Berkeley Parents Recommendations for Places To Go & Things To Do
Visit to Nepal
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I'll be going to Kathmandu in December with my son who is going to be
just over a year old then. We'll be staying at a friend's place, but
we'll be going around in a taxi. I'd appreciate any tips pertaining
to traveling with a baby in Kathmandu, from use of car seat, water,
food, et cetera.
I was in Nepal about six weeks ago. While I saw a lot
of infants and toddlers, I did not see any baby seats
Traveling in a taxi with a one-year old will be fine,
but I would not expect the driver(s) to install your
carseat, if you're taking one. We also travelled in
very small mini-vans; all mothers in those held their
children in their laps.
As for water, always use bottled water, even to brush
I spent a year in Nepal, mostly Kathmandu, and one of the most shocking
things is how dangerous it is to get around. You mention that you will be
riding taxis, but not a single taxi that I came across had seatbelts, so
your carseat will be useless. Many people there ride the buses with their
infants--also a dangerous proposition and very uncomfortable but at least
the bus is the biggest
thing in the road, so it's somewhat safer than taxis. If I were to bring
my child there, I would either walk everywhere (feasible, as it's a small
city--even if your friends live in Patan, you can get around on foot) but
bring masks because the air is terribly polluted. Or I would find out if
it's at all possible that you use your friend's car (most expats have
decent foreign cars with drivers) and install a car seat in
that. Regarding water and food, your friends will have water filters and
probably even staff trained to prepare safe food, and there are several
foreign (ie Indian-run) groceries with familiar cereals, crackers,
drinks if you want to buy your own food. Make sure you have closed-toe
shoes for you and your child, as
toes are a good way for disease to enter your body (if you stub your toe,
or whatever). Also, for a child, I would probably have the rabies vaccine
before going: lots of random animals roaming around (dogs, goats, monkeys,
cows) and a child might get bitten and not let you know.
I realize I haven't painted a very appealing picture, and it is a very
rough place, but also quite delightful in many ways. And the Nepalis will
love that you have a child with you.
I've traveled in Nepal quite a few times, but only once with our daughter.
That was when we went to adopt her at 5.5 months in Kathmandu last year. In
my experience, I would be extremely surprised to find a car seat anywhere in
Nepal. I could be wrong, but considering that I have never seen seat belts
in taxis, it seems unlikely. You might find seat belts in a private-use
vehicle. One factor working in your favor in Kathmandu is that there is a
lot of traffic and the roads are potholed so vehicles tend to move slowly.
We did a lot of bouncing around with our daughter held very tightly in our
It is very easy to get sick in Nepal from contaminated food and water. I
would urge the highest levels of precaution, considering you will be with a
one-year old. I would only use water that you know has been boiled or
treated, or bottled water in which the seals are intact. Don't drink any
water that comes out of a tap, including accidentally in the shower, should
you have access to a shower. Food should not be left sitting after being
cooked. I would also worry about things being picked up off the ground and
mouthed by a young child. I tend to worry a fair amount, but in this case I
think precaution is in order.
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are those of parents who belong to the
UC Berkeley Parents Network and
should not be taken as a position of or endorsement by the
University of California, Berkeley.