Making the decision to go for ziarat with your infant is easy. What isn’t however are the looks of judgement, comments about your parenting responsibilities, and mostly the taunts of stress you, as a mother, are putting your child through. This post is to the mother’s who are thinking about, or are about to take their infant for their first ziarat trip.
My daughter, mother and I went for our first ziarat trip to Karbala & Najaf, Iraq when she was nine months. It was the best decision I could have made for her and my family. Though I could have planned and prepared much more, I hope that this post can help in any way, whether in making your decision or during your trip.
The Preparation & Packing
- Consult this link for more medical & general information regarding traveling with infants internationally.
- My hand-carry had enough clothes for both my daughter and I for at least 4-5 outfit changes.
- I also carried a few additional items in my diaper bag and hand-carry, all of these can be found at your local store or Amazon:
- Baby BackUps diaper extenders – for protection against an unexpected blow-out
- Arm & Hammer™ Pacifier Wipes – for cleaning toys, surfaces, paci’s/binkies, bottles, spoons etc
- Baby books that have teethers and toys so that they are more versatile and also, easy to clean if they fall on the floor
- Disinfecting Wipes – for when you need to take your child for a diaper change
- Diaper creams/ointments – a full supply of your preferred brands
- Boppy/nursing pillow – came in handy to support my arm whilst my little one slept
The Goals and Intentions
Be clear on who is the priority during your trip and make sure that you work around that. Mine was simple since i went with my mother and a tour-group. “1st priority is my daughters’ ziarat of Imam Ali (AS), Imam Hussain (AS), Molana Ali Akbar (AS) and Molana Ali Asghar (AS) and Molana Abbas (AS). 2nd priority was to ensure that my mother’s needs were met and that she accomplished her ziarats and completed her duas. 3rd were my obligations to those who had asked me to do duas since they could not go themselves that trip.”
The above served as a VERY frequent reminder to myself. For motivation, for strength and to just keep going at various times throughout the trip.
You might ask, where do i fall on that list. I don’t. I simply did not have the bandwidth, and as many mothers will be able to empathize, i did not care for myself during that trip. That hit me once i returned home. However, even knowing what i do now, i would not change my priority list even the slightest since my trip in my opinion, was a complete success ? ٱلْـحَـمْـدُ للهِ
I hope to update this section once i have more experience & some solid recommendations to list.
We did not have the best flight experience. for that reason, i’d recommend you take a look at several other mom-bloggers/vloggers to get the same advice i did and do the best you can. I’ve heard of nursing, giving them medicine etc, but none of them really worked for us.
The Daily Itinerary
Jet Lag was my best friend: I kept my daughter and myself in jet-lag. Since on arriving to our destination we realized that there was a much lighter crowd during nisf-il-lail and after zawaal. I took those opportunities to go with my daughter almost every night for ziarat, making obliged duas and even taking one minute to bear my prayers for help in hopes that they would be answered.
Stay alert to your infant’s needs: There were several days when i opted out of my tour group’s itinerary just to give my little one the rest she needed. I do not regret those decisions. She was healthier, and we would independently go on our ziarat to our Moula/Imam which was in itself incredibly rewarding. I do plan on going again, should Allah grant me the opportunity, and إن شاء الله we will do more then.
Ask the guards for help: The ladies who guard the zaris have so many duas from me. Below are some helpful phrases in arabic that i used. (My arabic is atrocious, so if you are fluent, your recommendations are most welcomed)
Please help me with her ziarat
careful, there is a baby
don’t push please!
مساعدتها مع الزيارة
دقيق لدي طفل
لا تدفع من فضلك