My sis in law would like to take her family to Cuba (likely Varadero). They include a 6 yr old, a 3 yr old and a baby that will be 5 mos old at the time of travel. Is travelling with a baby this young feasible? We’re wondering about water for formula, laundry and accessibility to medical care. What do we need to consider? Any help would be appreciated. We’d like to book soon, if we are sufficiently reassured that all our needs will be met.
How is your Spanish?
The training of Cuba doctors is good, but they may not have the medication they need to treat a child
Children at that age get sick quickly
I would personally not hesitate to go down with a 5 month old. You can buy bottled water at the hotel stores for formula. Bring your own bottle warmer and converter. I imagine at 5 months that is pretty much all the baby is eating. Maybe bring your own teething biscuits if they would be used.
I would say that the training of Cuban doctors is excellent. I would visit the baby’s doctor before the trip and speak to them about your plan. Perhaps ask for a prescription for meds that could most likely be needed for anything by the baby and fill those before you go. If you have benefits, its really no problem. A general antibiotic, ointments, prescription diaper cream.
If you are hesitent talk to your doctor. But I would personnaly go if that is what you want. A baby that age is quite easy in a lot of respects, because you are not worried about their diet since they are on formula. I would maybe be a bit more hesitant with an older baby that needs to eat regular food and how the baby would react to the new diet.
Also, remember that as a tourist in Varadero you have instant access to some of the best medical workers and facilities on the whole island. The Varadero International Clinic in Matanzas is very close.
No worries at all, just be sure not to forget anything, especially diapers! My son first travelled when he was 6 months old, and my pediatrician had given me a prescription for antibiotics, which the pharmacy gave to me in powder form, along with instructions on how to mix it with bottle water if I needed to use it. Since then (4 more trips), I always get a prescription for my son, just in case. Luckily never had to bother with formula as I was still nursing on his first 3 trips - talk about convenient!
When my son was older and had begun eating, I brought lots of jars of baby food, which he always ate at room temperature, making it so easy during our travels! When he was 18 months old, I brought UHT milk, and I will do it again on our next trip - it’s heavy in the suitcase, but I want to make sure he drinks milk he is used to.
BTW, teething biscuits are no longer recommended because of the sugar content. Teething rings are more appropriate and can be kept cold in the fridge.
For an infant, another must-have, in my humble opinion, is HydraSense saline nasal spray for infants, to help relieve any congestion. Sunscreen cannot be used for a child younger than 6 months, so lots of hats and a stroller with a top are musts. I also added a blankie on top of the stroller when I couldn’t avoid the sun. And since DEET mosquito repellent cannot be used on a child younger than 2, don’t forget netting that can be used over the stroller or over the car seat, if the baby is still small enough to fit in a portable car seat.
I have not personally taken an infant to Cuba but would recommend that you are sure to carry netting for bugs and shade. There is an article for reference here on air travel http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/air-travel-with-infant/HQ00197.
We took our son to Holguin in November when he was 6 months old - it was fantastic for him and for us. We brought our own bottle warmer and converter, a kettle to boil water (that we left with a friend) and plenty of jarred food and dry cereal. He really did enjoy himself and was no problem on the plane. My wife and I were pleasantly surprised with how he was during the time we were there. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask. Here are a couple of videos of him enjoying himself in the pool at the resort:
Here’s a video of our room with our son enjoying himself as we prepared for Hurricane Paloma - notice the food we brought with us for him:
As they say, water should not be a problem.
I recommend bringing the rest of your supplies. Things may be available - or the may not. (And do you want to have to go hunting ?)
my doctor recommended boiling the water for formula…is that paranoid?
Not at all. This is what i did at home in Canada. Always better be safe. Take an electric kettle with you, plus a pitcher with a cover, boil a full kettle, pour it in the pitcher once it cooled a bit and let it sit there for the rest of the day’s bottles. One trick I used for heating is I’d mix the formula with the cooled (sometimes cold) boiled water and leave a bit of room in the bottle, then add a bit of freshly boiled (hot) water for instant warm formula.
You could also make up the bottles with formula and put the in the fridge (I don’t remember how long prepared formula can stay there, but I’m sure it was a day or two) and then when you need it, just add a bit of boiling water to warm it up.
So not paranoid at all.
Thanks again, everyone. You’ve really helped put my mind at ease.
Gambitt…I see you are headed to BDC. Have fun! We got a great deal and went in February 2008, and had a blast! We recommended it to friends, and they are going on the Jan 19. You’ll just miss them! I’d love to have gone back, but we just couldn’t pass up the deal we got to Palma Real this year, instead.