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Tips for Travelers

Traveling with 0-2 yrs.

When packing for the journey, whether by plane or train, always be prepared for emergencies and delays. Always pack 2-3 changes of clothes for baby and one for yourself and of course extra diapers. Pack all of baby's regular and emergency medicines in your hand bag so as to avoid opening your suitcases during the journey. You should also plan ahead for weather conditions at your destination. Always board early so you have to time settle in and there is no last minute hassle. If bottle feeding, take powdered or formula milk.

You should always time your toddler's feeding with boarding the train/airplane. This will depend on what diet stage your baby is at? Keep in mind that breastfeeding is the by far the least hassle and convenient of all. If flying, ensure that your baby is suckling at the breast while landing as it would prevent any ear pain.

Dry, packaged cereals are handy such as corn flakes, rice cereal & powdered custards which are easily made up with a bit of water or milk.

Common Problems while flying

  • Ear Pain

    Even minor nasal stuffiness before takeoff in an aircraft causes real discomfort and may also damage the ears during the flight. Be sure to have baby's ears checked by your doctor before flying.
    For the most part, there is no problem associated with taking off, climbing and flying as high as 45,000 feet or even descending to 8,000 feet. But, it's those last 8,000 feet to landing that creates problems for children's (even adult's) ears. You should begin feeding the baby the minute 'FASTEN SEAT BELT' sign comes on. The swallowing helps to equalize the pressure in the ears during descent.
    Ear pain in a young infant may present as crying or screaming (usually less than half an hour), fussiness or irritability (worse when lying down), or suddenly increased difficulty sleeping, especially at night. There is often no sign of pain the following morning. If the signs of ear trouble last more than 24 hours after landing, you must consult a physician.

  • Gas

    Unlike ear problems, gas troubles tend to occur during ascent. While there's not a lot you can do about these problems they do not cause any major difficulty.
    If you are only breastfeeding, it is wise NOT to add any new food to your diet 24 hours prior to flying that may cause gas in baby. If your baby is prone to excessive gas, ask your pediatrician recommend some drops that you can give baby prior to boarding the plane.

Getting ready for your trip – what all to carry?

  1. Clothes :
    • Carry for your child only cotton undergarments, socks and clothing as they can absorb perspiration and thus prevent prickly heat or fungal infection in the body folds. Avoid tight fitting undergarments, outer clothing and belts.
    • If heading for a hill station, carry proper clothing.
    • Carry enough change of clothes for your child especially if toilet training still on!

  2. Medicines :
    • Are you entering an endemic zone? If yes - Find out about the conditions at your new destination like any local disease requiring immunization or preventive drugs & seek guidance from your doctor. e.g. People entering Surat should ideally take preventive medicine for Malaria. People should ideally take Typhoid vaccine before traveling to pilgrimages or religious places where appropriate sanitation and hygiene is not expected.
    • Are you missing a scheduled vaccine? Action? Talk to your Family Doctor.
    • Make your doctor either prepare a kit for you or give you a prescription, detailing when to take what?
      (For diarrhea, motion sickness, upset stomach, cough and cold, pain relievers, decongestants and anti allergics. Nasal drops if going to hill station. Many a parents had to cut short their trip, as the child would get a severe nasal blockage. Vaseline.)
    • Enough refill of any prescription medicine you or your child is taking.
    • Always carry your doctor’s telephone number, both, of clinic and residence so that you can contact him if need be.
    • If your child is suffering from any chronic illness or undergoing a specific treatment, always carry along his history papers, as these will be helpful in case he needs medical attention.
    • Remember - Never take medicines offered by fellow travelers, as your child may be allergic to them.
    • A makeshift 1st aid box.

  3. On your trip – what care to take about food?
    • To avoid vomiting, diarrhea and dysentery: water and milk should be properly boiled before using. Beware of water you may use for even gargling or cleaning teeth. Alternatively, use only mineral water of reputed company. Mind you all mineral waters do not guarantee purity. While taking drinks, ice-cubes should be avoided, as the source of water is always questionable.
    • Foods, sold by street vendors or displayed outside the shops should be avoided.
    • Avoid taking large meals during traveling.
    • Since traveling by air at high altitude produces increased urination, proper fluid intake should be maintained. If your child gets colds frequently or has a cold while flying, give him a candy to suck on during the descent. This will prevent negative pressure building up and ear infection

  4. Acquaint yourself with
  5. Growingwell.com – Is with you wherever you are! If you need any help from us, just mention that you are travelling when asking a question and we shall try to reply within a few hours.