Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Singapore for Vacation


Vacation starts now!
So I’ve been on hiatus since the past week. We recently went on a family trip to Singapore, just my husband, our toddler daughter, and myself, no yaya (nanny). This is actually our second time in Singapore this year with our daughter and I find that it is quite a baby friendly destination. Compared to the other Asian cities we’ve taken her to (Tokyo, Bangkok, Hong Kong), I would have to say Singapore provided us with the tools and amenities to make a vacation with a toddler a little bit easier.

Getting there

We flew via Singapore Airlines (SQ). I usually request for the bassinet seat when flying with my little girl since she is below two years and less than 13 kilos. When we booked our tickets, those seats were already taken. So I booked an aisle seat for my husband and a window seat for myself with the hope that no one will take the middle seat. Unlike Philippine Airlines (PAL), SQ automatically blocks off the seat next to the mother’s seat to give enough space for the lap child, and the infant (if already eating solids) is also given a meal. Plus, I noticed that the flight attendants of SQ are a lot friendlier and more attentive to your needs, the seats are a little bit wider, and there is a little bit more leg room compared to the PAL planes.

Getting Around

Night out at Chinatown
Before we had a baby, we usually went around the city by train and/or bus. My husband lived there for two years previously so he was familiar with the commute. Regardless, getting around Singapore is fairly easy. But since we had a child with us, we relied mostly Uber to get us from place to place. At other times, when the taxi queue was not long, we would take a cab. Cabs in Singapore are pretty reliable and honest. And on the few occasions we took a train with our toddler on a stroller, we found that there were elevators that were easily accessible so it was not a problem for us to take her around via train. On a nice, non-rainy day, going for a walk was quite pleasant. I love how there are many trees wherever you go so it feels cool and shaded.

Diaper Change

Prior to traveling with a baby, I never really noticed if there were diaper changing tables in public bathrooms. In fact, I rarely went to the bathroom. This time around, I really appreciated that Changi Airport and almost all the malls had a baby changing and lactation room. This was very convenient for me because these rooms come with a proper couch for breastfeeding moms, a cushioned changing table for the baby, its own sink, a hot water dispenser, and a diaper vending machine (in case you run out of diapers), AND my husband could come in and help me.

Eating

My husband and I love the food in Singapore and have come to learn that our daughter has developed a liking for it this trip. We had our fair share of eating at restaurants and hawker food centres and we love them all the same. Dining at restaurants is very baby friendly. All of the ones we ate at (including the food courts at the mall) had baby high chairs. They even provide child friendly bowls and utensils so it’s not a problem if it accidentally drops. My baby girl quite enjoyed having her own spoon and bowl as she was able to practice feeding herself.
Eating by herself

Eating at the hawker food centres was a different story. We took a stroller with us so that she could eat from the stroller (the chairs are those round types that are already connected to the tables). However, she preferred to stand on the chair or eat while sitting on my lap, a little bit difficult for me but manageable. Feeding her food from the hawker stalls was not an issue for me as they are prepared properly and we watch out for the cleanliness ratings.

Entertainment

The look of awe
There are many places to take your child to around Singapore. They often have promos wherein you can take the kids to see the Singapore Zoo, River Safari, Night Safari, and Jurong Bird Park at a very reasonably packaged price. They also have promos for when you opt for two or more attractions at Sentosa. In our case, we didn’t think our little girl would appreciate Universal Studios yet, and we were concerned about outdoor weather as it had rained quite a bit during our stay. We opted to take her to the SEA Aquarium because it is indoor, airconditioned, and a more relaxing first animal encounter for our baby girl. While there were a lot of people, some of whom were loud and rowdy, the look of awe and wonder on our daughter’s face was more than enough to deem the trip to Sentosa worth it.

In our previous trip, we also took her to Gardens By The Bay. I don’t think she appreciated the flora and fauna as much as she did the fish. But we did appreciate how convenient it was to take babies around because they had ramps for strollers and elevators to go to the next level.

Shopping

Shopping with friends from Singapore
Compared to Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Bangkok (or even Manila), Singapore shopping is a little bit more expensive. However, they do have a lot of things to offer that are not readily available in Manila, like Kinokuniya in Takashimaya. I love this book heaven as it has many titles for kids, mommies and daddies that are not available in other bookstores. I also recently stumbled upon a kids’ bookstore called Book Ahoy at Forum on Orchard Road which has even more unique titles than Kinokuniya.

I love books so much that I digress. Back to the shopping, taking a child on a stoller is pretty convenient whether you go to the mall or shop on flea markets on the streets.


Overall, even if other countries have more to offer, I will always have a special spot in my heart for Singapore. I still say it is the most baby friendly country I have been to and everything is just always convenient, easy, and clean.

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