Any tips on traveling in Myanmar with a baby
Replies: 27 - Last Post: Nov 25, 2012 11:21 AM Last Post By: westwood
Nov 18, 2012 6:51 AM
Any tips on traveling in Myanmar with a babyI'm traveling to Myanmar next week for work with pleasure added on at the end with my 7 month old baby. We'll be in Yangon, Bagan, Inle and Ngapali. Any suggestions on traveling with a baby - for instance do I need to bathe him in bottled water or can I boil water in a kettle and let it cool? Also best way to wash bottles/bowls/spoons. I don't want him to get a stomach bug far from good medical care....
I've decided not to put him on malaria meds as he can only take larium which isn't effective there from my understanding. Any other suggestions for how best to avoid mossies??
I'm also wondering the vital things to bring with - assume diapers only available in Yangon?
Thanks in advance!!
Nov 18, 2012 7:33 AM
1DEET. It's safe in lower concentrations (see CDC for specifics) in infants older than 2 months. Dengue fever is also a risk.
I would take azithromycin (diarrhea with fever as well as lower respiratory infection) and acetaminophen (fever, pain), as well as any other meds recommended by his health care provider.
See health section in SEA budget guide in sigline for recommendations on where to get medical care in Burma, but for serious illness, get the hell out of Dodge and head for Bangkok right away.
Definitely spend time on CDC site re travel and infants.
I would use tap water in nicer hotel for bathing infant, but maybe someone else on the forum knows better. Avoid getting the water in his mouth. But again, someone else may know more than I about this.
Nov 18, 2012 7:53 AM
2If you are able to, breast feeding will eliminate some worries. Boiled water for baths will work well. Wash utensils in your usual way then sterilize them with boiling water, or mix a weak bleach solution and let your utensils soak in it until needed.(I used 3 capsful of clorox per 1 gal of water when I worked in Central Asia per the UN nurse's advise) You can cut down a mosqito net and rig it over baby's bed to deter mosquitos. An old friend from Peru told me about his father putting his bed's legs (feet) in bowls of insect repellent to prevent the crawlies from climbing up the legs and biting him.
It has been way too long since I had to think about diapers, but I bet some of our group can tell you first hand, and an extra bottle of powder may be useful for him, it is still hot there.
Nov 18, 2012 8:37 AM
Nov 18, 2012 10:06 AM
4Dont do it...Or if you must, find a clean room in a clean place on a beach..there is really no point traipsing around Burma with. A 7 month old...what will you do in e.g, Inle? Your itinerary for a week is lots of travelling anyway..wih a 7 month old ?? So what will you do Inle if the baby comes down with intestinal/fever problems?. Ive seen the hospital facilities in an around Inle.You are being irresponsible imo.
Nov 18, 2012 11:14 AM
5#2 had really good suggestions, especially for cleaning utensils. Perhaps disposible items would be better though. I saw disposable diapers in Yangon, but was not really looking for them and did not notice any elsewhere we traveled such as Mandalay, Bagan and Inle. That does not mean you won't find them there. I hope someone else will shed light on this for you..
But I was wondering the same thing, re: what type of hotels are you staying in? If they are nice, clean, upscale hotels, it is less likely the mosquitos will be buzzing around the room at night. you will also probably have means to boil water in your room with one of those electric pots to boil water for coffee and tea. We found those very useful for boiling water for brushing teeth. Obviously you don't clean a 7 month old with boiling hot water, but when it cools you can use it for bathing a child in the sink or washing the baby with a washcloth. But, I would still only give the baby bottled water to drink and if you race across Inle lake in a boat, you might want to protect the baby from accidental ingestion of splashing lake water.
Obviously, if you are still breast feeding, that is best for baby. Otherwise, can you bring some jars of baby food with you? You will not feed the baby street food, right? (I feel dumb even saying that.)
Obviously, Protect the baby from the sun and make sure he/she is hydrated. Check with CDC and doctor about deet and safe concentrations for a 7 month old. Don't even think about Larium, it is not even recommended for adults anymore. Respiratory infection would be a concern for me in Burma so I would talk to your pediatrician beforehand about meds to take, if your baby has/needs vaccinations, what to look for and when to get more than just normally worried re: signs and sx.
Of course. a sick baby with fever, vomiting and diarrhea needs quick and close attention and you should have emergency medical evacuation insurance and know beforehand exactly how to initiate the process the fastest way possible. Babies crash fast (worst case scenario). In Yangon you will be able to get to a decent enough hospital to at least get an IV and fluids started while waiting for evacuation to "get the hell out of Dodge" to Bangkok. Honestly, I just don't know about the other places you are going, but in the better hotels, the staff usually have doctors on call and I've seen IV fluids being infused in small village clinics - pretty basic medicine.
It may be of some comfort, even though your baby is a foreigner, to know that hundreds of thousands of 7 month old babies live in Burma and live beyond that age. Good luck, be careful.
Nov 18, 2012 11:47 AM
Nov 18, 2012 3:55 PM
Nov 18, 2012 5:23 PM
9We travelled to Vietnam with our oldest child when she was 5 months. We didn't stay in expensive accommodation. We did use deet insect repellent as opposed to taking larium or similar. At that time our girl was a breast fed baby, with the occasional top up with formula. The places we stayed were always happy to give us some boiled water. We did travel very light ourselves, and carried enough nappies with us for the time we were away, as there were no guarantees we would be able to buy any. I took rehydrating powder with me (that I could take it I got sick too) Travelling with a 7 month old I would carry baby food as well. Bananas are a great food that you should be able to get on your travels. Powedered baby cereals are light and can be mixed with boiled water. Our girl survived her trip, and is now 11. We are travelling to Myanmar with her, and her two younger brothers in December. Happy travels!
Nov 18, 2012 5:28 PM
10We carried our baby in a child carrier backpack. She loved being able to see what was going on. I would imagine a stroller would be very difficult to get around, judging by the number of posts I have read about people falling down drains in Myanmar!
Nov 18, 2012 10:00 PM
Nov 19, 2012 4:42 AM
12While some people might say jim burns is harsh with his opinion , which he is, I agree with him.
Even with the way he writes it because some people just don't get it otherwise.
People don't realise the fragility of the human body specially that of a child who can't decide but just tags along wherever adults want to take it. How often I read questions about travelling with babies from clueless parents. I mostly even don 't care to advise as people have made up their minds already and only want a boost of confidence from some random strangers.
My advise is:
If you have been blessed with life and care in a better country don't take your babies or young children to third world countries and expose them to dangers that might affect them for the rest of their lifes.
The fact that others do or did it and all went well is no good reason. Play Russian roulette with something else,never with the wellbeing and luck of the child entrusted to you.
Being a parent means postponing your own wild plans, until the job is done and your child can take care of himself.
This is no sacrifice. It's just the natural inborn attitude of a mother /father searching the best survival chances for their offspring, even animals in the wild do this, so why should humans do otherwise?
I did it with/for my children and would do it again with no regrets at all. My youngest got a severe cold which turned into a bad pneumonia, which for even looked like meningitis. She wasn't even one year old yet. The fear I felt at the hospital standing next to my baby laying weak on a bed being researched. It was like the ground disappeared from under my feet. The biggest fear I ever experienced. And I hadn't done anything wrong. It all got well, but she was from the start the only one who always has severe colds more than once a year.
Raising children is sometimes a though job. The most important one and also the only one you can't study for. So mistakes are made but using common sense and choosing for safety while loving them to bits gets the job done.
Leave your child with family at home and be happy that you are not one of those local poor mothers who's children often die in the first year of life, no matter how hard they do their best.
Nov 19, 2012 8:54 AM
13Some pretty harsh words above, but also some very reasonable concerns. I should add that I would be very cautious of IV's in Burma also, and worst case, if the baby needs one, you would have to make sure the catheters are sterile(the wrapped ones - 22-24 gauge) and the IV fluid with electrolytes is also wrapped and the puncture site on the bag or bottle, new, covered and sterile. Hopefully it will never come down to this. This would be a major concern for me along with hydrating, replacing electrolytes and getting the baby to Bangkok asap.
Nov 19, 2012 11:40 AM
14Most people seem to use cloth for diapers...remember Myanmar is not set up for disposing of synthetic diapers..yours will end up lying beside the road somewhere...
(3 star Hotel)
From US$57.94 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$113.48 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$57.91 per night