traveling to leh ladakh with a baby

Traveling to Leh Ladakh with a baby

When we decided to travel to Leh Ladakh with a baby, many eyebrows were raised and disapproving looks were exchanged. I also received comments from people both offline and online cautioning me about the oxygen problem in Leh. Someone even went on to tell me that it is not recommended to travel to Leh with a kid and that the minimum age limit for a kid in Leh Ladakh is 7-8 year old. It beats me, where such ‘recommendations’ come from and are passed on without authentication because this is definitely not medical advice.

 

Traveling to Leh Ladakh with a baby / Infant

It was only our inner Army circles who were supportive of travelling to such an high altitude with a baby as they have seen babies as young as 1-2 months old being brought to Leh and these kids acclimatize without any problems. Leh might not be a popular place of travel for parents of infants but there are a lot of people from the defence circle travelling to Leh with kids.

It is not advisable to travel to Leh Ladakh with a baby who are high risk, preemies (premature babies) and babies who have any known respiratory problems. Parents of such babies are advised against traveling to any place that might put the baby at risk, which includes low oxygen, high altitude areas and places known for pollen and other allergies.

So if you have a healthy thriving baby, it can only do you good to take a family trip to Ladakh! A Leh trip with family is an experience that you will always remember and have stories to tell your friends about. I believe it’s not the families that eat together but the families that travel together that stay together !

Other things to consider before deciding to travel to Ladakh with a baby:

  1. Whether your baby is breastfed, formula fed or mixed fed.
  2. Have you started solids?
  3. Has your baby taken well to solids and have you introduced enough variety of fruits, vegetables and cereals and checked for allergies.
  4. Because fresh fruits and veggies are a luxury in Leh, I’d recommend picking out and your baby’s favorites from some of the packaged baby foods from one of the trusted companies like My Little Moppet, 1st Bites, Early Food or Slurrp Farm.
  5. You have dealt with the initial constipation, loosies etc after introducing solids.
  6. If baby is on Formula milk or cow’s milk, please carry enough formula as there is no fresh cow’s milk available in Leh Ladakh. The milk they use is either powdered milk or milk from tetra pack and both are not good for babies.

Exclusively Breastfed Babies

If you are able to pass the first few hurdles of breastfeeding, you will realize that breastfeeding is a boon is disguise ! I find breastfeeding so easy while traveling and it takes lesser time as the baby grows up.

Breastfeeding is just one of those things that can’t be taken for granted and persistence and will is the only way to master the art.

Mi is an exclusively breastfed baby and she had ZERO acclimatization hiccups in Leh and beyond. In fact, right after we landed at Leh Airport, we drove to a higher location.

The only noticeable change was that she wanted to breastfeed more often and refused water. Her solids diet went down by 20% owing to her higher intake of breast milk. So, I figured she was taking all her fluids from me.

For her 3 solid meals a day, I gave her fresh bananas, melons, chickpea purée, potato and fresh veggie purée, Slurrp Farm Baby Food, Home made cerelac and khichdi and My Little Moppet barley. She had no complaints and everything went on smoothly.

Her sleep also has a noticeable change. She wanted to sleep shorter and more often. As a result, the total number of hours she slept remained the same but because the climate in Leh in drying, she woke up to refill her body with fluids.

ALSO READ: Is Breastfeeding Overrated?

Formula Fed Babies

I do not have the slightest idea about how formula fed babies would acclimatize to Leh, how their intake of formula vs water would differ, how often they would feed etc. Because formula is heavier than breast milk, and formula fed babies tend to have more milk than exclusively breastfed babies, it is better to consult your paediatrician or get a first hand account from a mother who has traveled to Leh with a formula fed baby.

PRO TIPS FOR NEW MOMS TO GET LEH’D:

  1. I hope you have already gotten over your impulse to sanitize everything around your baby. If not, work on it before you start travelling. You cannot have a OCD for sanitisation especially in Leh. In Leh Ladakh, or any similar terrain you need to be one with nature and let the baby breathe and touch all that nature has got to offer.
  2. Travel to and explore less daunting places and terrains first before deciding to get Leh’d.
  3. Get used to using baby gears like booster chairs, car seats and baby carriers.

ALSO READ: Booster chair vs High Chair. Which one to choose?

If you have decided to keep calm and carry on travelling to Ladakh with a baby – your little bundle of joy, let no one stop you. Follow your instinct and you’ll never be wrong !

If there are any other questions that you’d like the ask me, please leave a comment below and I’ll try to answer them as soon as I can. Now go plan your trip to Leh Ladakh with a baby !

Recommended Reads:

Flying with an Infant 101 – Everything you need to know

Traveling with an Infant on Air India

Infant Travel on Jet Airways { Review & Tips for moms }

Traveling with a baby Checklist

Shivani GargTraveling to Leh Ladakh with a baby

Comments 25

  1. Pingback: Traveling with an infant on a plane 101 I I Flying with a Baby

  2. Vishal Rao

    I am planning a trip to Leh with my two kids aged 6 yrs and 1.5 years. What do I need to be prepared for?

  3. Pingback: How to reach Leh from Delhi by Air, Road, Train or Bus I Delhi to Leh

  4. Mamta

    Hi Shivani,
    Thank you for such an encouraging blog!!! I have a 4 yr old daughter and expecting my second child… due around March. My husband recently moved to Leh and with all my heart and my kids in tow would like to join him in the month of July (baby two will be 3 months). Ever since my pregnancy started I was worried if I’ll be able to join him or not, but your blog has given me much hope
    Regards
    Mamta

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  5. Rimi

    Hi Shivani,

    Your Article is really helpful. However, I have certain questions which are –

    Did you travel by road or you took flight to leh?
    What precautions did you take to ensure that your baby is not falling sick?
    My kid is 4 years, so what kind of food should i give her while travelling?
    What medicines you took along with you?
    A baby with lil vomting tendency can visit leh or not?

    1. Post
      Author
      Shivani Garg

      I took a flight to Leh and travelled by road into Ladakh, thereafter.
      Give light food while travelling as roads are bumpy and baby might vomit. Give little food but frequently. Carry enough water.
      We took meds for cold, fever and an oxygen cylinder. They also have a tab for acclimatisation that you can take as soon as you reach Leh. Forgetting he name.
      No problem at all. Babies vomit all the time. don’t feed till funny is full. Feed less quantity but frequently.

  6. Pingback: River Rafting in Leh Ladakh I Zanskar Rafting I World's highest river rafting

  7. Padma

    Fresh milk is available besides the packed milk, it would be easier if you request it to the hotel you are staying/going to stay, the trouble would be less. There are milk vans providing fresh milk in the morning, ladakhi vegetable sellers also sell fresh milk and if you are staying in a homestay in a village, most probably, they have their own cattle.

  8. Bringbabyabroad

    Hey, I just want to thank you for sharing your experience! Your post encouraged us to do the Everest Base camp hike with our 11month old and a 3 year old daughter! You showed that altitude sickness is something real but manageable . Now we plan to come to Ladakh in June.
    Thank you!

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      1. Bringbabyabroad

        Hey! We just came back form the trip and it was just fine!! Kids didnt experience any altitude sickness and it was just as another trip. Our kids are 3 years old and 15 months old

  9. Pingback: trekking to everest base camp EBC with a baby and a toddler/world record

  10. Sabah Khanzada

    Is it recommend to travel with a one year old to leh/ laddak. My baby is formula fed and healthy.
    We are planning to go in August.

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      Shivani Garg

      Yes, you can travel with a 1 year old. However, you will have to take care taht child doesn’t catch a cold. Immunity is generally lower in formula fed babies as compared to breastfed.

  11. AMIT BANSAL

    we are planning to travel to leh with our infant daughter. she is 1year 4 months old. out paediatric doctor simply didnt advised us to take our baby along. she is although fine n healthy n no respiratory problems. shall we go ahead and take her along?

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      Author
      Shivani Garg

      In my experience, you can travel with her to ladakh without facing any problems. Just keep her warm and take care about food and sleep. How are you travelling – flight, car? Is she formula fed, breastfed or mix?

  12. Zamir

    My cousin and my family is planning to travel to ladakh by flight in April this year, we have an infant of 5 months would be 7 months in April, should we travel with the baby or not ?

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  13. Ruchi

    Hi Shivani,
    That was quite amazing to read when i was looking for infos to travel to Srinagar and Kargil with my 23 month old. She doesnt drink milk, takes chapati and rice 3-4 times a day with curd. As she is bit weak and low on parameters for kids of her age, I prefer not going with her on long trips as her diet suffers. However, this vacation I am tempted to plan a trip to Chandigarh-Srinagar-Kargil-Leh with her but we plan to do it by road. Is it a good idea? Will she find her food there? Can you guide how many days we will need and what is it for my 2 year old and 10 year old to like the most there…
    Any precautions for me to take for care of kids?

    Looking forward to your reply….

    1. Post
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      Shivani Garg

      Thanks Ruchi. I would suggest not doing the trip if you baby is on solids like chapati etc and weaker for her age. Fresh food is a problem in Leh Ladakh. Plus kids vomit on solids in the car as the journey is quite rocky. For your other questions, let me write another blog post to give you information in detail.

  14. Ezza Ezaty

    Hi Shivani

    I’m planning to bring my baby 1y9m this september. She is fully breastfeed and doesn’t have any medical issue. But i’m quite scarred and worry about this decision. She haven’t expose to any high altitude place before but ladakh will not be her first journey. Any need some advice on how to cope with any difficulties. Btw this would be my itinerary

    day 1: travel from del-srinagar
    day 2: stay at srinagar
    day 3: stay at sonamarg
    day 4: stay at kargil
    day 5: rest day at leh
    day 6: leh-nubra
    day 7: nubra-pangong
    day 8:leh-delhi

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      Shivani Garg

      Hi, don’t worry it will be just fine. Have a lot of water and carry an oxygen cylinder for yourself.
      About the itinerary, you haven’t mentioned how youre travelling. del – srinagar and leh – delhi would be flights right?

      1. Ezza Ezaty

        Hi Shivani,

        For your information, I already in ladakh now with my kid. She looks so tired and always want to sleep. Her oxygen level and pulse rate is normal but she refused any food but always demand for breastmilk and plain water. should i be worry?

        Btw i already change my plan due to srinagar condition at this moment. i travelled by flight from delhi to leh and today is my second day in leh just for acclimatization and resting

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