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Travelling to India with a baby / toddler (17 month old)

Discussion in 'General Discussions - USA & Canada' started by varshini, May 3, 2006.

  1. varshini

    varshini New IL'ite

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    Precautions when going to India with an infant

    Hi Friends,

    Due to some personal reasons, my parents are not able to come to US during my pregnancy. Hence, somewhere in the next 9 to 12 months, we need to go to India so that my parents could see my baby.

    Wanted to get a head start and understand the precautions one should take while taking a 9-12 month baby to India. The conditions here in the US are much different from that of India and the more prepared I am, the better it would be for the baby.

    What are the things that I should be thinking about? Any advice based on your experiences?

    Varshini
     
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  2. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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    varshini it is mostly food and drinks...

    dear varshini,
    my aunt in US always got some health drinks and food from there...and water used to be always mineral never take the usual tap water...of course as ur baby is small may be not much of tomato ketchup which those kids lapup a lot....they r sensitive to water used to drink a lot of coke which i dont advise as it is all filled with pesticide..only carry food ur baby is used to which is not available here....like ready to heat kind which u have been giving the babe other wise we heat the water and then refrigerate for the children...hope been of help...regards..sunkan
     
  3. Surya

    Surya Senior IL'ite

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    hi varshini,

    my friend went to india last month with her 10 month old baby.
    She has taken lot of diapers for the whole stay there....bcoz the quality
    of diapers available in india are not the same as here.
    But the same diaper is available but too expensive...so it is better to
    carry as much as possible....
    Next thing is bottle foods(Gerber), Formula etc...
    everything is available in india too but little bit expensive..so better to
    carry as much as possible.....
    Finally, of course consult the doctor before ur trip...

    Have a nice trip.

    regards,
    surya.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2006
  4. Leo

    Leo New IL'ite

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    Dear Varshini,

    U cud visit http://www.indiaparenting.com/ there u can get to share ur views with so many mothers and expecting mothers. Most of them r in the same boat as u r...away from India...first timers...alone in the US...with umpteen doubts etc. I am sure they can help u.

    U just need to register there and go to the Expecting Parents Message Board and join a due date club.

    Hope this helps.

    Love,
    Leo
     
  5. sunitha

    sunitha Gold IL'ite

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    I agree with Surya regarding diapers.But Varshini,consider one thing ...you are going to India....where most of the homes will not be carpeted..and with a baby 9-12 months old,good time to start potty training..that is use diapers for the baby only while going out or when you expect guests at home etc.,at other times,leave the baby with underwear....you could take your baby to the bathroom every 1-2 hrs and train him/her.

    Actually being in the U.S with mostly carpeted homes,it is difficult to leave the baby without a diaper..so make use of this oppurtunity..I trained my son when he was around 10-12 months...hence I thought of suggesting this...
     
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  6. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    My Two cents

    Hello Varshini,

    I have been travelling to India every year since my older son was 6 months. Here is my experience:

    1. Before leaving, make sure all immunizations are complete for that age. Also get the travel shots( hepatitis and malaria). The docs will ask you to get mosquito repellent spray here. but i find it useless in India. You get Good Knight brand mosquito repellent cream which is very good. So use that.

    2. Regarding Diapers, i agree with Sunitha. Do not carry too many diapers. If you are going for a long stay , how much will you take with you? You can use cloth diapers. Also In food world in India, you get Huggies and pampers diapers. The quality is good. I have used them as recently as last year. The price is not much different from US. For a pack of 30 diapers, you pay like Rs. 400 , which if you do the conversion math will work out be the same here. LIke 11 to 12 bucks for one pack. So it is not too bad. It saves the hassle of carrying too much luggage.

    3. Regarding food, formula etc. Carry enough Gerber bottles or cereals and formula that you will need for your flight ( both ways). Most flights will not provide any baby food. They do carry milk which you can ask . Otherwise, do not take extra cereal or gerber or formula. You get very good quality milk in India, use that. when your baby is 9 to 12 months, you can start of on cows milk. Also since your baby would have started eating regular sadam paruppu etc, it is better to give the food that we take daily. Even when you are travelling within india, in restaurants you can give things like Idli, pongal, upma, which are well cooked. Of course be careful with water. Mineral or water processed by Aquaguard is good.
    The cerelac brand cereals are very nice. I gave it to my younger one couple of years back and he had no problems.

    4. Lastly, do not go overboard with concern or over pamper you baby. Just follow general guidelines of cleanliness. it is good for the kids to develop immunity. Also, you will find babies adapt very quickly . If we overly pamper them by taking all the things they are used to here , they will find it difficult later on as they grow older.
    both my kids are quite immune to the Indian environment. I do take precautions of giving them their shots etc, but from day one, they have not had any problems with spicy food, they eat any thing that is available.

    And finally, if you are travelling alone with your kid, then PLEASE TRAVEL LIGHT!. Check in as much as possible and carry only one hand luggage that has everything. I find a nice big backpack very useful to carry all the baby stuff, and wallet and travel documents. You will be needing your stoller too.

    Good luck .
    Vandhana
     
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  7. Ami

    Ami Silver IL'ite

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    My experience.

    Most of the important points have already told by our friends.

    From my view, in yr hand luggage, other than vandhana said, do carry extra dress for yr baby, extra foods just incase, got stuck or delayed in the airport. You will never get any milk or anything in many airports too.

    Abt diapers, it depends on the kids. With my son, he was fine with the Indian available products whereas my daughter got rashes with those diapers. But, luckily, the cloth diapers are available with an excellent quality & design. So, not to worry..you can buy them and make yr kid free out of this diaper stuff..

    Take care & good luck..
     
  8. sheetal

    sheetal New IL'ite

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    A few more...

    Varshini, A good portion is already covered, but here are a few more...

    1. If your kid gets sick in India, it might take a little while before you are able to see a doctor. Therefore, before leaving the US, ask your doctor for OTC medications for common illnesses in India - eg Diarrhea, Cough, Cold, Fever, etc. The medication should keep it manageable until you are able to see a doctor the next working day morning.

    2. Don't underestimate mosquitoes. They are everywhere and some kids have severe reaction to mosquito bites. Hence, make sure you have a good mosiquo repellent as soon as possible, preferably starting from the night you landed.

    3. Water is another major thing to be careful about. Whether you want to use tap water or buy bottle water depends on which view you subscribe to. Some ladies believe that exposing their kids to Indian water builds immunity. Some ladies believe that it is too risky on the baby. I personally would buy bottled water all through if I can afford it.

    Hope this helps! Happy Journey!

    Sheetal
     
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  9. rvnachar

    rvnachar Silver IL'ite

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    Visit to India with an infant

    Dear Varshini,

    Your query of concern is very relevant and right and you have received quite a few informative replies. My views are purely personal and just food for your thought and not useful practically. So, only if you do not mistake me, you read further.

    My sisters live in the US and one of them visited us with her infant son 6 years ago. Her son was allergic to milk and so she found it very difficult after the stock of milk powder that she brought with her got exhausted and the baggage packed with spare quantity did not arrive on time. She moved heaven and earth to get more powder from the US through her friends, who were visiting immediately after her! Somehow, she managed for 3 weeks and went back, by which time, we here were all tensed up and just wanted her to get back safely with her son.

    But I want to share with you here, what we in India really feel about these things. Firstly, we feel people out there are very fussy and are over cautious about everything. Nothing is taken casually, let alone health. I used to leave my infant children with my mother and go out to work and I trusted my mother 100% for the way in which she took care of my children. My children were hale and healthy (very rarely fell ill), active and happy. My mother used to give them home made Ayurvedic herbs every alternative day and for small little health upsets like indigestion/cold/cough, etc. Of course I ensured that they got all their vaccines on time. But for that, I normally gave them only these herbal medicines. They ate the regular food that we all ate, right from their eighth month or ninth month without much fuss. Even after they started to go play home/school, they made no fuss for eating our normal food items. I used diapers only when we went out. They got bathroom trained by one year of age.

    But I found my sisters too fussy about every little thing. They just don't trust anybody here, any habit or any doctor here. Do you think, all the children born and bred here are sick or malnourished or week? I cannot understand how most of the women coming down to India with their children behave similarly. Of course, things are totally different there but you are not new to our country and you have been brought up that way. How can you lose faith in some system which has proved right for generations and trust in something that you are seeing just for a few years? Today my nephew (20 month old) keeps falling sick in the US every week and is fed with anti biotics every time! Even then, my sister prefers to trust that system and cannot try our system, under which kids remained healthy and would not get infected so easily. When she was recently visiting us, my nephew remained healthly as long as he was here and we forced her not to use diapers, because he used to get rashes, because of the warm weather here. He played happily. I feel our women should start respecting our age old practices, wherever they are and should not get too fussy about every little thing. After all, millions of children are born in India and grow up to healthy adults. Of course, certain minimum care like the quality of water and food and prevention from mosquito bites should be taken. That, we here also do take care, when we go out of our homes.


    Sudha Narasimhachar
     
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  10. sunitha

    sunitha Gold IL'ite

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    Hats off to you Sudha,I really appreciate what you have written.I have been here in the U.S from the end of 2004 and I fully agree with what you have said.

    Our very own people,once they land here,change drastically.Everything is looked at with some sort of doubt-be it water,milk,sugar anything.
    Frankly,I don't want to hurt anyone,but here I try my best to keep away from our very own people because of this attitude.
     

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