Earlier last year I went to Korea with our baby girl. She’s one and a half now so I guess I should be calling her infant instead of baby. I went with my parents and my sister but was obviously the primary carer. At the time I was going to write a blog about travelling with a baby but couldn’t think of anything particularly special to write. My main feeling at the time was that it wasn’t really that different to daily life. I did notice that I was a lot more worried about what I would feed baby but since I generally feed our baby what we are eating it ended up not being an issue. Besides you can always go to the supermarket to get what you need. We regularly stopped in to get bananas, milk and bread since those are baby’s favourite snacks. Something to always keep in mind is; ‘what can baby do while I am there?’ One of the things I made sure we did while I was in Korea was devote a day to doing something baby would enjoy. We found a kids land in one of the malls. It was an amazing centre. Overall she had a pretty good time. It helped that I had my niece and nephew along. They were a great help in keeping baby amused.
Last month we went to Australia. It was a sixteen hour journey to get there; usually it’s a ten hour flight from Tokyo but we had to get to Tokyo first and that took six hours. Baby handled it well. She seems to like planes, this is her fifth time flying to and back from a place so she’s already a seasoned traveler. I would give the following tips to anyone wanting to fly with a baby. For starters its not like driving in the car or catching the bus. You don’t have to buckle up except for on take off and landing. Generally the trips are quite smooth so you can comfortably let baby walk up and down the aisles (or crawl). Take a toy or two though since it can really help fill the time. We did both a day flight and a night flight. They’ve both got pros and cons to them. If you are flying a night flight you can get the baby to sleep at their usually sleeping time and then hopefully sleep yourself or watch some movies. That’s the dream anyway. Day flights you’ve got to entertain baby for a significant part of it. This doesn’t sound ideal but if you are like me and can’t sleep on planes it means you get to go to sleep at your usually time in a warm bed. Not such a bad thing. One thing I learnt which doesn’t seem to be well known is that you can designate a bag as a baby bag when getting on the plane and they don’t take out liquids. You know as long as you aren’t crazy about it. So flying with a baby isn’t so daunting. I’d do it again.
As in Korea I found that going around Australia wasn’t so different as home life. I had my standard baby bag with everything I need for an emergency; nappies, water, food, clothes and a toy. Every place I met up with friends at in some way involved something that baby could do. Usually a playground with a swing. This was a bit difference to my Korean visit since I didn’t know anyone there. In Korea we mostly went to historical places and shopping. Two things that aren’t exciting for babies. In both these cases I just made sure baby knew we hadn’t forgotten about her and played with her on the go. One huge difference I found was distances. When you are travelling you tend to go that extra distance to do something. Instead of doing a twenty minute car trip its more like an hour car trip. This can make a bit of a difference for the baby’s experience. Especially if they aren’t such a big fan of cars. In my personal experience buses and trains are better for babies then cars. You can give them more attention and they can share the experience with you.