India with 2.1 year old - any tips gratefully received

(35 Posts)
tattyteddy Wed 01-May-13 14:24:45


I'm going to India for a relatives wedding in a couple of weeks for 1 week. I'm thinking I should take some basic food for DD like pasta. Also it will be a long flight so what I'm after is suggestions for different foods I could take and how to entertain her on the plane. If you have any other advice I would appreciate that too. Many thanks in advance xx

carlajean Wed 01-May-13 19:36:13

leave her at home with family or a good friend. but then, I got virulent dysentery out there, and would never take the risk of my child catching it.

ripsishere Thu 02-May-13 01:59:13

That's not terribly helpful carla.
Tatty, IIWY I would get my visa sorted out. Ours took a week. Food on the plane? I'd go for little packets of exciting things. dried fruit etc. Not sure how big those cartons of juice are and whether they would pass through the immigration officers. If you can get a load of small ones, I'd freeze them so they remain cold. Order her a child's meal in advance.
Most airlines have a screen in the back of chairs. Usually there is enough nonsense on to entertain a child for a couple of hours.
I'd also check about vaccinations and malaria prophelaxis. We lived in bangkok so never had to take anti malaria's. We did smother our DD in DEET <kill me> and she seldom got bitten.
Enjoy your holiday.

Check with your GP or a travel clinic if they can give you some antibiotic's and other medicines as a just in case for your DD. Dh travels to India a lot for work and always takes these which have been very helpful for his colleagues who didn't bother!

I'd pack some of her favourite snack type things in your luggage in case she doesn't eat much while you're there.

carlajean Thu 02-May-13 06:18:13

why not leave her at home? is a child of that age going to enjoy themselves traveling all that way, just for a week? no, IMO. we had an opportunity of a holiday in Florida when my youngest was that age, and we left him with my parents, where he was much happier.

givemeaclue Thu 02-May-13 11:30:51

Have a think about car seats as many cars there don't have seat belts to fasten them in even if you took your own car seat

tattyteddy Thu 02-May-13 15:51:02

Thank you for your replies, I had wanted to leave her at my in laws but its my sister's wedding and my mum would be really upset if we didn't take her.

We have got her all her vaccinations already and got her a light weight buggy. I will take some food for her that is dry and she likes, just in case she gets a bit fussy.

Sorry for not replying sooner. Xx

carlajean Thu 02-May-13 16:32:48

have a lovely timesmile

tattyteddy Thu 02-May-13 16:40:17

Thank you x

ArabellaBeaumaris Thu 02-May-13 16:46:46

Have a lovely time! Fwiw we took dd to Nepal & India at 2,2. We were there for 4 months & she didn't get sick once (altho we dd). If she is potty trained I would take a portable potty. I found reins useful too. & also bring cereal bars rtc so you have a food option for her at all times!

PiratePanda Thu 02-May-13 16:52:05

As long as she's taken all her vax and you're MEGA careful with food, she should be OK. If it were me, I would use pasta and pesto as basics, and then get the cook to mix in some vegetables - but then again if you're in a major city you will be able to buy pasta and pesto anyway, so not necessary to take it. You could also experiment with relatively bland dishes like dal or paneer butter masala.

givemeaclue Thu 02-May-13 18:16:52

But what will you do about car seats?

tattyteddy Sat 04-May-13 07:24:03

Thanks for replies, I was working late yesterday so didn't see replies. I'm not a 100% about car seat, what did others do? Can u buy one when u get there? X

WishIdbeenatigermum Sat 04-May-13 07:39:27

It's doable for one week- forget all about normal food rules and just concentrate on clean stuff. So coke rather than water, loads of bananas and sweets. You'll also need to reconcile yourself to travelling without car seats. Even if you take a booster or light seat, where are you going to put it in an autorickshaw or car with no belts.
If you can leave her you'd have much better time, though!

tattyteddy Sat 04-May-13 07:45:22

It's only for a week so might have to grin and bear it. I did want lot leave DD at home with inlaws but my mum was very disappointed. I think we'd have done loads more if we weren't talking her, certainlyprr traveling! X

tattyteddy Sat 04-May-13 07:52:25

Just thinking should you refrain from drinking bottled water there too? X

WishIdbeenatigermum Sat 04-May-13 08:20:16

Coke is more reliable. Bottle of unopened Evian in a posh hotel, no problem- dusty no name brand from a cart- problem. Work on your mum. DD won't get anything out of it, she'll be fine, but it seems a bit unfair if your mum to want her there just for the show, when it'll be you with the worry and donkey work!!

tattyteddy Sat 04-May-13 09:56:42

I may try and speak to my mum again. You're right it's very stressful and I'll be doing all the hard work x

crazy8 Sat 04-May-13 10:02:03

Take small cheap toys for the flight. I put some chocolate crispier in a small container and it took ages for DD to go through them. Pack sandwiches for the flight. That way you can let dd sleep and you don't have to wake her for the plane meal.
In India make sure you are careful with the milk. Everyone always thinks its the water but you also need to be careful with milk. In some places the milk is not pasteurised and is used straight from the farm. Ask if the milk is from a carton.
Have fun. My DC lived India and still talk about it.

Weegiemum Sat 04-May-13 10:05:01

I think you should go and take her. It might well be her earliest memory!

We went backpacking in Central America (Guatemala and Honduras) when our dc were 5y3m, 3y3m and 16 months. It was great. We all got funny tummies at times (that might have been the bean heavy diet though!) except dd2 who was still bf.

As long as you have all vaccinations (including bcg) and are vigilant about hygiene, it should be fine. Even though she may well not remember it, it's educational and she will gain loads from the trip.

My dh spent 5 months working in India on a gap year (before they were invented) and we're thinking of taking the children there next year, when they'll be 14, 12 and 10.

Have a great time.

dyslexicdespot Sat 04-May-13 10:15:19

I would make sure that your DD is always well hydrated. You could put rehydration pills in bottled water. If you BF, give her breast milk instead of water or cow milk.

Avoid any food that has been washed in water (salad, pealed fruit) and avoid ice. Bring a sling, a stroller would have been useless in all of the parts of India I have ever been to.

If you travel by car and do not bring a car seat please make sure you NEVER strap her in with the same seat belt you are using. Your body weight would smash her if you crashed or stopped suddenly.

tattyteddy Sat 04-May-13 10:17:12

Thank you everyone for your replies, I really appreciate the help. It's a good idea to have sandwiches etc for the plane. In relation to the milk I was going to order some toddler milk from the boots at the airport - should be doable we're only there for a week!

But to top it all off I have an exam for the course I'm doing the day before we travel sad

Jinsei Sat 04-May-13 10:28:02

Where are you planning to go, OP? We have taken dd to India five times, including once as a baby and twice as a toddler. She has always been fine, and she absolutely loves it there, but you do need to be careful about what you eat & drink, and car seats are an issue!

How will you be travelling around? We had a seatbelt fitted in the back seat of the car that we used, as it had been taken out - didn't cost much, and only took a little while. We take our own car seat but I have heard of inflatable ones - not sure if that might be an option?

When we go, we tend to buy crates of bottled water from a reliable source in Delhi/Gurgaon, and take enough for the whole trip. We like Catch brand or Himalaya. Don't buy bisleri! We also take loo roll and that hand sanitiser stuff is quite useful. You can buy a potty there and carry it around with you. Obviously, this assumes that you'll be travelling around a bit and moving by car. If you're staying in one place and it's a big city, no big deal.

I think it should be fine. We went when dd was 1.10 and she survived on bananas and chapatti! grin I also took lots of little snack for her from the UK. The next time we went, she was around 3, and then she just ate the normal food. Avoid salad, fruit that you haven't peeled yourself, ice cream and be careful about milk. DD has always been fine with the yoghurt.

The other challenge we had was friendly people who kept giving dd stuff to eat. You just have to be quite firm and explain that she can't have them! And be prepared for them to pinch dd's cheeks a lot! It's a gesture of affection but it used to make dd cry! Now she just finds it hilarious!

I am most familiar with northern India, urban and rural. I believe that south India is supposed to be much cleaner! grin

I think it will all be fine - enjoy!

Jinsei Sat 04-May-13 10:30:44

Oh, and take plenty of calpol, just in case!

hermioneweasley Sat 04-May-13 10:34:35

I'm another vote for leaving her with the in-laws. It might be fine, but there is significant potential for major, hospitalising illness. I wouldn't risk it.

dyslexicdespot Sat 04-May-13 10:39:38

Oh, and don't forget to buy travel insurance!

Jinsei Sat 04-May-13 10:43:57

Yes, there is a chance of serious illness. There is a chance of getting knocked over by a bus if you venture out of the house in the morning. You have to weigh up the risk against how important it is for you to take her with you. For us, it was a no brainer. Half of dd's family are there, and she'd never see them if we didn't take her.

The risks are massively reduced if you take appropriate precautions. Neither dd nor I have ever been ill, and there is no reason to assume that this will happen. And fwiw, if anything did happen, there are some excellent private hospitals in India - DH had to be admitted for emergency surgery once, and I was very pleasantly surprised. And I hasten to add, he'd have needed the surgery wherever we were, it was nothing to do with being in

Jinsei Sat 04-May-13 10:48:21

Just seen that you're going in a couple of weeks, which means that it will be quite hot. That does increase the risks somewhat, but I guess it still depends on where you're going. Mosquitos are likely to be an issue, and this would be a concern. You'll need to cover dd's arms and legs, sleep under nets etc. We always avoid mozzie season ourselves...

We are veggie so it isn't an issue, but I'd avoid eating any meat if I were you too. There's always more than enough veggie food available.

NotALondoner Sat 04-May-13 10:59:43

She will love it, others will love to see a toddler there, I am a strong believer in showing children different ways of living, to expose them to different cultures. I took mine when they were this age, it'll be such an adventure for you all.

tattyteddy Sat 04-May-13 11:53:01

We are going to the Punjab in the North West. I don't think we'll be doing much traveling but really good advice about not putting seat belt around the both of you. We get there on the Saturday and my sister's wedding is on Sunday and we travel back on the Friday so quite a short space of time. The only place I think we'll visit is the Golden Temple at Amritsar.

I've been to India but my DD and strawberry blonde DH hasn't so I think we'll be staying in the shade a lot grin.

She has had all her vaccinations and her 2nd MMR early. I think I may buy cartons of juice etc from the airport before we go.

Defintely packing calpol/baby nurofen and getting travel medical cover.

I am nervous but quite excited too. xx

gettingaway Sat 04-May-13 11:58:05

also never ever drink tap water ( i am sure you wouldnt anyway) enjoy your time smile

Jinsei Sat 04-May-13 12:10:58

Also bottled water for cleaning teeth. smile

Where in the Punjab are you going OP (apart from Amritsar)? If it's a big city like Chandigarh, you should be able to buy cartons of juice etc quite easily when you're there.

Golden Temple is lovely. smile

tattyteddy Sat 04-May-13 12:55:21

We are going to be near the town of Phagwara. You're right I'm sure I'll be able to buy cartons of juice x

crazy8 Sat 04-May-13 13:39:44

I took a carseat with me and did quite a few internal flights. Had no problems whatsoever. It might be worth buying a cheaper carseat and taking it with you. Also don't bother with a buggy. The pavements are not designed for buggys.

tattyteddy Sun 05-May-13 07:15:29

We are going on Friday and will be back on the following Friday. The last time I went was 10 years ago and had a great time visiting the Taj Mahal etc. a lot of my mum's family are in India and they will love to meet DD.

Last time I went we used those plug I'm mosquito repellents, they seemed to work really well. The Travel vaccination nurse also told us to use mosquito repellent cream on DD which we will do.

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