Cruise with 10 Mo. Old or Leave Him at Home?

Updated on July 10, 2008
B.K. asks from Garland, TX
32 answers

My husband and I would like to take a relaxing cruise or beach vacation before we start working on "baby #2," but we are not sure if we should take our 10 to 12 month old son with us or leave him with a friend. We are afraid that we will not be able to "recharge" if we take him with us, but afraid we won't enjoy ourselves for worrying about him if we leave him home. Any recommendations on cruise lines or resorts that are baby friendly? Any experience using nurseries on cruise ships or resorts? I am nervous about leaving him at a place I know nothing about, but also feel guilty about leaving him behind.

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E.C.

answers from Dallas on

Leave him at home. Every parent deserves a break. When my son was about one year old, I left him with grandparents and aunts and went to Hawaii for 10 days. It did us both some good. Don't feel guilty....you have the rest of you life with him. Go and have fun and relax; that's what a vacation is for!

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S.L.

answers from Dallas on

of course you can trust people! some people just have issues when they say things like this. find someone that he is comfortable with, start with an overnight trip or two to ease into it, then go head first into the trip. yes parents deserve time away from their kids without guilt. i take a yearly vacation away from my kids and feel zero guilt! i come back a better mom!

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L.G.

answers from Dallas on

Don't take him with you..he will be miserable in the new surroundings and so will you. You and your husband need to make yourselves have fun without your child being present. You will be surprised how much fun you will have.
Mother of Four ;)

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T.P.

answers from Dallas on

I think the key word in your question is "relaxing". By all means, if you have someone you trust to watch him, take the trip alone. It may be the last time you and your husband get away for a long while!

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G.M.

answers from Dallas on

My husband and I just returned from a cruise to Alaska. It's AWESOME, but don't take a baby. You could take a short cruise to Carribean out of Galveston and take the baby, but much more relaxing w/o him.

G.

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S.B.

answers from Dallas on

Leave your son at home with a trusted family member or friend! I don't know about your marriage, but "kids" put a huge strain on my marriage. I felt lost as a new mom when I had my two kids two years apart- lots of issues going on after my daughter was born, including post pardum depression. When my daughter was 8 months old and son was almost 3, we left the kids with my MIL and went to Puerto Vallarta. I had been diagnosed with PPD the week before we left. For the first time since my son was born, we were able to reconnect. Personally, I think it saved us. We realized that we needed time away from the kids at least once a year (at the time we lived away from family).

As for the fear of leaving your son with someone- honestly, I feel sorry for the woman who said "don't trust anyone with your kids". One of my best friends felt this way, until her whole world was tied to her children- she neglected her husband and he had an affair. She recognized that by wrapping her whole self in her children, she left nothing else for her husband. Not that what he did was okay (I still think the guy's a prick...), but she had to recognize her role. After a year and a half of counseling, they are going on their first trip away from the kids to Hawaii, next week- their kids are 6 and 3.

Your children also need to know that they can survive without you. Heartbreaking reality for some, not so much for me since my children haven't received the memo that the chord was cut a number of years ago- lol.

HAVE FUN!!!!!

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

I personally would feel more comfortable leaving him with someone I know than at a nursary on a ship or resort. I would suggest leave him home, he will not remember it and as long as the person you are leaving him with is trustworthy, than you should be able to relax. I would call once a day to check on him, and then relax. Let the person know that if they need you they can contact you.

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J.D.

answers from Dallas on

Don't take him! This will be your last chance before he starts getting the concept of time and missing you. Let your friends enjoy him and visa versa - he won't remember this at this young age. You need to recharge your relationship especially when you are going for another! J. D.

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N.H.

answers from Dallas on

Sorry, but i have to vote go alone. My husband and i made a promise to ourselves to always make alone time for us. We love to travel so when we got pregnant we said we'd still travel alone and as a family. We now have 3 girls and every year we go some where, whether it is a long weekend or a full week get-a-way, by ourselves. Our motto has always been that teh most important thing we can give our girls is...us. A family, a mom and a dad. We see all teh divorce around us and we know hard it is to stay the course when divorce is such an easy option now. So we decided to take care of 'us' and then we'd always be a family. Our love and connection in the first place is what started this family, so we have to continue to make our connection #1 so we can remain a strong family unit. I love to travel with my kids. And you are correct, a lot of wonderful vacation spots are great for kids and should be enjoyed together. So if you choose to bring baby just promise yourself you'll do something with just the 2 of you soon. Date each other! Another mark.... I am blessed to have my mom close by and i think it is great that my girls not only know how much i love them but that lots of people love them. That there are other people that will be there for them too.

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A.K.

answers from Dallas on

Cruise ships are a HORRIBLE place to take little ones. Even the "family friendly" ones are bad. Leave the baby at home and enjoy each for one last time before baby #2! I promise, people offer to watch one child for a week MUCH QUICKER than 2! Have fun and enjoy yourself!

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B.H.

answers from Dallas on

It drives me crazy to hear mom's "brag"... my child has not spent a night away from me, and they are_____ old. I recommend leaving you child with someone you trust. You will miss your baby but you and your husband need the uninterupted time together. You should brag that you have a wonderul friend or family member that you trust your baby with so that you can have a great vacation together...

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S.T.

answers from Dallas on

I can't bear to travel without my daughter, now 3, though friends of mine think nothing of leaving their babies with Grandma and Grandpa and going off on long kid-free vacations. They all seem healthy and happy to me, so it won't hurt your son if you and your husband do take some kid-free time.

If you really do want to take your son and you want a resort where you can be absolutely sure about the child care, I highly recommend the FDR resorts in Jamaica. Their website is www.fdrholidays.com. They are all-inclusive, and your own personal vacation nanny is included in the price! The nannies are sweet and loving, and they keep the kids entertained with fun activities all day long. They take superb care of the kids--my very fair-skinned daughter never got the teensiest bit of sunburn because her nanny kept her coated all over, even the tops of the ears, with sunscreen. Our daughter is still asking when she can go back to the beach and see her friend Miss Murline. The little beach right at the resort is very calm and safe--I described it as a "kiddie pool" beach. If you want to take your son with you, this would be a great place for you to try.

The only downside of the place is that it is a bit old and could use some spiffing-up. If you want gleaming marble floors and decadent luxury, it's not a good choice. It is, however, spotlessly clean, and the staff is friendly, and you can relax knowing that your child is getting excellent care while you are lying in a hammock with your rum punch.

I hope this helps.

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C.P.

answers from Dallas on

Hello B.,

I would leave him at home with someone you trust. if you want to find out how you feel about it, have your friend keep him overnight one day and see how you do. =) Good luck and have fun! ~C.~

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L.T.

answers from Lubbock on

Hi B.,

I would suggest just you and your husband going. You will miss your little guy but that will give you both the time to recharge. No feeling guilty. A relaxed Mom is a happier Mom(that goes for Daddy too).

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R.A.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter was 3 when we took her on a cruise...and my advice is to leave him at home. I remember settling into the tiny room and almost instantly looking at each other and going, okay we have a kid with us, now what? As much as you love having him with you and as much as you will miss him while you are gone, I promise you that the freedom you have without him will truly make it a vacation for both of you.

We did use the family resources and babysitting services on the cruise ship many times! But when we really wanted to be at the pool we were stuck in the room for naps, when we wanted to be at the casino it was her bedtime, when we wanted to drink more than usual we had her to think about, etc.

Just know what you are getting into. There is nothing wrong with saying we need some "us" time. You will be better for it when you get back. The nice thing about cruises is you can just go for 3 or 5 days if you want.

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E.S.

answers from Dallas on

Go alone. He is not old enough to have any fun on a cruise yet. Go and have fun!

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J.M.

answers from Tyler on

B.,

I'm sure you would have a great time taking your son with you. This would be tons of great memories together. But, if you are looking for a relaxing cruise, I would say leave him at home.

Do not feel guilty for leaving him behind. One job as his parents is for you and your husband to love each other and take time for you two. With the thoughts of a second one coming soon, this is the best time for your husband and you to recharge your marriage and love on each other.

I hope this helps!

J.

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E.H.

answers from Dallas on

If you want a relaxing cruise, leave the baby at home! I have been on several cruises and it looks like a lot of work to bring a baby. We brought our kids 2 years ago and they were 7, 9 and 10. They had a good time but I think they would have more fun as preteens or teens. If you are nervous about leaving your son that long tkae a shorter cruise. I recommend at least a 7 day but know with a baby at home that may be long. Rememebr it will be harder to get time alone once you have 2 little ones so you and hour hubby should go an d enjoy some alone time and rejuvenate!!
E.

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H.B.

answers from Dallas on

Disney cruise, disney cruise, disney cruise! I have heard nothing but greatness! I always figured if you went on a disney cruise- it would be nothing but "kiddie" crud all the time-not so. It is like two ships on one. The adults have their "play" and the boat staff entertains the kids!

Good luck!

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B.M.

answers from Dallas on

I'm the oldest in my family. When my husband and I wanted to get away but weren't quite ready to leave the baby for more than one night (I was still nursing), I invited one of my younger sisters. She would watch the little one while we had some adult time together. When the baby needed me, we weren't far. I did give sis some time to enjoy herself too. It worked for us.

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

Try a mini vacation without him and see how it goes, before you commit either way. Like go away someplace close for the weekend. If it were me, I would think of it as a second honeymoon. And leave baby at home, in capable hands for a cruise. I would not put him in a strange nursery or daycare on board. It would stress me for him to be with strangers and it will be unfamiliar for him also. Or you could hire a high school/college babysitter you know to be the nanny on the trip so you have the best of both worlds.
I think that recharging is a good idea, and if planning baby #2, then learning to do this without guilt is a good idea now. As you will need more time in the future to re-charge. If your marriage is strong and you work to keep it that way, although you will worry about baby, you guys will be better parents and spouses in the long run...and that is win-win for everyone.
Ditch the guilt. Focus on hubby. Have a fabulous time. Come back refreshed. You and hubby will be better for it.
Good luck,
L.

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E.T.

answers from Dallas on

there is no such thing as a relaxing vacation when you have a 10 month old with you. You deserve to sleep in, have 'fun' whenever you want, have a few cocktails, flirt, sit in one place longer than 5 minutes, take longer than 30 minutes to eat a meal, etc, etc, etc.

It's good for YOU and YOUR SON to get used to staying with someone else. For vacation reasons and other reasons. 2 years ago, my appendix burst and I was in the hospital for 6 days and my son couldn't visit me (he kept wanting to put his finger in the various electrical sockets). I'm glad that he already had experience with me not being around him and experience with someone else taking care of him (DH couldn't help -- he'd just had surgery himself). It made that emergency situation better for everyone.

We just took a vacation to Mexico over Memorial Day. It was great and whoever said you come back a better mom is SO RIGHT! On the flip side, we're going to KC this weekend for a family wedding, so our son is coming with us, and I can guarantee that spending the weekend with my husband and son in a hotel room is A LOT more work than being at home or being on a vacation by ourselves.

Find a friend or family member you trust and go on that vacation by yourself. If you don't, you will regret it later...

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hi B.,

We took my son James on a cruise at 10 mos and had a great time. Yes, it will mean passing on the midnight buffets and spending some time in your cabin while he naps (or find some shade on the pool deck for that). At that time, I was working full-time and the last thing I wanted for my vacation time was to leave my son yet again. It killed me to drop him off at daycare as it was.

We found the staff at Royal Caribbean to be outstanding! Having a baby in a stroller got us whisked to the front of the lines for embarkation and the baby got LOTS of attention. Keep in mind, many of the staff are from countries like Russia, Ukraine, etc., and have their own babies at home. Their tours of duty on the ship are often six months or longer. So when they see a baby on board, they just love on them as if they were their own!

Of course, there is also the prospect of alone time as a couple, which is appealing as well. I think whichever choice you make will be perfect!

Have fun!

[email protected]____.com

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N.C.

answers from Dallas on

B.,
As I always say there is no K in vacation but there are resorts and cruise ships that do an excellent job of taking care of children who travel.
NCL cruise lines do take children under 3 into their programs. They give you a buzzer to call you for diaper changes and anything else that might happen.
The Beaches resorts also have nanny's for their younger travelers.
I am a Grandmother and a travel agent. I will be happy to help you plan your vacation.
I do think leaving him with responsible Adults will be ok.
It is good for kids and parents to be away from each other.
Thank You
N. Cox
Smart Price Travel
###-###-####

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

We went on a Disney cruise when our son was a bit over 12m and we were expecting #2. The cruise was great for us and very relaxing. Being Disney, the cruise was very accomodating for our son and we left him in childcare center a few times. I thought we signed up for the cruise very early but when we did the childcare spots were already mostly filled up. The nursery was very clean and had a one way mirror so you could see your child playing. We did get a room with a balcony so that we could go out there during his naps. The room also had a curtain that divided it in half so that the half he slept in in the pack n play could be curtained off from our sleep area. Oh, and there are plenty of kid-free places to relax on the ship and even a kid-free beach on Disney's private island.

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S.W.

answers from Wichita Falls on

I wouldn't leave my baby with anyone. You just can't trust people anymore. Your baby is too young to tell you if something is wrong. Take baby with you and you will have a more relaxing vacation

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A.L.

answers from Dallas on

I would leave the little guy with a friend/family member. My husband and I took a vacation last fall and left our daughter with my mom. We were gone for her for 8 days which was a little too long. I was ok until about 5 days so maybe a shorter trip not the 7 day cruises.

We have not had any experience with the resort daycares, but we are nervous using them until our little one is able to talk and tell us if something is not right. After that point I think we would consider taking her and leaving her there for short times. Especially if we were vacationing with others so she could go with a little friend.

I think in the end if you are going to leave your baby with someone while you relax he would be better with a friend or family member at his age.

Enjoy your trip!

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E.W.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter is 2 and has already been on 2 cruises and had a blast. We did not take her to the daycare facility so I cannot comment on them, but I know they will only babysit late at night. We did have to come back to the cabin once a day for nap time but it was a great time for us to recharge. We missed out on the midniht buffets, some of the shows, and stuff but we still had a great time. They have cribs that can go in your room, and my daughter was fine with that both times. When she was on formula we just made sure to take plenty of bottled water. They had a highchair for her at dinner time. Also children that are not potty trained cannot swim in the on board pools so we brought a tiny blow pool, and filled it up with water and she loved it. Our little diva in her own pool.

We had a great time, and no issues! It is definitely manageable, you just have to decide what you want to do as a family. (We went on Carnival both times, once was 5 day and the other was 7 day both out of Houston...)

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A.J.

answers from Dallas on

I really worry about that, I hear so much about illnesses spreading abord cruise ships I would be afraid to take a 10 month old on one... go with your husband alone it will be a while before you will spend time together alone after #2 comes along. I know I wish I had done something like that.

A. J

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A.D.

answers from Dallas on

I have taken my daughter with me on several cruises from age 4 months until age three (now). I kind of sucks that you have to pay for them as if they were a third person in the room (on most cruise lines) but that is the biggest downside. A travel agent or web search can help you narrow this down. We like cruisecritic.com.

Of course, with a kid around you can't really party and stay out all night or go swinging from vines in the jungle but you can still enjoy quiet time and beaches and all the rest. My daughter loved beaches and has a shell and rock collection all her own.

I know that Royal Caribbean offer babysitting so you can have a night or nights away, (it costs, but not too much) and I'm sure other lines are the same. RC also offers an hour a day playtime for little kids with fisher price toys that you couldn't pack with you. The staff that works with the kids are trained for it and I have universally liked them.

RC and Carnival offer pack and play cribs for the room or will make up a bed for the baby, your preference. We co-slept and they were cool with that too, even when we had an accident on the sheets and had to get them changed on short notice.

I have found that we get better service from everyone on the ship because they all want to play with the baby. I have never felt that my baby wasn't welcome to join me, even at formal dinners and the captain's reception.

I can tell you that lots of moms on cruises came up to me and said that they really missed their little ones at home, but some said they really needed the time away, too. If you are a burnt out momma it may be worth it to have a few days away.

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V.S.

answers from Odessa on

Since you are nervous about leaving him at a place you know nothing about, and you feel guilty about leaving him behind, perhaps you should postpone the vacation? I know we all want/need vacations, but once kids come along vacations are not always as easy or as important as before. Your son is too young to enjoy or remember the trip, so maybe you and hubby could take a quick weekend trip somewhere if you really feel that it takes being away from home to re-charge. Then when your son is old enough to either enjoy going or understand being left behind you could take the vacation you are speaking of now.

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K.B.

answers from Dallas on

I think others have touched on this, but please remember you have to pay a full adult fare for the little one. We took a cruise when my son was 11 months old, he stayed with his baby sitter for the SEVEN days. We left him with the baby sitter verses family because he was more familiar with her and here family and we had an excellent relationship with her. I would hesitate to leave such a young child with a "stranger". and a stranger is anyone with whom your child is not intimately involved on a regular basis (like almost everyday). We did call to check on our son every day, but it was a great get-away and well needed. And I forgot to mention that I was still nursing at the time, so I was able to get a refrig and keep it in the cabin.

So if you go weigh your options and keep in mind that your little one is not able to fully express how he is feeling. If you leave him at home, make sure it is with someone he feels comfortable with and someone you would trust with your life.

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