OK. In a few hours time, we will be on a plane getting ready to fly to Hong Kong. It will be the first time for Jayden to take a plane and we are not sure of what surprises will be waiting for us then. We have been taking the effort to try one bit at a time, first to Desaru, then on a cruise and now to Hong Kong. We learnt quite a lot of things to watch out for when bringing along a young one.
Why Hong Kong? Well, we have been there before. In 2007 that is.
Hazel is a big fan of Mickey Mouse and we are sure to be heading to Disneyland as part of our itinerary. We want to check out the latest attraction for Toy Story too! And Jayden has also started to love to see Mascots of any kind. Hong Kong is also not so far away, about four hours of flight time. (We think we should be able to manage four hours. Fingers crossed)
As usual, I have been reading around and asking friends on tips for bringing a baby on for a plane trip. Here's what I gathered.
1. Car seats/Baby Seats
For us, since we are not going to be renting a car or anything close. Bringing our car seat along for securing him in the plane is a big big hassle. Although it will be the best and safest option, we had to leave this out of question. Keeping him still while the seat belt sign is on will be a challenge. Well, the other alternative is that we carry him on our laps. He is after all, just 20 months of age.
2. A seat for him
We got a seat for him on the plane. The so call baby price for a special seat and the price for a normal plane seat has a difference of only $50 bucks. It is almost a no brainer for me to get a normal plane seat for him. More space for us. More space for him to roll around (when possible)
3. Baby Carrier
This is a must. We absolutely love the Manduca Baby Carrier after getting it. And since we need to check into the airport 2 hours before the flight, that means our stroller is somewhere being loaded on the plane and having a Baby Carrier to secure him will be the best and easiest way to keep him safely and easily near us. (EDIT: We realized that there is something known as the gate check in where you will still have the stroller with you all the way) This is also another option of securing him to us during the flight if he refuses to sit still in the seat we got for him. One thing that I am still not sure of if it is possible to secure him on us during take off and landing.
Are you kidding me? You need to bring this along! Your back will thank you for this! Jayden is about 12-13kg and though not that heavy, it will get really heavy during extended periods of carrying. And sometimes, it is easier to have him in the stroller even though you have a good Baby carrier. I have to agree that having a stroller during a trip might make it slightly more troublesome to get to places. There are also certainly some places which might pose difficulties to get a stroller in, like public buses, trams, etc. But we should be able to manage.
5. A bag for all the necessities
We are planning on carrying the backpack we bought for the cruise trip. And since I am planning on using my new Olympus OMD EM5, I will forgo bringing my own camera bag. The camera will have to stuffed in the backpack or sling around my neck. This bag will also carry all the baby stuff, diapers, biscuits, bips, change of clothes, etc.
6. More time
Basically, we realized that after a few overseas trips with Jayden. Bringing a baby around means having to spend more time during the same thing without him. Most likely, either myself or Hazel will be preoccupied with carrying or entertaining Jayden, thus leaving only one person to do the stuff, like unloading stuff, etc. And yes, we are planning to arrive at a minimum of 2 hours before the flight even though we have already done the online check in, etc.
7. Dealing with air pressure changes
We are still not sure how to handle this or more importantly, how well Jayden will handle this. They say sucking on something will help with the air pressure changes. And I am still not very sure if we can bring in our formula milk and water to mix in the plane. But I think we will go the safe route by buying water after the security clearance instead for mixing the formula milk. We will also bring an empty thermoflask to check if we can fill it up with hot water in the secured boarding area.
There is about all that we gathered for a smooth first plane trip with baby Jayden! We will have a burst in Hong Kong!
See you guys soon!