Travel blog of an Indian family as they journey the world.

How baby friendly is Sri Lanka – Worldyatri Baby Friendly Index of Countries

May 31, 2014  //   by Lily   //   comments(3)  //  Featured_Post

Baby friend index - Sri Lanka, travel with a baby

Worldyatri baby friendly index of countries – Sri Lanka

The first of our Worldyatri baby friendly Index of countries is on Sri Lanka. The emerald island was the first country on our long trip and in many ways was also the first laboratory of our experiment of long term travel with a baby. Here goes the index for Sri Lanka.

Visa and passport controls: Sri Lanka get full points on this count. Sri Lanka has waived visa fees for babies. The passport control at Colombo was very efficient, prompt and baby friendly. Score : 1 out of 1

Transport: Buses were not very baby friendly. Trains on the other hand were great for babies. While seats and the facilities were not designed for travelling families with babies, we felt it was quite comfortable for babies. We were quite impressed with Mihin Lanka airline. While it was a low cost airline, the facilities provided were better than any of India’s low cost airlines including the much feted Indigo. Score 0.75 out of 1

Stroller friendliness: The main cities of Sri Lanka like Colombo and Kandy are overcrowded and polluted. Pavements are uneven and narrow. Cars are frequently parked on the pavements. Beach towns like Hikkaduwa and Unnawatuna have narrow roads with no pavements. In Hikkaduwa, you have no option of avoiding the highway which is full of fast moving trucks, buses and cars. Score 0 out of 1

People: Sri Lankan people are extremely baby friendly. We came across hosts who allowed access to their kitchens to enable us to cook meals for Raiyaan. Even restaurants that we went to took special care to ensure comfort for him. Score: 1 out of 1

Availability of quality affordable baby products: It was here that we found out that the quality of Pampers was inferior to what we get in India. P&G, please note. We found one shop in upscale Colombo selling Pampers imported from Europe but was way too expensive. However the low quality Pampers did not give Raiyaan diaper rash…not sure about long term use as we resorted to Sri Lankan Pampers only in the last 2 days of our travel. On food, Sri Lanka scores for affordability. We were able to find a large variety of fruits and food at affordable rates including mangoes in winter, which Raiyaan loved. While almost all shops sell baby cereals like Cerelac, larger supermarkets also stock Heinz baby foods. Raiyaan loves yoghurt so he had quite a few in Sri Lanka. However, almost all yoghurt brands had gelatine which we were not too happy about. But look out for the plain curd in earthen pots….those seemed free of gelatine and of course sugar. Score: 0.5 out of 1

Baby friendly public facilities: Sri Lankan beaches were clean and clutter free – extremely safe for babies to indulge themselves in. Sri Lanka had quite a few children’s parks where Raiyaan loved to play. In fact, it was at Kandy he first became aware of swings and slides. All the parks we went to had soft rubber flooring hence we felt safe to let him loose. However, Sri Lanka needs to take more care about upkeep of their parks. We found children’s parks in Hikkaduwa and Negombo that were in dilapidated condition. Public loos are not equipped with baby changing facilities nor are many restaurants. Many restaurants also do not have high chairs so we had to rely heavily on our stroller.Score 0.75 out of 1

Sri Lanka’s total Score in Worldyatri Baby Friendly Index of Countries : 3.75 out of 6

Overall, Sri Lanka is very safe and comfortable for families to travel with a baby.


3 Responses to “How baby friendly is Sri Lanka – Worldyatri Baby Friendly Index of Countries”

  • Archana says:

    I chanced upon your blog while searching on the net for baby friendliness of Sri Lanka. My hubby and I are planning to spend r anniversary there in October and we will travel with our son who will be 6.5 month old then. We are from Bangalore, india. Your blog was v helpful but I had a few additional questions if you could help out
    1. I read about dengue and malaria risks….any precautions you suggest for our baby in particular?
    2. Any hotel in bentota you would recommend which is ideal for staying with an infant?
    3. Any other precautions you suggest?
    Thank you in advance for any help you can give!

    • admin says:

      Hi Archana,
      So glad that our blog helped you. Sri Lanka is a great choice and they love babies so you guys will have a fabulous anniversary.
      We were in SriLanka in November and it was their rainy season. Therefore, there were lots of mosquitoes. Some places did provide us with mosquito nets but what helped was mosquito repellent. We were not very comfortable using a DEET based repellent like Odomos on our son but it was the lesser of the two evils. However, some places were free of mosquitoes and we did not have to use a repellent or a mosquito net; so suggest that you take a call then. Do take a tube of odomos with you. The mosquito patches do not help at all. Also, till date, we like to use full sleeves and pajamas for our son.
      We did not go to Bentota. When our train went past Bentota, we saw huge resort type hotels. Maybe you would like that. As for us, we went by Tripadvisor ratings and we specifically went for small family owned B&Bs where we could cook for our son.
      If you are visiting any botanical gardens, do take odomos. The mosquitoes were vicious especially in the shaded areas.
      Take diapers and wipes. If you are going for 10 days or so, suggest you carry a big pack. The quality is not great there and as you use up the diapers, you will have empty space to fill it up with your shopping.
      This is not a precaution but do try the fruits there…papaya, mango, pineapple…they were delicious. Your son would love it.

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