Wednesday, July 12, 2017

First Time to Travel With Baby

Shopping with Mommy
Every New Year's eve, at our family's noche buena (midnight dinner celebration), my fairy godmothers raffle off trips to either Hong Kong, Tokyo, or Bangkok. I have a reputation for being notoriously lucky at winning one of the trips, my cousins think I have x-ray vision to see through the rolled up papers. On the eve of 2015, I was one of three winners for a trip to Bangkok. I couldn't travel that year because I was due to give birth, so I claimed my trip the year after when my baby girl was seven months old.

First off, passports. My husband's and mine were expiring soon, and our baby needed one. Unlike the way I renewed my passport when I was still single, going through the motions of getting one with a baby was a breeze. For one, you do not need to make a scheduled appointment for babies 18 months and below. Both parents can accompany and renew their passports along with the baby. All you need is to provide all the requirements listed in the DFA website and they will put you on the fast track of everything. We did ours at DFA Alabang. 

Recaro Easylife Stroller
Next, light weight stroller. What we had was the Britax B-Safe travel system stroller. And while it was sturdy, it was just too heavy and time consuming to handle when on-the-go. So after doing our research and fiddling around with the different strollers in the malls, we settled for the Recaro Easylife stroller. One of our best purchases. It is very easy to fold up and out, in fact, I can do it with one hand while carrying the baby. It is very light and compact when folded so it is easy to carry when when there are no elevators around. Aside from being light and compact, it is very sturdy, and it reclines to an almost lying position so that baby can sleep when we are out.

Boat ride with Papa
For further mobility, we also opted to take a carrier so that we could wear her around. We purchased the Ergo 360* carrier so that we could wear her front forward facing when she was awake and front inward facing when she was asleep. During those moments when an elevator was hard to find and we had to make do with steps or escalators (or upon arriving at the airport and the stroller can only be claimed at the carousel), the carrier really proved to be an awesome baby gear. 

Where will the baby sleep? We were very concerned about SIDS, even at seven months, so we were wary about co-sleeping with her. While most hotels have cribs or bassinets that can be rented on a per night basis, we took our own pack-and-play pen. For as long as you have a baby in your flight, play pens or portable cribs are free to check in the plane and are not counted in the baggage allowance. 
Bassinet in PAL flight

Speaking of airplane, traveling with a child on your lap (on economy class) is not the easiest thing especially when they are being fussy. However, you can request the airline to give you a bassinet seat (the first row on every cabin) upon booking. There is usually an additional charge for these seats, but it is waived if you are traveling with an infant below 12 kgs.

Ergo 360 in the car
We didn't take a car seat with us since we were traveling to Bangkok and they are not very strict about infants in car seats. We were, however, concerned about our baby girl's safety on the road since we usually get around in a van. I would wear her forward front facing in the Ergo 360 and strap the seat belt on under her back so that we were both securely fastened.

Overall, aside from the having to bring a lot of other things that we didn't need when it was just my husband and myself, traveling with an infant was not as difficult as we expected. In fact, compared to traveling with a toddler, an infant is much easier to take around and handle.

*Read more about how much I love the Ergo 360 carrier here.

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