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AIBU to take an 8 week old to Sri Lanka?

(29 Posts)
lydiangel83 Wed 31-May-17 12:45:03

Hi all

I'm a first time mum to be, looking for advice on feasibility of taking a new born to my best friend's wedding. Baby due 1/11/17, wedding is 19/01/18.

This is my best friend in the world who I have known since I was 14, and I never dreamed of missing her wedding. I couldn't imagine missing it but now I have a baby due I can't quite visualise getting there and keeping baby safe, happy, healthy.

I have travelled to Sri Lanka before it is a beautiful country but I don't know enough about the healthcare system. My family all say it's impossible, DH and I remain hopeful it's possible and wanted advice / things to think about.

It would be me, DH and baby travelling.

SpicyTomatos Wed 31-May-17 17:01:12

Plenty of people fly with babies, so that part of it is quite straight-forward.

I would have thought if you breastfeed, be extra-cautious about what you eat and prevent mosquito bites you will be fine. Of course, the first of those isn't all that trivial for everyone.

Also, presumably it depends where you are going in Sri Lanka, but I would imagine that Colombo has decent medical care if required.

No doubt lots of people will advise you against it though.

Misspilly88 Wed 31-May-17 17:04:56

It depends how you are as a parent and you won't really know that till baby comes. With my pfb I was still sobbing over a breast pump every 2 hours trying to make breastfeeding work (it failed in the end) BUT I would take a baby who was feeding well. You just don't know though, it's risky. If baby has bad reflux or similar it's likely to cry most of the time and you'll be more exhausted than you thought possible.

TeddyIsaHe Wed 31-May-17 17:06:26

I don't think anyone can advise you on how you'll feel once baby is here. If you'd asked me before I'd given birth I would have said definitely go, it'll be fine! But now Dd is here there is not a chance in hell I would have taken my 8 week old on a plane, with her tiny new immune system to another country where malaria is a worry. But, you have to weigh up the risks and benefits and come to your own decisions. If you do book flights make sure they can be refunded just in case you're not up for it!

PotteringAlong Wed 31-May-17 17:09:40

I think the most technical part will be making sure you register the birth, get a birth certificate, apply and get a passport in the 8 week (maybe 6 weeks if overdue?) turn around.

In all honesty, if someone had suggested doing this with DS1 I would have cried and probably hated it. With DS2 and DS3 it would have been fine but I'd found my groove by then!

NorthernLurker Wed 31-May-17 17:16:42

No that's not a good idea. The baby will be too young for vaccinations and international travel will expose them to a lot of nasties. Plus you yourself will still be recovering from the both and adapting to motherhood which is a huge change. Put it out of your mind. It's not going to happen.

SpicyTomatos Wed 31-May-17 17:18:41

PotteringAlong - current passport turn around is about a week (six days in my case), and birth certificates were fairly quick too, so I would have thought that the time frame for that is ok. Note I think the OP has built in a bit of a buffer anyway.

tissuesosoft Wed 31-May-17 17:19:32

Maybe double check with GP as your DC's immunisations will be due around that time and they may not cover the recommended jabs for Sri Lanka? Particularly having a malaria jab at that age. But sounds like an amazing trip!

NorthernLurker Wed 31-May-17 17:21:19

It's not just malaria. Dengue and encephalitis are risks too.

Buzzybuzzybee Wed 31-May-17 17:22:32

The big issue in Sri Lanka for me would be dengue. This is the reason I've been avoiding going there for a while with my toddlers. Otherwise, I'd be ok with travelling as long as immunisations are done. Make sure to stay somewhere with air conditioning.

Peppapogstillonaloop Wed 31-May-17 17:24:49

I think you'll be fine..baby should have had first couple of rounds of vaccs, you could ask on en expat forum what extra vaccs children born in Sri Lanka have and add those. Passport turnaround do able as well, just get forms straight in advance you can do pics yourself.
I flew long haul with mine at only a couple of weeks older than that, was fine, they sleep/boob and that's about it.
I would book refundable tickets in case anything is wrong but otherwise go for it!

SpicyTomatos Wed 31-May-17 17:25:53

Not much malaria in Sri Lanka.

www.theguardian.com/society/2016/sep/05/sri-lanka-malaria-free-world-health-organisation

SummerMummy88 Wed 31-May-17 17:31:50

It's a personal decision, I couldn't of dreamt going on holiday with a newborn, the hassle the stress and the lack of sleep I think would just about finish me off but I do know a couple that have just taken their newborn camping and enjoyed it apparently, so I really think it depends on the type of person you are.

Isn't Sri Lanka a big no no for kids and people with weakened immune systems because of malaria and other tropical diseases? Do you really want to put your baby at risk?

It is a shame that you will miss the wedding but I'm sure your friend will understand that you want to keep your baby safe x

yallamamma Wed 31-May-17 17:44:00

Personally I think you should go.

Considerations: Where in Sri Lanka is the wedding taking place? Mosquito/rains etc will vary greatly depending on where on the island you are in January. We were in Sri Lanka in January, south coast, near Galle, and there were very few mosquitos. A friend went in April with a newborn and curtailed her trip because they were being bitten alive.

We experienced first hand the hospitals and healthcare there after our daughter (then 11 months) got chickenpox 5 days into our holiday. I can't fault the doctors we saw. Of course the hospital was of a different standard to one in the UK, but the doctors were excellent, and getting seen was no problem.

We also flew long haul with DD when she was 7 weeks. She slept the entire flight and it's by far the easiest age to travel with, especially if you intend to Breastfeed. So don't let the logistics/travel side put you off.

I think the chance of contracting Dengue or Malaria would be very slim, and shouldn't stop you planning to see your best friend get married.

Can you take another family member to help with DD so you and your DH can try to relax and enjoy the trip?!

ibuiltahomeforyou Wed 31-May-17 17:47:39

I've just this weekend been a bridesmaid at a wedding with my eight week old DD.

Honestly, before I had her I'd have got irritated by people telling me I couldn't cope with a trip like that.

BUT, I had an emergency caesarean, recovery has been difficult and I wouldn't have coped going to Sri Lanka.

More than anything, I wouldn't enjoy it and neither would DD. My DD has just had her eight week injections and is tearful and sad - things have been a struggle this week and you can't give Calpol to a baby younger than two months. Only you can make your mind up but I know I wouldn't be able to enjoy a long haul holiday with either a non-immunised baby or a baby rendered irritable by the jabs she'd just had.

ZaphodBeeblerox Wed 31-May-17 17:52:14

Also if this is DC1 there's every chance they could be late. Plus if it turns out you need a CS your recovery time may also be longer.

Thing is you will not know until much closer to the date if it's possible or not. Can you just book refundable tickets or tickets where you can change the date if you need to? Or put off booking tickets until after baby arrives? Tickets at that time of year are expensive, but cheaper than over Christmas; and Sri Lankan Air are quite competitive on the London-Colombo sector. In my experience there isn't a massive difference in price whether you book tickets 4-6 weeks in advance or several months in advance. (Based on BA flights on a similar sector).

Writemove Wed 31-May-17 17:52:51

I agree with most people here. It completely depends on the type of baby you have and birth and you'll only know that once they are born. Also, in my area the appointments to get birth certificates were in short supply. We scraped in at the deadline, which I think is 42 days. That wouldn't give you enough time to get a passport. First vaccinations are only at eight weeks too so there is a lot the baby wouldn't be protected against. This is second time around for me and I'm much more relaxed but it would still be a no way for me.

innitprawn Wed 31-May-17 18:00:10

It's not impossible BUT a lot can't be answered until baby is here.

So much depends on the birth and your recovery.

If you intend to BF and that goes ok then you don't have to worry about bottles and flying. (That is straightforward as you just buy the ready made milk the other side. Take milk powder and a travel kettle and use only bottled water suitable for babies e.g. Evian).

You'll be staying in decent places so they will prob spray/keep away most nasties etc.

Sleeping eeek it's a hard one... will you co-sleep? If not a travel cot is the way forward.

8 weeks is very soon!! I travelled to France at 10 weeks - whole different cup of tea.

Pram/pushchair possibly unnecessary if you take a sling? Good for the aeroplane too... not sure if there are prams with carrycots that babies can sleep over night?

Vaccinations make sure you're up to date...finally... babies are born in Sri Lanka!

Figgygal Wed 31-May-17 18:01:48

Having had 2 children one forceps one c section I think you're mad to even consider an 11 hour flight especially if you run late as could be as young as 6 weeks

Having gone to Sri Lanka previously considering the conditions there, risk of disease and travel time again I wouldn't consider it

Best friend or not being a parent means making sacrifices and I cannot for the life of me see how this would in any way be in the best interests of your child.

habibihabibi Wed 31-May-17 18:16:27

I have travelled to Sri Lanka many times and including with a 6 month old as well as a toddler. We stayed in very good accommodation and I really kept an eye on food safety which is quite vital as it isn't great even in more expensive places.
I took an electric sterilizer as well as tablets The humidity meant nappy rash was an issue so take a fungal nappy cream.
Take plenty of nappies they are super expensive.
On a later trip one of my kids did get Dengy and it definitely is more common thar the government states .
I wouldn't let any of the risks stop me from going personally but I have lived 3rd world countries for a while .

Sidge Wed 31-May-17 18:36:39

I'd be very wary of travelling with such a young baby - assuming you're flying from the UK that's a very long flight and you don't know whether baby will be 11 weeks or 9 weeks old. They only start their jabs at 8 weeks old, and would have only received the first scheduled imms.

You don't know how the delivery will go - could be forceps and episiotomy, or a C-section, or all fine with no intervention! Sitting on a flight for 11 hours 9 weeks post complicated delivery is not ideal, especially as long haul flights increase the risk of DVT.

You may have a dream baby who feeds and sleeps and not much else, or you might have a cranky one who struggles to feed and settle which could make travelling so much harder.

Would you be travelling with DH? If you do book, make sure you have shit hot travel insurance that would cover you in the event of not being able to travel because (god forbid) you or the baby aren't well enough.

Just think long and hard about it; I've travelled with babies and young children and it's bloody hard work, and that was from 9 months not 9 weeks!!!

lydiangel83 Wed 31-May-17 18:51:59

Thanks all for your views - lots to think about!

I should have said in OP that I have agreed with my friend that I will see how things go when baby is born and then book. Depending on flight prices ideally I'd take my mum in addition to DH but she has a tendency to be a bit irrational / hysterical so may not actually be that helpful to have her there!

I think I may be able to cope with my own tiredness (she says naively!) but it's whether or not travelling would put my baby at risk that is my key concern

Thanks again everyone xx

yayayahey Wed 31-May-17 19:05:10

Would be a no for me.

Ds was nearly 3 weeks late then I was in bed rest for two weeks.

I didn't take ds home to the UK until he was 4 months as I didn't want to expose him to all the germs on a flight.

I wouldn't feel comfortable about that young a baby travelling without vaccinations.

And I hope this doesn't sound condescending but I had no idea how tired I was after ds. And this is coming from someone that spent years and years clubbing for nights on end. For a lot of people it's not tired as you've ever known it, its life ruining, living hell. Obviously this isn't everyone and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I remember one playgroup where four of us Mum's were all sobbing and near delirious, I couldn't drive a car let alone deal with being in a different climate having fun at a wedding.

yayayahey Wed 31-May-17 19:06:33

Sorry that made it all sound so depressing grin.

IckleWicklePumperNickle Wed 31-May-17 19:41:09

We travelled to America when the youngest was 7weeks. He was 2.5wks early. We would have still travelled with him at 5wks. I took out insurance in case we had to cancel.

Got an express passport when he was 5 days old. We registered his birth at at 1 day old.

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