At 8months-ish, baby V has taken her first plane ride and set her tiny bum in Taiwan! We are back home (in one piece, without pulling out our hair, fortunately, hahaha)! Friends and readers have been asking about my first post-partum holiday and how to prepare when travelling with a baby for the first time! So, I’ll be sharing about our travel preparation for our baby. Yes, it’s not just the two of us anymore; packing for 3 is a different ball game altogether.
The plan was to scale Taichung –> Cing Jing –> Taipei, 2 nights at each place. So we had to ensure that there was enough of everything for the next 7 days. Bearing in mind that products are never always exactly the same across the globe (they are usually localized or are completely different), so to play safe, make sure there is sufficient of what is needed.
How to prepare when travelling with baby [Packing lists and tips included!]
This was probably one of the most nerve-wrecking packing exercises that had us checking and rechecking on baby V’s items for fear of leaving out something. Basically, this sharpens one’s brains for organizational skills and strategizing, if you think of it. HA!
Tips: Use zipper bags to group baby’s items together. We used a jumbo size for larger items such as towels and clothes and a smaller size for handy items such as toiletries.
How to categorise and pack baby’s items in 1 zipper bag each:
- Clothes (remember to bring spares!)
- Toiletries including baby shampoo/shower foam (use a travel size 2in1 to bring lesser items), body lotion, eczema creams, Ruyi oil, hair brush, bottom balm
- Hankies + bath towels
- Socks and hats
- Medication (e.g. Koolfever patch, paracetamol etc)
- Gripe water and sippy cup (without zipper bags, as shown in pic below. Basically just squeeze in any visible corner.)
- Portable fan (without zipper bags, in the end we put this in the diaper bag)
- Detergent for baby clothes (if you’re planning to reuse something, this is important. And for those times when clothes are stained with poop!)
- Cleanser for milk bottles, if applicable
- Baby’s spoon and bowl
- Disposable bibs
- Fresh boiled water from home – in bottles for baby
Preparing a diaper bag for the family holiday
Yup, basically this is for the father to lug, for which I’m grateful for (are you reading this, Hub???), so, he opted to use his Deuter haversack instead of our usual diaper bag.
With a different orientation and compartments, once again, some planning was involved. Again, using zipper bags, these are the items to prepare (yes, as if the earlier list ain’t enough..)
Checklist for what to pack in the diaper bag for travelling with baby
- Diapers (to replenish for each day)
- Extra clothes + hat + baby’s sweater (for the plane rides/cold weather etc) + baby’s sunblock (we used Mustela bebe)
- Milk bottle + formula container + thermal flask with hot water + bottle of cooled water (omit these if baby will be breastfed – we brought along as backup)
- Wet wipes + tissue
- Portable fan
- Nursing cover
- Baby carrier (we fit this in its own handy bag instead of ziplock bags
- Baby biscuits/snacks
- Baby’s toys (small handy ones)
What is the best flight timing when traveling with a baby?
We took the noon flight – would have otherwise picked the earlier one so we could reach our destination ahead to chiong, but, bye-bye single days! Also, we didn’t want to disrupt her sleep by pulling her out of bed that early, so a noon flight was our best bet. With a baby in tow, seats with bassinets are usually allocated plus the leg room comes as a godsend too.
Tips for parents: choose a suitable flight timing to coincide with your baby’s naptime so they can (hopefully) catch some sleep and so can you!
Things to bring out of the diaper bag when seated in the plane
I’ve intentionally created this list so that it makes it more convenient without having to fumble with a scenario: diaper bag is at the overhead compartment-baby fussing/crying-cabin crew asking you to put on your seat belt and get seated/neighboring passengers giving you that stare-your wife telling you to hurry up. Okay, I think you get the drift.
- Baby’s sweater + socks (if she’s not already wearing them)
- Baby’s biscuits/snacks
- Nursing cover
- Wet wipes/tissue
- Water (Mummy’s tip: Check with the airline that you’re taking for the latest rules because these days, water is not allowed to be taken into the departure hall. You’ll need to buy bottled water from the departure area and take that into the airplane. Alternatively, ask the cabin crew for boiled water.)
You must be wondering where on earth should we put all those stuff?
Well, we basically squeezed them into the pockets in front of our seat. Note that the bassinet is only installed after the plane has taken off; prior to take-off, the baby will be strapped on with an infant seat belt that’s strapped onto an adult. Baby can then sleep in the bassinet during the flight, however, when the seat belt sign is lit in cases of turbulence, the child must be taken out from the bassinet and strapped back on with the infant seat belt.
If you’ve been following us for some time now, you’d already know that baby Vera doesn’t do well with naps, so here’s what happened during the flight…
Request for a baby bassinet from your airline
Always ensure that the child is never left unattended. Close supervision is required when the child is in the bassinet. Baby V pretty much stayed in there for max. 15mins.
Throughout the journey to Taipei, she had a 1hr and another 30min nap + nurse session. Nursing mums, time to train those biceps first!
Tips for breastfeeding mums: It’s the best time to nurse your baby during take-off and landing as the swallowing action will help baby from getting ear blocks/ache. If your bub nurses to sleep (like Vera!), then you’ll be a happy mum for a while… until the Kraken stirs…. heh…
Tips for parents: Certain lavatories come with a diaper changing station too (look out for the signs, didn’t realize it before we became parents. HA!) It’s basically a horizontal board that comes down and calls for some quick diapering skills in those tight spaces! Baby food/toddler meals are served if requested during check-in. For Singapore Airlines baby meal, we were given Gerber’s jar food, which can be warmed up upon request.
Alright, these are our tips for how to prepare when travelling with baby! We hope you’re not too overwhelmed and that these packing lists for traveling with our baby will be useful for fellow parents too! Look out for the upcoming articles on our Taiwan Escapade!