Thursday, October 27, 2016

Travelling with a baby

Before Charlotte turns one, we went on 2 vacations together. First, we went to Pulau Langkawi in October 2015 when she was almost 6 months old. And then to Kelantan in January 2016 when she was 9 months old. The 2 trips were considered enjoyable and successful. And if I could afford financially, I would really love to go to more places with her because she's such a good candidate for travelling as she couldn't run around and get into trouble yet. Now that she can walk and run freely on her own, going to a mall is challenging enough. *shifty eyes*

However, I would still like to share with you our experiences- what (I think) makes these trips successful and what we compromised in order to save cost.

1. Carry your baby

Since bringing a stroller is a lot of hassle, I baby-wear her all the time everywhere I go.

Checking in at the airport.

Taking the free buggy ride at the airport.

To the beach.

To a roadside paddy field.

To the Langkawi's Sky Bridge and oh my God, I HAVE to boast about this. 

If you've been to the Sky Bridge, you'd know that you have to climb through A LOT OF STAIRCASES that cuts through a thin forest to reach the observatory deck above. The road and stairs are steep. But I did it anyway and it was such a great achievement. Once on the top, the view was breathtaking. I met another mother who also went there with a baby strapped to her. We both looked at each other and were like, good job girl! lol. Then when we had to go back to the cable car station by climbing the same set of steep staircases again, it was like completing a triathlon hahahaha. I just wanted to reward myself gao gao.

Also when we were in Langkawi, we joined an island hopping tour. And there's bound to be getting on and off a boat. And you know how shaky the boat is on the sea? I'm just so glad that the carrier made everything possible.

Charlotte was weighting around 7 or 8kg when we went to Langkawi and almost 10kg when we went to Kelantan. But it was hassle-free with the carrier since she couldn't walk yet. The Connecta carrier is light-weighted and foldable. I can just place it in my backpack when I'm not using it. Also, it's extremely convenient to do breastfeeding. Which brings me to my second point.

2. Breastfeeding.

I am very grateful to be able to breastfeed Charlotte and it really makes travelling with a baby possible and easy. 

I breastfed her while waiting at the airport.

I breastfed her on the plane during take off and landing to ease her ear pressure.

I breastfed her when she's agitated to calm her down.

When we went to Langkawi, she was almost 6 months old and had already started eating solids. But since milk is still her primary food, I was easy on myself. I didn't prepare any solids to bring to Langkawi to feed her. She was purely on breastmilk throughout our 3 days 2 nights stay. I would let her try some fruits but that's just it.

When we were in Kelantan when she was 9 months old, I didn't bring any solids for her to eat, too. I did let her munch on bread and some of my rice, though not much. Again, milk was her main food source before she turns one so I wasn't stressed at all. I did felt a lil guilty sometimes not knowing if my milk was enough to satisfy her appetite. But it really is a hassle to bring raw materials to cook for her so being a lazy mom, I just let it be. 

Munching on some bread when we were stranded at the airport as our flight was delayed.

3. Accomodation

We stayed in Best Seven Motel in Langkawi. We got a room with a Queen size bed and a Single size bed.

(image from Google but this was our room)

Charlotte and I slept together on the Queen size bed so it's easy for me to breastfeed her at night while the husband slept on the single bed. It's really not a baby-friendly place but since Charlotte still couldn't walk around yet, it really didn't matter to us. I saw some sites suggesting to create a home away from home at the place we stay but I don't think it's necessary since we knew we'd be spending most of our time outside doing touristy stuff. So ya, staying in a small motel worked fine for us. 

When we're in Kelantan, we were blessed to be able to stay at my bff's house so we saved quite a bit on our travelling cost. The husband slept on the bed while Charlotte and I slept on the floor as the bed was quite high and not leaning against the wall. Also, she's a really bad sleeper lol. Sleeping on the floor is more secured. 

4. Bathing time

I don't know about you but it's a lil difficult to bath Charlotte without a bathtub when she can't stand on her own. When we're in Langkawi, we stayed in a small motel. I initially thought of bathing her in the sink but the sink was really small.

You see?

So what did I do? I showered with her. Yupe. As in I carry her in my arms and do all the cleaning. When she's done, her father would be outside the bathroom ready to fetch her with a towel and he would do all the drying up and dress her up in her pajamas while I continue to bathe for myself.

When we're in Kelantan, as mentioned, we were blessed to stay at my bff's house. I bathed her in a bathtub located on the ground floor on the first night. But then I had to carry her (wrapped in a towel) back to our room on the 3rd floor. So the second night onward, I just showered her in the bathroom attached to our room cause she could stand on her own already, though she refused most of the time and would just sit on the bathroom floor. That's fine with me, as long as I could get her cleaned.

5. Flights

Since both trips are of short flight, it wasn't really an issue to bring Charlotte on board. I nursed her during take off and landing to ease her ear pressure. She even fell asleep shortly after the flight took off but I don't remember which time. All I know is that the flights were pleasant. We might go on a long distance flight next year and I have to say, I'm a bit nervous. Hopefully it's won't be as bad as they say.

I'd also like to share with you what happened during our Langkawi trip.

You see, it's a common courtesy to respect one's personal space but sadly I encountered a few horrifying incidents. I know Charlotte has chubby cheeks and has made a lot of people's head turn but it's a common sense to NOT TOUCH/ PINCH MY BABY'S CHEEK! The most horrifying one happened when we're in Langkawi. Charlotte was strapped in the carrier when we're visiting the Langkawi SkyCab. This Middle Eastern Lady was so attracted to Charlotte that she went smiling and all. Then she asked what seemed to be permission to take a photo of Charlotte and the husband was like, ok. Turns out SHE WAS ASKING FOR PERMISSION TO KISS CHARLOTTE ON HER CHEEK! And she did just that!!! All this happened with Charlotte still strapped in the carrier onto me! Imagine my jaws dropped heavily onto the ground.

She left right after that kiss on my baby's cheeks, with us standing there not knowing how to react. Why!? Y U DO THIS TO MY BABY!?

I understand that she "asked for permission" but really, it's a cultural shock for me. I was so protective of Charlotte('s cheeks) after that I hold on to her tight and dearly. I am actually fine with people showing affection to Charlotte by kissing her on the cheek but not for someone who's a total stranger. It's just... weird. And If I were to kiss her on her cheeks later, which I do all the time, it's like I'm indirectly kissing that stranger omg omg omg!

Below are some photos of our trips. Enjoy :)

To Pulau Langkawi

 On our ride to the airport.

 Arrived at the airport.

 Spooky picture lol.

Still very spooky lolol.

At the beach, with a lot of mosquitoes. 

 My hair fall condition :(

 Family photo :)

 Chubby cheeks!

 At Secret Recipe haha.

 I don't know why he's posing like that hahaha.

 On our way to Cenang Beach.

 Cenang Beach.

 With a sleeping Charlotte.

 With an awaken Charlotte.

Daddy's hair is her safety holder.

 At the Sky Bridge.

At a souvenir shop.

 Going home.

To Kelantan
At the airport. The flight was early. She continued to sleep in the carrier.

On the plane and still sleeping.

Oops! Someone's awaken.


 After we got off the plane. She was aslept shortly after the plan took off and slept through the flight.


 Mama, who's that baby in the mirror who looks like me?

 Oh, it's me!?

 I'm sooooo cute lolololol

 With my bff Sereen :)

Used my nursing apron as a pillow to avoid her head from rolling here and there lol.

A selfie with the sleeping baby.

Just hanging out.

She was teething so it was a phrase where she put everything into her mouth.

Rolls oh rolls, where art thou?

 Smile for the camera.

 OK I'm done! I don't wanna pose anymore!

 Kelantan's night market.

This was good.

Look at the husband's face lolololololol.

Overall, because of breastfeeding and the carrier, the trips were enjoyable. I was very confident that I could travel overseas with her alone if given the financial ability. So if you have a small baby and thinking of travelling, don't think too much. Just GO!


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