Sorry for the radio silence this past week. The Hubby and I were having a grand old time traipsing around the other side of the world sans baby Squishy… of course, we thought about him all the time so… there. Not as grand as it sounds really.
We wanted to bring him at first. He’s flown on planes before for short 3.5-hour flights back home to the Philippines. He seemed to be okay, with the usual caveats familiar to parents traveling with babies: baby will be okay if one has an adequate supply of milk in the carry-on (plus extra), small toys to whip out in a flash in case baby gets bored, enough diapers and wet wipes and extra clothes in case of “accidents” mid-flight (yes, this happened to us — tricky business changing a poopy diaper in a cramped plane toilet when the plane suddenly hits a cloud… baby plane poop + clouds = MAJOR CHALLENGE), a pacifier for baby to chew on when the plane takes off and lands (supposed to help them deal with the pressure change), etc etc.
Add an infinite amount of patience dealing with strangers giving you and your baby the evil eye when (if?) the crying starts. I used to be one of those judge-y co-passengers before I had kids (“Ufff I’d never let my kid howl like that”) but now I understand completely. Trust me, those parents are trying their best. Babies being babies, they cry you know.
However our recent trip involved at least 14 hours of travel and untold potential for foreign germs to take hold of our little, not-even-one year old. So we decided to postpone Squishy’s first long-haul trip for later this year. Baby steps!
Incidentally, have any of you ever pumped on a long-haul flight? 🙂 I had to sit in a “prayer room” area (basically, it’s just a space at the back of the plane with a pull-down seat and a curtain that fastened at the sides) to pump. The annoying thing was that every time the seatbelt sign was switched on, I had to go back to my actual seat (after setting up the pump and everything! GAH). Also, there’s a chance a flight attendant / curious passenger will open the curtain and expose you in all your pumping glory. I got the Hubby to stand outside to guard against this eventuality. A nursing cover will also come in handy.
Anyway, in spite of the challenges of traveling with babies, I saw sooo many on our trip. Small kids in prams…
Kids on shoulders…
Older kids on Segways, even.
I have mad respect for those parents enduring the endless walking on cobblestones / crowds so thick you’re cheek-to-cheek / sweaty sticky heat with sweaty sticky kids in tow.
Kudos to you, traveling mums and dads! I hope your kiddos will remember something from the trip other than that ice cream cone you didn’t buy her. 😀
For those intrepid souls who insist on bringing the very little ones, here’s my go-to “traveling with infants” checklist. It’s based on a list from BabyCenter.com, a very useful resource for all things baby.
Traveling with Baby – Checklist
- Diapers – One for each hour of travel, plus extra
- Diaper changing pad – Baby bags usually come with one
- Baby blankets
- Plastic bags – Very important, to store soiled diapers, etc
- Diaper rash cream – Squishy uses Drapolene cream
- Wipes – Non-scented, gentle formula preferred
- Small bottle of hand gel or alcohol for disinfecting – We use the small Green Cross alcohol bottle (60ml) and just refill
- Pacifiers, if baby uses one – Plus one extra in case the other drops to the floor
- Small toys
- Extra outfits – Preferably easy to wear, think snaps not fiddly buttons
- Socks – For when baby’s feet get cold
- Lightweight feeding set – Some airlines, e.g. Singapore Airlines, offer child meals
- Washable bibs / burp cloths – Generic wash cloths will also do for wiping spills, spit-ups, and messes
- Formula / pumped milk / water / juice as applicable
- Extra bottles / nipples / sippy cups as applicable
- Nursing cover
- Breast pump – Don’t forget the batteries!
- First aid kit – Include baby paracetamol (from your baby’s pediatrician) + dropper, and other supplies to treat minor injuries
- Foldable baby tub
- Bath oil / baby shampoo – Squishy uses QV brand
- Baby nail cutter – For long vacations
- Sling / front carrier
- Collapsible pram / stroller
- Hand fan – If you’re going somewhere humid like the Philippines
- Contact details for your baby’s pediatrician – Just in case.
Incidentally, some airlines (e.g. Singapore Airlines) also have general baby amenities such as diapers, disposable bibs, feeding bottles, and baby wipes available. However these are limited in stock and they may not carry your baby’s size.
Also when you book an infant ticket, don’t forget to request for a bassinet.