Recommendations as to where to take 6 month old for 6 weeks
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Jun 24, 2013 3:42 AM Last Post By: bensmatrix
Jul 11, 2012 4:37 AM
Recommendations as to where to take 6 month old for 6 weeksHello
We're first time parents and have the opportunity to get away for 6 weeks in October/November by which point our daughter will be six months. We're really keen to take this rare opportunity of both being off work to go on a memorable trip but are a bit unsure where to go and what type of trip to take (for example would a road trip be very convenient with a baby or actually really stressful?)
Our initial thoughts are hiring a camper van to do a road trip round Australia or America/Canada (altho weather would obviously not be very favourable in North America) - and would long drives be difficult /not very enjoyable with a young baby? Going to Argentina - but not certain how we would travel round. Or possibly inter-railing in Europe - but again long journeys could be challenging with a baby and less flexibility in terms of stopping that in your own vehicle.
Any suggestions, recommendations or comments would be really welcome - i really want to make sure we use this opportunity but not of course end up taking a trip which is more stressful than fun!
Jul 11, 2012 8:19 AM
1At that age the kids are so easy to travel with you should be fine whatever you do. Easy to entertain, happy to sit on your lap for quite some time on public transport, not yet too fussy about where they sleep etc. They still need naps during the day, so longer drives in a rental car can be coordinated towards baby's sleeping schedule.
We took our son to Argentina when he was around 10-11 months old and had a great time. We travelled by plane and rental car and both worked out fine. He was happy in his stroller in the cities, lots for him to look at, and we had a baby bjorn for taking shorter walks outside the cities. He even tagged along for a day of wine tasting in Mendoza, ended up being the mascot of the group and charming everyone along the way!
We've also brought our kids to Cambodia and Malaysia at young age, and would particularly recommend Malaysia if you want an easy but yet interesting trip. Safe, clean, good infrastructure and health care and a good variety of things to see and do. From tea plantations and national parks to paradise-like beaches and islands.
Good luck on deciding, you'll have a great trip wherever you decide to go:-)
Jul 12, 2012 1:27 PM
2It's good timing as spring and fall are the best times to travel.
I like the idea of Malaysia. That region is safe, clean and you have access to good healthcare. I like Japan and Taiwan (a really underrated destination) too for similar reasons. Great season and fall colors... Actually, anywhere YOU want to go should work.
I wouldn't recommend long drives at that age. Car safety is a very real issue and can vary around the world. In some places, they don't use, or have access to, good car seats meanwhile road conditions are poor (many places in S.America but elsewhere). By contrast, train travel can be fun and easy with a baby.
The healthcare question can be pivotal for many families. Some places in the world are just fine, except if your baby gets sick. Language barriers, not being able to get a hold of medications, cleanliness of the hospitals... you just wouldn't find out until it's too late and you're stuck... Also here on this board, it's been pointed out many times that conditions in big cities are far superior to those out in the countryside, but the cool stuff to visit is out in the sticks!
That could be a deciding factor.
You may want to talk to your ped and/or consult the CDC website (American but gives you an idea-very cautious though!)
Some tips to make it easier;
-Get a good baby carrier. A Baby Bjorn, mentioned above, wont be comfortable with a 6-7 month old. You needs something better quality that doesn't hang the child by its crotch. Ergo, Beco or similar is good, also a wrap or ring sling is good for discreet breastfeeding. Yes, two is not unreasonable. A good baby carrier is THE secret to easy travel with a baby.
-Which is my next point, continue breastfeeding, if already started. Skip if that doesn't apply (obviously). I've traveled with both formula and nature's milk so it's experience talking here!
Be aware that formulas can be very different from country to country. Experience with that too speaking! So decide how you're going to tackle that (bring enough for first few days? research formulas at your destination? etc.)
-Put off solids until you return. Of course discuss this with your ped but most first timers are too eager to give early solids which isn't healthy for a little one. I put off solids until 7 1/2 months with two of mine and I have very healthy girls who always ate well. By contrast, I made the mistake of starting my first at 4 months and he had allergies, digestion problems, etc. You don't need that! Babies don't really need solids until about a year, so they say!
Solids involve a lot of fuss so leave the spoons, bibs, etc. at home and tackle that once you're back.
I'll mention that buying a seat on the plane and using the car seat is the only way to fly safely with a baby. If you save money by putting him on your lap, it's because there's little chance of anything going wrong. Never check a car seat as luggage. Gate-check if you bring a car seat and fly with him as a lap baby. For a driving trip, with a lap baby, you might just get a car seat at your destination (especially N.America). Leave it at your last stop and have the hotel hold it for a charity to collect it (i.e. local women's shelter). Same goes for outgrown clothes along the way (just buy new for the next baby. You'll probably have the opposite sex in the opposite season like I did anyway!)
Plan and start organizing. Have the names of English speaking (or whatever you speak) peds where you're going. Arrange shipments to people you know if you find out certain things aren't available. Look into transport, healthcare, etc.
Travel isn't what it used to be but honestly, it can be something new and different, seen through the eyes of a parent, other peoples' reactions to your child, etc.
Jul 15, 2012 5:18 AM
Where ever you chose to go and what ever you chose to do, REMEMBER that you are now a family.
This means working within your child's requirements. Stick to their routine and you will have a great time. IE. Rest when they sleep or see something they won't have the tolerance (eg museum) for if they travel well in a pram.
Jul 16, 2012 2:32 PM
4I have to agree with an earlier poster who didn't recommend driving. When my daughter was that age, she hated the car, and long car trips were so much harder than flying. At almost 2, I'm still hesitant to go anywhere far with her. She gets pretty restless in her car seat after a while, and since we can't really put her on our laps, it gets hard, even with frequent breaks. Also, she's never napped as well in the car either, though the suggestion about working around nap schedules is a good one for some babies.
What's worked better for us has always been to get to our destination, no matter how far away, and then stay there for a bit (at least 3-4 days a spot). Then do day trips from there. We prefer to stay in apartments/flats if possible, rather than a hotel room, so that we have a little more space. At 6 months, she's not going to be aware of much, so I don't know if your destination will matter. You should go where you want to go. I agree that health care is important though -- our daughter was hospitalized in India for a week, and it sucked.
We've never done the train, and it seems like that might work too. You can't stop whenever you want, but at least you can walk around the train and hold your baby when necessary.
Jul 27, 2012 2:42 AM
5We have travelled a lot with our three kids- all under the age of 6. We are leaving for 9-12 months of travel with them starting in India in Sept. Each family has such different dynamic- but even more important- each child is so different. You know your child best- I personally do not travel from place to place jumping around- we prefer to settle in a place for a few weeks to a few months and get the feel and develop a routine. Our kids thrive on routine. A baby carrier like the Ergo is KEY. Bjorn will not be too comfortable. You can buy an Ergo copy on ebay for $15. We have one and it works great. Just remember that no matter what - it will never be the same as it was. If you seek that, you will just be disappointed. We have always had a blast traveling but make sure to put our kids' needs first. The more well rested and well fed they are- the happier they are....
Jun 24, 2013 3:42 AM
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