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Or just nuts to consider taking two month old to East Africa? (long)

(61 Posts)
LadyThompson Wed 16-Jul-08 12:02:54

Ok, should say first that I know nothing much about babies yet and I'm falling on your mercy, and want your honest advice. Please note - at the moment I am tending more to the notion of not going!

Having my first child last week in Nov this year. Have the opportunity to go to a country in East Africa (a stable one) in early Feb - a good friend is a diplomat there, and a sports team I run is going out there as he is hosting a tour for us.

I would stay with my diplomat friend and his wife in their house, and not with the rest of the team, though I would of course see them. The area is not malarial (you only need malarial tabs if you go up country, which I wouldn't be doing). Further point is I would have to go alone - DP sadly working away from home in the week between January and March.

I envisage just having a lovely rest in a beautiful country with my new baby, and seeing a bit of my much loved friends too, but is it all too much/too risky to subject a little baby to (ie a long haul flight?) and too much pressure to put on myself not too long after the birth (which is going to be a CS?) Am I being hopelessly naive in thinking I could carry all the stuff we'd need for a week myself? If there is the least chance I am putting my baby in jeopardy I won't go, though I will of course also be seeking medical advice and won't decide until last minute.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 16-Jul-08 12:05:07

Two months after a CS might be pushing it a bit. Two-month-old babies are good travellers, I think, they don't want much. Are you planning to breastfeed?

I'd say, if you can decide at the last minute, and if the CS goes well, and you are breastfeeding, it might be fine. Otherwise, it would be tricky.

oranges Wed 16-Jul-08 12:05:28

the long haul flight will be okay and you will be able to buy baby clothes,nappies out there too. and if it's in one of the big cities, there will be very good private medical hospitals. I would go!

oranges Wed 16-Jul-08 12:05:57

ah, didn't see the cs part - that may be tough, but on you not the baby.

LadyThompson Wed 16-Jul-08 12:07:18

May well breastfeed if I can. But if I can't, I suppose I could take formula and bottles and steriliser (not really up to speed on this aspect, as you can probably tell!)

ib Wed 16-Jul-08 12:08:13

Long haul flight will probably be fine. What about yellow fever? When I went to E Africa we had to have jabs for that.

How close are you to your friends though? Would you be OK if your baby kept everyone up all night by crying? If you get a difficult/colicky baby, it can be stressful being at someone else's ime.

LIZS Wed 16-Jul-08 12:09:58

Check the situation re vaccinations for such a young baby. tbh it could be very hard on you if your baby isn't sleeping well or welle stablished feeding wise plus you wanting to enjoy your visit.

LadyThompson Wed 16-Jul-08 12:09:58

I've always liked travelling and I know I am going to be really lonely those three months with DP away working, but I don't want to be selfish and though I must admit I want to go really, I am very worried about doing anything that might hurt my baby or put her in danger. Other people in the diplomatic circle out there have babies, so I know if I got into a fix or needed stuff, one of them could help me.

MrsBadger Wed 16-Jul-08 12:11:57

NQC is spot on

We took dd to Egypt when she was 7wks and all had a splendid time. Bfing made a world of difference, I have to say - made everything so easy.
However I would be wary of doing it alone - the journey is the toughest bit and I have to say I let dh handle everything else (bags, tickets passports etc) while I looked out for dd.
Mind you, as your DH is away anyway I suppose it'd be easier than staying home alone...

Get a decent sling. If you're staying somehwere that'll do your laundry and can buy nappies out there you won't actually need to take much.

LadyThompson Wed 16-Jul-08 12:13:07

Yellow Fever is not required in this particular country, but when I went last time I had to have Hep A and Typhoid boosters - this is one of the things that worries me. If the baby had to have these I would be really concerned. I would be sleeping quite far from my friends so don't think baby would keep them awake though (big airy residence).

MrsBadger Wed 16-Jul-08 12:13:47

the other advtantage to bfing is that if your jabs are up to date the baby shouldn't need any at all as you'll be conferring immunity.

And you're not being selfish smile

nailpolish Wed 16-Jul-08 12:14:03

i went on holiday to a very hot country with a couple whp had a 6 mth old
the baby cried the entire holiday - was so so hot and couldnt sleep during the day or night
baby was naked the whole time as they tried to keep her cool
baby ended up getting measles and they
a. couldnt find a decent gp
b. had to stay longer than they wanted as the airline refused to take a baby with measles - they had to find alternative accomodation as they hotel had the room booked for someone else
c. had trouble finding medicines for their sick baby

etc etc etc


MrsBadger Wed 16-Jul-08 12:16:37

that sounds terrible, naily

but Kenya in Feb is between 5 and 10 degrees so cooler than an English spring, let alone an English summer

and measles is just bad luck wherever you catch it.

LadyThompson Wed 16-Jul-08 12:17:13

Mrs Badger, I hadn't thought of that! How clever! Glad to hear your success story re: Egypt but sorry to hear Nailpolish's tale of woe, that's very offputting...

Pavlovthecat Wed 16-Jul-08 12:17:25

To be honest, a 2 month old is easier than, for example a 2 year old on a long haul flight. Baby will mostly sleep. And as long as health provisions of that country are taken into account which is seems they are, I think it sounds great!

My concern would be more about you, and how you might be feeling after a cs. It can take a while to recover and you will need to carry things to airport etc, and do the travelling on your own.

If you can manage your own health, you and your baby are likely to have a great time.

We took DD to USA when she was 5 months, and again when she was 19 months. At 5 months it was a breeze and we took far far too much stuff. She slept all the way back, althougth was unwell going out with a cold. At 19 months - she would not sleep, could sit up and scream the place down when we took off as she did not want to be strapped in. Much much harder than with a newborn.

christiana Wed 16-Jul-08 12:18:57

Message withdrawn

LadyThompson Wed 16-Jul-08 12:19:21

Thanks everyone. I was so worried everyone would jeer at me and think I was a heartless old bag for even thinking of it!

christiana Wed 16-Jul-08 12:21:22

Message withdrawn

LadyThompson Wed 16-Jul-08 12:22:40

It's Tanzania actually Christiana (I wasn't going to say!) and my friends have the loveliest kindest Ayah ever, who would probably combust with joy if I took my baby...However, by contrast, if I did go, my mother and MIL would probably combust with anxiety/fury...

katebee Wed 16-Jul-08 12:22:42

If your cs goes smoothly (without scar infection) I think you would be feeling ok by 8 weeks after the birth.

Is the house you would be staying at large and air wouldn't want to feel on tenderhooks if the baby was colicy at night and crying...would your friends be woken up?

Would you be happy travelling without every bit of baby paraphinelia? We used to load car up with pram, steriliser, baby chair, playmat, clothes, nappies etc..would you be able to buy or borrow these things out there.

Would you have to do much driving there? I would hate to be on precarious roads with young children..hate them at the best of times.

Would your friends be happy for you to potter about at your pace with the new baby or would they always be wanting you to go for evenings out etc when all you fancy is an early night to get some sleep in before the baby wakes.

In your position I would hate to be on my own with young baby for several months and I would be very tempted to do the trip if you feel you will be completely relaxed in your friends house with the new baby.

chocbutton Wed 16-Jul-08 12:27:38

agree that BFing will make things so much easier and help with immunity etc. Can you arrange help getting to the airport (assume you will be collected at the other end)?
Also, don't know if airlines can offer extra assistance to parents travelling alone, ask them and see what they offer.
If you think that you would enjoy the time with your friends (and saves you being alone) then I am sure baby would be fine. I have realised that babies don't need much at all in the first few months, just food, warmth and somewhere to sleep, so you needn't pack much at all. Will your friends have a travel cot, or will you co-sleep? could they get supplies of nappies etc? Do you feel the medical care would be ok there?
You may still feel sore after your CS (I was) so you won't be able to carry much.
If you do BF you may want more privacy to do it in - I know it took me a few months to get it right and I just wanted to be at home as DS was feeding all the time.
Sorry, lots of questions there, just things that came to me whilst typing.
can you book it very last minute when you'll have a much better idea of how you feel? I think what i am trying to say is baby will be fine, you just need to make sure you are xx

christiana Wed 16-Jul-08 12:28:56

Message withdrawn

MrsBadger Wed 16-Jul-08 12:29:26

I read the 'rainfall' bit of the graph by mistake - Nairobi in Feb is allegedly between 12 and 25 with an average of 18 so still not roasting.

a 2mo actually needs very little paraphenalia - sling, blanket / beach towel to ptu on the floor, few dangly toys to bat. If you can arrange to borrow a crib/ basket and/or a pram over there that would help a lot (travel cot would be too big for a tiny and a bitch to transport).

expatmama Wed 16-Jul-08 12:30:08

i took 4 month old DS2 (plus 2 year old DS1) to visit family in zimbabwe at easter last year. DS2 just had his normal jabs up until then. i had to avoid some of my required booster jabs because of breastfeeding if i remember correctly though.

DS1 ended up with a bug and needed to see a GP but as we were staying with family, it wasn't a big problem to see their GP - and as you will be staying with folks who live there they will know who the best local docs are - access to medical care will be alot easier should you need it than if you are visiting on your own and staying in a hotel.

i say go and have a fab time!

chocbutton Wed 16-Jul-08 12:30:21

blush pavlov said it much more succinctly!

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