Recently, Melodie sent me an email regarding visiting the Dominican Republic with baby…
Hello! I just recently saw your website and I would like to say how great it is that you have established this! We have a 3 yr old and a 7-month-old and this site has a lot of useful tips and info!
We are planning a trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in January. Our baby will be 9-months-old by then. We were advised that we have to get Hepatitis shots and anti-malaria pills. The pediatrician told us that the baby is too young to get the Hep A shots but is ok to take the anti-malaria pills. Does anyone have any input on health precautions?
Also, because the baby cannot get the shots, we were also thinking of bringing ready-to-drink formula but that (along with the jarred baby food for a week, diapers, etc etc), will surely take up all the luggage allowance, not to mention it is twice the price of the powdered one. Does anyone have any experience with this or is bottled water ok to use with the powdered formula?
First of all Melodie, thanks!!! These are all good questions about traveling to the Caribbean with a baby.
Regarding the Hepatitis shots…
You should speak with your doctor about this. They certainly can’t hurt. The one “nice” thing about Hep A is that it doesn’t cause long-term liver damage. Be extra scrupulous in your hand washing and make sure to do the same with baby. Hepatitis B is sexually transmitted or contracted via blood. This is less of a concern for baby but maybe skip the pedicure if you’re concerned about yourself.
Regarding the anti-Malarials…
This is a tricky one… According to the CDC,, there is a risk of Malaria in the Dominican Republic. The area bordering Haiti is deemed to have the highest risk but it is present in resort areas and the CDC does recommend Chloroquine as a preventative measure.
That said, anti-Malarials are no picnic, and can have some pretty severe side-effects. Punta Cana is a very popular tourist destination, and the large resorts do spray regularly to keep mosquitos at bay. Some say that you’re fine without anti-Malarials so long as you don’t leave the resort and avoid “jungle” excursions and tours. However, there are stories about people contracting Malaria after spending time in Punta Cana without leaving the resort.
I personally know two families with young children whose doctors thought anti-Malarials were not necessary, and enjoyed fabulous holidays in Punta Cana with their tots. To take the preventative measure or not is totally your call, just so you know to weigh the risks in advance.
Regarding the formula…
Bring the powder. When traveling with a bottle-fed baby, it’s totally fine to mix with bottled water so long as it’s less than 200mg of Sodium per litre, and most brands are way, way less.
Have a fabulous trip to Punta Cana with your family, Melodie – and check out what others have had to say about their visits to the Dominican Republic.
Please don’t forget to email us your trip report when you get back!!
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