Vacation with and Without Child?

Updated on June 10, 2010
K.H. asks from Tempe, AZ
15 answers

How old was your child the first time that you took him/her on vacation? Also, how old was s/he when you left him/her overnight with someone else (like grandparents, etc)?

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answers from Seattle on

Brought him with us:

2 months - moved (I should HOPE so ;)
3 months - camping (5 days)
6 months - big trip
10 months - road trip (2 weeks)
1 year - camping (5 days)

etc. Several moves, and several trips; plain trips, road trips, and camping trips. Mostly here in the states, some abroad from then until present. Not as much as I'd like, but until last year both of us were students, and I still have years and years on my degree.

Stayed with Nana (my mum)

overnight - emergency appendectomy at about 6 months
overnight (planned) - 12 months
10 days away - 2 years old
10 days away - 3 years old

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answers from Chicago on

DS was 15 mos the first time we took him on a trip (to Boston), plane/hotel and all of that.

We left him for the first time when he was 6 weeks old. And we've done that pretty regularly ever since. DH and I love to travel, and we both think that it's critical to our own mental health to get away and leave the little man at home from time to time. We always leave him with grandparents when we do that.

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answers from Kansas City on

we took my son to florida (halfway across the country for us) when he was 10 days old. MISTAKE. if i could do it over i would have waited at least a month, 6 weeks...we have since gone on several trips (my son is 3 1/2) and had zero issues. we even drove to florida when he was 2 1/2, an 18 hour drive. had a blast.

my son was staying overnight at grandma's by the time he was 2 or 3 months old - but my mom lives only 30 minutes away, and we are very close. it would depend greatly on the relationship you have with the person you left the baby with. i trust my mom 100% so for me it was not too hard (after the first couple times!) my son and my mom now have an incredible relationship and encouraging them to spend lots of time together (spending the night, 2x/month, for all of his life) has been great. wouldn't change it for the world.



answers from Phoenix on

The first time our son went on a trip was when he was 6 weeks old- plane ride to visit his great-grandparents in Texas. The doctor said to make sure I fed him when we took off so his ears didn't bother him. Since he has been on many car trips to California, a cruise to Mexico, and a plane trip to Colorado. He is 21 months right now. I think because we take him so many places with us, it gives him experiences he doesn't have at home. He also knows how to behave in public, is not incredibly shy of strange places, can sleep places other than in his own crib, and entertains himself in the car (partially because we have lots of family 45 min-an hour away).
The first time he spent the night somewhere else was only a month ago. My parents offered to have him spend the night when my husband was out of town and I had to work. He just spent the night again last night week so my husband and I could have a date night. My husband and I have left on trips we've taken separately before, but one of us has always been home. The first year was out for leaving him overnight because I was nursing the first year (although I did take a short girls' trip without him and took my pump along, but he was 11 months and barely nursing. I never would have tried it early on when he wasn't eating solids yet).



answers from Fort Wayne on

I took my oldest on vacation at 5 months. It was horrible. She didn't sleep through the night yet and the people I was with just wanted to go go go all day long. I was so exhausted by the third day I could barely move. Not to mention, I was a grouch. I did NOT have a good time at all. If I had had even a few hours of downtime in the afternoon I would have been a much happier person. My oldest was about 4 months old the first time she spent the night away from us. But, it was because I needed and overnight sitter and my babysitter, at the time, wasn't old enough to stay all night by herself (her mom and dad are super overprotective). My babysitter is my cousin, by the way :)
My youngest is 10.5 months and we've never left her overnight. We've also never been on vacation with her.



answers from Tucson on

I just got back from a 12 day vacation (visiting family, Sea World, the beach...) with a newborn. She had her 2 month birthday while we were gone. While it had it's difficult moments, we all survived and enjoyed the trip. You know your family best and what works for them.
As far as the leaving overnight... we rarely leave them anywhere overnight. When we had been married for 3 years and had 2 kids we were finally able to go on a honeymoon, so we did leave our 1yr old and 2yr old with my sister for a week. That was the longest I've ever left any of my kids. Again, you know your family best, so follow your heart.


answers from Los Angeles on

I flew w/ our then 18-month old to visit an old childhood friend; that flight was 3 hours and I planned it during my daughter's nap. Although it was difficult lugging everything on my own, the travel went just fine.

My husband and I took our then 2.5 year old to Costa Rica for two weeks and with lots of planning for on-board contingencies and entertainment, everything went well and we all had a good time (that trip consisted of four major flights and four island hopper flights).

So far we've only done weekend parents-only trips and I believe our first one was when our daughter was 3. She went to her grandparents house, where she was very, very comfortable and it was all familiar to her (they cared for her while I worked at the time.)



answers from Chicago on

We took our first vacation without the baby when he was about 8 months old. left him and his sister with my inlaws. (I was preg with next son at the time) it was only for a couple days and it went great. We went 2 years later to disneyworld. took the then 9 yr old daughter and 3 yr old son. left 2 yr old son at home with grandparents. everyone involved had a great time. youngest didn't know or care what he missed and we didn't have to deal with diaperbags etc. hubby and I have been on trips to jamaica, mexico, vegas etc while leaving kids home with inlaws. and then most recently about 8 yrs ago we went ona cruise and left oldest daughter (20 at the time) in charge of the younger kids (boys 14,13,8)



answers from Phoenix on

We've taken a lot of little trips to CA as a family (started when she was only a few weeks old, which was rough traveling while breastfeeding). Our big vacation was a week at Disneyland when our daughter turned two~all three of us had an amazing time! We have never been away from her; except while in the hospital to deliver daughter #2. My friend came & watched her while i was in labor & then my mom & sister stayed overnight with my oldest. Honestly, I would LOVE a vacation without the kiddos, but we don't have any family out here or else we would have gone on vacation by now :)



answers from Phoenix on

I wouldn't put an age on anything. I think if you are asking, it really sounds like you need a vacation!!!! I would not want to put a newborn on the plane, but both of my kids were on planes with me before age one year. I left w/my husband to go to Miami when my youngest was 3 months. He won a trip so we really wanted to go, if he didn't win it I would not have left that early.

Just keep your kids close to a schedule and do it with your spouse who is on board with helping you out. You won't get as much sleep, they will be out of their element, but you still have to have your fun.



answers from Nashville on

We haven't taken a true vacation yet, like to a destination. We have visited out of town friends and relatives half a dozen times though, starting when he was about 5 mos old. Both flying and driving. I'd like to take a real vacation with him in the next 6 mos or so. .

Mine was 5 weeks the first time he stayed overnight with grandma. My husband works out of town and was home, and we had the opportunity to do something that would have been really late. My mom was thrilled to do it and pushed us to go. It was tough, but after that, I didn't have a problem leaving him with them. She has watched him two or three other times overnight since then, and he is 2 1/2 now. She often watches him at my house though, probably once a week or two. I never would have left him overnight with someone else though, and he has only had babysitters that weren't my mom a few times, and they were always friends or other family. I wouldn't be too happy with the idea of leaving him for more than a night with them, but I am sure I could do it if I needed to.



answers from Phoenix on

Our first child was 3 months when we flew with her. We've always taken them on vacation with us except for once when they were about 4 or 5 years old and they stayed with grandparents once. I think the earlier you expose them to things like traveling, the more they will get used to it and the more flexible they will be with things like that. We've always taken the kids to nice restaurants as well. When my daughter was 3 she asked why she was only given one fork at a local restaurant. We had to explain the whole fork thing which was pretty funny. But, it all goes back to what they are exposed to. My friend has taken their child to Europe since she was several months old. They came to Hawaii with us when she was a year old and adjusted to a 6 hour time difference just fine and ate whatever we all ate, and took naps on the beach in the shade. Get them used to things while they are young. Take them with you and enjoy them.



answers from St. Cloud on

Our first daughter was 9 months old when we took a cruise (Bahamas) WITH her.

She was 2 3/4 and our son was 6 months old when we took our second cruise (Mexico) WITH them.

We just went to Disney World this past Jan. and the kids were 4 3/4 and 2 1/2.

On ALL 3 trips, we went with extended family though. (My parents, brother and his girlfriend, my sister and her boyfriend, and on the cruises my grandparents too.) So we did have help. With the last one we were on our own for the airport and plane ride but the previous 2 we were all together for pretty much everything.

We've never left our children for more than 1 night with the exception of when I was in the hospital having our second child. Then our daughter stayed with my parents for 2 nights. The YOUNGEST I've left them overnight (only with my parents) was about 1 year. Our daughter finally went to her first sleepover at a friends house and she is 5. Otherwise, we only let the kids stay with their grandparents. And it's not our idea. Grandpa and Grandma are always calling US asking if the kids can come over!

We always take our kids everywhere. The vacations were GREAT having them along. I don't think I would have enjoyed myself if we would have went without them. (Actually I know we wouldn't have gone then......) Seeing things through the kids' eyes is so great!



answers from Minneapolis on

A "real" vacation - driving, not flying: 3 yrs or potty trained, which ever comes last (doesn't count weekend camping). Vacation where flying is involved: 9 yrs old (doesn't count visiting relatives). Left the kids so I could go on a vacation: the first week I stopped breastfeeding so it was different ages.

I see folks take little kids to Mexico when I travel there (2-3 times a year) and I often see unhappy endings. For instance, there was a couple at the hotel I was at 2 weeks ago in Mexico who had the cutest little girl about 2 - 3 yrs old. The first 2 days, I would see them at breakfast and she was such a doll. By day 3, she was screaming and crying in the courtyard - clearly she was overtired, wanted her own bed and her regular routine. It was too much. I have also seen moms of kids crying on the way home on the plane from too much stress, overtired, etc. - not to mention the kids themselves are crying.

However, I think that it is a personal decision and each parent knows what their kids can and cannot do. Good luck :)



answers from Phoenix on

Youngest age: 6 weeks, went to New York from LA for 2 weeks. I take my babies/children with me everywhere. They are the biggest part of my life. I rarely use babysitters/childcare at home and do not have safe, reliable family members whom I would leave my precious cargo with. Since my husband travels a lot and I like to see the world, so have my children. They have to fit into my life. I have only left my children over night with others when they can talk and are old enough to give accurate descriptions. Yes, I am compensating for past childhood issues, but my children are now very social, engaging, and have weekly sleepovers at friends homes. No harm has been done to them.

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