Is It Safe to Travel to Mazatlan with a 3 Month Old?

Updated on September 08, 2010
D.W. asks from Seattle, WA
16 answers

My parents live in Mazatlan, Mexico for half the year. My 2nd son is due December 9th during the time we usually go down to visit them. I have 2 other children, 4 and 6, that love going down to see grandma and grandpa and swim. They are there until the beginning of April, but I do not know how safe it is for a newborn to be exposed to the elements of a third world country. Is there any reason I shouldn't go with him (virus', bacteria,etc) and just send dad and the other two kids without us? I will be only breastfeeding and of course keep him out of the sun....just wondering if this was wise, or better to wait until next year?

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answers from Eugene on

You know they are having a civil war in Mexico? I would never take a newborn to a third world country that harbors severe diarreah or dysentary.
Mexico is a very corrupt country. They refill and recap the water in the bottles.

I've been there many times. I've come home with infections, dysentary etc.
I've been in a couple of war zones in my lifetime. I vowed after the last one when I was 27 and with my children NEVER AGAIN. And, I have never since gone to a country that has wars of any kind.

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answers from Dallas on

i don't take my kiddos out of the country until they are at least 2 years old and fully vaccinated. to me, it's just not worth the risk. additionally, i won't go to mexico at all right now(and we used to go a lot) - the drug trafficing and kidnapping of americans is really getting out of hand right now. it's sad, but i can find other places for us to vacation without that kind of known risk. i would either send dad and the other two kids this year, or just tell your parents that you're all skipping this year and you'll catch them next year. good luck with the impending arrival!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I suggest that this is a question to ask a physician who specializes in foreign travel. I don't know what they're called but I've heard of the specialty.

It's my understanding that a baby has good immunity during the first weeks of it's life because it's born with it's mother's immunity built in. If that's the case then it would seem safe to me. I'm thinking that you would keep the baby away from crowds while there. You could somewhat protect him while traveling by keep his face loosely covered. And of course, everyone in your family would be washing their hands often. Once you arrived, even tho you would be in a third world country, you would be in your parent's home that would seen to me to be as safe as it would be in the states. Safe water, refrigeration, safe food supply, etc.

I would also be concerned about air travel and the change in atmospheric pressure. Ask a specialist in medicine and foreign travel.

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answers from Dallas on

No, I wouldn't risk it. A baby's immune system isn't strong enough to fight alot of those there.....there's hepatitis...typhoid....malaria (i'm not trying to say anything bad...when i was stationed in guam, i had to get a nice series of shots again for all those lovely tropical diseases...yuck)

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answers from Detroit on

If your parents live there it can't be that 3rd world!! I'm sure it would be OK as long as you keep him out of the heat and sun - no more dangerous than taking your other two fact they are more likely to get ill than him, considering they will be exposed far more to the weather, food and water!!.
I'm sure your parents would feel really disappointed if they don't get to see the little guy! Check with your Ped if you are unsure but I would go for it.....

1 mom found this helpful


answers from McAllen on

Nah, Its ok!
Just be careful, you know the usual, drink bottled water, keep him out of the sun, wear sunblock, and be very careful while traveling, although I love Mexico, things are really dangerous right now, (hasnt stopped me from traveling) but do keep to traveling by daylight, fly if you can afford to, and dont stay out until late, since you have been there more than once you know how the dynamics are, so don't worry too much. I'm pretty sure that at least one hospital is certified by the joint commission international, since it is being promoted as a medical tourism destination, so I would go, and not worry too much!.

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answers from Anchorage on

Been traveling to Mazatlan all my life (from 12-current 36 yrs old) and brought all 3 babes down as infants as did my sisters. It is SOOO much more civilized than when I was a kid, hardly categorizes as third world anymore, especially if you are centering in the golden zone/tourist district. Travel in any country can expose you to digestive issues, especially with kids, but in my experience a breastfeeding infant is by far the easiest kid to travel with! If you want to be super cautious keep your diet within the standards of bottled water only, no fresh produce that you don't wash yourself and you should be fine. Pepto tabs if you feel you need them, or as a low dose preventative measure before you need them, is the only thing I'd recommend. Talk with your dr. so you feel safe taking them but if you are up to the travel at that stage I don't see any problems with going down and enjoying the time before you have a squirmy toddler on your hands! After reading the other posts I would say that fear of the unknown is not the best reason for making decisions and that Mazatlan, Mexico is a far cry from Mexico City or Guam. In fact, it is getting harder and harder to find authentic mexican food there with all the American chains popping up! lol

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answers from Erie on

me personally? absolutely not! WAY to risky.

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answers from Medford on

I was surprised by the number of paranoid responses. If you were traveling around the country or into more rural areas I would be concerned about violence but you should be fine in your parent's home in a tourist center. Your parents, of course, would be the best gauges of safety in their neighborhood and I'm sure they wouldn't ask you to come if it wasn't safe. I bristled a little at the rampant fear of disease, like the moment you cross the border the germs are waiting to infect you. I'm sure you would be cautious and wouldn't subject your newborn to undue risk. Take proper precautions (bottled water, etc) but try to relax and enjoy yourself too! I also loved the reminder from the mom who mentioned that women in Mexico have babies everyday. I'm sure there are some who suffer from poor sanitation conditions and lacking medical services, but that will not be you. Your education puts you in a category with far more advantages than women of true third world countries, who simply don't know how to protect their families.
Enjoy the vacation!



answers from Portland on

Well, other than women in Mexico have newborns everyday, I would still ask your pediatrician's opinion.



answers from Portland on

I've done a lot of traveling in developing countries and gotten sick a lot. I would not bring my kids under 2 and fully vaccinated, especially to a developing country. Sorry! You can be as careful as you can, but it is still a risk. Diarrhea is the number one cause of death in children in developing countries. Sewers frequently overflow, you never know how sanitized the dishes were if you're eating out, and there are bacteria and viruses that you mention that are not here. They have developed some resistance because of their own mothers exposure, but you won't have that.

That's my personal feeling, I wouldn't risk it, but would enjoy the time at home alone with my baby :)


answers from Seattle on

It certainly can be a third world country, even if your parents live there....wierd. My husband is from Mexico City. His whole family still lives there. When my son was 11 months ol (7 years ago!) I traveled down there and stayed for two weeks. His family is p o o r. We have no idea what poverty is until we go to third world countries.
Anyways...we had to both get shots for traveling out of the country. My son was also nursed, and formula fed as well as eating baby food. IF you decide to go, you probably know all the safety precautions for eating and drinking....
HOWEVER, I will not travel there again. My experience was were great...but the risk of us being kidnapped is just to great. I am not rich by any means...but I am fat! A kidnapper would probably think that I am well fed...(little do they know that I was depressed!) If they think that you have the money they would probably take your kid...everyone knows a mother would do ANYTHING for their child....and the "narcos" in Mexico have no shame...they will kidnap anyone.
I do not think the elements would bother a 3 month old...but I could NEVER send my children down to stay with their grandparents and feel like they were safe.
(should also add....I am not sure where Mazatlan is...I just know that DF (the capital) is HORRIBLE and maybe Mazatlan is safer.)



answers from Seattle on

Personally I wouldnt. Babys immune system is too underdeveloped at that age. I would wait until he is at least 1 or 2 years old. Ask your pediatrician for advice as well. I tend to be cautious but we also tend to keep our babies home or at least close to us in a wrap when we go out for 6 months. I would skip it but of course, its your choice. God bless!



answers from Portland on

I wouldn't do it there are too many illnesses there and right now there is just too much violence, I have 2 friends that are Mexican and 1 Columbian and they had planned on spending a month near there but decided it wasn't worth it for them this year. I think it really says something if Mexicans and a Columbian feel like Mexico isn't safe enough for them to travel in...they don't even have kids.

But all that violence aside what I would really be worried about is your baby catching something like measels, my dr. said it is pretty common down there and your baby won't be fully vaccinated, some things just are worth risking

I just read someones post saying to keep your babies face loosely covered and I want to let you know that I think that is a TERRIBLE IDEA, your baby can die of SIDS very easily.---Especially boys.



answers from Seattle on

I have 2 boys 3 and 1 and we been in Mexico twice a year since the oldest were born, so far nothing bad happened not even the last trip 1 week ago...
the other ladies talk about third words , but I tell you something Mexico has the most amazing cities and also you can find anything everywhere , is not like they live all riding horses to get water or supplies , not anymore maybe 100 years ago.....
corruption and danger everywhere god just remove eggs from the market , tomatoes, tylenol and so on......for a reason
in my neighborhood a guy just killed his mother and another guy his whole family , so danger is everywhere
I proudly Mexican and the only thing that I can said Mazatlan is so gorgeous and amazing place to stay , the best seafood you can find , just dont eat rough shrimp a beautiful town and more now that they just re due everything it!!
enjoy your trip and your parents
another suggestion about when you breastfeed that I did was to watch my breast with bottles of water



answers from Portland on

You're going to see your parents. I'm sure it will be fine. Plus you have the added benefits of them knowing the ropes. We travelled to Panama when my first child was 5 months old and it was a sure joy travelling. We got first class treatment - we were escorted quickly through customs lines, boarded on the small planes first, etc, etc. I was breastfeeding, so no worries about a strong immune system, food or formula contamination. I made sure I drank only bottled water, cooked food or fresh fruits that could be peeled like bananas, papayas, etc. We did eat fresh produce without reservation in the country as the town had water issues and we were more careful there. But int he country with a constant supply of fresh, clean water, everything was delicious. We never got sick with anything on any of our trips! Our parents lived down there for 5 years.

We did avoid any vaccines as they weaken the immune system for several weeks afterwards and make you more susceptible to illness during that time including the disease you've been "vaccinated" against. Instead, we dosed up on Vitamin D, drank plenty of water, ate nutrient dense foods and made sure we had plenty of rest. This kept our immune systems strong and inspite of having to literally get on 6+ flights for each trip, we never got sick. Good and thorough handwashing is also prudent. Enjoy your time, get your baby in the sun about 15-20 minutes each day or until he starts to look slightly pink (at this point the body stops making vitamin D anyway). The rest of the time, proper coverage and shade will be all you need.

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