwise. Plenty of people who live in these places have infants who thrive!

just for the record we did one trip to Iceland/London/France of this kind and a second to Amsterdam/Belgium. I'd do it all over again, not that it was always easy. We also did go to Hawaii at least once, maybe twice, in the first year.
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.

femmefire
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by femmefire » Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:33 pm

You should checkout the vaccination schedule at the CDC website. Our pediatrician refused to give our child the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination even one day shy of his first birthday. There are several other vaccinations that you will not be able to complete the series by your proposed timeline.

I’m sure you’ll find plenty of examples of parents who traveled to developing nations with their baby, but ask yourself, “Is it worth the risk?” Wouldn’t it be better to wait a bit longer to resume your exotic travels? If you feel like you’ll be bored, there are excellent travel opportunities within the US.

Shallowpockets
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Shallowpockets » Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:03 pm

I will concede that my use of the word scamming was not the best use of that word.
It was more along the lines of using maternity and paternity leave for this use in light of
all the years it took for companies to come around to giving such leave. It seems as if the spirt of it is being broken in using it for vacation with the baby.

Starfish
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Starfish » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:29 pm

This thread is priceless. To make up even (gasp) moral motives why travel with babies is wrong is pretty entertaining to read :D.
The idea is great. I would rather go in Europe because I would be worried about medical facilities in 2nd/3rld world countries. Many people do it.
As for an active vacation, I don't think it's really possible or a good experience.
When kids are small is the easiest time to travel with them.
I would stay put in the first 3 months though but that is about it. Also I am not a fan of american style of early vaccination so that is something to consider.

PS: my first 2 trips with my kid where later: Mexico at 8 months and Germany ad Eastern Europe at 1y 3 months. First was easy (all inclusive, pool, beach), second was the tough kind, with many hours of trains and public transportation, not rented cars.
The worst part was the jet lag: if you stay out with friends drinking until 3-4am every night it's a tough life when baby wakes up at 7. I came back a lot more tired than I was when I left.
Last edited by Starfish on Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

mak1277
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by mak1277 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:39 pm

I have a 9 month old...I'm still so tired that the idea of going to the grocery store is absolutely exhausting. The thought of international travel is so far from my mind that I can't even formulate a logical response to your question. Even if your kid-to-be is an absolute angel, I can't imagine having enough energy to enjoy travel right now. If you do this and enjoy it, my hat's off to you.

Starfish
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Starfish » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:44 pm

Sam1 wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:55 pm
No, I would not travel with a 4-6 month old. Where do I begin??

Traveling is expensive and I would not spend a significant amount of money when most of my time traveling would be spent tending to a baby. You do not understand how much your life will be dictated by this baby.

Even if you have an easy baby who will let you go out to eat and quietly sit in a stroller or car seat, you have 2 periods each day that need to be dedicated to naps. It’s going to be hard to do much in a city/town when you need to be in your hotel room with lights off from day, 9-10:30 and then 1-3 PM. Then the baby goes to bed at 7 PM. You’ll have a max of maybe 3 hours at a time when you can be out and about. Not to mention sitting in the dark in quiet in a hotel room for hours each day is boring and it’s not worth paying for a hotel room to do that. You can be at home and have your baby nap in its room while you do things in other parts of your house. You can’t make noise in a hotel room while your child naps because then they will wake up and you’re completely screwed for reasons I don’t have time to get into. What if another hotel guests slams their door like so many do? Wakes your kid up...you’re screwed. You’ll have a crying and grouchy baby for the rest of your day.

This is a very different version of my experience.
First thing, some people thought about building multiple bedrooms in a house/apartment. So you can have the baby sleeping and do everything you want in the rest of the house.
Also, I understand this is a family vacation. As in, 2 adults who can rotate in spending several hours exploring, hiking, snorkeling, clubbing, whatever.
Yes, you won't get much from a trip like this, is pretty inefficient. Maybe 20-25% of a normal one. But it is so much better than no trip.

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Texanbybirth » Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:52 pm

Buddy, this kid is gonna (*ahem* should) change your life more than "oh should we spend a couple weeks at three different exotic locations or 6 weeks in Hawaii?" Like, there's no way any of us can prepare you for the infinitely large gap that is going from not being a parent to being a parent. Give your wife(!) and yourself time to grow accustomed to the little miracle you're bringing into the world. Kids are amazing (have 2 with another on the way), just get ready for it mentally/emotionally/physically/spiritually.

(NB - there is a thing called the "fourth trimester", which ends at 12 weeks. Some think it's awful, some think the time after it is awful. I actually recommend any planned (required?) travel in that timeframe. After about 3 months babies really start needing a routine. We're expecting our third in late March. I have a month-long sabbatical in June. We're struggling about whether to spend all that time in one place (grandparents' giant house near Disney World) or try to get to a beach for a week. I would never consider any of these if the baby was closer to 4-5 months. With our first we traveled for a wedding when the baby was 2 weeks (!) old. It was awful, for all 3 of us, and I'm so thankful we survived. I can't imagine spending $$$thousands on a planned "vacation", with the very strong possibility that it will generally suck.)

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Sam1 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:30 pm

Starfish wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:44 pm
Sam1 wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:55 pm
No, I would not travel with a 4-6 month old. Where do I begin??

Traveling is expensive and I would not spend a significant amount of money when most of my time traveling would be spent tending to a baby. You do not understand how much your life will be dictated by this baby.

Even if you have an easy baby who will let you go out to eat and quietly sit in a stroller or car seat, you have 2 periods each day that need to be dedicated to naps. It’s going to be hard to do much in a city/town when you need to be in your hotel room with lights off from day, 9-10:30 and then 1-3 PM. Then the baby goes to bed at 7 PM. You’ll have a max of maybe 3 hours at a time when you can be out and about. Not to mention sitting in the dark in quiet in a hotel room for hours each day is boring and it’s not worth paying for a hotel room to do that. You can be at home and have your baby nap in its room while you do things in other parts of your house. You can’t make noise in a hotel room while your child naps because then they will wake up and you’re completely screwed for reasons I don’t have time to get into. What if another hotel guests slams their door like so many do? Wakes your kid up...you’re screwed. You’ll have a crying and grouchy baby for the rest of your day.

This is a very different version of my experience.
First thing, some people thought about building multiple bedrooms in a house/apartment. So you can have the baby sleeping and do everything you want in the rest of the house.
Also, I understand this is a family vacation. As in, 2 adults who can rotate in spending several hours exploring, hiking, snorkeling, clubbing, whatever.
Yes, you won't get much from a trip like this, is pretty inefficient. Maybe 20-25% of a normal one. But it is so much better than no trip.
A mom who is breastfeeding a baby can barely spend 2 hours apart from her baby. That severely limits the type of activity she can do. I suppose you could go to tremendous efforts to go and do things while on vacation, but why? You only have a baby for a short period of time. Focus on the baby and mom’s health.

I simply think that looking after a baby is a full time job and paternity leave isn’t the time to try and go on a vacation.

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by financiallycurious » Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:42 pm

We went to Paris and Prague for the last month of maternity/paternity leave for first baby. We rented an apartment in both cities, and spent our days walking around to museums with the baby in a carrier. We went to early dinners and it was a nice trip. I felt safe in both places. I don't regret it at all.

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by White Coat Investor » Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:48 pm

vineviz wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:14 am

• Always buy the baby a plane ticket and take a baby seat on the plane.
You must have more money than most. The ability to just buy an extra plane ticket is a luxury.

In many ways, traveling with a kid under 2 is much better than with an older child simply for that reason- the kid travels free.
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by vineviz » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:48 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:48 pm
vineviz wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:14 am

• Always buy the baby a plane ticket and take a baby seat on the plane.
You must have more money than most. The ability to just buy an extra plane ticket is a luxury.
This is probably true (though we’re pretty frugal on plane tickets in general, so the extra ticket was never a lot of money for us in absolute terms).

More to the point, I got the impression from the nature of the question that the OP might also “have more money than most”.
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Cycle » Wed Nov 14, 2018 10:23 pm

vineviz wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:48 pm
This is probably true (though we’re pretty frugal on plane tickets in general, so the extra ticket was never a lot of money for us in absolute terms).

More to the point, I got the impression from the nature of the question that the OP might also “have more money than most”.
Yeah, but OP is more cheap than most. I have no problem spending on safety. I'm not the type to spend on my comfort though, I take Megabus if that says anything.

I think from reviewing the comments from both ends doing some trip that involves city hopping is definitely out.

We are planning on overlapping paternity/maternity now.

We will play it by ear and if come month 2.5 my DW and I both feel like traveling somewhere we will book flights... Maybe a week, maybe 6, I'll update this thread after the trip or lackthereof, though I'll just be one of many helpful data points on the thread

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by Starfish » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:25 am

Sam1 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:30 pm
Starfish wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:44 pm
Sam1 wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:55 pm
No, I would not travel with a 4-6 month old. Where do I begin??

Traveling is expensive and I would not spend a significant amount of money when most of my time traveling would be spent tending to a baby. You do not understand how much your life will be dictated by this baby.

Even if you have an easy baby who will let you go out to eat and quietly sit in a stroller or car seat, you have 2 periods each day that need to be dedicated to naps. It’s going to be hard to do much in a city/town when you need to be in your hotel room with lights off from day, 9-10:30 and then 1-3 PM. Then the baby goes to bed at 7 PM. You’ll have a max of maybe 3 hours at a time when you can be out and about. Not to mention sitting in the dark in quiet in a hotel room for hours each day is boring and it’s not worth paying for a hotel room to do that. You can be at home and have your baby nap in its room while you do things in other parts of your house. You can’t make noise in a hotel room while your child naps because then they will wake up and you’re completely screwed for reasons I don’t have time to get into. What if another hotel guests slams their door like so many do? Wakes your kid up...you’re screwed. You’ll have a crying and grouchy baby for the rest of your day.

This is a very different version of my experience.
First thing, some people thought about building multiple bedrooms in a house/apartment. So you can have the baby sleeping and do everything you want in the rest of the house.
Also, I understand this is a family vacation. As in, 2 adults who can rotate in spending several hours exploring, hiking, snorkeling, clubbing, whatever.
Yes, you won't get much from a trip like this, is pretty inefficient. Maybe 20-25% of a normal one. But it is so much better than no trip.
A mom who is breastfeeding a baby can barely spend 2 hours apart from her baby. That severely limits the type of activity she can do. I suppose you could go to tremendous efforts to go and do things while on vacation, but why? You only have a baby for a short period of time. Focus on the baby and mom’s health.

I simply think that looking after a baby is a full time job and paternity leave isn’t the time to try and go on a vacation.
But babies can be carried around, sleep nice in a pram or carrier and breastfeeding can be done everywhere.
I know because I took a lot of longer trips when my kid was a baby. I did full day hiking and walking in the city, went to the beach etc.
The answer for "why now" is pretty simple: vacation. I personally don't see any dichotomy between traveling and caring for a baby. If anything it helps maintaining happiness and sanity.
When the baby is small is the best time to travel. After that is much harder and more expensive.

BTW, we had a tough baby. He won't sleep more than 2-3h. I had almost 2 years of sleeping 4-6h/night.
Last edited by Starfish on Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by 6miths » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:28 am

Three of our four children went on 2-4 week trips in their first 4 months. The trips were enjoyable and memorable. With the third baby DW went with the newborn while the first two stayed at home with me. Trips were to Europe - UK, France and Italy - so not roughing it. We found that young children traveled very well and were lucky that even as our children got older they still saw the fun in international travel. Routine vaccinations. For the first 6-12 months of life infants are protected by antibodies transferred from the mother during late pregnancy and breast-feeding.

I would suggest that you reflect on what your and DW's general outlooks are and if they seem suitable (flexible, adaptable, adventurous) then go for it. The opportunity to take a break from work and travel doesn't come along all that often. Your little one definitely won't hold it against you.
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Re: International Travel during Maternity/Paternity

Post by 6miths » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:31 am

Starfish wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:25 am
Sam1 wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:30 pm
Starfish wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 4:44 pm
Sam1 wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:55 pm
No, I would not travel with a 4-6 month old. Where do I begin??

Traveling is expensive and I would not spend a significant amount of money when most of my time traveling would be spent tending to a baby. You do not understand how much your life will be dictated by this baby.

Even if you have an easy baby who will let you go out to eat and quietly sit in a stroller or car seat, you have 2 periods each day that need to be dedicated to naps. It’s going to be hard to do much in a city/town when you need to be in your hotel room with lights off from day, 9-10:30 and then 1-3 PM. Then the baby goes to bed at 7 PM. You’ll have a max of maybe 3 hours at a time when you can be out and about. Not to mention sitting in the dark in quiet in a hotel room for hours each day is boring and it’s not worth paying for a hotel room to do that. You can be at home and have your baby nap in its room while you do things in other parts of your house. You can’t make noise in a hotel room while your child naps because then they will wake up and you’re completely screwed for reasons I don’t have time to get into. What if another hotel guests slams their door like so many do? Wakes your kid up...you’re screwed. You’ll have a crying and grouchy baby for the rest of your day.

This is a very different version of my experience.
First thing, some people thought about building multiple bedrooms in a house/apartment. So you can have the baby sleeping and do everything you want in the rest of the house.
Also, I understand this is a family vacation. As in, 2 adults who can rotate in spending several hours exploring, hiking, snorkeling, clubbing, whatever.
Yes, you won't get much from a trip like this, is pretty inefficient. Maybe 20-25% of a normal one. But it is so much better than no trip.
A mom who is breastfeeding a baby can barely spend 2 hours apart from her baby. That severely limits the type of activity she can do. I suppose you could go to tremendous efforts to go and do things while on vacation, but why? You only have a baby for a short period of time. Focus on the baby and mom’s health.

I simply think that looking after a baby is a full time job and paternity leave isn’t the time to try and go on a vacation.
But babies can be carried around, sleep nice in a pram or carrier and breastfeeding can be done everywhere.
I know because I took a lot of longer trips when my kid was a baby. I did full day hiking and walking in the city, went to the beach etc.
The answer for "why now" is pretty simple: vacation. I personally don't see any dichotomy between traveling and caring for a baby. If anything it helps maintaining happiness and sanity.
Absolutely. On all points.

One of the great benefits of breastfeeding is that it can be done virtually anywhere with almost no prep or clean-up while delivering the best possible nutrition a baby can have.
'It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so!' Mark Twain

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