Thursday 4 September 2014

Travel Tips 1: Bringing Baby Overseas

As you know, I love to travel. The addiction started 10 years ago when I started earning a little bit of money and the air tickets got cheaper. Since then I have been to 13 countries and more than 20 cities (and counting). We won't be happy until we have travelled at least 4 times a year! =D

We have not slowed down even after we had kids; we just learned to work with what we have and pack smarter with kids in mind.

After years of packing our luggage in record time, I thought that I will share some travel tips with other travellers, especially wanderlust parents like ourselves. You don't have to stop your whole life just because you had a baby =)

And what better way to start this series than with my tips on the essentials that you should bring when going overseas with your baby!

SIX Things to Pack When Bringing Baby Overseas:

1) A Good Carrier

Left: Carrying my girl in the Ergobaby along the streets of Hong Kong
Right: Carrying my boy in the Suppori Sling at Windsor Castle

You don't want to slow your steps when you're exploring a new city so it is vital that you bring a good carrier to carry your baby along with you. You may check out some of my carrier reviews for the carriers that I personally use on my trips.

2) An Umbrella Stroller

Our Peg Perego Plinko Mini

Unlike bigger strollers, umbrella strollers are the best for travelling as they are easy to open and close. You would want to bring your stroller so that you can push your child during their nap or when you're too tired to carry them.

You may even let your child sleep in their stroller in the hotel room if there is no cot available (depending on your stroller, this may or may not be safe so please assess the situation and decide what's best for your family).

Baby Boy sleeping in his stroller in Bangkok
(We moved the baby to the bed in the middle of the night though)

Most kids are usually already very used to their stroller so bringing yours would be useful, especially if your child has difficulty sleeping in a foreign environment.

3) Something to Suck On During Take Off & Landing

Baby Girl sucking on her pacifier during her first flight to Shenzhen

I always make sure I have at least two pacifiers in my bag when I fly with my babies as they need to suck on them during take-off and landing to help with ear pressure. So far both kids seem to show no problems with ear pressure but I always get them to suck on it just in case.

You may choose to nurse your baby or feed them with a bottle of milk or water (no water for babies less than 6 months old) instead if you do not want to give your child a pacifier. I usually prefer not to nurse because the shaking during take-off and landing makes it a bit hard to latch.

For older children, make sure that you keep a sweet in your pocket for them to suck on. Changi Airport provides sweets for free at the immigration counters so don't forget to take a few for your kids =)

4) The Usual Sleep Gear

Baby Girl sleeping with her favourite pillow and pacifier in Shenzhen

Kids need to continue their sleeping routine as much as possible even when they are travelling. To make it easier for them to adapt to a foreign place, we will usually pack a pacifier (if baby), favourite pillow and books, to name a few.

For our trip to London, I even brought my boy's favourite rocker just in case he had trouble sleeping in a foreign country for the first time.

Packing our Fisher Price baby rocker into my luggage
(it fits nicely into my luggage!)

My boy loves sleeping in his rocker so we had no problems with him at all when we were in London. Nowadays we don't even need to bring the rocker on our trips anymore because he's so used to sleeping in hotels *laughs*

5) An Inflatable Bathtub

Blue inflatable bathtub I bought from Qoo10
(We buy so many things on Qoo10 that I'm the VIP member *laughs*)
Bathing Baby Boy in the inflatable bathtub in Bangkok

We used to bathe my girl, when she was a baby, in the tiny wash basin of the hotel bathroom. I always hated doing that as it was so tiring to have to hold your baby tightly, fearing that they may hit the tap by accident. It was a bit better if there is a bathtub in the bathroom but this is not always the case for most of the hotel rooms we stayed in. Case in point, the hotel in London did not have a bathtub so the inflatable bathtub came in handy for me to bathe Baby Boy. The pop up "wall" in the middle helped to ensure that he was kept upright the whole time, which was really useful. Even if your hotel room has a bathtub, it's still handy to have one of these.

6) Photocopy or Photo of Your Child's Birth Certificate

Photo of my girl's birth certificate

I was asked by a British Immigration Officer at the immigration counters at London's Heathrow Airport to produce some documentation that the baby that I was carrying was really my baby. I was surprised but he said that this was the rule in the UK to prevent child abduction. Fathers (or relatives with the same surname) would normally not have this problem as the same surname indicated that they were from the same family (not a foolproof method in my opinion). However, as I used my maiden surname, he said he could not be sure that my baby was mine. Thankfully he let me through but advised me to take a picture of my kids' birth certificates and bring them with me when I travel in future.

Even though this rule may not apply to other countries, I still think it is always a good practice to take pictures of identification such as passports, driving licenses and birth certificates just in case. You'll never know when you will need them =)

And there you have it!

Now chin up and don't be afraid to bring your baby on your journeys! =)

Continue to >> Travel Tips 2: Nursing While Travelling


This post is part of my series on Travel Tips for the Wanderlust Parent.
Follow me as I share my tips for planning your next family vacation

Head on over to My Travel Page for a whole list of our travel itineraries!
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