Louis Vuitton, the master luggage craftsman, has unfortunately not devised a system where a baby could just be packed up and taken for a journey! If this were the case, it would be all too simple.
However, travelling with a baby , though daunting, is not impossible , especially since most babies have already had their first outing to the post-natal clinic or the paediatrician‘s by the age of 1 week!!!
So “travelling” is not at all new to a new mother these days. What is important to remember is that travelling with an infant is not all that simple. Nor is it all that hard. You need to keep a few things in mind :
- Always carry a set of clothes and nappies to change.
- Make sure you have a plastic bag to dispose off the diaper
- Make sure you have a plastic bag to keep the soiled clothes that can be washed later
- Make sure you have a changing mat
- Make sure you have wet wipes/tissues or something handy to wipe the baby’s bottom
- Make sure you have a sanitizer to clean your own hands after a nappy change
These requirements multiply depending on the number of hours your journey is likely to take.
Recently I travelled with Neesha and Keshav on a 12 + hour journey which comprised a 2 hour drive to the airport, an 8 hour transcontinental flight ,a passport clearance and half hour wait at the stop over, another hour’s flight and an hour’s taxi ride from the airport to our final destination. So we carried a huge nappy bag with four changes of clothes, ten diapers, a dozen plastic bags to dispose off nappies, one big plastic bag to keep the dirty clothes, a changing mat, a box of wet wipes and a sanitizer. We also carried some extra bedding, a bonnet and warm cover-up and the most important of all ME.
Mumbai airport doesn’t have the best signage and when we got off at the airport, we found that we were waiting behind a queue going nowhere. Luckily, we managed to get into the right queue and check into the airport and get on the plane. Once inside and airborne, Neesha was given a bassinet which Keshav simply refused to stay in for even half a second which meant that during the entire flight he slept on either his mother or me.
While travelling with a nursing infant is “easy” it makes sense to travel with a companion who can help. With stringent security checks, forms to fill and miles to travel in airports these days, a mom travelling with an infant needs an extra pair of hands, if not to take care of the baby, at least to take care of all the other requirements like checking in the baggage etc.
So the most important tip I’d give a mom travelling with a baby is : TAKE A COMPANION WHO CAN HELP!