The Dominican Republic

Breastfeeding babies in public is not common. It is definitely not done in restaurants. Nursing mothers are recommended to find a private park bench and use a shawl or other covering.

Remember to use bottled water when giving your child liquids or preparing bottles (make sure the water has less than 200mg of sodium per litre). Major grocery stores sell many of the same brands of baby food and nappies (diapers) are as in the US however, it is always better to bring your formula and food with you just in case you cannot find the brand that your baby is used to. You may be staying some distance from a large supermarket and prices are very high for US brands. If you are staying in a resort there are usually some excellent soft food options in hotel buffets. At breakfast you can try feeding your little one fruit, yoghurt or cereal and for lunch and dinner there will generally be a potato option or some fish or chicken and vegetables.

Vaccinations – Hep B and malaria are two concerns for parents when travelling to the Dominican Republic with young children. Make sure that you visit your GP preferable before booking or at least 2 months before travelling to discuss the risks and options.  Hep B can be avoided through hand washing and ensuring that you eat in clean, hygienic establishments. The area bordering Haiti has the highest risk for malaria but it is present in resort areas and the NHS and CDC does recommend preventative measures such as antimalarial tablets. Think carefully about taking young children, as antimalarials can have some pretty severe side-effects. Avoid “jungle” excursions and tours if you are travelling with little ones who are not taking anti malarials and bring a mosquito net and repellent.