This trip to Jakarta was baby Brie’s first ever trip on an aeroplane (come to think of it, it’s her first trip anywhere outside of Singapore! =)
So I thought, since it’s also our first time traveling as a family of five, I should share what we did and what we learned through the experience. We never know, .. perhaps the info will be useful to others who’re in similar situations to ours.
1. Bring along a pram / stroller, but having a sling (or a carrier) will definitely help in free-in up Mom’s hands
We left our pram to the airport staff just before we boarded the plane, I then carried Brie in a sling.
Having her in a sling allowed me to handhold my other kids’ hands, and take photos too, hehe.
2. Older kids sit with Daddy
The trip to Jakarta from Singapore lasted for about 1.5 hours. Fortunately it’s not THAT long a trip, which made it ‘better’ for me and hubby as we had 2 older kids and a baby flying with us.
We went on a budget airline, Lion Air, and because there’s one aisle and three seats on the left and three on the right, Anya and Vai sat together with Daddy, while I sat in front them, near the window. This arrangement, to me, worked well as Daddy kept the older kids entertained while I handled Brie without much ‘interruptions’.
3. Feed baby when taking off and landing
Brie (who was 6 weeks when we left for Jakarta) was mostly asleep during the flight. She was very quiet throughout both trips (to and from Jakarta). I breastfed her during take-off and landing to avoid unnecessary pressure in her ears.
And btw, I was given the ‘window seat’ on both plane trips. I assume it’s so that I could breastfeed the baby discreetly, facing the window? Anyway, I had people sitting next to me and I could still breastfeed discreetly as usual (See my previous post on breastfeeding on the go)
4. Bring along a luggage that the older kids can help and push on their own
We brought along a medium-sized luggage with wheels that Anya and Vai could easily push. They didn’t even need to pull or use much energy to get the luggage moving!
So, after we collected all our luggage, Anya handled this particular luggage, while the others fit into just one trolley. Wilson then pushed that trolley with Vai sitting on top of the luggage, while I pushed the pram.
5. Count the total no. of luggage and bags (including the pram)
This is a habit that I picked up from my parents, ie. Counting the total no. of luggage / bags that we bring along whenever we travel, to ensure that ALL necessary items are with us.
As Anya and Vai are older now, I get them involved too. I teach them how we need to check that we haven’t left anything behind by counting the total items that we’ve brought along, eg. When unloading the bags from a taxi, when collecting the luggage upon arrival, etc.
6. A ‘fit to travel’ letter from your baby’s doctor, if baby is still below 2 months old
Now, this is a little ‘unclear’ though.
A friend who traveled with a less than 2 month old baby was asked for the letter at the airport, and since she didn’t have one, she was asked to see the ‘airport doctor’ to get that ‘fit to travel letter’. The ‘service’ cost a LOT obviously, not to mention the inconvenience of needing to walk to the clinic and back again to board the plane.
I had that letter (given by our usual GP) before leaving Singapore, btw. You know, just in case. No airport staff asked for it though. We simply were asked to fill out this Lion Air form to indicate that we’re traveling with a little baby. Basically we wrote baby’s name, our name, and we signed on it.
[If you’ve had some kind of an airport experience on this, please do share yeah!]
[View from the window as we’re near the Singapore airport. It was about 7pm at the time and btw, I think that’s the second link bridge that connects Singapore and Johor Baru!]
And here are more tips that I’d like to share with you!
> Packing checklist for your baby, by babycentre.co.uk
> Packing checklist for traveling with a baby, by babycenter.com
> What supplies should I take on the plane, by babycenter.com
Happy traveling with your little kiddos! =)