I was dreading to take my 11-month old to an international trip. What will she eat? How will I manage if she falls sick? And a thousand other questions plagued my mind. I did a lot of reading, asked a lot of questions to veteran mothers and picked the brain of Aanya’s pediatrician. Let me share with you my tips for travelling with infants.
- Always carry food with you. Long lasting snacks like khakhra, bhakri, methi thepla, etc. come in handy during flight journeys, airport transits, sight-seeing etc. I had also carried a carton of Cerelac for her midnight hunger pangs and also for those times when Aanya refused to eat local food.
- Medicines are a must which is something I learnt the hard way. Though I had kept quite a few medicines, there were still some which I didn’t carry for obvious reasons. But as luck would have it, I needed them when Aanya caught a cold and also scratched her hand badly. Carry important medicines like crocin, saline drops for nasal congestion, domstal, antiseptic cream, medicine for loose motions, sleep-inducing and cough syrups. Also, carry your child’s file as it contains the history of allergies, blood group etc.
- Carry a food warmer. It helps in warming milk, boiling eggs, etc.
- Hunt down a superstore nearest to your hotel and shop for biscuits, eggs and mini milk packs.
- Make your baby try local cuisine. Not only does it help your child develop a palate for different kinds of food but also becomes convenient as you don’t have to think about ‘what to feed’ to your child all the time.
- Try not to upset your child’s routine. Feed them at regular intervals, make sure they go to sleep at their usual napping times or else they can make your life hell.
- Never leave your house without a mosquito repellent.
- Don’t forget the potty seat, pram/stroller and swimming diapers. Some hotels insist on infants wearing swimming diapers before they are put in the swimming pool.
- And of course, how could I have forgotten this! Don’t even imagine leaving your house without your baby’s favorite toy/comfort blanket and a few other toys to distract him during the journey.
I wouldn’t say it was a dream vacation. But it was closest to one that we could have with our infant.
But still there is a pearl of wisdom that I would like to give: it’s better to leave your child under 3 years behind in care of a close family member. Believe me; you will have a better vacation and not come back feeling that you need another break. In places like Europe where there’s so much to see and do, a child can cramp your style. Only for a relaxed vacation where you are not hopping places, you may think of taking your child with you.