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Thread: When to start traveling with a baby/child?

  1. #1
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    Default When to start traveling with a baby/child?

    Looking to see when beyond parents started taking their babies or kids on vacation. Our little one is almost 1 and we've yet to go on a vacation. Considering going somewhere before the wife's maternity leave is over but also very nervous about traveling with the baby. Main concerns being messing up his sleep routine/schedule and not being able to enjoy a trip as much with a baby. We've never really been the resort vacation type to sit on a beach and that's what I'm afraid a vacation with a little one will be like. We've talked to parents who took their baby to Hawaii and basically went between the hotel room and beach the entire time. That seems like a waste and wouldn't be worth the trip for us.

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    Unless you have someone with you who can bottle/feed while you go out and about, its not going to be a 'vacation' in any of the typical sense.

    Depends on the kid too - time changes flying East/West will always be far worse than South.

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    7 weeks. I'd say it's easier to vacation with a newborn than a toddler. Newborns just sleep most of the time.
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    Welcome to parenthood!

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    If you guys want to travel at all before the age of like 4, I'd recommend starting now and learning how to do it, getting your kid used to it. If you start at age 2 or 3 I would imagine it could be quite difficult (not speaking from experience, as ours is still <1yo, just observation and talking with other parents).

    We did a couple weeks in SD over Christmas with ours, she was 8 months at the time. My wife was stressed about the travel being horrible, but it was actually fine. Just make sure you have the baby feeding as soon as the descent starts so their ears pop.

    Time change was only an hr, so obviously that wasn't a big deal. Worst part was probably the irregular nap schedule on the transit days. The rest of the vacay was alright, but it's not like you're free to just take off for an entire day, as you'll still be at the mercy of the nap schedule.

    Going from hotel to beach and back may not be your type of vacay, but that doesn't mean it won't be enjoyable (especially since your kid hasn't been on a beach before). Someone recently said something that stuck with me: Just because your kid won't remember the experience, doesn't mean they should be deprived of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    Welcome to parenthood!
    Haha my thoughts too. If you do not want to do less then leave the kid at home with grandparents. Vacations will not be the same till the kids are like 10. Have a second kid and you will never go on vacation for another 8 years with that attitude.

    Traveling with kids under 2 is still free for them. Wait till you have to pay for kids over 2, then it really starts to not be "worth" it.

    1 kid under 2 is as good as its going to get to travel so i would say do it. You cant do as much but can still have some fun. We just went for a week with a 3.5 year old and 6 month old twins. Now that was crazy but still worth it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjblair View Post
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    Going from hotel to beach and back may not be your type of vacay, but that doesn't mean it won't be enjoyable (especially since your kid hasn't been on a beach before). Someone recently said something that stuck with me: Just because your kid won't remember the experience, doesn't mean they should be deprived of it.
    Couldn't disagree with this statement more. I love traveling but also understand that it's a privilege. They're not being deprived of anything. Kids up to 8 or 9 from my experience with friends & family might not even appreciate the trip. They're always complaining and asking for dumb stuff like the nearest playground haha. I'm all for giving them memorable experiences but only when they're old enough to appreciate it. When he's old enough to stay with the grandparents we'll probably do our own thing til he's old enough. We understand that a trip at this stage would be purely for our own enjoyment.

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    That's cold, dude!

    Ever have a 1 year old at the beach? They love it.

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    They won't know the difference between Sylvan Lake & Waikiki Beach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Manhattan View Post
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    They won't know the difference between Sylvan Lake & Waikiki Beach.
    They will in January.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rage2 View Post
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    7 weeks. I'd say it's easier to vacation with a newborn than a toddler. Newborns just sleep most of the time.
    Exactly this.
    Went to Disneyworld a couple of months ago with an infant and was not a problem at all.

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    Travelled with our baby a few times:
    - once to Chicago for a week when he was only 7 days old
    - week in mexico when he was around 6 months
    - 1 month to lebanon when he was about 10 months

    5-9 months is the sweet spot in my opinion. Once they get older, its a pain keeping them calm and in one place on the plane. Tablet helps but not ideal especially if you don't want them watching tv. on the trip to Lebanon i was lucky to be in business class with a pretty empty cabin so was able to lay him down in the empty pod beside me to sleep.

    overall i would recommend you take a trip before your wife finishes mat leave even at this tough age of 1ish. mexico resort is a great option since it's a relatively short flight. i think there was a few threads including one i started if you want some recommendations on resorts. Sunset Plaza in PV was such a good experience that we want to go again when we have our next baby.
    Last edited by sabad66; 03-19-2019 at 10:27 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Manhattan View Post
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    Couldn't disagree with this statement more. I love traveling but also understand that it's a privilege. They're not being deprived of anything. Kids up to 8 or 9 from my experience with friends & family might not even appreciate the trip. They're always complaining and asking for dumb stuff like the nearest playground haha. I'm all for giving them memorable experiences but only when they're old enough to appreciate it. When he's old enough to stay with the grandparents we'll probably do our own thing til he's old enough. We understand that a trip at this stage would be purely for our own enjoyment.
    Kids up to 8 or 9 not old enough to appreciate a vacation, eh? Interesting point of view.

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    I won't say when you "should" travel with kids, but basically they are easiest as newborns, and just get harder and harder right up to about age 7. Not to mention they are free until 24 months.
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    When I was a kid apparently I traveled quite a bit with my parents, but my memories of those trips are fragmented at best. I think the earliest 'full memory' of a family trip was ~ 8 to 9 years old.

    We just had our first kid (almost 3 weeks old) and we also want to do some traveling before my wife goes back to work, and we were told <1yo is the way to go. They just eat and sleep, and flying is free. We are probably going to start off easy and try an all inclusive resort at around the 5-6 month mark. If that goes well then we will try for either Hawaii ( the 9+ hour travel time w/ layover scares us) or a Caribbean cruise after. We definitly want to go to Hong Kong with a detour in Japan at some point.. maybe early next year when she's ~ 10-12 months..

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    Very surprised no one has said anything about keeping the kids off the planes for their own enjoyment lol

    Theres no exact right age to travel because all kids are different but we've been traveling with our kids since they were babies and have no regrets. You definitely lose all the freedom of doing whatever whenever but it can still be a fun time.
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    Went to Hawaii when my son was 8 months old. Was a perfect age because he was not walking yet. Flight there and back was fine because of this. I wouldn't fly with him now (almost 2) since he wouldn't want to sit still for more than a few minutes. I found his sleep in Hawaii was fine and despite the time change didn't change his sleep much if at all. Yes, it was a lot slower pace than the usual trip, but you are a parent, unless you have someone to give him to for a few hours of the day thats how its going to be and thats what you signed up for. Most of the time spent at pool and beach but we had a great time.
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    The only difference now vs years ago is resurgence of measles. If you are going to be trapped in a tube, you may want to make sure your kid at least get the 1st shot.

    That said, many friends traveled with kids as young as 7 months. Gravol is the magic apparently on long flights.

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    For those who decided to travel when their kid were still a baby, was it because you had no choice or you wanted to?
    What I mean is, did you have an option to drop them off with the parents to take care for a bit or did want to experience the trip with the baby?

    As someone who has no kids currently, I feel like it would limit you on so many things that I would be hesitant unless you are not planning to do much stuff.

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    Many parents wouldn't prefer to be away from thier children when they are babies for more than 24h or so. Even if they had nearby relatives who would take them.

    Kids do limit you, pretty much every day for the rest of your life.
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