Traveling to Puerto Rico with a 23 Mo. Old & an Infant; Is This Feasible?

Updated on July 28, 2009
A.D. asks from South Bend, IN
17 answers

Hi Moms.
My brother is finally getting married at the end of this year (right after Christmas) in Puerto Rico (where his fiance is from)! All of us are excited for him & would love to be there for his wedding. However, I am due with baby #2 Nov. 29th & am a little nervous about traveling that soon after the latest addition to our family arrives. BUT, I would like to try it if it's possible...
My husband would be going too & we would be traveling with my Mom & Dad & my sister & brother-in-law (who have no children of their own yet), so we would have lots of help. We would probably be going for about 6 days, & my parents plan to rent a house where we can all stay together.
Our oldest son will be NEARLY 2 yrs. old, but not quite so he could sit in our laps for the flight, but I am wondering if this is the best option? He has never flown before & our longest road trip with him has been 2 hrs. tops. (the flight to P.R. is nearly 5 hrs).
Our newborn will be nearly 1 mo. old. Do we need permission from our pediatrician for him to fly that young, or should it be fine?
As for accomodations, I am wondering where the baby will sleep. We don't have a pack & play & I don't think we could haul one along anyway. What other options would be safe for him with a toddler probably in the same room? I have thought of him co-sleeping with my husband & I?
Then there are car seats to think about as well. I'm assuming we would probably take the infant carrier along (Do we need to tag that as luggage or take it on the plane?), but am wondering about the bigger car seat for out toddler. If we rent a car, can we rent a car seat as well?
I would be happy for any advice from those of you who have had experience in this area (even about details I haven't mentioned or thought of)! Thank you.

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answers from Cincinnati on

if you go to the website of the airlines you are traveling with- they spell it out very clearly what their rules are regarding car seats, who can sit in laps, etc.. But especially helpful is the info about car seats. I would say get some kind of pack and play for the baby to sleep in. I would also say that all of you would probably benefit with the almost 2-year old having his own seat. JMHO.

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answers from Columbus on


I flew 7 hours with my daughter when she was an infant 5 months old. She slept most of the flight in a baby bjorn attached to me. I took formula for her to drink as we took off to keep her ears open and also a pacifier (she never used one before or after and was disappointed when nothing came out of it so we stuck to the bottle). Just check the airline for formula restrictions. I took the powder already in the bottle and had them bring me water to mix in.

Most hotels have cribs. Call ahead to check where you are staying. If they don't you can also buy a fold up thing that looks like a back pack and opens into a little bid that you can put on your bed. It is just a little pad with a border on it so that the baby cannot roll out.

You can get a carseat that anchors onto luggage and will work on the plane seat, cabs etc. look online for that.

Good luck.



answers from Cleveland on

I don't have all your answers, but I can get a few.

I flew with a 5 week old and an almost 3 year old. It was the best ever. The newborn was in a bjorn the entire time. It only gets harder. Go with the newborn while you can. I think you will be totally fine.

You can rent car seats with the car. Book it with the car. We had an infant carrier when we did it. You need to tell them what type. Was installed and ready to go for us. It can get expensive for long trips. Check their prices. I have done it and it was great. I just remember the price was I could have bought a cheep one with a few days rental. You could check both car seats, but that is just more stuff you have to do. If you do check the seats I recommend a bag for them so they don't get destroyed in the plane.



answers from South Bend on

Congratulations to your brother- weddings are so fun (even though they are also stressful!). Traveling with kids is doable as long as you have help. My husband and I took our 2 year old son to visit my parents when my daughter was 7 weeks old. Because of my mom's health she couldn't travel and really wanted to see the kids. It was a full day of traveling with the first flight being 1 hour, a 1 1/2 layover and then a 3 1/2 hour flight. I tried to schedule both ways so the long flight fell during my son's afternoon nap; it worked the way out, but not the way home. If it is possible, I would reccommend getting a seat for your older one and checking the car seats. We were not charged to check the carseats. Another help is we brought a DVD player with our son's favorite videos. With that, some small (new) toys and lots of snacks, we were able to distract him. The baby was much easier. At that point she was happy to be held and sleep or nurse. I wore my baby bjorn so that it was easier going through the terminal; I had flown using the baby bjorn before and they made me take it off going through security, but they didn't this time. I always seem to overpack my diaper bag with I fly with the kids, but I would rather have the extra outfit, etc.. than need one and not have it. Not all airplanes have changing tables in the restrooms, so be prepared to do a change across your laps; I bring a receiving blanket for this purpose, hand sanitizer and small baggies for the used diaper. Realize that it will not go perfectly; there will be meltdowns and possibly diaper blowouts, but it won't seem so bad once you get there.

As for sleeping arrangements, we usually get a room with two double beds and each sleep with one of the kids. I know some hotels have portable cribs, but have never used one.

Have a great time at the wedding-



answers from Dayton on

I was reading some of the other responses and most mentioned that it can get expensive renting a car seat. My parents rented a car seat and was able to get it for free (for an entire week) because they were AAA members. So check into that for sure. If you are hesitant about renting a car seat(s) CAN be checked and do not count as a "checked item". You can also check a stroller at the gate and that too doesn't count as a "checked item". I have traveled 2 times (alone) with my 20 month old daughter. Its not easy doing it alone but it sounds like you will have lots of help. You'll be fine. :) Enjoy your trip. One more thing...I always make sure my daughter is drinking a sippy cup during take off and landing...she hasn't had any problems with her ears by doing this.



answers from Dayton on


I see car seats coming up as checked baggage all the time, so i think that will work ok. I don't think that the airline charges for a car seat, but I would check first.

I would check with my ped about tips for travelling/kids. Mine gave me good tips for the first time I travelled with my newborn.

Now it is time for thinking out loud. Maybe my brainstorming will trigger an idea for you!

And about the sleeping . . . I have seen kinda like a base with thick bumpers that would contain a newborn. The sides were high and thick enough to work. They are bulky though

This might sound silly, but even a small inflatable wading pool might work, it could be packed in your luggage and inflated after arrival. It might have an odor when it is new.

Gee, maybe I should just invent a kid-safe blow up crib!

Anyway, there are laundy baskets, which is what I was placed in as a kid. Might be most feasible to check with the house/condo owner to see if it is furnished with a crib or if they could provide one.

Maybe your brother could rent, borrow, or buy one from someone in PR. I know I would be scrubbing it down though.

Sounds like an adventure. Just take care of yourself. The advance planning is good. Most of all, have fun!



answers from Lafayette on

Babies are so susceptible to germs that young and illness is so scary in babies under 6 weeks. And at a wedding, probably everyone is going to want to touch and hold your newborn. So frustrating! I found that people were less likely to try and hold my child if he's physically strapped to my body like in a sling or something, so you might give that a try. Or just say your peditrician is worried about him getting sick with all this travel, so you really just want to limit his contact.
It might be worth it to get a pack-and-play and take it with you. Hotel cribs can be scary, and for getting some decent sleep on the trip where you know your baby is in a safe sleep environment, it might be totally worth it.
Good luck!


answers from Columbus on

Hi A.,
I can't talk about the infant travel because I think that's something that you should discuss with the pediatritian before you buy the tickes, but as for the 2 year old, if its within your means, buy him his own seat, believe me it makes things MUCH better.
For baby sleeping arrangements, I'm due in october and will be having my baby in Mexico, so I bought a portable infant travel bet at Target (Eddie Bauer) for $29. It folds flat and its carries like a thin diaper bag. I heard great reviews.That way, even if he's on the same bed with you or your husband, he'll be protected in his own space.
Good luck!



answers from Columbus on

You have already had a lot of good responses. I just wanted to say that it is definitely doable to travel with a young infant, especially with so much help. I flew with my daughter by myself when she was 7 weeks old. I did take a pack and play. I also took her in her carseat that snapped into the stroller up to the gate, so you don't have to check that. You can just leave them at the gate and pick them up when you get off of the plane. I would definitely take a Baby Bjorn or some kind of infant carrier and then you can just wear the baby on the plane. I would recommend getting a seat for your older child. I have flown with my daughter both ways and it's much easier with her own seat. Even though your son probably won't stay in it the whole time, at least then you have a place for him to sit. And then you can take his car seat on the plane. They actually make little carts to hook a carseat to and then you could roll it with your child sitting in it so you don't have to carry a stroller. Some ideas to keep your 2 year old occupied that have worked for me- playdough: small boxes or bags with zippers filled with small, fun objects such as animals, balls, pads of paper, finger puppets, etc. So good luck and have fun!



answers from Cincinnati on

You can certainly lug your pack & play and car seat along, especially since you will have so many adults who are going with you. Alternatively, if you want to travel lighter, just rent or borrow one at your destination. Perhaps your future sister-in-law is from Puerto Rico and has family there who can lend you something for 6 days ?

The car seat and baby carrier (baby bjorn or sling) are great but the pack and play we lugged along was a life saver. Our kids were fantastic kickers in bed and when we started packing the pack and play along, we started getting sleep again. You might be able to get one from the rental house people.

The 1 month old should be no problem during the trip and with so many adults to entertain your 2-year old, you're sure to have a great time. If the flight is not full, you may be able to put your 2 year old in his own seat for free. At that age, it makes the flight more enjoyable if they have their own seat, in a car seat.

Have fun !



answers from Terre Haute on

With help with your older child (entertainment and extra hands as mentioned) and breastfeeding, a sling, and a couple nursing dresses/tops for your baby this is completely 'do'able and I'm sure you'll have a great time!

You will be in a country where breastfeeding is normal and bottle feeding is not only difficult, it could be unsafe (water accesibility/purity). Most of what we eat does flavor breastmilk, and if it gives us gas it can give baby gas...however not reason to avoid specific things, rather simply take note and be aware. Keep it simple and have fun! Might be a great opportunity for a 'babymoon' - your only responsibilities being you and your new baby.



answers from Cincinnati on

I slept in a dresser drswer for the first 3 months of my life. I am sure a blanket folded up would be fine as long as it wasn't too thick. Maybe they could check out places that might be able to loan car seats for your time there. Maybe even the car rental places. They might even know of a place to send them to get one. Their laws might be different than ours too but I would still want my child in a seat even if it wasn't the law.



answers from Cleveland on

Not sure if my reply would be helpful or not, but you might want to ask your brother to talk to his fiancee and see if any family member can lend a pack & play, collapsible crib, etc. If she's anything like in my family, we tend to keep stuff around. We have big families & often hold on to things to pass along to the next family member who is due to have a child. Car rental places do have car seats, but they tend to get expensive as they charge per day, per seat. That would be extra $$$ on your rental. The first time I traveled home to "introduce" my now-not-so-little-one, she was 8 months old and I was on my own. Fortunately the plane wasn't full & had the seats next to me open. The flight attendants were very helpful too. Trying to "go" in a plane with a child in tow is no laughing matter. :) I hope you enjoy your visit to my hometown. We'll still be celebrating Christmas (as we celebrate Dia de los Reyes on January 6, & the festivities will still be in full force in PR). Enjoy the wedding, the sights (if you are able to do some sight-seeing) and the trip. Good luck



answers from Indianapolis on

My husband and I traveled to Florida when my son was just two weeks old. We wheeled him right up to the gate in his pumpkin seat that snapped on to the stroller. All we had to do was leave it outside the door to the plane and they take it and store it under the plain and when you get off it's right there by the door again! The one problem I had was no changing table. You haven't lived until you change a poopy on your lap in a tiny airplane bathroom! :) As for the crib, most hotels have them for a fee. It sounds like you have a lot of help, I don't think you will have too much trouble. There was a lot of good advice already.



answers from Canton on

Its feasible. I would get refundable travel arrangements. If your baby isn't as healthy as you would like to travel with or if he/she has colic and you don't want to take a crying and inconsolable baby to a wedding, you will want to get your money back. Personnally, I wouldn't travel out of the country unless all my children had all their vaccines. P.R. is a fine country, but traveling in airports during holidays.. there will be tons of germs and maybe even delays. Good luck and congratulations to your family.



answers from Dayton on

Chiming in only concerning the carseats: we planned to rent one with the car on a recent trip but found it was actually much cheaper to buy one at K-Mart when we got there. At the end of our trip, we donated it to a Salvation Army location on our way to the airport.



answers from Cleveland on

For the older child, if you are buying a seat for him, you should take his car seat on the plane and buckle it in to the airplane seat just like you would in the car - this will keep him much safer during the flight. My cousin has been a flight attendant for years and recommended this to my sister when she flew with her young children, as young children can sustain head injuries just from bad turbulence if they aren't transported in a car seat. You have to make sure he has a window seat in order to install the car seat - check with the airline about the regulations about bringing it and installing it on the plane.

Even with the infant, if you can get her a seperate seat and put her in the infant carrier, I'd recommend that as it would probably be safest - again, you should check with the airlines to see what they recommend in terms of safety for infants. I know they allow people to transport children on the lap, but that doesn't mean it's the best or safest travel method for them.

Also, I agree with the person who recommended buying refundable tickets - it seems like an awful lot to expect you to travel with the baby so soon after giving birth - you never know how you are going to be feeling/recovering. You might just be too exhausted yourself to make such a trip - even though it would be fabulous to go. If necessary, you should leave yourself an option to opt out - hopefully the family would understand if you aren't up to the trip. Also, if you decide to go - consult with the pediatrician about any recommended precautions to take for traveling with the baby.

Good luck.

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