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I only have extremely anecdotal evidence, and as a father, not a mother. But, I was invited for a campus visit a few weeks before my first child was born, scheduled to take place right around the due date. I was very forthcoming about this with the chair of the committee, and she was very accommodating and supportive. She knew I might have to reschedule my visit in case the baby came early or late. I actually felt like she genuinely cared. I visited when my baby was like a week old–. I was blissful but also exhausted and beginning to develop a 'baby brain.' If anything, though, everyone was giving me credit for it and some gave tips about the childcare situation in the neighborhood. I didn't get the job; they made a senior offer instead. But I don't think my baby had anything to do with it.

One indirect advantage is that people tend to love babies, so you'll get their sympathy (mostly). Bring pictures if you can't bring your baby!

Mom of 5

I did this with one flyout. To be honest, it was more of a pain than it was worth. But, the baby was a bit older (a few months old or so) and I could have stood to be without her for that time. I wonder if I had left her at home, perhaps I would have gotten the job (I know I was a close second).

The department was very accommodating. I had to coordinate with the person who was taking care of my baby, in this case my mom, to meet me at various locations at various times, but I took my cue from the schedule, and let them know in advance that I would need a substantial (40 min) break every few hours. It took a lot of planning. The baby did not sleep well in the hotel room, and I was exhausted, especially on the second day of the interview. I was running on a few hours sleep, and not as sharp as I otherwise would have been. I was also fairly distracted, checking my phone a lot, etc. My advice, if it is at all possible, is to leave the baby, and pump. It's just easier. I also did that on some flyouts and that was SO MUCH easier, the breaks shorter, requiring less planning, and then you don't have a grumpy baby whose schedule is being F*ed with by the time change, meet-ups, etc.. When I was pumping, I got lots of breaks to sit and collect my thoughts. People were also very nice about that.

I would not ask anyone to pay for a childcare provider or family member to travel with you. That's not a reasonable request.

So generally: possible, but not advisable. It likely will not go very well, but not because people aren't trying their best to help you, it's just that traveling with . baby is exhausting and often complicated, and not something to mix with a stressful, high-stakes interview.

Mom of 5

I don't know if "bring pictures!" is good advice. Moms being mommish and showing off baby pictures might strike people (especially, I've found, older women) as unprofessional. Might be different for men, I'm not sure.


That was partly tongue in cheek. Of course, show pictures only if they ask you and you’re comfortable showing them.

ABD mama

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Nicolas and Mom of 5. It is good to hear that there is at least some schedule flexibility at least some of the time. And also to be reminded of the challenges of traveling with a baby, which I have not done in a while. I guess I just have to wait and see how things shake out.

ABD mama

Also thanks to Marcus for the thoughts on interview scheduling (and for posting my question).

I survived...

OP here. I ended up taking the baby on flyouts. I asked about changing dates in one case. It did not work out but nobody seemed bothered that I had asked. Bringing the baby made some things harder and some things easier. I am confident it was the right decision for me but I can easily imagine somebody in similar circumstances making a different decision. It all worked out well enough and I am starting a TT job in the fall. I share this all now because I would really, really, really love to help anyone facing similar challenges who might stumble across this post in the future. I would be more than happy to speak privately and Marcus has agreed to put anyone who wants to do so in touch with me.

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