Packing for India - w/ a BABY!
As many of you know, Sean and I are traveling to India at the end of this month (!!) to practice Ashtanga yoga at the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI) with Sharath Jois. And yes, we are bringing our baby. I've received many mixed reactions about traveling across the world with my little 15 month old peanut. For the most part, people are super excited for us. Others are inspired to start traveling with their own babies. And some think we're crazy.
I mean, I don't blame them. It's about 36+ hours of travel to get to India. That's a long plane ride with a toddler and I can understand why someone may decide to sit this trip out for a few more birthdays.
But we're doing it. We're passionate about our yoga practice and we don't believe parents should give up their dreams because they had a baby. The baby simply joins the pack and becomes an integrated part of the dream!
So yes, we're traveling as a family to practice yoga with our teacher. Of course, there are more things we have to consider when we're trekking with a babe. So I've put together a list of what we'll be packing with us - as parents - for India.
Aside from the obvious hygiene products and clothes and such, here's a breakdown of what's in our suitcase.
Luckily I'm still breastfeeding Connor so that will help his little body's immune system tremendously, but I'm still playing it safe. I want him (and all of us) to be extra healthy and defended during our travels so I'll be supplementing with these boosters.
Virus-carrying mosquitoes are more prevalent in southern India, especially during Monsoon season, which we'll be arriving at the tail end of. So we got all the goods to keep those buggers far, far away!
Mosquito Nets - to put around our bed
Mosquito Bracelets - to wear if we deem necessary
Mosquito Sticks - to... I don't know. I just saw them in the suitcase.
ALL THE BABY STUFF>>
DIAPERS>> Lots and lots of diapers. More than I think I will need on the plane. One time I had two diapers on me for a three hour flight, had just changed Connor before we took off, and he took a huge poo about 30 minutes in. I changed him, of course, but then he pooped AGAIN not too long after that! I had already used both diapers one hour into a three hour flight!
Fortunately I had two shirts on, so I literally took the top one off and wrapped it around my son's butt, tying the sleeves around his waist as a makeshift diaper for the next two hours. It was a hot mess, and I will not be making that mistake again.
At home we use both cloth and disposable diapers. For the trip we'll be leaving the cloth behind. They do have diapers for sale at the local stores if we're in need (Pampers and such) but they're marked up drastically, and I prefer to use more natural brands on my baby's bum. So we're bringing all the diapers we can manage!
BABY FOOD>> Now, normally at home I just mush up a little bit of my own food and give it to Connor. I do imagine he'll try some food while we're in India, but aside from breastmilk, I'm bringing ample amounts of actual baby food jars and pouches. I'd rather know there is safe food that his stomach is used to whenever and wherever we are. Baby food is allowed on planes even if it exceeds the regular liquid limitations, thank goodness. The jars will go with our cargo luggage, and the pouches, due to changes in air pressure, will go in my carry on.
CAR SEAT>> We have a three hour taxi ride to Mysore once we land at the airport, so a car seat is imperative. The taxi company does actually have a car seat for customer use, but apparently someone else has already called dibs. (My suggestion for that company is to invest in a few more car seats!)
BABY CARRIER>> So so important when traveling with a baby, especially when walking around airports and connecting flights. Plus, in a foreign place, it'll feel nice to have Connor so close to me. He LOVES being held, rocked, carried, etc. so that's a plus. It's also our best bet for getting him to sleep enough during the trip there (although I have a feeling we parents will need extra loads of coffee if that is the case... have you ever tried to sleep and wear a baby at the same time?)
TOYS>> I'm planning to pick up some new goodies (stickers, markers, coloring book, etc.) and keep them a secret from Connor until we're on the plane. That way, he'll have some fresh items to be excited about/intrigued by. I'll also bring his favorite stuffed animal from home for familiarity and comfort. I'm not going crazy on the toys because I can only pack so many things, but he's gotta have a few. Besides, most of the time Connor just wants to play with rocks and leaves anyway, so India will have us covered in that department.
BABY BLANKETS>> For various reasons. One, diaper changes. I hate putting Connor down on bathroom changing tables, so I always bring a blanket to cover the surface. Two, if he falls asleep in his car seat, blankets are great for blocking light and stimulation during naps. Three, comfort and familiarity! Who knows? Maybe he'll want to get all snug and cozy with a blanket from home. If he does, his mama's got it covered.
3 months old!!!
Okay, mamas, am I forgetting anything? I'm feeling pretty confident about this list and getting SUPER excited for our trip! Get ready for so many pictures.
For love, with love.