By Yashy Selvadurai Murphy
Now that two has become three we really had to think about what items we packed for our month long travels. Travelling with a newborn can be easy as long as you have the right gear.
Here’s some of my must haves :
1. Infant travel bed – The best thing when hotels do not have cribs available or when visiting family. This contraption fits comfortably between the parents (we never had any space issues in a queen bed) and there’s no danger of rolling over the baby. Folds up compactly as well.
2. Baby carrier – Travelling in most South Asian countries with large groups (read family) it would be near impossible to have a car seat. The baby carrier was used not only for our city tours by foot in London and Paris but also on planes that did not provide a basinet or baby seatbelt and on our road trips in India. I strapped myself to the seatbelt as per usual, the bottom belt tucked under the baby’s legs and the top belt secured under the two top buttons on the carrier. It’s not the safest method but it was the best we could do – I was well secured by the seatbelt and the baby was strapped onto me (no danger of any belts choking her).
3. Breast pump – At times it’s hard to breastfeed in very public places and a hungry baby is not what you want to deal with when surrounded by chaos. Pumped milk to the rescue! Also let’s not forget that glass of wine that MUST accompany those fancy dinners or that tawny port 31,000 ft above homeland. If you’re concerned about the 110volts vs. 220 don’t be, most hotels have a shaver outlet which works just as well for the pump. Ladies it DOES NOT work for your hair dryers or curling irons though! Be warned! If you are worried about sterilizing the bottles, nozzles e.t.c, don’t be. I always keep a small bottle of washing liquid in the diaper bag, I use this to wash all the items (at the hotel) and then because I’m skeptical about tap water in certain countries, I always boil water in the kettle and then rinse out the ice bucket. Next up toss all the washed items into the ice bucket and pour boiling water to sterilize the items. Toss the dried items into a larger ziplock.
4. Nursing cover – I’ve fed at Westminster Abbey, a monastic ruin from 1 B.C, at the Churchill war museum, 31,000 ft above ground and countless restaurants and stores, all thanks to the discretion allowed by the nursing cover.
5. Wipes and diapers – I took these from Toronto because I did not want to deal with experimenting with the wrong kind. For a month with a newborn we needed 3 large packs of wipes (to keep at the hotel), 3 travel sized packs (for the diaper bag) and 200 diapers.
6. Pacifiers – I used these arduously on the plane for takeoff and landing and to soothe her to sleep when we went out to eat. Given that I tend to drop things, we “lost” quite a few for the day. Even if I drop it for a second, I refuse to re-use it until it has been sterilized. Have extras on hand, like 5!
7. Blankets – I always take two blankets wherever I go. One to lay on the chair (I prefer each side to be differently coloured so that I always know which is the “dirty” side touching the seat), the other to drape over her.
8. Disposable change pads – We’ve been in places where there has been no change station or worse, an absolutely filthy one. I like to lay the disposable change pad first and then the travel change pad on top. Yes I’m a bit of a germaphobe. Most times I either changed her in the car or tucked away in a corner at a restaurant.
9. Hand sanitizer – Oh boy did I use this! After dealing with street vendors in India, taking the subway in London and pretty much any interaction we had with “foreign” objects.
10. Camera and laptop – Hey I got to update my blog and Facebook page right!?!
It’s true I’ve had to sacrifice my mandatory 7 pairs of shoes, extra jewellery, hair accessories and purses to fit these items, but truth be told, I didn’t really miss them…much! Best part is that we donated some of the clothes and extra diapers to those kids who are less fortunate in Mumbai. This also makes room for the shopping I’ve done All in all we fit all of these and our clothes into one suitcase each (two in total), not bad eh!
More about Yashy:
Born in Sri Lanka, raised in Dubai, Bahrain, Pakistan, the U.S, Australia and England, Yashy now finds herself settled in Toronto, where she met her husband. Her passions include entertaining, fashion, wine, dining, cooking, cocktailing, travelling, hunting for random fun events in the city and now… exploring all things baby related.
A branding specialist by profession, Yashy is now at home on maternity leave with nothing but poop and time on her hands. She blogs at www.babyandlife.com where she talks about her passions and how she strives to strike a balance between baby and self from the very start of motherhood. The blog discusses “lifestyle” – travel, entertaining, food and drink and baby related topics for the most part. You can engage with Yashy at www.twitter.com/YashYanthi.
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