Since being on maternity leave, I’ve only been back to work on some projects. And before I settled in and immersed myself full time back to work, I really wanted to take a trip overseas and just spend some quality time as a family!
We decided on Tokyo as the destination after seeing how much fun Axl had with his 2 cousins (who lives in Japan) when they came back to Singapore recently! Plus having been there before, we knew it’d be a place we’d all enjoy!
Despite the prior experience of traveling with Axl when he was around 3 months old (to Hongkong), I was still nervous about our flight as Alexa has a stronger personality and is going through a phase where she doesn’t like to sit down. Plus I had a baby AND a toddler to travel with now. 😅
Anyway how, we took a step of faith and for the baby, we prepped for our flight the best we could...
> Arranged for bassinet seats!
This was great as we could comfortably set her down after she fell asleep. Plus she happily played there with her ‘toys’ when she was not fussing. I cannot imagine if these seats were unavailable... that would mean 6hours in my arms!!!
> Timed baby’s feeds to take off and landings
To relieve air pressure, time your baby’s feeds to take off and landings. Remember to take out the breastfeeding cover or bottle+milk from your cabin bag before stowing it away.
But no worries if you missed the feed time, sucking on a pacifier or boob helps too. 😅
> Took turns for our meals!
Ask nicely for one of your meals to be served earlier if you’re traveling with the husband. That way, when the baby fusses, one of you can attend to your child. Trust me, there is just no space carrying a baby with the tray of food in front of you, or time to clear it out when a half screaming baby demands for your attention NOW.
> Bring their favorite ‘toy’ or ‘soother’
Even if you think it’s bulky or yet another item to add to your already bursting at seams cabin bag, you’ll be thankful when it calms your hysterical baby 35,000 feet up in the sky! Where your infant’s crying is magnified a thousand times over and all you have to ‘walk it out’ is the narrow aisle where you get side-eyed by the already annoyed passengers... haha ok I’m scaring you, it’s really not that bad!
Anyway, Alexa doesn’t take the pacifier(brought it anyway) so I had to rely heavily on her favorite monkey and her teething soothers. Thankfully, we didn’t really need it. Phew!
> Bring your own blanket and baby bean pillow
If you are a little OCD like me and are paranoid about where that airline blanket has been before or worry about what she lays her head on (most pillows are too high and unsuitable for infant), it’s better to bring your own so YOU stress less on flight.
For Alexa, I brought her bean bag pillow as well as she gets startled very easily in her sleep. Figured that she’ll need it through our 14day trip (yup we were away so long!) so might as well hand carry with us instead of dumping it into our luggage!
For Axl, we were not prepared when he freaked out a little just before stepping into the airplane. Think the sudden reality of him being in the aircraft so high in the sky got to him as he cried and repeated “I don’t want to sit aeroplane” half ventilating... poor baby! But it was nothing lots of hugs and kisses from mummy and a load of assurances couldn’t resolve. ;)
Anyway, we (*tried to, another topic for another day) make sure he had a good breakfast and was well fed before our morning flight. Plus prepared lots of his favourite snacks to munch on! We also made sure he sipped on water here and there during take of and landings (Again, remember to have his water bottle with you before stowing your bag away). Sucking on a lollipop works well too if you’re ok with it! 😬
Brought his favorite activities to play on flight too...
But if there’s a tip I’d recommend when traveling with a toddler, I’d say get a Plane Pal! This was the best thing ever for Axl. Especially if you’re traveling on a long flight...
On the flight to Japan, my heart broke when he fell asleep in such an uncomfortable position that was so bad for his posture. He couldn’t have a good nap and woke up constantly to re-adjust himself.
When the good people of Plane Pal heard about my trip, they kindly offered to send me a Plane Pal kit! I was super impressed by their spirit of excellence and can do attitude as they offered to send it all the way to Japan for me.
Plane Pal is a custom designed inflatable cushion that fills the space between your child’s seat and the seat in front. The inflatable seat extender makes sitting comfortably or sleeping on a plane (train, car or bus) possible! Made from high quality nylon, it is light weight and compact and comes with a pump for stress free, easy inflation after take off.
It comes in an easy to carry bag when deflated and stylish to lug around!
Axl was super excited over his new ‘toy’ and felt so special to have his personalized throne! 😂
But seriously, it was most useful as he could sleep comfortably, lying down flat through most of the flight. (An immediate upgrade to Business Class lei! Haha...) But perhaps most telling was when he knocked out for 2 straight hours without barely flinching! I’m so adding this into my list of “must haves” for future travels especially on long flights!
(For more on Plane Pal, head over to www.planepal.sg for more information!)
To top of our flight encounter, God sent an angel when we met one of our air steward friend on flight who took care of us so well! Plus when he commented at the end of flight that my kids are so well behaved, I smiled silently knowing it was only by the grace of God!
Hope you have an awesome trip and that my tips are useful to you if you’re going overseas too...
More on my Japan trip soon! Stay tuned...