Travelling with a baby on a long journey presents a number of challenges. In order to understand these challenges its important to understand the unique needs of this individual.
On the positive side the baby’s small size allows it to be transported with no extra fare. Of course some forms of transport will charge for the 10kgs of weight and the air consumed over the distance. An example here would be Air India.
As I was saying, the baby has very different requirements than the average person. For one, no rules and strictures apply to babies. Prone to being upset, throw tantrums, make loud noises at inappropriate times even spit and vomit at the slightest provocation, it is important the caregivers travel with an arsenal of gimmicks in order to please and placate the baby. Fortunately, the baby is easily appeased, albeit with antics which may be embarrasing to the care giver. Silly faces, rude noises and noise-making toys may be utilized for low to medium upsets. For more greivous situations the “peek-a-boo” may be utilized. Sadly If that doesnt work the caregivers must resort to embarrasing jigs and dances providing free entertainment to the general public.
To add insult to injury the repercussions of a tantrum, insufficiently handled, usually involves soiled clothes. Caregivers with quick reflexes may avoid soiling their own clothes but baby’s clothes usually end up soiled. To deal with this atleast 2 pairs of clothes need to be carried. Beware: changing clothes is a tantrum trigger.
Another tantrum trigger is feed. Always carry lots of extra feed at all times. Signs that its time for feed are arbitrary tears or over activity. There will generally be a heated discussion between caregivers when trying to decide if its feed time, this is usually because noone really has a clue. Why the baby cant just point to the feed bottle when it is hungry is just one of those inconveniences of life.
Thankfully the life of caregivers is not all bleak as for long periods of time the baby will rest in blissful slumber. These are periods of immense relief and relaxation. General happiness abounds and its one of those times in life when all members of the family are happy.
From the above it may seem that caring for a baby is a rather austere and cumbersome task but the sweet voice and cute smile of the baby melt the heart and makes it all worth it. Such neurosis is widespread.
The hindi word for children is baccha and comes from the root bachao (atleast it should) which means “Save me!”. Yet another proof of the wisdom of our ancestors.