Our experiences travelling with baby on a plane to Japan

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We brought our DD to Japan when she was 13 months old. At the end of the trip, DH and I each lost about 2 kg  For DH, it was the lugging of luggages from Osaka to Kyoto and then to Tokyo; while for me, it was the carrying of DD throughout (as she refused to be carried by DH  ) and skipping of meals that did it. Don’t get me wrong however, it was a good trip; lots of bonding time with DD and as she was getting too attached to our maid, we managed to reverse that somewhat by the time we returned 

In my opinion, Japan is a good place to bring the little one. It’s clean and child-friendly generally. For example, in every department store, you would be able to find a nursery and baby changing room easily. They are well stocked with diapers (need to pay of course) and you could feed your baby inside these rooms if need be. Public toilets are quite good too. There is usually a baby changing board; and when you need to use the toilet, some cubicles would even come equipped with a child holding seat!

So what do you need to bring? First, let’s start with the flight. If you could, try to take a day flight in case your child is a fussy sleeper. That way, if she doesn’t sleep, at least both parents and her would not have a long grudging day ahead. Day flights also tend to be less crowded and you would have no lack of attention from stewardesses drawn to cute babies. Remember to bring your baby’s milk powder and milk bottle for the flight. As for hot water and cool water, you could get that from the flight attendants, unless you are fussy and want to bring your own. For us, the consideration for bringing along water is whether she needs to drink milk from the time she gets off the plane to the time when we eventually reach the hotel. Sometimes, child food provided on the plane may not be that agreeable with the little one. Do bring along something else as the flight is about 7 hours long. On top of the milk powder, we would bring along some of her baby cereal and a bowl for mixing the cereal (yes, we almost brought everything  ) and some Pigeon’s ready-to-eat food packs. The Pigeon baby food packs are great for travelling. You just need to put a pack into a bowl of hot water, and a meal is ready within minutes! Taste great too. I usually buy those that are mixed with rice and I particularly like the brown rice with seaweeds – yummy!

Couldn’t find a picture of that from the website, but this is a sample of the Pigeon baby food pack:

By the way, if you are travelling with SQ, you can specify that you want toddler’s meal, otherwise, you would end up being served Gerber baby food  .

As for taking off and landing, as we do not give our kids sweets (not at 13 month – what if she chokes?) or pacifiers, instead, I give mine a pack of biscuits shortly before the take-off or landing. As the plane takes off, I stand by water for them to drink. So far, not a single problem for our numerous trips. Pigeon has many choices of biscuits, each either come individually wrapped or about 4 packs in each box. My children’s personal favourite are the small little round yellow biscuits – the type that melts in your mouth, and fish favoured crackers.

On board the plane, you could keep you baby occupied with her favourite activities, whatever that might be. At 13-14 months, they are not too much into watching movies. The ear-piece is too big for them anyway. Alternatively, just bring her for walks around the plane when she gets too bored. If she is able to sleep, that would be the best. At this age, she should be able to still fit in the bassinet. Once my DD starts having her own seat, I also bring along a neck rest whenever we take those long-haul flights. Remember to bring extra sets of clothings for the flight, including a cardigan in case it is cold.

Once you are in Japan, eating out is easy. For breakfast, if your hotel stay comes with breakfast, there is usually Japanese buffet breakfast where you can have porridge for instance. In our case, we have a mix of that and baby cereal (as that was what my DD ate for breakfast at that time). Lunch and dinner were usually ramen, other Japanese food and occasionally, the pigeon food. Don’t forget to bring a pair of scissors and some baby spoons when you are out dinning, but remember to check the scissors into your luggage or you won’t get pass airport security with that pair of scissors. Other things that I won’t leave home without are hand sanitizer, fruit peeler or knife, vegetable wash for washing fruits, some flu/cough/fever medicine and of course her favourite toys (bath toys are important too to get my DD into the bath tub  ) and books.

Lastly, do remember to buy that all too important travel insurance. Seeing a doctor in Japan would be very expensive!

Traveling With a Baby

It’s certainly a memorable experience for you with your baby. But not your baby’s! As a 13 years old, it’s impossible to remember anything. They don’t know anything about this world. And sitting on a plane is nothing different from sitting in own home. However, its a great moment for the babies if they are treated well and cared. And it would be best if you capture photos of these sparkling moments, so that the baby can see these photos when he will get matured.

Flying with a Baby

thanks for sharing!

thanks for sharing!

Can ask airline for help

I used to travel often between SG and Japan … since my son was 6 months old. There was only me and my son, so each time I flew, I asked the airline for help … whether with luggage, or anything … airline staff are always helpful …

Thanks for sharing :)

Thanks for sharing 🙂

Finally decided not to go

Finally decided not to go

abacus math

this is a very good point!nice trip.

I do agree that it is easier

I do agree that it is easier to manage 1 kid as compared to 2 on a trip. Your reasons are totally valid, but let’s not forget the emotional part.

I left my then 11-month old DS at home when we went to Europe with DD, despite having brought him to Hokkaido when he was much younger.  For us, it wasn’t a case of whether he would remember the trip, but a nice bonding time for the family.  For the Hokkaido trip, we had extra help, thus it was manageable.  However, for the trip to Europe, the situation was different as DH would have to take care of both children on his own for a few days.  We decided to leave him at home, but missed him terribly throughout the trip.  Even DD was saying that we have to bring DS with us the next time we go for a trip.

Another factor to consider before deciding whether to bring a young child for a holiday – the mode of transport that you would be taking during the trip.  If it is a self-drive type of holiday, it is definitely easier to manage 2 kids as you would have more flexibility where time is concerned and all your barang barang could go into the car.

 

13mth old for tour

 Hi shine_fs
 
If I am in your shoes, I would not bring my 13mth old for the trip, if I have GOOD & RELIABLE support in Singapore,  for the following reasons:
 
– 13mth old is too young to remember anything about the trip
– Take opportunity for the 4yr old to feel special, and opportunity to bond. He might have felt left out or less loved since his younger brother came alone.
– More chance for the parents to rest & enjoy and not be tired out looking after 2 children
 

Proud Daddy of P1 Boy at Tao Nan School …

Thanks for your information

Now I need to consider carefully whether to bring my younger son (13mths) along with us not.

I am bringing my elder son (4 yrs).

Fully agree with you on

Fully agree with you on Isetan Scotts. Apart from Pigeon, my kids love Wakodo and Morinaga too.  DS particularly likes the cheese stick biscuit from Wakodo.

When we went to Japan with DD, the stuff that we took to keep her occupied were books, activity work sheets from Shichida (as we were quite behind on those worksheets, so it was a golden opportunity for me to kill 2 birds with 1 stone, haha) and crayons/markers. I also once saw someone bringing those large Spots sticker story books. Think it is a good idea, except that it wouldn’t take long before all the stickers get used up. 

If I remember correctly, there is a different queue for those with young children clearing customs in Australia.  They do understand that you are bringing in food because of the young child.  In our case, they let us pass even without checking anything in our luggage. Can’t quite remember the details anymore, but if not mistaken, milk powder tins are not supposed to have been opened or something like that, and definitely no fresh fruits. 

Actually not just Australia or New Zealand, all other countries that we have been to are very strict about children car seats.  We usually take this into consideration when deciding on the size of car to rent as car seats are very space consuming.

Hmmm... that's a great

Hmmm… that’s a great idea.  Will try that next time, thanks for the suggestion.  Munching – that they definitely can do non-stop.

Pigeon has good variety and

Pigeon has good variety and choice.  The other place i would recommend is the supermarket at Isetan Scotts for their good variety of choices of baby/toddler finger food.

During flight, if its more than 5 hours, its better to let the kid take a nap during flight time.  I brought some books suitable for the age-group to entertain the kid.  If its not budget flight, then you can also make use of their inflight entertainment to occupy some of the flight time.  my kid and I also walked up and down the – stretch legs!  For 15mths kid and above, it will get easier, you can bring along activity books for them to colour, join the dots, count numbers etc etc. 

I also brought along fever medicine, anti-histamine medicine and cod liver oil along.  On top of that, the Kiasu mummy here also brought along the seaweed flakes (Jap kind, those sprinkle on rice), rice crackers, biscuits etc for the trip. 

If you are going to Australia, you will have to declare all the food you brought along with you.  Usually, as long as you declare, and seeing that you have kids with you, the customs officer will allow you to bring the food (provide no soil roots raw seeds) into their country.  If you are driving in Australia, check out the car seats!  The Australian govt is very strict on this.  Australia is a good place to go for road trips.   last and not least, be safe.

hey, thanks for the info. 

hey, thanks for the info.  it’s indeed enlightening.

Thanks sharing with us of

Thanks sharing with us of your experience, great tips!

Hi Busymon, U can get yr

Hi Busymon,

U can get yr kids to guess the colour of next car from the opp direction. Or guess the type – motor, truck, van etc. If not, has a sing-a-long or just munch and munch. He he I like to visit the local stall when DH take his coffee-break on long drive.

We went to Perth too when DD

We went to Perth too when DD was less than 3.  Similarly, she refused to sit on toilet bowls.  We brought the foldable potty from Mothercare.  Very convenient – just pull out the two stands below the ring, attach a plastic bag and you have a sitting potty.  When not in use, just fold in the stands and it becomes flat and easy to carry around.  We used to use it even when we were out in Singapore.  Want to post the picture here, but don’t know how to do that.

Scissors in the bin… so far, only once for us and on the way back.  I agree it’s quite easy to forget to check in that small item.

We haven’t done any long road trips – think I will get too stressed trying to stop two children from fighting with each other!

 

Hi Busymom, That remind me

Hi Busymom,

That remind me of our family trip to Perth when DS was close to 4 years old.  We even bought a new potty along as he refuse to sit on toilet.  I had sling wrap the new potty many layers and place it by itself only in a small luggage bag,  just in case we cant pass thru Austrialia custom.

DS has cereal and oat for breakfast too.  I always packed DS favourite snacks and T-bits, in case we are not able to get proper meal in time.  I am okay for him to eat T-bits during travelling.

As for the scissor, I had forgotten to check-in as luggage 2 to 3 times and there it goes to the bin.  Scissor comes in handy as I will cut the veg n meat into smaller bits.

BTW, handphone games also comes in handy when we are on the road.  DS has his first trip by road to DH hometown in Penang during LNY.  He was 11 months then,

Cheers!

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