One thing I and my husband have in common is our passion for travel. We don’t let go of any opportunity to travel. Be it weekends, summer holidays, Diwali in hometown or long drives during monsoon months.
So it’s hard to believe that we did not take a single holiday for the first 3 years after my daughter was born. We were concerned about infections, climate change and most of all feeding. WHAT will I feed her? What if I don’t find the fruits that she likes? How will I warm milk in the hotel room in the middle of the night? I knew she won’t have anything other than milk if she woke up in the middle of the night, part hungry, part sleepy and fully fussy. How will I store the milk? If not totally infeasible, it did seem like a LOT of effort.
When my second child was born I remember a rather odd advice coming from my mom. She said, live your life. If not 100% you will have 60% fun, but don’t give up fully. Go travel if that’s what peps you up. You don’t want to live a life where you look back and see ONLY sacrifices. Mom’s advice! You know how your respect for your mom’s advice parachutes through the roof once you have your own kids. I did believe what she said.
So we planned our first full blown holiday when my son was 18 months. We made some changes to his routine. So he was to be on diapers all through the day and night which took care of 50% of the baby-issues, trust me. With 6 hourly diaper changes we ended up with nil rashes.
Hygiene was the next thing I was paranoid about. New place meant change of climate and a higher likelihood of falling ill for the young ones. We were to be on the go all the time, sight-seeing or visiting kids amusement parks as we also have an older child, taking flights. I realized that the answer was to bring my own box, the hygiene box. So I packed a handy bag with hygiene essentials – wet wipes, hand sanitizer, snack stackers, 2 dozen extra straws and few disposable spoons. As washing hands was going to be impossible on flights and long drives, the wet wipes and hand sanitizers were going to be my God sent tools. I piled on my snack stacker at the buffet breakfast with sandwiches and pancakes. These were to be used later in the day for lunch, on-the- go meals or if I didn’t find a hygienic enough place to pick his food. Some extra straws as it’s much easier to make him sip from my own bottled water or juice than carrying and disinfecting his water bottle everyday.
Since his main source of nutrition was still milk, we switched to lassi and flavored milk that was available in disposable pack in every city we went. In addition to bananas and mangoes, which I found everywhere, we gave him packed juices. He was so enthusiastic about trying different flavors infact. We gave him yogurt with cornflakes or muesli, boiled eggs, homemade dry dosa, mathris and shakarparas.
Contrary to what we thought, my son quite enjoyed his meals as he was getting a very interesting spread, a good change from his set menu at home!
We carried a light weight baby stroller and he often fell asleep once his tummy was full around nap times. Babies love to be outdoors afterall, they enjoy seeing the world and that’s what we were preciously doing. I and my husband got plenty of time to unwind, much more than what we had originally thought. We did wrap up a bit early every day to put him to bed on time.
There was no stopping us then on. I don’t see why new parents should slow down too much. If you are in double-mind about an upcoming family wedding/function, your annual summer vacation, next long weekend or Diwali hometown visit, I think you should give it a shot. Just make sure you gear yourself with the necessary supplies like diapers, pack your box of hygiene, long shelf life foods and a lightweight stroller.
It’s important to Live the today. It’s the most beautiful part of our life.
“Happiness is not something you POSTPONE for the future. It’s something YOU design for the PRESENT” – Jim Rohn
This post was first published here