Travelling with babies in Indian trains – Checklist for journey with infants and toddlers
My travel with infant son
Long journey in Indian trains with infants and toddlers is a tough task. Me and my husband have made several train journey from Delhi to Chennai and Kerala, with our infant son John. It takes 2 days to travel from Delhi to Kerala. And it is very tough to manage kids during the journey. You should take several precautions while taking infant or toddler for a train travel in India. I wish to share with you some tips. These tips are from my practical experience. This is a checklist of things you should carry while travelling with infant or toddler.
Milk powder, bottle, Flask, and ayurvedic bottle wash
I do give normal cow’s milk to baby when I am at home. But for travel I carry a milk powder. I buy lactogen 4 for my 22 months old son. My pediatrician advised to give lactogen 4 during travel. For younger infants you can buy lactogen 1, 2 or 3, according to the infant’s age. You can also give Nan also. Carry a good thermoflask (of 2 litres capacity) so that you can take hot water with you. Hot water is used to make lactogen drink. Infant should only given boiled water from flask. Do not give mineral water which we get in trains. Keep a bottle of fresh water also for washing baby’s feeding bottle. Now keep any ayurvedic bottle wash solution with you. This is for washing baby’s bottle. Otherwise you can’t keep the bottle clean. Water from Indian trains is not fresh. You cannot use it for washing feeding bottle.
Take baby’s food with you. Do not give to children the food items you get in train. Keep some idli, roti, or poori for children. You can also keep some lemon rice for train travel. In a flask you can carry some warm rasam for baby. Make rasam without tomato. Rasam would also help warm body. This would be of special benefit if you are travelling in AC compartments. Take some biscuits and bread for baby.
For infants I will give a porridge recipe. This is a precooked version that mixing it with hot water will make a good porridge. You can give cerelac or nestum. I am giving a homemade version as I don’t give my baby canned cereals. This is because I found that canned cereals (especially those with milk added) creates gas problem in babies. Avoiding canned food would reduce colic problem and indigestion in infants. I will give the recipe
Porridge recipe for infants
Take 1 cup of rice. Brown rice is best. Normal rice (Pakka rice in hindi) is also ok. Take 1 cup of Roasted Bengal gram (udacha kadalai in tamil). It is otherwise known as chutney dal or fried channa. Now mix rice and dal and fry together. Just fry in a pan. Do not add oil. Fry well. Grind the fried rice and dal when it becomes cool. Now fry the powder in pan (kadai) without oil. Fry till the powder is almost cooked. This powder can be stored. Now using the powder you can prepare porridge using hot water. As the rice and dal is already cooked, putting in hot water will be enough. Take a teaspoon of this porridge powder and add to hot water. Wait for some time. Add sugar. Porridge is ready. More nutritious porridge recipes for children are available here.
Baby wipes, diapers and blankets
Carry baby wipes (Johnson’s baby wipe is what I use). Never expect Indian train toilets to be clean enough for babies. In AC compartments also you cannot take babies to bathroom. You must somehow adjust diaper change in cabin itself. Take a big blanket for your travel as you can use it as a curtain for baby diaper change. In AC compartments you will get blankets, but in sleeper you don’t.
Keep 4 or 5 baby dress in the bag you keep in your hand. Keep some baby sweaters with you as babies will have difficulty with the AC in the train. Also keep baby socks and shoes in your handbag. Keep woolen dress, sweaters, caps and woolen socks during winter. Keep some cotton clothes if your travel is in summer. Keep towels and blankets always ready.
Pacifiers, lollipops, toys and songs
For infants you need to take pacifiers and sound-making toys. For toddlers you should carry some toys. I do take his favorite toys also. As my child likes pens and coloring books I take coloring books, crayons, pens etc. Children like baby songs and nursery songs. I do take some songs in ipod and some video songs in mobile phone. We can make child engaged for sometime if we have some songs and videos.
Fever medicines (syrup) for baby
While we travel in train chances are high that baby get infected with cold or some viral disease. Once my child got fever while we were travelling. I do keep crocin syrup with me whenever I travel with baby in train. If kid gets fever you should give crocin syrup and bring down the fever. Also keep Meftal syrup with you. Meftal is to be given when baby is running a high fever. You should also keep some home remedies with you. Home remedies are to be given if baby gets diarrhea or stomach pain. Children may get severe stomach pain due to indigestion or gas problem. Keep nutmeg powder with you. Nutmeg is a wonderful home remedy for infant diarrhea. Also keep a pinch of asafoetida with you. Asafoetida is the best colic remedy for kids. Both this would treat diarrhea, stomach pain, colic and indigestion, not only in kids, but also in adults.