Need Advice on Traveling with Baby

Updated on August 13, 2008
I.K. asks from Valencia, CA
4 answers

Hello all mamasource readers,
I plan to travel overseas by air in November. The trip is total about 20 hours long with a connection flight. I travel alone. I want to bring my 12 month old son at that time with me. But, I don't know if this is a good idea. The other option is to leave him here with my mother -in-law and his father while I'll be gone for one week. I'll miss him very much :( I feel torn apart. Please advise. Thank you !

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answers from Los Angeles on

Go on your own and enjoy yourself. I went to a business conference when my daughter was a little over a year and she stayed with Dad. They had a great time together. I don't think she missed me nearly as much as I missed her.



answers from Los Angeles on

It can be done. I flew by myself from China (15 hours) with my new daughter when she was 9 months old. I wouldn't say it was an enjoyable trip but it was better than I thought it would be. The hardest part was going to the bathroom in the airplane and cleaning bottles since I didn't bring enough.

With that being said - it is okay to leave him home. But to do this I highly suggest that if you have a routine of putting him to bed or being there when he wakes up that you have grandma and dad do this for a few days to get him used to seeing them last and first but still realize that you are coming back. It will most likely be harder on you than it is on him.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi I.,

I understand how you feel but here is my experience. (My son is almost 6 now and I had him when I was just turning 40 so I think we had our babies around the same age. I also work full time.)

I have friends who travel with their babies all the time back home to South America, Zimbabwe and Europe so it can be done. You just have to plan for it. But it is hard to do it alone. (My friends who do this stay at their destinations for several weeks or months.) Some of the foreign airlines actually have a sort of baby crib they can give you on the plane. I've never seen these on any of the US Airlines. You also want to bring plenty of snacks, toys, books, diapers, wipes, and possibly a portable DVD player (with extra battery for such a long ride) to keep the baby occupied. I have been flying with my son twice a year since he was 6 months old. Until he was about 3 years old he would go to sleep as soon as the plane took off and sleep for several hours - but this was just a 5 hour trip. You don't know how your baby will react until you actually get on the plane. If your baby is walking at that time, he may want to walk during the whole flight! You also have to make sure the baby is sucking on something for take off and landing so his ears don't hurt.

That being said, if you don't really need to take the baby, it will be less stressful for all of you if you leave the baby home. It's a really long trip for just one week and it will definitely mess up his sleeping schedule. (I also bet you could use the time alone to rest - I know how tired I was when my son was that age!) Since you are only going for a week - it is not that long to be away and the baby will be fine. I cried the first time I left my son with my in-laws for a week (he was about 15 months old). My son was fine and had a great time. I felt guilty for nothing. I told him what I was doing and where I was going and when I was coming home. He wouldn't even get on the phone with me while I was gone. He was having too much fun. (Wait to see how much you cry when you leave your son at school for the first time!)

So again, you should do what makes you feel comfortable. But for a one week trip, it's probably best to leave the baby home. If you were going for a few weeks or traveling with another adult, I would consider brining the baby.

Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

I personally think that's too long for a baby to fly. Travel is very hard on a baby and chances are neither you or him will sleep well while on your trip. I flew across country with my baby when she was 12 months old, but that was only 5 hours and it was really hard. None of us got sleep the whole week we were there and we came back feeling exhausted and wished we hadn't even bothered going - and she's a very laid back baby! Are you obligated to go on this trip or can you delay it another year or so? If not, I would personally recommend leaving the baby with his father. It's a great time for the two of them to really bond as well and I bet they'll both get a lot out of it.
Best of luck!

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