Taking Children to Kerala
Taking Children and Babies on Holiday to India
Like all parents you worry when going abroad especially with young children and babies. We asked Mark, Sadie and their 13 month old baby boy Lochlann to give us feedback on their time in Kerala.
We booked our flights through Emirates, and as usual we booked for 2 adults and a infant. The rate for an infant is around £300 cheaper compared to an adult rate, you are expected to keep your baby on your lap. The thought of trying to keep a 13 month old child on your lap for 7 hours to Dubai, oh what fun! Then my wife spotted on the Emirates website that for an extra £200 you can book a seat and take your own car seat with you for children. This was wonderful news and without a second thought we upgraded the wee man to his own seat.
What a difference, of course we were taken onto the plane 1st because we had a young child, which gave us plenty of time to fit the car seat. It was wonderful, Lochlann settled straight away, we didn't have to wrestle with him and because he was sat in his chair and faced frontwards we did not attract all the grandmas and great aunts who love to keep him awake and tell us how they have 16 grand children the same age (not that we mind really).
In Kerala they do not have child seats, so we found bringing ours saved us a lot of hassle. The traffic does not move to fast, and even though they look like crazy drivers and 3 cars can fit into one lane, the traffic does keep flowing. Taking a car seat with you is incredibly useful especially when the Lochlann fell asleep. On a few occasions we left Lochlann asleep in the air conditioned car with the driver when we popped into a few shops.
Kumarakom Lake Resort
When we arrived at our 1st hotel in Cochin we checked in and asked for a cot, I was not sure what was going to arrive in the room. When the cot did turn up it was more like a crib, basically OK for a 6 month old baby but not Lochlann's age. Fortunately all the beds in the hotels are massive and he was able to sleep with us. It's a good idea to take reigns with you for the baby, these came in very handy especially with the high chairs. They do have high chairs in India but they are what they say they are HIGH CHAIRS. The chairs are the same level as the table but do not have any reigns to hold a baby in. We just tied our reigns around the chairs and it worked perfectly well.
The last hotel we stayed in Kumarakom Lake Resort was probably the best hotel for kids, they had nice size cots, more like the travel cots you get in the UK. They also had a child section to their main pool which was 2 foot deep and they had ramps everywhere which was very helpful when using the pram.
Food for BabiesWe were not sure how much to take, so we took about 14 pre-mixed formula milk with us, and enough baby food for a week. Thankfully Kerala food is perfect for kids, there was plenty of fresh fruit (we only used fruit which we could peel). The Keralalites also eat a lot of vegetables which thankfully they cook in mild sauces, Lochlann loved it. He also loved to munch on the pappadams and nan breads, yogurts and fresh peppers, these all made perfect snack. By the second week we ran out of milk, but we manage to find powdered milk in one of the supermarkets. Lochlann did drink a lot of bottled water so make sure you always have lots with you.
Kumarakom Lake Resort came up trumps again, they placed a massive basket of fresh fruit from mango's to the sweetest bananas you will ever taste.
The Kerala People
The people of Kerala have been wonderful and friendly. We never had any issues and found our taxi driver also helped look after Lochlann. He followed us around the shops playing with the baby keeping him entertained.
Mosquitoes and Injections
Southern India does not have Malaria, so we didn't have any anti malaria tablets to take. It's wise to have all your injections up to date. For Lochlann the main one was his MMR. He didn't need any extra injections other than the normal ones he's been receiving. We didn't have too much trouble with the mosquitoes, they were few and far between. The Kumarakom Lake resort spray every year between May & August to kill them off. Thankfully Mosquitoes aren't fond of air con. If you are staying in a good hotel, you shouldn't need to worry too much. Just spray with insect repellent if you venture out at night.
We stayed at three great Hotels. The Taj residency, Brunton Boatyard & Kumarakum Lake Resort.
The The Taj Residency was excellent if you need wifi. It has great views of the bay and is central for Cochin. Brunton Boatyard is situated on Fort Cochin and has fantastic views looking over the bay. We managed to see the QE2 sail by. The rooms were stunning. If you are traveling with a crowd then opt for the deluxe suite which has a separate living room and the option to connect to 2 rooms. Our only gripe is that the beds were Kerala style and about meter high, great looking but not great for toddlers. (The cot was unsuitable as was more of a crib) Kumarakom Lake Resort, by far was the best hotel we stayed in. A world class luxury hotel top in India. Stunning gardens and beautiful views across the lake. Everything was fantastic about this hotel, it was the best for Kids, food was great and the service excellent. Our villa was one round the meandering pool, great for cooling off during the hot days. Sadly though this hotel was the most expensive too. But if you can afford it go for it.