Traveling with a preemie advice please!

My son was born at 30 weeks 4 days, and he is currently 3 weeks and 2 days old. We have a family vacation planned for the end of October, which would put Everest at 5 months. My question is, have you traveled with your preemie, and if so how old were they? we live in PA and are going to NC with the family. He doesnt have breathing issues , he has hydracephalus, which he had a resirvior put in last week, and has had it tapped 4 times. Anyway, i was hoping to get some advice on whether or not you all think we should go and if you have any traveling stories i'd greatly appreciate it!

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Zack went to Cabo San Lucas at 6 (4 adj) months, BUT his only issues were feeding...which were issues no matter where we were. We traveled easily at that age as he slept the whole way.

The hydracephalus is the only issue I would be concerned with...will that still be done at 5 months? Will it leave him open for any kind of infection? Will you be near a good children's hospital? I think you have to live your life and you will be fine. Just take all precautions and do it...you're not leaving the country like we were...which can be scarier.

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Well that is what we have to figure out if he will need any more care with it. we are hoping for the best here, and hopefully he wont need any more surgery , to get a shunt. He has been doing well absorbing the CSF on his own. They havent given us any restrictions with it, and they gave us a pamphlet of info. and said to go on with your normal lives with the hydracephalus, and the reservior/shut.

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Is there anyway you postpone the trip? Even w/o breathing problems, the research shows that preemie lungs (even late preterm babies) are simply not as strong as those of a full-term baby. And even when one has a full-term baby, staying away from germy places is a good idea.

If he will 5 months old, that means his adjusted age will be 2.5 months. That's pretty young. And October is the start of RSV/flu season in many areas of the country.

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Jaaziah was 3months we didnt travel far maybe about 2 hour drive from denver to estas park... we stayed about a week. the weather was cold we spent a lot of time indooors. He did really well just a little fussy but i think that was just him not use to being in his own bed! I didnt ask my pediatrition i dint want her to say NO! lol but he did really good oh he was a 33 weeker 4lbs 13oz was on oxygen for 2 months after he was born... so i think the weather is perfect for traveling where your going...

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I agree with katek about the start of RSV/flu season. If it was me I wouldn't want to take the chance. You will have plenty of time to go on vacations. My doctor said no crowds, malls, church, generally no public, for the first cold/flu season. Is your son going to get the Synagis shot for RSV? He also won't be old enough yet to get a flu shot.

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Well, our first trip with the girls (30 weekers also) was when they were 6 months actual, 3.5 adjusted, but we drove (8 hours). It was a very easy ride, to be honest. I would recommend that, for peace of mind. I personally have been so sick from airplane flights a number of times, I would be nervous about a 5 month old preemie. But then again, that same baby could be in daycare, and there are more germs there, so I guess it's just a matter of risk management. Even at 6 months, I absolutely did not enjoy myself at my in-laws for that week - people just didn't know how to act around preemies, having babies in someone's house is so hard, and it was difficult all around . Are you staying at a hotel or with family? I recommend hotel, also for peace of mind with babies .But we each have our own comfort levels, so do what you're comfortable with. Are their health risks, certainly, but if you do what you can to minimize them while traveling, you should be fine.

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I suggest talking to the drs to be sure there is no reason you see why you can't go. When my boys (31 weekers) were three months old I moved from Idaho to Tennessee. We left less than a week after Timothy had an emergency hernia repair and the same day Nathaniel had his second (scheduled) hernia repair. All of this was with the blessings of the drs and surgeons! The younger the child the easier it is to travel in that they sleep most of the time and need little movement. We did have to stop often to feed, but mostly fed out of the car or on benches at rest stops. Sometimes we got food from a drive-thru and sometimes we went in to eat. We stayed in motels (took our own pack-n-play) and with family two nights in the middle of the trip. I just was not concerned. However, this was not flue/RSV season. But even with that, I do not think the boys' ped would have said anything different. I was told it was fine for the boys to go to daycare, church, mall, etc (and I had no choice). If you are concerned for medical reasons, just ask the drs. I really advise you to remember that people on this list are not drs, do not know your child's specific needs, and your child's drs to know all of this (and if you don't trust the dr's opinion, you need a new dr). My opinion: go and have fun!

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In regards to katek/reagansmom's comments about RSV season, I personally feel that in PA its going to be colder/riskier at that point in the season. I spoke to one of his nurses in the NICU and she said that her son was a NICU grad, and traveled when he was 5.5 months(3 months corrected). She said to talk to the neonatologists, but as long as he is doing well we shouldnt be advised not to. We are planning on staying in a time share resort, we own a time share. The resort was built in 2007/2008, is a 5 star resort. It will just be Jason Everest and myself in our suite. But family will be down there as well. We are just planning on a relaxing trip, not going to crowded places or anything of that nature. Maybe an hour or so on the beach, Jason and my dad are going to fish.
Also, mygirlsmom mentioned daycare and the germs, unfortunately Everest will be in a daycare, because we dont have anyone in our familes that are close enough to watch him and we both have to work. He wont be in daycare ( HOPEFULLY) until we get back from the trip though. I am planning on taking 12 weeks off when he gets discharged. I was just looking for some insight from other preemie mommies! I know the doctors know best, but sometimes they are so statistic driven they dont look at "reality", if that makes sense.

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I totally agree with Nate & Tim's mom. Let your doctors make the call. They know your son and know what is best for him. Our son's doctors did not have any issues with us taking trips with him. We traveled with my son for a long weekend when he was 8 months old and again at 13 months old. Both were the easiest trips we ever took, he slept much of the travel time. The following year, traveling with a toddler, was a whole different story and set of challenges.

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I'll preface this story by saying we kept my daughter home (and her older sibling) for the first year we had her in our new home, so I'm not an uncautious person. BUT...we actually moved from MA to FL (gulp) three DAYS after she was released from the NICU. Yup...3 freakin' days. We had no choice, but still, it was unreal.

It's funny, but the worst possible place to take your preemie isn't out to the mall or the grocery store. It's to the pediatrician's office! My kids almost always get sick after a visit to the doctor, and they even have separate sick/well/newborn waiting rooms. The problem, it seems, is in the examining room and/or the check in and check out areas. Those are all communal and they don't spray them with disinfectant, so they pick up the germs from the sick kids. Same problem with hospital visits. We took our little one out on shopping trips because we knew we wouldn't allow any direct contact with her. As much as there are some airborne germs, most sicknesses are spread by direct contact. She never got sick from our outings, but take her to a doctor's visit and BAM, she'd get sick.

So, I think if your trip is in the car (admittedly, we flew) and you're not going to be surrounded by sick people touching your child, I would think you'd be just fine.

Have a great trip!

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BarbaraK2U
Thanks! yeah i agree with you about the Doctors Office being the worst place to get illnesses! and the hospital as well!
I am a cautious person with germs, i was a pre-k teacher for 3 years, and was constantly disenfecting my classroom and having the kids wash hands etc. and i am sure i will be pretty anal once Everest gets home and with other people being around.
When we travel i wont be taking him into the rest stops to change him or anything i will just lay out the changing pad in the car, and we wont be around a ton of people. Just a relaxing vacation for the family!!
We will definately make sure things are ok with his doctors before we go though!

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Once again, I believe Katek gives wise advice! Personally, I wouldn't risk exposing my preemie to RSV or flu, even if there were no other health care concerns.

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I think if you are traveling in your own car, in his own car seat, and you have your own travel crib and are staying on your own in your own timeshare, it will be totally fine as long as he doesn't have outstanding lung issues. Of course, ask your doctor first if it will make you more comfortable! Just take the usual precautions... If anyone in your family even has a slight cold, don't let them come near the baby - and make sure to disinfect yourself and don't touch that person either!

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