11 Things I Do To Make Air Travel With Baby Easier

So, taking flights, especially long ones, with baby is the most dreaded part about traveling. Being stuck in a confined space with your infant or toddler and a couple of hundred fellow passengers (judging you, hating on you, killing you with their looks) is daunting indeed. Here are 11 things I do to make traveling with baby a (slightly) more pleasant and comfortable experience.

 

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Riding in her Graco Click Connect Jogging stroller in Goa at 3 months old

Before the flight…

 

  1. Dress the baby in layers: most flights are cold so dressing warm works, but airports (and even some flights) can be warm and make your baby irritable. Dressing in layers works for us – remove and add clothing as necessary. My typical travel dress for baby is a full-length onesie (which also protects baby from floor dirt on airports) and a cardigan and cap that can go on top in case its cold.
  2. Strollers are usually free to check in: most airlines allow strollers to be checked-in for free and it does not count for hand baggage allowance. Some even allow car seats and other infant equipment. But some low cost airlines either have restrictions on the type of stroller or charge you extra for taking one. Most airlines also allow a gate check-in for strollers – which means you don’t have to check it in with luggage and can use it for the long airport walk. You will also get your stroller back at the gate when you land, and don’t have to walk all the way to baggage claim to get it. But again some airlines require you to check it in with the luggage. Read this very helpful post. As a rule, if it’s the first time I am taking the baby on that airline… I do this next one:
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    Grumpy Car-Seat-Sleeping Look 

    Check airline policy: just Google “<airline name> baby stroller policy” and you will find a page that leads you to the airline’s policy on baby equipment. Its great to know if you could even bring a car seat on board for free (if you plan to take one for that driving trip through Europe 🙂 ).

  4. Let baby run around in the airport: you are going to be mostly tied to your seat for the duration of the flight, so you might as well let the baby exhaust themselves by running (or crawling) around in the airport so they (like you) just want to rest on the flight
  5. Invest in a lounge pass: I mentioned in my Sri Lanka post, that if you travel more than 2-3 times a year its worth investing in a lounge pass that lets you use the business class lounge (even on an economy ticket). This way you get a slightly more private and cleaner space for the baby to crawl or run around in.

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During the flight…

  1. Upgrade to Business Class, Baby! (ok just kidding…!)
  1. (Ok Really) Put yourself in your baby’s (tiny) shoes: Poor baby can only express discomfort or annoyance by crying, so try to imagine yourself in her place and see what might make you uncomfortable, and try to eliminate or address that. For example, I have severe ear popping during take off and landing so I can only imagine what Arya goes through – so that brings me to this next one…
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    2 Months Old on a Flight to Delhi – Got restless so I put her on the seat and played with her.

    Be extra attentive to the baby during take off and landing: I know you may be in the middle of some riveting conversation with a fellow passenger but just take a pause and shift your attention entirely to the baby for the 10 minutes each of take off and landing. I was reading that some babies experience severe discomfort during this time. So feed them, have them eat a snack, suck your finger… anything that makes them suck and swallow – because this relieves ear pressure. If the baby is still restless… follow this next one.

  3. Engage them through talk, song, game, or book: When the airhostess is instructing you to sit with the seatbelt on but the baby just wont sit still – engage them with whatever works for getting their attention at home. If they are engaged in an activity they like, they will not be restless. I know this sounds easy but it takes serious effort – especially with babies older than 9-10 months who are very restless. But don’t give in – seek help from any willing fellow passengers if you need to.
  4. If they are small enough, put them in a sling: this has several advantages – both you and the baby can sleep comfortably without you worrying about the baby falling off while you sleep. They stay close to you and feel secure (especially babies below six-months old). Also, some airlines allow you to skip the uncomfortable infant seatbelt attachment if the baby is secure in a sling – one less thing to manage!
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    Catching a nap at the Marhaba Lounge at Dubai Airport

    Be extra prepared with food, medicine, and other supplies: so I am usually a light packer but when it comes to baby stuff it doesn’t hurt to carry a couple of extra servings of food (on long flights), and some basic medicines for an SOS situation. Some international airlines (I know Emirates does for sure) carry organic baby food, formula, allergen free blankets, and toys for infants on board. Its great for back up but personally I wouldn’t rely on it.

  6. Once the seatbelt sign is off let them loose: babies eight months or older have oodles of energy, and if you don’t let them spend it they will get cranky and annoyed. So once the seat belt sign is off let them get off your lap and walk or crawl between the seats a little bit. Especially if this is a long flight you can even bring them to the little open area near the toilets and pantry and let them explore a bit. I know, I know, you are concerned about all the germs on the floor – keep a keen watch on them to make sure they don’t put anything in their mouth, and keep some sanitizer to apply after they are done.

There – all of this helps make my flying experience better. There will always be the annoyed co-travelers. While I do sympathize with them, I refuse to leave them sorry notes or care packages on flights (which a lot of generous parents do) – I just think they are full-grown adults who can look after their comfort. I spend my energy ensuring it’s a comfortable experience for my baby and me.

Do you guys have any additional tips to share? Add them in the comments section please!
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6 Reasons I Take My Baby Traveling

We all know all the reasons why traveling brings so much pleasure for adults – but ever wonder what the advantages of taking your baby (infants and toddlers) traveling are? With some observation and introspection I came up with these 6 reasons:

  1. IMG_1920(Even tighter) Bonding with baby: I feel that traveling brings us closer because unlike home where I know all and the baby is in discovery mode, while traveling we are both in discovery mode and look at the world with the same sense of wonder. Feeling the same emotions at the same time, and spending undiluted quality time together (without jobs, chores, or even TV) helps us bond better.
  2. Shaping their minds with experiences: now some of you may argue that they wont remember the travels when they are that young – but they also don’t understand language yet we talk to them and read to them. I do believe travel experiences, even in their infant and toddler years help shape their perception of the world. Of course the subtle nuances of cultural diversity and globalization will be better perceived by your child once they are a bit older – but I am sure experiencing environments different from their own does help them widen their perspective on a broader level.
  3. IMG_1928Exposing them to diversity: whether its diversity of textures (beach sand, cane furniture, rocks), views (mountains, rivers, sea, beach, forest), people (dark, light, with curly hair, no hair), tastes (of Greek yogurt vs home yogurt), weather (moist and hot, dry and hot, rainy, snowy) and the list goes on. I believe exposing their senses to diverse experiences early on widens their imagination.
  4. Show and tell: would I rather show my child a zebra drawn in a book or take her to the Serengeti to show thousands of zebras during animal crossing? I rest my case.
  5. IMG_1981Cute babies as icebreakers: while locals may be jaded with thousands of (often annoying or obnoxious) tourists they often cannot resist being nice to the bundle of cuteness hanging next to your chest in that sling. So go ahead flaunt that baby to make friends!
  6. First in line privileges: this last one is totally selfish – but if you are traveling with an infant or toddler you immediately get shown to the front of line at airport check-in, at ticket windows, and more; and are even offered priority seating at (some) restaurants and events.

And honestly, writing about my travels with baby helps me. It reinforces that my life continues to be as awesome as it was before I had a baby, and happy travel memories help me get through some tough times like when baby is sick or cranky or refusing to eat!

What are your reasons?

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Sri Lanka Part 1: Baby Meets Beach

Hello! Thank you for following my family travel adventures with little Arya, my 9 months old . If you’ve been vicariously traveling with us through my blog, you know how excited I was for my Sri Lanka trip ! So here’s my trip report – this was baby Arya’s 3rd travel adventure. We were a party of 6 ( or 5.5 😉 -Arya, my travel partner in crime- my husband , my parents , my sister and the travel mommy ,me !

This is the story of some great family time at our beautiful Sri Lankan bungalow, unforgettable surf adventures, and how Arya met and then loved the beach. Oh before that- our route- We were going to Colombo and then from there to Unwatuna– which is on the southern coast of Sri Lanka.

I had to break this trip report  up into two parts because there is so much to write about! Read on 🙂

PRE-TRIP PREPARATIONS WITH BABY

Murphy…err…Baby’s Law

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Monkey jumping in our bed

The first thing that comes to mind is what should one pack? I was so excited about the trip that I wrote a post about it before we left – what to pack for a beach holiday with Baby. So that sorted, let’s move on to the night before the trip.

Arya is just as much a thrill seeker as us – which is great – except when she decides to seek the thrill of being up (what seemed like) all night right before our 6am flight. For some bizarre reason our otherwise decent sleeper decided to wake up at 1am and was crying away with her eyes closed. I brought her to our bed thinking I could smother her to sleep with hugs and cuddles. But nothing worked (!!!) – when she finally calmed down, Arya just wanted to play with us.

So there we were, trying everything from the gentle rocking, to vigorously shaking her like a salt-shaker in an attempt to put her back to sleep, and then finally giving in and taking turns playing with her. Around 2:45am she finally got tired of it, and laid her head on my chest. It took me another 15 minutes to sing and rock her to sleep.

Just then my alarm rang – I pounced on the phone to shut it up – it was time to wake up and get ready. [Tip: you already know this if you are a parent – for those who are not: be prepared for inexplicable behavior at odd times. Murphy’s law would be more appropriately named if it were called Babies’ law]

Ninja Skills – On our way to  and at  the airport

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Woke up after landing in Chennai

I got dressed and finished some last minute packing and re-checking of packing while the nanny and my mother-in-law packed some ragi porridge and roti for Arya for the way. We managed to fit my brand new, 7’2’’ NSP SurfBetty (surfboard) into our  car, and made the last minute executive decision to ditch the stroller – a wise decision I think because we had our hands full with a baby, a diaper bag, a purse, a back pack, two suitcases and an oddly sized surfboard. When we got to the airport I moved with the agility and grace of a ninja warrior to move a sleeping Arya from car seat to the sling without waking her up. Mission accomplished! She slept right through our 6am flight and woke up at 7:20am in Chennai where we would connect to our flight to Colombo. [Tip: if you are going to be a parent invest some time and money at ninja school – the skills come handy at everything from slipping away as soon as baby falls asleep to removing objects (like TV remotes) out of baby’s hands]

Reunited!

Having fed Arya her the morning bottle of milk, I was now prepared for two major events – seeing my parents and sister after 6 months, and Arya’s morning poop. My little angel timed it perfectly to be after we were done checking in for our flight to Colombo, and before I was reunited with my parents and sister. Arya sort of recognized them from all our FaceTime dates, so she smiled broadly at them but was hesitant to go to them (she was also going through her stranger anxiety and separation anxiety phase t

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The Lounge at Chennai airport

hen). We had a couple of hours until boarding so we checked into the lounge, and occupied a private corner where Arya could play on the floor. She was now starting to warm up to her grandparents and masi. [Tip: If you travel more than twice a year I highly recommend investing in the Plaza Premium Lounge Card – unlike the Mastercard or Visa Signature which only works at Indian lounges, the Lounge Card works at most international airports. With the free food (and alcohol at international airports) you can get your annual payment’s worth in just 3-4 lounge visits. It also gives you a slightly more private and cleaner space for baby] 

We made it to Sri Lanka! 

but .uh-oh……..Little Hic-Ups In Our Plans

Arya napped through nearly the entire duration of the flight from Chennai to Colombo (about 1.5 hours). We arrived at about 12:30pm local time, and with immigration cleared seamlessly in less than 10 minutes, we picked up our luggage and headed straight to the car rental place. We had rented a self-driven Nissan SUV from EuropCar at the Colombo airport. However, because neither of us had the “booklet type” international drivers license required by Sri Lankan law – the modern card type ones just wont do – we were in a bit of a soup! The

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Comfortably seated in the tourist van

only way around this was to have someone drive us to the DMV in Colombo (40-mins away) where we could get a temporary permit. That sounded like a total time sink! Luckily, the nice man at the car rental place suggested an even better alternative – for an additional $32 per day we could upgrade to a chauffeur driven tourist van. I confirmed the details like 10 times because it sounded like a deal that was too good to be true – but it was real! We rode comfortably in the vehicle for the next 4 days – without worrying about losing our way or having to tie the surfboard to the top of the car! [Tip: while its fun to self drive and discover, its both more comfortable and good value for money to have a chauffeur driven vehicles in countries like Sri Lanka where you can get great deals.]

Finally the Villa…

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We arrived at our beautiful Shalini Villa in Unawatuna at around 5pm. Check out the pics above ! It was a self contained 3 bedroom villa that came with a private swimming pool, 3 bedrooms, a personal chef to cook all our meals , a wooden crib for the baby, and absolute peace of mind. Sounds expensive? It wasn’t! Considering we were 6 people , it was again an absolute value for money. We again chose this home rental above hotels- if you remember we did Airbnb for Greece. This wasn’t through that, but again, not a hotel. Felt truly like a dream home 🙂

We were greeted by the cheerful bungalow keeper Kamindika and his staff. While they moved our luggage from the car to the living room, Arya and I took a quick tour of the bungalow. Arya was visibly excited to see the pool and was leaping out of my arms. This is where teaching my baby how to swim early on came in handy ! Every trip with a pool is a joy with her now 🙂 Now..if she would only love the beach…..suspense..read on ..it comes later!

I went back in and claimed the room with the crib. We settled in our rooms within 10 mins, quickly got changed, and headed straight for the inviting blue pool. The chef Tilak prepared some tea for us, and we enjoyed a laid-back evening outside.

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OUR ITINERARY 

Doing nothing was on the cards ! 

Since this was fourth time to Sri Lanka for Saurabh and I, and my parents are also frequent travellers they were ok skipping some of local attractions like the snake farm, turtle farm, and the spice garden – all of which they had seen in some form through their travels in India and South East Asia. There are many things to do in Srilanka  and especially around Unwatuna  the only thing on our mind on Day 1 was dinner and sleep.The house staff cooked us some Sri Lankan dinner with sambols, curries and rice. By now, Saurabh and I (we had be up since 1am, remember?) were zombies. With Arya tucked away in her beautiful wooden crib, we enjoyed a full night’s sleep in the comfy bed (with minimal disturbance from Arya who just woke up to feed and went right back to sleep).

The “Real” Non-Zombie Day 1 

We woke up at 5:30am next morning when Arya woke up – only to find that my parents were up too. We had some tea and headed for a morning walk by the beach. Arya was oblivious to the sea, but fascinated with the stray dogs and the birds at the beach. She kept trying to leap off from my arms to play with them. [Tip: As I mentioned in my Greece post – roughly sticking to their sleep schedule makes it easier for baby to adjust to a new location]

Gone Surfing!

Well fed on some fruits, omelets and toast for breakfast, we headed out to Dewata Marina Beach for some sun and surf. I was so excited about taking my brand new SurfBetty for her first ride! Bobby, the surf shop owner waxed it nicely for me. We bought 3-day surf package for Saurabh, my sister, and I, which included 2 hours of private lessons and some drinks and snacks. My mom and dad occupied the canopy

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Bad stance (as the pros will tell me) but there I am surfing!

beach bed with Arya – who was now loving hanging out with them.

I hadn’t surfed in at least two years, and this was my first time on an Epoxy board – which is significantly faster and shorter than a foam board. So it took
me 4-5 duds before I could finally ride standing up. This was a lot tougher than I remembered! But a lot of fun too!

After about an hour I came back to take a break and spend some time with Arya. My dad had fed her some watermelon juice and a bit of coconut juice while I was away, and she was nibbling at the rice puffs (murmura) now. [Tip: Keep baby hydrated with lots of fluid when you take them to the beach – their little bodies lose a lot of moisture – while you may not give juice to the baby at home try to give fresh juice while at the beach for hydration]

Baby Meets Beach Finally ! 


I tried to put Arya down on the sand to play – but she just wasn’t comfortable, and was probably afraid of the noisy waves hitting the beach. So I took her in my arms, and she held me tight as I went shin deep into the water. For the first two minutes just let her watch. Then each time a wave came I would shout “weeee” with excitement to make this seem like a game. After a few waves I felt her grip of me loosen up – and she stuck out her arm, pointed to the waves and smiled and squealed. That was enough for one day, I thought, and took her back to the canopy bed. I had some coffee and headed back to catch some more waves before leaving.

Then, we did a little shimmy number to shake the sand off the baby;) Check out the video here [Tip: If your baby doesn’t immediately love the beach give them time, and make a concerted effort to make it look appealing to them rather then forcing them on it. I guarantee that if you are patient enough they will love it on their own]

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We headed to Happy Banana restaurant at Unawatuna Beach (recommended by our lovely driver). The food was nothing to write home about, but the ambience was incredible – the idyllic view of the blue ocean and the mild wind made our cold beverages that much more perfect. They had no baby seats so Arya sat at the table (that we had cleared of all utensils and plates for her) and took turns playing peak-a-boo with the napkin with each of us until the food arrived. My dad took Arya for a stroll while the rest of us ate. He came back right as I was getting done with lunch, beer in one hand, and Arya in his other arm. He had struck up a conversation with a German lady who as tending the bar next door and had his favorite beer. That’s the thing about family travel- you learn so much about your own family 😉 My dad knew a bit of German- but i never knew he knew enough to hold a full on conversation ! Also, you meet so many different people, who you connect with. Meeting people from all over the world and all walks of life is definitely one of the top reasons I’m in love with travelling.

It was my turn to take Arya while dad ate his lunch, and the others enjoyed their desserts. [Tip: Some beach restaurant locations, while perfect for adults are not ideal for babies – if you are in a large group, take turns tending to the baby. If you are alone, or just the two of you – see if fast food is an option in such locations.]

As I write this, Little Arya is clamoring for some mommy time – so more in the next post!

Thank you for reading this far and long- as you can see a lot can happen with a baby in just 2 days of travel 😉 In the next post – here’s  a preview… Arya was running a fever – I will share some tips about handling a sick baby on vacation, and how I got Arya to finally love the beach! 

Also, in the next post , I will try sharing about our individual feelings, experiences traveling together as a family . This has been more of a trip report- I cannot emphasize how behind the day to day  there were innumerable contributions by my lovely husband, my parents and sister. More on that later!

Would love to hear about your Sri Lanka stories too… so post away in the comments section. Also let me know if you have questions about Sri Lanka because I have literally travelled the whole country from Jafna to Matara, from Colombo, Kandy, Dambulla, to Trincomalee – I did a 10 day road-trip across Sri Lanka. So I can try to answer all your Sri Lanka questions!

 

How to Introduce Baby to Swimming

Swimming is a great activity to introduce early to your baby for several reasons. It allows them to discover their mobility in another medium, it may help them improve movement and coordination, and it is a fun an engaging way to spend quality time with your baby. Most of all – if you plan on traveling a lot with your baby, being comfortable around water can help your child enjoy a whole list of exciting activities early in their life.

I have been taking my little one to the pool since she was 5 months old. At 9-months old now she is independent in the pool in her float – the Fred’s Academy Swimtrainer (one of my favorite baby products!). Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your child enjoys swimming:

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    Getting ready for her first swim

    Safety and health first: yes – no dunking baby in pool like an Oreo cookie in milk! When you take her to the pool, make sure the child is healthy, properly hydrated, and well fed. Also ensure that you use the right sun block if the pool is in a sunny location, and a swim diaper to protect against infections.

  2. Take it slow: no matter what age you introduce your baby/toddler to the pool, remember to take it slow – don’t expect a natural Michael Phelps on the first day. The pool is a vast scary thing for them before they get used to it and becomes fun. Give them ample time to love it.
  3. Do it yourself: your child trusts you (the parent) more than anyone in the world – so they would feel a lot more secure if you are one taking them to a pool, and not an instructor, or your sibling, or a cousin or a friend.
  4. Hold her close, and talk to her: for at least the first few times you take your child to the pool hold her very close to you, and keep talking to her to comfort her. Again, don’t worry about looking like a chatty fool at the pool. Remember the pool water is often colder than bath water, so, holding them close keeps them slightly warm and abates the temperature shock.
  5. Use props and toys to engage them: bring the baby’s favorite bath toys, or a napkin to play peek-a-boo with. You can also bring a plastic cup to fill and empty into the pool – some babies love the sound and action of water falling.
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    First time in the swim trainer

    Slowly introduce equipment: once the child is more comfortable in the water introduce floats that can help them become more independent in the water – their mobility is limited when you are holding them. So choose equipment that allows ample mobility of arms and legs.

  7. Once they are ready, lose the equipment: my child is not there yet – but once the baby is comfortable in the pool and old enough to follow basic instructions (even if by mimicking you) you can encourage them to let go of the floats. You can start by teaching them the right breathing technique, then teach them to kick their legs, and then to wade their arms. And voila we have a swimmer… ok not so easy – but the more time you spend with them in the pool the faster and easier the process will be.

Some people have the courage to take their newborns to the pool and teach them to swim right away. I wish I were one of them – but I am actually quite a sissy when it comes to my baby – so I am doing it the slow way. You can pick the method that suits you best.

Have stories to share about your experience with baby in pool? Questions for me? I will write the next one about introducing the baby to the beach…

6 Fears About Traveling with Baby

I am writing this on our way back from our Sri Lanka vacation – Saurabh and I are both tired of keeping up with our energizer bunny who refuses to eat anything today so is both energetic and cranky all at once. I will post about the vacation later but thought I would put this out there for all the parents planning travel soon.

We all have fears about traveling with baby – no matter how seasoned we are as travelers and parents. Here are my top 6:

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    On the Indigo flight to Chennai

    Flight tantrums: before we had Arya I was the type of person who would pray to God I was not seated within five rows of a baby. I would also say things like – “can’t they just give some Nyquill to the damn baby?!” Eating my words now. As they become more mobile babies get tougher to handle on a flight.  Not to mention ear drum popping that makes them uncomfortable. My tactics to handle this: of course the first one is to feed the baby – nothing keeps them more still. Singing rhymes, talking dramatically, playing air guitar and air-drums with baby in lap are other tactics that I have tried. Got more good ones?

  2. Poop bombs in inappropriate places: even though Arya is pretty regular with her poop times already, she has “surprised” me a few times with an unexpected poop bomb. If your baby is on solids or formula you know now their poop is very stinky! My fear is that she will poop right as we board the flight or get in a cab so it would be at least 20-30 minutes before I can find a bathroom to change her. Which means putting my fellow passengers through the stench for that long. Honestly – I have no retort for this one – maybe practice your embarrassed smiley face? Look up witty apologies.
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    Casual floor seating at Tartaruga Restaurant Unawatuna

    Baby behavior at restaurants: lets face it – everyone expects some peace and quiet, if not decorum while they are at a restaurant. And it is embarrassing when your baby is excitedly yelling away the two syllables that form her vocabulary. So here is what I do – pick more casual restaurants where there is light music and din so that the baby’s sounds get drowned out. We try to not expose Arya to screens if we can avoid it, so my tactic to keep her engaged is to give her some objects – like a dessert spoon, a straw and the cloth napkin to keep her busy. And most of all she yells to get our attention. So we take turns talking to her and keeping her entertained.

  4. Forgetting to pack something important: you can make all the lists in the world, but there is something you need and will forget to pack. I forgot to pack the toy and bottle washing liquid this time. My strategy for this is simple – make do with substitutes where you can, or buy once you get there. And most of all – don’t beat yourself up about it – this does not count as bad parenting, its just being human.
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    Not being let into bars: if you were used to chilling at bars before you had the baby this may be a rude awakening. We were actually denied entry into a couple of pubs/bars because they don’t allow babies. While I would have LOVED such a place when we didn’t have a baby it does sadden me a little that I am outright denied entry. You just have to recalibrate you expectations for this one – for every one place that denies you that much needed beer there will be three others that will happily serve you. Don’t take that rejection personally 🙂

  6. Food fears: there could be one whole separate post on food. We have so many fears when it comes to food for babies – will I find appropriate food for the baby? is the food I am giving hygienically prepared? what if my baby refuses to eat? Well..I do a combination of bringing some food from home, and giving local stuff. I pick up a few
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    Arya would rather eat grass than her cereal!

    fruits like watermelon, bananas, and papaya from the breakfast spread. If its an Airbnb with a kitchen I make some cereal (like ragi or oats) and fill it in the Boon Squirt (highly recommended for non-messy travel eating). You will get rice almost anywhere – carry some taste makers like butter or ghee to prepare a quick meal at any restaurant. Most of all – I think cut a little slack on food rules while traveling. I don’t regularly give processed foods to Arya – but I carry wheat puffs and other snacks for her for travel.

Alright – over to you… what are your worst fears while traveling with baby?  And what are your coping tactics?  I am sure you have a few we could all learn from!

PS: Arya’s Onsie in the Featured Photo is from Blue Bus Tees. I love their stuff – capture my thoughts so well!

What to Pack For A Beach Holiday With Baby

The night before leaving for a holiday I always feel like I forgot to pack something important. So, I thought I would write this post before leaving for Sri Lanka – in case this helps me remember to pack everything I need. And helps you pack for your next beach vacation too…

So, here are my top 6 items (in addition to the regular baby packing):

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    Left: Swimsuit, Right: Sunsuit

    Baby sunscreen: babies really don’t need anything more than an SPF 50. In fact most of us don’t need it. High SPF sunscreens may actually be bad for baby skin. I use Aveeno Natural Protection Sunscreen. Its a good consistency and works well for Arya.

  2. Sun Protection Suit: in addition to normal swimsuit – buy a sun protection suit. This is for when the baby is playing on the beach – you don’t want their delicate skin to burn, yet you want something that will dry quickly if it gets wet. I just bought this Tribord one on Amazon. We are yet to use this – will let you know how it worked out!
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    Fred’s Swimtrainer in Action

    Swim Safety Equipment: you will most likely stay at a place with a pool where the baby can swim. So carry the equipment baby is comfortable using at home.  We use the Fred’s Academy Swimtrainer. As a mom, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this product. It is designed to encourage babies to be independent in the pool, and ensures safety without restricting movement.

  4. Baby Bath Robe: I know what you are thinking… but this really is useful for when the baby is done swimming but you are not ready to take her inside for a bath. You can remove the wet swimsuit and put a robe on while you finish whatever is cooking on the barbecue or your drink.
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    Looking cute in her Sun Hat

    Sun Hats: get a hat that protects baby’s eyes from the sun. I got two hats from Mothercare but the one I like more is this soft white one from ShoppersStop. Buy a breathable fabric thats soft to touch. Also recommend buying one that clips/sticks at the chin, so baby cannot pull it off easily.

  6. Swim Diapers: so there is a lot of debate about these being a waste  of money. I think they are worth it especially if baby is sharing a pool with other babies. This way they are not swimming in each others pee.  I use Huggies Little Swimmers.  Is there another brand of swim diapers available??

Rest is all the regular fare like enough clothes to last at least 2 day time changes per day, towels, toiletries, grooming kit, baby food etc.

Sri Lanka… Here we come!!!

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