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Worried about our friends going abroad with a new baby

(48 Posts)
loonpants Fri 23-Oct-09 13:29:05

We have some close friends wo are expecting their first baby in March. Like many childless couples, they have no idea about the realities or practicalities of having babies and children. They go away most weekends (often abroad), go skiing every year etc. They live their lives in the moment and the husband is notoriously disorganised.

He has decided that they will up sticks for twelve months and move to a remote town in the USA as there are some job opportunities there which will enhance his career prospects in the uk. His wife was very dubious about this but has been talked round.

He has accepted a job which starts when the baby (if it's born on time) will be four weeks old. I'm really concerned about them - particularly about his wife. I have lived abroad with a child myself but my daughter was 18 months when we left and that's not the same as taking a four week old baby. It was easily the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.

Aside from anything, I can't think how on earth they will sort themselves out with all the equipment they need and transport it to the USA. She won't have a health visitor. They won't be registered for the immunisations.

I have mentioned my concerns and their response was "it might be great".

Has anyone ever seen anyone successfully cope with this sort of thing with such a small baby? I guess they are going to go to the USA regardless so I have considered writing some ideas down for things I think they need to consider when they are planning (for example, we took our car seat to live abroad and found it was illegal because it was not an isofix).

Should I write these things down or just let them get on with it? I don't want to be all interfering but I'm genuinely concerned. The wife is abit younger then me (7 years) and I now have two kids so I've done it.

cheeseandeyeballsarnie Fri 23-Oct-09 13:31:33

im sure theyve thought about it.people do have babies in the usa.id let them get on with it tbh.

henryhuggins Fri 23-Oct-09 13:31:36

it might be great they're right!

March is a long time away, she's only what, 12 weeks preg or so? give them a break. it's lovely you're concerned, but it's their baby

CybilEngineer Fri 23-Oct-09 13:31:40

Let them get on with it.

MaMight Fri 23-Oct-09 13:34:58

It entirely depends on them. My parents moved to rural Tanzania when I was 4 and my little brother was 2 weeks old! No hot running water, limited electricity, no shops...

Their reasoning was that Tanzanian babies grow up in Tanzania all the time.

I moved to the Middle East with my 6-month-old last year.

Rural America is hardly Mars. There will be doctors and hospitals and schools and toddler groups. (Some rural Americans even wear shoes I am told!)

I would not write anything down for them. They won't thank you for it and you won't achieve anything. You are coming across in your OP as a fusspot and very negative, and that is not helpful to your friends. Support your friends in their decision. So, it wouldn't work for you, fine. It might well work for them.

MrsTittleMouse Fri 23-Oct-09 13:35:25

I'm not sure that you can help. They will have no idea what they are getting into (either the new baby thing, or the moving to a remote town in the USA thing).

One thing that they will have to think about - how will they get a passport and visa for the baby? Will he move over and she will join him later? In that case then you can be a great help as she will have a 4 week (2 week?) old baby on her own and will need shopping picked up, or laundry washed, or meals dropped off. And (I imagine) a lot of hand-holding too.

loonpants Fri 23-Oct-09 13:36:17

you know what, I don't think they've thought about it at all.

For example, they are planning to fly on a certain date but if the baby is late then it will be less than 2 weeks old and airlines don't allow babies under two weeks old to fly.

Therefore they would not be allowed to fly.

I know people have babies in the USA, as I said, I've lived abroad with children myself, however, it was extremely stressful to arrive with an 18 month old child and have to find a home/car etc

paisleyleaf Fri 23-Oct-09 13:36:19

When I was visiting the Gambia I made friends with a few VSO workers who'd brought their babies. America should be pretty easy....they can get a suitable car seat there, surely easier than transporting one from here.
You know I think a 4 week old baby could be easier to do it with than an 18 mth old.
(Don't write them a list).

TanyaBranning Fri 23-Oct-09 13:36:45

I'd let them get on with it and be a supportive friend - help her arrange stuff for her move, be there on the other end of the [hone/computer once she arrives etc.

JustAnotherManicMummy Fri 23-Oct-09 13:38:13

I understand that in the USA they stock baby equipment and have hospitals and doctors. Yes they'll need medical insurance but I expect the husband's company will include that as part of their package.

It's not like their planning to go and live in a hut by the beach in Goa. They will be in a first world country where the locals speak English as a first language.

Leave them be.

MmeGoblindt Fri 23-Oct-09 13:38:21

Keep out of it, they have to make the decision themselves.

Passport should not be a problem. We travelled to UK when DD was a baby and the passport was issued within a day or two. There is normally an emergency service, but they will have to pay extra for it.

MmeGoblindt Fri 23-Oct-09 13:41:02

Loonpants,
thing is, you are basing your fears on your own experience which you say you found very difficult.

I have done 3 moves in the past 6 years, one international and it does not bother me. Yes, it is a bit stressful for the month before and the month after the move but I cope.

Different people cope differently with big changes in their lives.

theyoungvisiter Fri 23-Oct-09 13:43:21

Well I think you can point out the practicalities - like will she be able to fly if she has a section? (some drs advise against long-haul flights for 6 weeks after an operation due to the risk of DVT) and, most importantly insurance, then I think you have to let them make the decision themselves. Nothing wrong with telling them information they may not know, but the rest is up to them.

Insurance will be the biggy I suspect. Has he got a job lined up or is he going over there with the hope of getting one? if the latter then they need to work out if they will be properly insured until he finds a job.

They may not be aware how very frequently small babies need medical care (emergency or routine, like immunisations etc) and insurance is one thing they absolutely should NOT be without.

other than that - don't think you can interfere.

Ewe Fri 23-Oct-09 13:48:01

Maybe she will go late in pregnancy? Or follow him over there when baby is a bit bigger?

It wouldn't be top of my list of things to do with a small baby but I think it is perfectly reasonable if it is what they want to do. Once they have done the flight - which is fairly easy with a newborn, they just feed all the time! - then it's just going to be the usual things to sort out when you move.

If he is going over there for a job then I guess he has insurance. I'm sure they are intelligent enough to work it all out for themselves and as someone else said rural America is hardly Mars. They speak the language, cultural similarities etc.

MrsTittleMouse Fri 23-Oct-09 13:56:10

Actually, thinking about it, there is no point in thinking of potential situations. You have offered your concerns and they have polited told you that they don't want to hear them. Any more would be interfering.

Hopefully they are the sort of people that have bags of energy, thrive on this sort of thing and have a great time. If not, then it could be awful, but it will only be for a year.

loonpants Fri 23-Oct-09 13:58:03

he's going for a research job, which will be badly paid and won't attract perks like insurance. I understand the pay is about £20k.

I hadn't thought of the visa issue

They will be trying to pay their mortgage in the Uk as well as renting a place in the USA

It's kind of hard not to help them think about the practicalities, as my OP suggested. Had somebody just said "check the car seat you buy is legal in the country of destination" I would not have had to spend another £100 on a new car seat. With limited funds I'd say this sort of thing will be useful.

paisleyleaf Fri 23-Oct-09 14:03:25

It doesn't matter that you hadn't thought about the visa
It's not down to you to think about it.
Really, if they want to give this a go it could well be the best time. Once DCs get older or perhaps into formal education these experiences often get put on the backburner. This could be their chance.

LIZS Fri 23-Oct-09 14:03:25

It'll be fine. They buy as little as possible before the move then can buy the rest, from internet if needs be, as and when . Stop worrying on their account, their expereicne may differ to yours. There will be access to some form of healthcare if he is employed and at least it is english speaking! We moved when I was 6 months pg with 2nd dc, and most friends envied, perhaps even admired, me a little and I would n't have thanked anyoen being as negative as you are.

MmeGoblindt Fri 23-Oct-09 14:14:43

Tbh, I think moving wiht a baby would be easier than moving with a 18mth old and a 3yo. Or a 4yo and a 7yo. And I have survived both.

loonpants Fri 23-Oct-09 14:32:12

I'm upset that so many of you think I'm being negative.

If you knew me in RL you'd know I'm not a negative person. What sort of loony goes abroad with an 18 month old? Not a negative one!

I love and care for my friends, that's all.

Seriously, I would have appreciated the advice myself. We're all different.

anonymous85 Fri 23-Oct-09 14:40:20

Let them be it's their own problem - if it is a problem!

crokky Fri 23-Oct-09 14:40:25

loonpants - I don't think you're being negative, I think you are being realistic and caring.

However, they are adults and make their own decisions. You think it is an odd decision (so do I infact!) but I think you just have to step back a bit and realise that it is their choice and all you can do is to support them if it becomes necessary.

I think in giving them a list, you may come across as interfering - I would just give your advice if you are asked. I know that you are not interfering and you are concerned for them (rightly so IMO) but you can't do anything about it.

JustAnotherManicMummy Fri 23-Oct-09 14:40:28

But you are being negative. I don't know why that upsets you.

MmeGoblindt Fri 23-Oct-09 14:45:41

I think that you are projecting your feelings about an international move onto your friends situation.

You stated that moving abroad was the hardest thing you have ever done in your life.

I have moved so often, twice to different countries where I did not speak the language and did not find it so hard. I enjoyed the challenge.

If they ask advice, give it but don't let your difficult experience colour their adventure.

BLeedINGandLovingit Fri 23-Oct-09 14:45:59

My friend moved countries when her baby was less than a month old. It was hard. But they did it. You cannot tell them what to do. I'd simply make sure to say to your friend that as you've done a big move with small children, down the line you'd be happy to share some of your experience, and leave it at that. She's probably not thinking about it too much right now because there's too many other things going on in her head, but if you go on at her about it it's more likely to stress her out than be helpful.

Your experience is not necessarily going to be her experience. You don't know what the real financial implications are and you're guessing about what they may need or not need. Let her come to you.

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