Traveling to India for the first time since you became parents?You would not have to worry about a lot of stuff now. Indian metros are now at par with any international city and almost everything is available, of course you'll have to flexible with the brands. A practical approach to your trip would be to see it from your child's point of view. Here are a few tips:
1. Decide upon the duration of the trip. If it is a month long then go at a slow pace. If its just two weeks long just understand the potential risks. Think about how your child is going to react to a long flight. A busy airport, the heat, rush, crowd and jetlag. A good thing is to monitor everything that your child does and imagine how s(he) is going to do that in India.
2. Always visit your physician and get yourself and the kid (s) vaccined and immunized before you depart. There are few hazards but nothing that is unmanageable. Prevention is the key, so prevent being bitten using long-sleeved clothes and bed nets after dark. Use mosquito repellent. DEET-based repellants need to be used with caution in those under age 2 -- please ask your travel clinic for specific advice in this regard. Ask your physician for tips on malaria and dengue.
3.Your child may find it difficult to sleep away from home with the new surroundings; they may find it more difficult than adults to adjust their â€˜body clocksâ€™. Do not leave your young kids ever. Your instincts should work in case of any problem. Look for signs. A change of mood, change in the smell of urine will be spotted by you and no body else. Toddlers have a habit of picking things up off the ground and putting it into their mouths, so keep a strict eye. Wash their hands often with antibiotic hand wash, use sanitizer. Children are naturally very active, dehydration in hotter places could be a problem, though bottled water and fruit is widely and cheaply available, some re-hydration salts would be useful. You generally will get ORS readily available.
4. Keep a leisurely pace, and make room for relaxing. A tight schedule is hard for adults and with kids fun can turn into nightmare. Try making space for some grounding for your kid.
5. Before you depart, keep a list of doctors, or emergency health care providers handy with you to seek medical care if needed. Put together a basic medical kit, including fever-reducing medicine, dehydration preparation, treatment for diarrhea, antiseptic spray, a thermometer and plasters. If your child seems unwell, your hotel should be able to direct you to doctors.
6.Although it is advisable to keep your stack of baby food and formula ready, but you need not worry about its availability. Diapers, anti rash cream, sun block are a must have for kids.
For food, always eat from a clean and trusted food joint. Many international food chains like Mc Donald's, Pizza Hut are open at every corner in most parts of India unless you choose to visit remote areas. If joints are not available, go for boiled rice, freshly cooked daal and packaged yogurt. They are the safest bets.
Some more simple tips that may work for you:
1. Drink bottled water (available everywhere).
2.Use suntan Lotion (factors 30 and 15 (and sometimes 60)). Always put hats and sunglasses on.
3. Do not pick up stuff from the streets. Never eat anything from a stall / cooked in the streets. Stay away from buffet-style meals. Eat in busy restaurants. Wash your hands before eating (or use disinfecting wet tissues; also good for cleaning feet after temple-visits).
4. Keep nails short.
5.Wear long or three quarter trousers (keeps knees whole) and long sleeved shirts
6. Wear sturdy shoes, no sandals. Check feet on cuts after temple visits and disinfect if necessary. Disinfect any cut or scratch as soon as possible
7. Buy a small anklet with a bell and put it on your kid, youâ€™ll hear him around even when youâ€™re not watching.
8. Use mosquito repellent.
9. In northern India it can get too cold in winters and too hot in summers, so have a good thought about what clothes you want to bring for the season and location you are visiting.
10. You need not worry about diapers. Almost every international brand is available. But do carry your own stock.
11. Take enough toys to keep your child busy. Invest in a portable DVD player. Keep refreshing their collection and donate the old ones to street kids.
12. And you don't need car seats. You wouldn't have space for strollers unless you visit malls. A sling or baby carriers should be best bet for very small babies.