It’s important to stay up-to-date on routine vaccinations and visit a children’s travel clinic before traveling internationally, particularly to a developing country
It’s really important to make sure baby is getting his/her routine vaccinations, especially if traveling internationally, to protect baby from disease. We planned our travel so that we were in Chicago at the 3, 6, 9, and 12 month routine well-baby check-ups and vaccinations. However, if you will not be in the U.S. make sure you identify a pediatrician in the country you will be traveling to, and make sure that the routine U.S. vaccinations are available. The CDC has a list of recommended infant and child immunizations. Alternatively, you may talk with your U.S. pediatrician about traveling with the required vaccinations to be administered overseas if the vaccinations may not be available, or if there is concern about clean needles, etc. (this often requires special refrigeration requirements).
Next, it is important to schedule, in addition to routine well-baby visits and vaccinations with your regular pediatrician, a separate visit with a local travel clinic, preferably one that specializes in child/ infant travel. You will provide them with your itinerary, and they will provide you with recommendations on additional travel vaccines and travel advice. For very young babies, such as Veda who was 6 weeks, she was not able to receive any vaccinations except for immunoglobulin to give her a general immunity boost, which is why it is so important to breastfeed! You can also check out the CDC website to get country-specific information on infectious disease and recommended vaccinations in your destination country.
Make sure to bring along with your other travel documentation baby’s up-to-date medical records and immunizations.
For those of you in Chicagoland, the Children’s Memorial Travel Clinic is fabulous. The receptionists/ people making appointments could definitely use an improvement, but we have always been impressed by the attentiveness, competence, and personality of the health care staff seeing our child before travel.