Personal Milestone Unlocked!
~Travelling overseas with a 8+month baby~
Yup, I did it! We took our maiden voyage as a family of 3. Woohoo. I’m gonna share with you what I learned, what I experienced and how I can do better next time 🙂
I personally love travelling and one of the thing I do miss going on overseas business trips. I had a lot of fear and inertia when it came to flying with an infant but I’m so glad I did it! This first overseas trip was definitely made possible with Rockstarpapasan!
Decision to Travel
I’ve been asked to travel to Perth to teach mums on how to incorporate essential oils into their lifestyle on numerous occasions. I travel every quarter and previously, I wasn’t able to fit this itinerary in. Then in March 2017, one of my partners brought up Perth again. Of course, with a baby, I turned it down again immediately. But this time, she was insistent, and persuaded me to treat this as a first family trip instead of a business trip where I’m to travel alone. Moreover, Perth is about 5hours away from Singapore and definitely a baby and family friendly city. It would make a great for a first overseas experience.
Now, that’s a proposal that got me looking! So I did.
BONUS While it may be daunting for new parents, the bonus is that it is much cheaper to travel with an infant. Do you know that for children below 2years old, you only need to pay 10% of the adult fare?
Check out what other airline offers (note that the terms may have changed since the authors last wrote the post):
We were contemplating which airline to take and ultimately, the determining factor was the flight timing. I think the most horrifying air travel experience is to be stuck in an aeroplane with a screaming and cranky baby. That was my greatest worry as well.
Perth is about 5 hours flight from Singapore. As it was already March and the trip was in May, the prices between a full carrier and a budget carrier were comparable. Naturally, we settled for Singapore Airlines!
Based on Aven’s sleep hours, we chose the following:
Depart Singapore at 7:40am — Arrive Perth at 12:50pm
Depart Perth at 2:05pm — Arrive Singapore at 7:35 pm
Choose Your Seats
Make sure you book early to get a bassinet seat. Our return flight was almost at full capacity and we were on the waiting list for a bassinet seat. We managed to get one on our return flight, but the two of us adults were unable to sit next to each other. One will sit with the baby with the bassinet while the other will sit directly behind. That worked for us as we are not seated too far away from each other. It’s always good to sit next to each other so that we could take turns in eating and entertaining the baby!
Singapore Airlines provide a good option for infants and toddlers who are travelling!
|Baby, Infant and Child Meals|
|Baby Meal (BBML)||Suitable for infants less than 1 year old, this meal consists of 3 jars (approximately 80g/3oz to 110g/4oz per jar) of baby food – main course, vegetables and dessert.|
|Post-Weaning Meal (PWMLM)||Suitable for infants between 1 and 2 years old, this meal is more substantial than a Baby Meal. Food items are easy to bite, chew and digest.|
|Child Meal for Infant (CHMLI)||Suitable for infants less than 2 years old, this meal is more substantial than a Post-Weaning Meal (PWMLM) or Baby Meal (BBML). Food items are easy to bite (soft) type of food items with lighter-based sauces.|
|Child Meal (CHML)||Suitable for children between 2 and 7 years old, this meal is less substantial than adult meal.Food items are easy to bite and chew, and are attractive to children.|
I wasn’t keen on a baby meal as I would rather not feed from jars due to the high sugar content. Whole food is always better than processed baby food right? Even at 8 months, Aven was not eating much, and I didn’t want the opened food jars to go to waste. I opted for Post-weaning Meal, so that I can finish his food 🙂
This is the Post-weaning Meal we received:
I gave Aven a bit of everything, and skipped the dessert.
Packing for the Flight
I think we brought more baby items than we did for ourselves. What I brought on board for the 5hours flight as well as the items I regretted not bringing on board (highlighted in orange):
- Large Muslin cloth to be used as a blanket or to act as a protective spread
- Extra set of clothes (for accidents like poop or puke)
- Toys to entertain (I only brought ONE toy. Please bring about 3 as baby tends to get bored easily.)
- Diaper changing mat
- 3 x Diapers
- Wet wipes
- Thieves hand purifier
- Thieves spray
- Pacifier (if your baby uses)
- Baby carrier (if your baby is in the pram when checking in)
- Lotion (The air on board is pretty drying. Would have been useful to be able to moisturise his face and hands.)
- Jacket (I assumed a thick layer of onesie was enough. Wrong!)
It was really smooth and pleasant! You have the option of checking in the stroller with the baggage or bring to the Gate (if you check in before the flight crew). We were early, so we decided to bring the stroller to the Gate.
Check out the huge bag we are bringing on board. All baby’s stuff! He’s awake but not fussy as he’s still tired and had not fully woken up yet.
The flight to Perth was half full and and the unoccupied seat next to me provided an extra space for my stuff. By the time we boarded the plane, Aven was already wide awake and started exploring the new environment with curiosity.
We loved our flight attendant serving our cabin. Her warm and sweet demeanour put us at ease. I don’t know about RockstarPapasan but I was feeling extremely jittery and flustered. I wasn’t confident that Aven would be cheery throughout the flight. Then I’ve read how I would need to feed or latch the baby during take off and I’m not sure how I would be executing that.
Rockstarpapasan took the task of sitting with Aven for the take off. The infant seat belt was attached to the adult belt and looped over the baby. We were sooooo nervous! But this boy surprised us by being very calm. He sucked his thumb when he got uncomfortable. We were so proud of him!
Seat belt sign is turned off
This is the only time the baby can get into the bassinet. When the seat belt sign is on, baby has to be fastened to the adult with an infant seat belt. I can understand the frustration parents and baby would experience when there are turbulence. We were so lucky that our flight was smooth.
The flight attendant checked on us and arranged for food to be served separately so that we could take turns to handle Aven. He was even given a plush toy from Monster Inc. How nice! It distracted him for a while before he got bored again. It did help that he was friendly and the flight crew took turns to talk to him when they walked passed and he was kept relatively entertained throughout the flight.
So grateful for the Singapore Airline in flight service crew and Aven’s favourite SQ Girl. She made our first flight a memorable one.
THE RETURN FLIGHT
Depart Perth at 2:05pm — Arrive Singapore at 7:35 pm
We thought this flight timing would give us a good experience like it did for our first flight. But we were WRONG! It was traumatic and we felt so sorry for the other passengers on board.
Aven woke up at 7am. Took a short 20min nap on the way to the airport. He got excited by the new environment and did not take any naps from then on. His usual bed time routine would start between 5:30pm to 6pm. At 6pm on board the flight, he got extremely cranky and started wailing to be cleaned and changed into his pajamas! We were not prepared for that at all. AT ALL. We had not brought up his pajamas. Rockstarpapasan put him in the baby carrier and walked up and down the flight to calm him down but it was futile. He was demanding to be cleaned and fed! Because his routine has been fixed (clean, feed, bed) in the evening, so, trying to feed and latch him was useless because he kept rejecting.
The flight ordeal ended after we landed and headed straight the the baggage belt and then out of the airport. No DFS purchases were made. A cranky baby is no funnnnn!
For new parents, hope this would help you in planning your trip and give you the confidence to fly with your baby!
What are your MUST BRING items on board when travelling with your baby? I’d loved to hear from you!