T.M. asks from Fort Worth, TX on January 03, 2011
Traveling Out of the Country - with an Infant - Fort Worth,TX
So my brother popped the question to his long-time girlfriend and they are planning to be married in Columbia (where she and her family live and where they meet). I am due in April; the wedding will likely take place in July, August or September of 2011. I have never met his fiancé and feel I must be there for him as well as to meet and welcome his wife in to our family.
Here are our questions:
1) Does an infant need a passport? If so, it's possible that we would not even have a birth certificate yet and so how would I aquire one?
2) Shots??? Seeing that baby girl will only be 3-5 months old, is the pediatrician likely to give her the shots she needs to travel? If not, can I take the shots while breastfeeding? And would that be suffice for baby?
3) Did you travel with your infant at this age? If so, how did it go?
4) Any other recommendations or advice????
Thanks & Happy New Year!!!
So What Happened?™
Thanks for all of your responses and wisdom. This is our 2nd child. The first is 5 and already has his passport and is a very good traveler. This will be our first time to travel with an infant though and so I want to be pro-active with all of the necessities. Thanks again for all of your help!!!
M.H. answers from Atlanta on January 03, 2011
Can't speak to all your questions but the laws have changed and everyone, including infants need a passport to travel. The birth certificate should not be hard to get if you give them the info while you're in the hospital. Once it's on file you should be able to get it immediately. You can fill out the forms for the passport and have them ready and shoot them in and pay that extra government fee for a rush on the baby's passport.
If you are going to vaccinate, then make sure you do it weeks before you travel. Babies have reactions, the least of which is crankiness, and you don't want anything you can't handle while your out of the country.
My next note is personal. Columbia is ranked one of the most dangerous countries in the world for Americans. Please read http://outsideonline.com/outside/travelqa/070397/colombia...
I understand why your brother wants to get married there and I'm sure he would understand you not coming to the wedding. My brother was living in Germany when I got married and there were no hard feelings that he wasn't able to make it....my two cents!
Congratulations on your little one!
2 moms found this helpful
J.C. answers from Anchorage on January 03, 2011
Yes the baby will need a passport. I did not travel to Columbia so I am unsure on shots, you will have to talk with the doctor. I did travel with mine at this age. I was living in the UK when my boys were born, and traveled to the states with my first when he was under 5 months. I filed for all his papers as soon as he was born, and had it all except his visa which I had to go get in person due to time restraints.
S.H. answers from Orlando on January 03, 2011
We were working/living in Thailand when our son was born in 2008. We had planned to move back to the U.S. before the birth but because of pregnancy complications I wasn't able to travel so he was born there. It took us 6 weeks to get his birth certificate and passport from the U.S. Embassy. We applied for everything the week that he was born and had it expedited and it still took 6 weeks. I know my situation is a little different from yours but it may give you some idea of how long this type of thing can take. Also, be prepared for a difficult time getting a passport photo of your baby. The baby has to have both eyes open and both ears showing. Very difficult for a newborn!! What we finally did was to lay him on a white blanket and I held his head behind the blanket and pushed his ears forward so they could be seen. It took about 30 shots before we got one that worked.
I'm not sure about shots for a baby that young. You might want to check out the CDC website for information about what vaccinations are recommend for Columbia. Go to www.cdc.gov You could also see if there is a travel health clinic in your city. They are very helpful about answering questions about shots and overseas travel.
This is a very easy age to travel with a child. Our son was 6 weeks old when we flew back to the U.S. from Asia and he slept almost the whole way. On many airlines you can request a baby bassinet for international flights. The bassinet attaches to the wall in front of the bulkhead seats and the baby can sleep in there. If you are nursing, it is especially convenient because you won't have to pack bottles/formula, etc. The hardest part of the flight is the take-off and landing because of the change in pressure hurts their ears. Try to nurse during take-off and landing if you can because the sucking will help with relieve the pressure.
Hope you have a great trip!
S.H. answers from Detroit on January 03, 2011
S.H. already answered many of these questions, however I just wanted to let you know that we traveled overseas with my daughter when she was 4 months old... so it is possible to get all the info to do so in that time frame... I do believe we paid extra to have the passport expedited though. It was also super easy to travel with a 4 month old... much easier than when she was between 1-2 years old!
J.S. answers from Boca Raton on January 03, 2011
COLUMBIA IS SAFE!!!!! Do not be afraid of traveling to Columbia! I go there all the time with my pasty white husband and toe head(white blonde) two year old. We are all Americans and look it.
Your baby must have a passport. We travel extensively as a family. In case of emergencies we keep photo copies of our passports and of our son's birth certificate in a safe place during our travels.
No "special immunization" is required for travel to Columbia. I do recommend infant have scheduled shots 10 days prior to travel.
We started traveling with our son when he was 5 months old. Your baby will be fine. Infants usually sleep quite well on flights. Make sure he/she is nursing during landing. It helps ears adjust to the changing cabin pressure.
TSA allows baby formula, breast milk(solid & liquid), diaper creams, ointments, teething gels, infant tylenol etc.... I even traveled with a portable breast pump. As you approach security screening simply advise the TSA you are traveling with an infant carrying liquids and supplies.
Take ziplock bags for ice. We ask Flight Attendant for ice to keep milk and other supplies chilled.
Enjoy Columbia. It is a beautiful country and the people are most hospitable!
S.H. answers from Honolulu on January 03, 2011
3) no, but when older
4) Go to:
www.tsa.gov for flight/plane regulations on international travel and with an infant.
Go and get a Passport promptly. It takes time to process it and then get it:
ALSO, per the Passport website... see if travel to Columbia is safe....
I personally would not want to travel there, with an infant. It is dangerous.
I guess though, being that it would be a wedding in Columbia (and with Foreigners attending and Americans)... well, that would probably be a real eye catching thing for crime/criminals to find out about...
Per Birth Certificates and getting a Passport... yes, you need a Birth Certificate first. Then, a passport can be applied for and processed. So as you see... the timeline... for both of these do not coordinate nicely. It takes awhile... to get a Birth Certificate AND a Social Security number... for your infant. THEN a Passport... can be applied for.... you may not have enough time....
-If you can pay more... you can choose to get an 'expedited' passport.
- I doubt... they have such a thing for Birth Certificates. At least in my State they do not.
- You ALSO need to apply for a Social Security card/number... for your baby... and I don't know if they have expedited services for this, either.
When traveling or internationally with a child... it is OFTEN 'required" that you also have a notarized letter, stating that you have the permission to travel with your child (if the other parent is not traveling with you). It is a "Consent" from for travel. Also called 'travel consent form for travel with a minor child" etc. You HAVE to research this... and get all the proper forms and have it signed off on etc.
You also need to make sure, you see you Pediatrician... your baby will only be 5 months old then. You need to check about shots... AND have a "shot record" on you, when you travel, for your baby. AND carry your medical insurance too.... for your baby, when traveling.
Bear in mind, babies can get sick, when traveling... and when abroad.... too. Their immune system is still young..
Bear in mind, that your baby will be real young, you plan to breastfeed.... and you will need to pack a lot of stuff.... car seat, stroller, nursing apron to nurse in public, lots of baby stuff/gear.
Are you traveling alone or with someone else?
This, from your question, seems to be your 1st baby????
E.W. answers from Dallas on January 03, 2011
We took my son to Jamaica just a few months ago and he was 3 months old, he did great! We took him to the passport office when he was about 2 weeks old. I had to go obtain his birth certificate but they did have it available and be sure that both you and your husband go to the passport office both parents are required to go.
As for the passport picture I would have them do it at the passport office, there are so many dumb rules about infants pictures. They cannot have a pacifier, they have to be making a "natural" face (not crying, but if you ask me a newborns natural face is crying). They cannot be smiling, and you cannot be holding them in any way. They also have to be on a white backdrop. So we took in our infant carrier and they had a white blanket they laid in the inside of the carrier until it was a perfect picture.
We had no issues traveling, I am sure you will be fine :) Good luck