my dh is from south india (ernakalum, kerala), and we went when dd1 was 2.5.
i got scaremongered into vaxing her for hepA, big mistake, her eczema flared and has never gone away since.
i second much of the previous advice, and have a few things to add.
the streets are crowded and have little to no sidewalk, and often open drains/sewer. its dangerous for a little one to walk, impossible for a stroller, so bring your most comfortable sling.
your feet may swell from the heat, so make sure your sandals can be loosened.
i was advised to pack light and buy clothes there, but unless you're petite, it's difficult. i'm 5'8" and was 160# (was a size 14 then, but the way the US has resized things, these days i'm often a size 10 even though i'm 10# heavier and can't get into some of my old size 14s, sorry getting very OT...). i wasn't able to buy standard sizes, i had to go to the "velleya" (?sp, malayalum language) rack, and there were slim pickings there. and getting clothes made takes a while (fittings, refittings...). my US "uniform" of cotton t-shirts wilted damply (and this was in feb, at a mere 95degrees); i was more comfortable in seersucker type loose blouses and microfiber capri pants or skirts (they dry faster, too), and loose thin cotton knit nightshirts to help against skeeters. microfiber bras/underwear were more comfortable. shorts will get you stared at.
i often "wash" with rubbing alcohol when traveling: cuts the grime without soap, kills the underarm bacteria. i could not find it there, and was glad i brought my small bottle.
i also brought homeopathic remedies, and mothering just happened to have an issue with an article
about someone going to india, and a small kit recommendation. i did get diarrhea one night, took a dose of podophyllum peltatum and it stopped. when i go again, i'll take my book Homeopathic Medicine at Home, by Maisemund B. Panos MD and Jane Heimlich
, it's thorough, but very user friendly.
supplements: brought shelf stable probiotics (primal defense), vitC, vitB (discourages skeeters), goldenseal, GSE (but if you drink it, it kills your good flora, too), and raw pumpkin seeds (they're supposed to be antiparasitic, just a few (~20) each day). can't recall others, but there were a few more.
we didn't take antimalarial pills (lots of side effects, including anxiety, and i waas ttc, and you can't for 4mos after returning if you take the standard drug, ). but i brought the antibiotic that dd1 would be given if she were to get malaria, zithromax, Rx'd prophylactically by her ped (we didn't need it, brought it back unused). brought mosquito netting, repellent. if i were to take an antimalarial, i would take malarone
, because it has a much shorter half life, ie your body can clear it more quickly, which seems healthier to me. the other drug, mefloquine
,(lariam) is taken only once/week, but it stays in the body a long time... ick. docs will recommend lariam because they worry you'll miss a dose and get sick, and they don't care about side effects.
got an excellent small (size of an orange, in a little bag) water purifier from REI, and a nalgene bottle, the type you take camping, that it fit on. i'd filter from the sink (stoppered) until the bottle was full, transfer the water to an empty plastic bottle that i'd gotten bottled water in, then did it again until i filled ~4 big bottles each morning. lessee if i can find it...First Need Deluxe Water Purifier
"The only non-chemical water purifier certified to EPA Guide Standard for microbiological purifiers against bacteria, cysts and viruses."
i spent the extra for virus filtering, we didn't get sick.
gtg, hth, will post more if i think of anything else. have fun!