Best age for baby to go abroad first time?(40 Posts)
We are looking at booking a holiday with our little boy for next year to Tenerife for our First family holiday.
We can’t decide what would be better for him to be younger so he’s not walking etc or for him to be a bit older so that he knows what’s going on ie we are going in an aeroplane etc.
So he would be 8/9 Months if we went earlier next year or we would then go when he was 1 years old +.
Pros and cons for both I guess but I would be interested to hear what age you went away with your little ones and how you found it if you would do anything different etc?
Ds was 6 months when we went to France camping. Perfect age - sat on a blanket in the shade and wasn't yet crawling!! Slept in a travel cot in the awning with a cat net over!!
We got the ferry to Holland when DD was 3m, then went to Lanzarote when she was 10mo, Malta at 20mo.
3m was fine but we had a car full of stuff, I think I would have found flying a bit stressful because I couldn't take the whole house the other two were both fine, although there was a delay on the way home from Malta and we were all struggling a bit by the time we landed, a bit of boredom but also the three of us being confined to 2 seats was not the most comfortable way to spend a few hours! It was easier when she was physically a bit smaller.
Def before they are Mobile. We took ds to Tenerife for his first birthday. He was “cruising” was the most difficult holiday ever.
We've taken ours long haul twice, at 4 months and at 14 months.
The 4 months holiday was lovely. He was BF, slept on the plane, slept in bed with us (in a sleepyhead) and sat in his pram going wherever we wanted during the day.
The 14 months 'holiday' was... Awful. Truly awful. He was toddling but not walking independently so wanted to crawl all the damn time (on the plane, in the mall, at the museums, in the park...), he slept 12 - 2 every day so we had to be at home/in the car for those hours, he was still using bottles and formula, he was in a cot that we had to hire, he didn't want to go in his buggy, he was bored and screaming at all the attractions and too little for kid-friendly ie zoos. Despite our best efforts the accommodation was not really suitable, we had to baby proof everywhere the best we could. He couldn't sit in a high chair through a meal and he went to bed at 7 so we didn't eat out at all. Ugh. It was so stressful. After about 3 days I cried in a mall and said I wanted to go home, and I meant proper home, not the rental apartment.
Now he's close to 2 and I think it would be easier again. Every child is different but my advice would be under 8 (preferably 6) months or over 2. The bit in between is no man's land.
Pre walking and pre weaning was a doddle. Crawling/cruising stage was a nightmare. Once walking well gets easier in my opinion but not unless you book their own seat on the plane!
We went at 9 months which was a good time for us - DD was a late mover, so happily sat on the beach under a sun canopy. Happy to eat a bit of fruit and baguette sitting in a high chair in the shade while we had lunch, then crash out for siesta time at the same time we did. We tended to stay in in the evenings as she needed an early bedtime. It was her first experience of going in the swimming pool, which she loved. Pretty easy going on the plane too.
We went again when she was 15 months - a bit harder work as she was more mobile, and the temperature was really high so we spent more time indoors watching DVDs of In the Night Garden than we'd planned! She was ok in the airport and on the plane - we followed all the mumsnet tips about journeys with toddlers. I wish we'd thought about one of them in time, though, which is if it's a plane with three seats either side of the aisle, book a window seat and an aisle seat. People tend not to book the middle seat if there's a choice, so if the flight isn't full you might just get an extra seat.
We went when our lg was 4.5 months and I did not enjoy it at all! she hated being in a forward facing buggy going in and out of crowds, so me and DH had to take it in turns carrying her around (wish we'd taken a sling instead). She also needed regular naps but has never been able to take herself off to sleep so we had to find somewhere quiet every hour or so. The flying wasn't so bad cause I just bf as much as possible. In hindsight would have waited a year I think. I think it all depends on your child!
There is no advantage at all to a small baby in being abroad - they have no concept of "abroad" and do not care if it's Tenerife or Torquay, as long as they have you, comfort and attention.
if you want to go, go for you. But don't think the baby will care at all.
Properly abroad? About 7
Before that Eurocamp as they have some freedom!
Just do what’s best for you and DH. Kids are transportable and different/difficult in their own way at all stages
Before they can move, then not again until they are fully confident walkers. You do not want to take a crawler or cruiser on holiday. Anywhere, but especially abroad with all them pools and open stairs and things.
We took Our DS to Menorca when he was 11 Months. He couldn’t walk and was amazing!
Left for airport at 3am, he stayed awake for the 1.5hour drive to the airport, through the airport, and fell asleep during take off!
slept until we were about to land
Did the same on the way back too!
Was quite hard work entertaining him there in that heat mind you!
Made him quite grumpy.. now he’s walking & is everywhere & into everything so holding off next Holiday abroad for another 2 years or so!
fluffywallow - with two DCs, don't you worry about the effect your lifestyle is having on their future? Most people only fly once a year, and it's frequent flyers like you who are responsible for the worst of the damage caused by the airline industry, eg contributing to climate change. It just seems so short-sighted to operate like that.
I am in the minority I know but we holidayed in the Uk until the DC were about 4 and 5. At these ages they understood what was going on, weren’t crying and screaming for most of the flight and weren’t kicking the seat of the passenger in front constantly.
Having had a baby crying in my ear for all or most of a 4 hour flight I didn’t want to risk potentially subjecting other passengers or ourselves and D.C. to this.
I took dn to Tenerife at 2 wks and dubai at 5wks. Provided you are sensible regarding heat / sun protection / milk etc then she’ll be fine
It's people like Fluffy who keep people in the travel industry in jobs.
Totally agree with Bunny and BrightEyes - I'd wait until they were 6, 7, or 8 years.
Nigthmare trying to keep a little one happy and not disturbing others through travel to airport, security and delays, then on the plane etc. Then they don't understand to suck something to protect their ears on take off.
Then you get there and it is too hot for them.
Then repeat nightmare on journey home.
KarateKitten there won't be much of a future in the travel industry - or any other industry - if it all goes to shit with climate change.
Just look at Florida! Hurricane Irma wasn't caused by climate change, but the scientific consensus is that it was made a lot worse by it, and things are only going to go downhill from here. Similarly, if you want an idyllic holiday in the Maldives, don't leave it too long, as they are very low-lying and will be on the frontline for rising seas.
fluffywallow I don't know you, it's true - but I imagine you love your kids and want them to have a good life. Same as I want for mine. But it's an inescapable truth that frequent flyers are responsible for the bulk of the damage done by the airline industry, and everybody should act responsibly. So if you - or anyone else - are behaving in a way which directly, demonstrably, damages my child's future, I have a right to point it out.
I did not come onto this thread for confrontation - I had already posted with my experience. And I don't want to fight with you, but I assume, like any good parent, you'd be worrying about your kids' futures.
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