First of all, thank you for all your comments on the last post! I love bloggers, they are so supportive and you all just get it!
I have been asked by several traveling parents, what are we glad we took to Ethiopia? I thought I would make a list as I was lucky enough to have others do the same for me. Disclaimer: This is from our experience only.
We took a whole pharmacy it seemed like and we were so grateful we did. People at our guest house would joke as they knocked on our bedroom door and say, “Can we come to the Boyd pharmacy?”
I do not have time to make a complete list but I can tell you what a few things that I consider a MUST and I am so glad we had.
• Baby medicines: Babies R US sells a parent’s survival kit that is AWESOME and the perfect size. You can view it at this link: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3029064
• Scabies treatment: I would definitely take prescription cream for scabies (Permethrin Cream 5%). They will appear as little bumps. Ayana had them on her face, wrists and a few other spots. They are very contagious so it is recommended that you and your husband to treat yourself too just to be safe. It is easy, you just apply the cream one time, and leave it on for 8 hours and wash it off. It goes on easy like lotion and doesn’t have much of a smell. For adults apply from the neck down and don’t forget to get between the toes. (those little critters like warm places) On infants, it is recommended to not put it on their face put to treat the entire scalp. That is what we did and it cleared her face right up. Although we did not see any Lice on Ayana, we took Lice treatment medicine with us just to be safe but we didn’t need it because I when I read about the Permethrin Cream, I found out it is active against a broad range of pests including lice, ticks, fleas, mites and other arthropods.
• Diaper Rash treatment: As far as the diaper rash, forget all those typical diaper creams. Use Resinol. This is not typically known as a diaper rash cream but it works amazingly. It is normally in the first aid section. It is for skin irritations, cuts, itch, etc… Most stores do not carry it but you can have your local pharmacy order it. It is over the counter. The miracle ingredient is the high amount of Zinc. Ayana’s skin did a complete turnaround in 24-48 hours. I love that stuff! We donated 100 bottles to the orphanage but who knows if they are using it or if they sold it. You can also order Resinol at this link: http://www.americarx.com/Products/5733.html
• Platex Drop-Ins Bottles with Inserts: Even if you don’t plan to use these bottles when you get home I would highly recommend them for the trip. We are now using the Dr Browns wide neck bottle and she had no problem switching when we got home. We took the Playtex 4 oz bottles with inserts, which was perfect for her but may not be enough for your little on depending on how much she is eating. The interchangeable inserts allowed us to only have to sanitize the top of the bottle when needed and we didn’t have to worry about boiling water every time we needed a bottle. We carried bottled water with us in her diaper bag and she was ok with drinking the formula at room temperature. It was so easy! Important note: We used the nipples that it came with which was level one. According to their charts she should have been using a level 2 or 3 nipple but she did fine. In fact, one of the other couples was using a different bottle with a size 3 nipple (appropriate for her age) and she ended up in the hospital from dehydration. She kept throwing up and they didn’t know why. They tried switching her to Soy but that did not work either. I gave them one of our bottles and Size 1 nipple and she did a complete turnaround. It turned out that she was not able to take the milk in as fast as it was coming in the size 3 nipple. So my point is, take a small size or a variety of sizes.
• Take small and large clothes. Take clothes without footie’s. You can always roll up the pants if needed. Ayana was much smaller than she looked in her pictures so all her clothes were big on her.
• Take a ton of Diapers and Baby Wipes- I took 100 diapers and 2 packs of baby wipes. I used almost all of the baby wipes and 70 of the diapers in 5 days. They have a lot of blow outs during transition. On that note, take a extra outfits on the plane. Ayana went through three outfits on the plane due to major blowouts! That was fun!
• Backpack and Baby Carrier- Instead of using a diaper bag, we took a backpack for the trip. This was so convenient. We also use the Baby Bjorn baby carrier all the time, especially in the airport.
• Dove soap-We brought baby soap but I will say, we used a bar of Dove soap on her body. She was not bathed very much in the orphanage and needed a good cleaning. The typical Johnson’s baby wash is gentle but maybe too gentle when you are doing an initial good cleaning. (Leah Litty gave me this tip.)
• Antibacterial Wipes and/or Purell-Need I say more!
• Receiving blankets. The pollution is VERY bad in Addis. Many of the babies have had respiratory problems, including Ayana, so I thought it was wide to cover them up with a light receiving blanket whenever we went anywhere, especially on a car trip.
• Ear plugs and/or Ambien- It can be very noisy at night in Addis and they have prayer in the middle of the night on the city speakers. I also took Ambien. I was still able to hear the baby if she woke up but it helped me to get to sleep and not care about the noise.
• Emergen-C 1,000 mg Vitamin C- We drank this before and during our trip. We heard of so many getting sick while there. Neither Rick or I got sick during or after the trip. Of course we always used bottle water even when brushing our teeth. We ate at the guest house every day except for one.
I found these two links to be helpful while preparing for our trip. They are other travelers packing lists. I could never put something like this together because I do not have the patience but I am grateful they did.
I will be updating my blog when Ayana lets me, lol, with daily accounts/journal of our trip in Ethiopia and it may help you to hear about the details. I have only done day one so far.
I hope you find this is helpful to someone.