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Sri Lanka with 1year old

(21 Posts)
Figwin Wed 06-Jan-16 10:30:20

Hi all,

We are off to Sri Lanka with DD for Easter. She will then be around 15months. It's a trip we have been invited on by DH's dad and stepmum with lots of family, 14 in total, but all the other children are school age. We are staying in small boutique hotels (all look quite fancy) and are traveling on a private coach which seems like it will be quite new and smart. The agent has assured us that they will provide a car seat. I have worries about its condition just from hearing other's stories about car seats from hire car places but I have never been on a holiday like this with this kind of travel agent so I'm hoping for a better result.
My main questions:
1. Do we need jabs and/or malaria tablets?
Finding it hard to get an answer but DD might be too young for jabs anyway

2. Milk? She is currently weaning off formula on to cows but I'm not sure of Sri Lanka is ok for pasteurised milk and we should keep her on baby milk a little longer to get us through the holiday if full fat cows is hard to come by.

3. Food? She's a pretty happy eater and willing to try different things but just have concerns as to things such as salt content and chillies. Just worried she may be living off rice, yoghurt and fruit for two weeks.

Any extra tips would be very welcome. DD is walking, has been for 2 months already so will probably have a little walk about although I will get some reins attached or not to a bag. We are also taking a cheap buggy with us.

Thanks in advance x

mummymeister Wed 06-Jan-16 12:01:39

Go on the govts fit for travel website. looks like you need all the usual childhood ones plus Hep A tetanus and typhoid. malaria risk is low but means taking precautions like covering up and deet. if your dd is too young for the jabs or you don't have the time to fit them all in before your holiday then I seriously would not be taking her. Easter is only 11 weeks away - you have left this quite late to be thinking about so would suggest you get on to your practice nurse asap.

Tram10 Wed 06-Jan-16 12:29:52

We were there last easter, didn't need jabs or malaria tabs.

My kids are older so we didn't have to worry about milk or food. You will find fish and chicken, pasta, veggies etc, most good quality hotels cater to an International palate and will be more than happy to prepare special food for your little one. None of us experienced a dodgy tummy.

Honestly, I would take my own car seat just to be on the safe side, their idea of safety and luxury is different to ours.

Be aware that the driving is absolutely crazy and the roads are bad so the journeys take much longer than expected.

It is a beautiful country with beautiful people.

Figwin Wed 06-Jan-16 13:58:32

Jabs are normally given 6-8 weeks before travel so it's not "quite late" and I have been researching it for a while but did not fully understand it, including the "fit for travel" site as it has 3 different sections: confirmed, advised and recommended. I asked my practice nurse who just said its up to you, which is zero help.

Thank you Tram10. As someone who has recently traveled there it's good to know whether or not you were jabbed up x

mummymeister Wed 06-Jan-16 16:17:26

Figwin - if you are talking about multiple jabs then depending on age/health/type of jab you cannot always have them in one go. I would always go with the recommended on the fit for travel site. you can of course not have the jabs but need to research the illnesses and what to look out for before you go. staying in a nice resort/hotel is no guarantee that everything will be OK. Wasn't it Cheryl cole who got malaria and I doubt she stayed anywhere dodgy or ate dodgy food. I do think its easy to be a bit complacent about these sorts of diseases. up to you of course but if you don't go for the jabs make sure firstly that your holiday insurance covers you if you haven't gone with the fit to travel recommended ones and secondly you know what symptoms to look for just in case.

as I said, personally, especially with a young child where illness can onset really quickly, I wouldn't mess about and do what the website says.

Figwin Wed 06-Jan-16 16:32:30

I don't understand the website and I would never not get recommended jabs. It says definitely get the normal UK jabs. We have those. Then it has others recommended so do I include those in needed? As I said practice nurse just said the normal ones and others are up to us but I'm not a doctor and we don't have a lot of money to pay for extra jabs.

I really don't want to only focus on the jabs as I was also looking for milk advice too.

Bonywasawarriorwayayix Wed 06-Jan-16 16:49:57

Maybe try asking on the Trip Advisor forum? There are lots of knowledgeable people there.

Figwin Wed 06-Jan-16 18:48:23

Thanks, Bony. Will do one tonight when the LO is in bed so she doesn't swip my phone while I make an account confused

mummymeister Wed 06-Jan-16 22:54:28

tripadvisor forum would definitely be able to give you advice on the milk situation as it is populated by destination experts - usually people who live there and know this sort of thing.

you will get some very conflicting advice about the jabs because this is a forum heavily used by people from the usa where they seem to go in for more jabs than we do.

the advice our practice nurse gave us was to have the ones required and the ones recommended. you know what the risks are if you have read up about the diseases and the ease of catching them. Hep A and typhoid are surprisingly easy to catch. I would get these for your little one - the cost of having the jab is miniscule in comparison to the disease and its effects. have a look at your travel insurance and see what it says. ours says in the tiny print that it expects us to have all the jabs recommended so that's what we do otherwise if we did get one of the diseases on the list then we wouldn't be covered. there is a cost to the jabs but compare it to the cost of the flights.

Figwin Wed 06-Jan-16 23:08:44

I know what you are saying. I will have to figure out the money to compensate.
We are not paying for any part of the trip. Tbh it's not the kind of holiday I would choose to go on with LO. We are staying in 4 different hotels and on a private coach traveling a fair bit. I would much rather a short flight, one hotel or villa and some kid friendly entertainment. I think I just feel extra anxious because it's out of my control and it's our first trip away.

mummymeister Thu 07-Jan-16 15:06:47

Blimey figwin that sounds like quite a holiday with a toddler and some other kids as well. you really will need a good car seat then. do the coaches have seat belts on them? I know its mandatory in the UK but not sure about the rules in Sri Lanka. I would assume that they didn't have personally but certainly suggest you check this up asap. I know the holiday is free and all that but being stuck on a coach for hours on end in the heat with a LO strapped in is no ones idea of fun. what an odd choice of holiday by your dh's dad and stepmum. are the other parents with older kids relaxed about it? I don't think of myself as the unadventurous type but free or not this wouldn't be something I would have gone on.

good luck with everything. hope you get the jabs sorted.

Figwin Thu 07-Jan-16 16:15:59

The nurse will contact me next week and I've emailed the agent to contact the hotels re milk and also asked for confirmation that the car seat is in good condition and working order. There are definitely seat belts on the coach. I'm just not sure if what to expect as with a normal travel agent I wouldn't trust a car seat and would bring my own. This is some high end thing. That's the only thing that is making feel ok about all my constant questions as they must be used to doing specific requests.

Everyone in the family has made me feel pretty alone on the subject other than DH. Like I'm worrying about nothing. The other kids are 7, 9 and then 3 teens. I think because it was so long ago they were in my position they are quite blasé about it all.

mummymeister Fri 08-Jan-16 16:35:03

Figwin sorry you feel all alone about this. fwiw I think you are absolutely spot on to ask all these questions and make sure that everything is as you need it to be. you don't want to be constantly on edge - isn't much of a holiday for you then. hope the nurse sorts the jabs with you. I know about the expense and the nuisance of it but crawling toddlers do catch things so easily. keep asking those questions its what they are paid for.

MiddleClassProblem Thu 21-Jan-16 11:58:39

Hi everyone (Figwin OP here),

Just an update in case someone finds this thread useful I the future.
DH needs Hep A and Typhoid and I just need Typhoid. DD is too young for jabs but I spoke to two separate doctors about who both said the risk is minimal and said to go for it! Apparently hep A is affects adults more than children and typhoid is from faeces so as we are staying in posh hotels, traveling in a private coach and she is in nappies, it's unlikely she will come into contact with it. We will be taking her digital thermometer and washing her bottles in bottled water etc to be extra safe. Still not found out about the milk yet.

Also these vaccines are free on NHS and advices to be done 6 weeks before travel so we still are well with in our time to get it done.

mummymeister Thu 21-Jan-16 15:12:34

I am genuinely surprised at the advice from your doctors regarding the risks and not giving jabs. have you asked the question on the tripadvisor forum about the milk and got no response?

MiddleClassProblem Thu 21-Jan-16 15:30:18

I have emailed the agent about the hotels.

I was surprised too. I got it from two different ones too and asked both what they would do if it was their child. One said if ur was a newborn then you shouldn't go anywhere but as she's over 1 and had basic jabs she's fine. Also said that if we were roughing it it would be a different matter too

Ifiwasabadger Thu 21-Jan-16 15:31:45

I've been to Sri Lanka five times...I live very close to it.

It is a fabulous place and I love it. The food is great, people are super friendly, and it is stunning.

It is, however, challenging with a baby.

The driving is crazy and I would be very surprised if you get a decent car seat. We have always taken our own. Also, it takes hours and hours to get anywhere, they will tell you places are close and then it will take 3 hours to get there in traffic. Where exactly are you going and I can advise? I assume you're doing kandy, pinewella, then galle on the south coats!

Milk, keep her on baby milk, they will have UHT milk only there.

Bear in mind Sri Lanka is pretty much a third world country, it's quite like India only with better food.

We've never had any jabs or malarials at all.

MiddleClassProblem Thu 21-Jan-16 16:56:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ifiwasabadger Fri 22-Jan-16 16:47:13

Hmm aside from the yes means no ( and I understand this, I live in the Middle East) I think there is a genuine massive misunderstanding of what us western folk think is acceptable regarding certain things eg car seats.

Believe me, we stay five or six star when we visit Sri Lanka, as it is so cheap...the last time we were there I booked us the penthouse duplex suite and the baby cot looked like it had been gnawed on by animals...

mummymeister Sat 23-Jan-16 10:06:40

OP take your own car seat - please. don't rely on their definition of "good condition" so easy to do and will reduce your stress considerably.

MiddleClassProblem Thu 04-Feb-16 12:09:07

Milk update - spoke to HV who said full fat uht or powdered milk is fine and if it wasn't available just make sure she has lots of other dairy. Full fat UHT will be available at each hotel and will take some follow on milk as a back up.

Car seat wise, we have just bought her forever car seat so will take her old car seat that goes to 13kg with plenty of bubble wrap (she's not 11kg yet so unless she turns into a food monster over the next month and a half I think we're safe. She has a cold atm anyway).

Anyway thought the milk info might be useful to anyone traveling with 1 -2 year olds x

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