Long distance travel with a baby/toddler

Tagged as: baby, travel

This past March we took a 8500 miles odd trip to India. Which translated to a 27hr flight (wait, we’ll get to it), multiple domestic flights within the country and several car trips without a carseat. If all this hasn’t made you question our sanity, you are a better person than I am. We learned quite a few things. We had learned a thing or two from our last trip to Vegas last year.

Long distance travel with a baby

Look for the routes with the smallest possible flying time. I cannot stress this enough. Longer layovers are fine. The baby could probably use the running around. You too!

Consider buying a seat for your kid if you are flying long distances. The bassinet seat in flights aren’t really that great. They have a weight/height limit and you’ve to remove your baby from the bassinet every time there’s turbulence and during takeoff and landing. It’s a problem if you just got the baby to sleep. Also, they don’t turn off the lights at the end of the aisles. We created a makeshift blanket fort. Not elegant, but whatever works.

If the baby is breastfeeding, life is simple. If they are on formula, the sticks (we used this Similac On the go) are super helpful. The air hostesses are super helpful. We found it was easier to use multiple bottles than trying to clean the bottles in the tiny bathroom inflight. We would just wash all the bottles during the layover.

If you are traveling to a place where there’s a lot of humidity, you might want to keep the formula in the refrigerator to prevent clumps.

Keep snacks handy. Our daughter is a huge fan of Happy Puffs. Fruits like orange, apple slices etc also work. You just have to be careful about not squishing the softer fruits.

We also ended up using the Plum Organics purees. Our daughter was partial to the sweet potato ones. If your kid hasn’t tried this before, let them try it before you leave for your trip. That ways you’d know which flavor works and which doesn’t.

Keep a track of what the temperature is like at your destination city. This seems like common sense. But we misjudged how hot it got in one of the cities that we visited. So we had to go shopping for shorts. Also, due to the heat, we needed fewer diaper changes. But the heat also meant frequent baths, so having cotton onesies on hand helped.

We went to the beach quite a few times. After the frigid waters of Northern California, the warm waters of Goa, Karnataka beaches was AHH-mazing! Bebu had loads of fun. I wish I knew about the existence of swim diapers then. Chalk that one up against rookie parents.

We didn’t really think about this a lot before. I mean, after 1 year, you think you know everything there is to know about this. Well, you thought wrong! Just try changing a diaper in the tiny bathroom in the economy section. There’s no space!! That was the first time I changed a diaper on a kid who just wouldn’t lie down. Also, as I mentioned before, if you are traveling to a warmer region, you’ll be surprised by the fewer diaper changes. We brought back a third of the diapers we took.

Out and about
Again, with the heat, using the carrier, while we were out, was completely out of the question. But it served us well in transit. Also, we didn’t take our stroller, coz we assumed that we wouldn’t use it in India. But in the hindsight, it would’ve been helpful during the layovers. We could’ve used it when the baby slept. An umbrella stroller might be a good bet.

Keeping a thermos handy helps. Especially if your babe drinks only warm milk.

The monitors were a lifesaver. You might need to get an adapter depending on the country that you go to because of the voltage difference. We used our pack & play which survived the multiple flights.

Make sure you have minimal check-in baggage. It adds up pretty quickly with stuff like the diaper bag, purse/bag which serves as a catch-all for things like wallet, extra stuff, tickets, passport. Don’t add a hand luggage to it, if you can.

Toys will go a loooong way in preventing a meltdown. Use inflight magazines. Younger kids love them.

Let loose..
Yes, you won’t be on the same schedule as back home. Yes, there will be things that won’t go the way you planned. But, when you look back at the 100+ pictures on your phone, you’ll realize that it turned out ok. Maybe better than the planned version in your head!