Our first trip with Kabir, my 3.5 month old son has come to an end. For a first short five day vacation, we picked Goa(duhhh). I realised that with a baby this small, you literally play by the hour. One hour is blissful, you are drinking on a shack taking in the ocean while the baby has noisy conversations with coconut trees. Next hour you are struggling to latch a crying baby getting in the way of other people's blissful afternoon. I made some good decisions and quite a few bloopers on my first trip. If you are planning a trip with your infant, do check this list out.
✔While you will spend all energy in packing for your baby's first trip, also pack enough for you. Don't get intimidated by the luggage. Carry your medicines, carry enough clothes (remember spit-ups). Pack how you would usually pack for yourself.
✔If you are a breastfeeding mom, carry lots of snacks. Dryfruits, biscuits, panjeeri, laddoo, makhane, trail mix are few quick snacks that would help. (I was in deep hungry mess because I didn't)
✔Carry your nursing pillow or whatever pillow you are used to, I carried my comfeed to every beach shack and restaurant, it was so much easier to feed in a position I am used to.
✔Do not forget your baby carrier/ stroller or whatever your baby is most comfortable in.
We carried our #AnmolSSC, and walks to the beach and transit on airport were much simpler with it. But do remember that you have to remove the carrier during security check at the airport.
✔Be ready to feed anywhere and everywhere. If you can feed in your carrier, nothing like it. Makes feeding so simple and discreet.
✔My tip to survive feeding at crowded places is to just stare at your baby, you wouldn't even care or know if anyone is looking at you!
✔Take enough cushioned swaddles or thick blankets where you can lay your baby in restaurants (we didn't have a bassinet).
✔ To arm ourselves for the flight, we took expressed milk in a bottle, a pacifier and of course my breasts for the take-off and landing. Kabir refused to nurse in an uncomfortable position in the plane so the pacifier and bottle came to my rescue both during take-off and landing. Kabir slept mostly suckling on the pacifier.
✔You are on vacation and so is your baby; if you fuss over their regular sleep and feed schedules you will definitely not be able to enjoy your Holiday. Try staying in the ball park of sleep-feed cycles but remember there are too many new things for babies to take in and they might refuse to sleep on their regular schedule. Nothing calms down a jittery baby more, than babywearing. Keep them close in these new places so that they are comfortable and happy (which means you are too)!
✔Drink lots and lots and lots of water! Possibly in the excitement of all the good food you will forget to drink water. I carried a lot of ORS and electoral since I went to Goa, which was required to beat the heat and keep me replenished.
✔Vacations as you knew in life have changed much, like life itself. Don't pack too much in one day. If baby is happily settled in one place - try not jumping to the next plan or place. Be fluid with your itineraries.
✔Do stock up on all emergency medicines for baby. Your doctor generally will have a travelling medicine list.
✔Even when you do everything, your baby will probably get overtired and cry in restaurants / airports etc. Try and have a thick skin and tell yourself first time is the hardest (much like I am told myself and my husband).
After all of this if you are still motivated to plan a holiday, Bon Voyage!