15 April 2016, by Lim Peifen
These days, dinnertime is when the hubby and I would hold our little “family meeting”. I use quotation marks because it’s not really a meeting in the strictest sense of the word. Now that we are parents, this is basically the only time we have to chat with each other, so the “meeting agenda” includes everything and anything – what happened at work, what happened outside work, news headlines, thoughts and views on life, and, of course, Luke.
A recent recurring topic (brought up by me most of the time) is our first trip overseas with Luke.
Hubby: “Are we ready?”
Me: “I think so.”
Hubby: “Is he ready?”
Me: “I think so.”
Me: “Not too far…”
Hubby: “How about a staycation?”
Me: “Not so near…”
Hubby: “Hong Kong?”
Me: (images of dim sum, congee, roast meat and milk tea immediately flooded my mind) “OK!”
As you can see, having a baby has trained us to be really succinct and decisive. And since women always multi-task, I’m planning my trip while writing this post.
We will be going in May with a couple of female friends, one is a hands-on working mom of two young children who is finally ready to take a trip on her own and enjoy a well-deserved break, the other has been to Hong Kong countless times so she knows where to go and what to do. An experienced mother and our personal travel guide. I think we have a dream team here.
A common advice online on travelling to Hong Kong with a baby: try not to use a stroller. Hooray! My baby doesn’t like sitting in the stroller anyway! If the stroller even dared stop moving for one moment, Master Luke would most certainly voice his displeasure in his most vocal manner! Let’s wear him instead!
So, part of our preparation for The Trip is to wear baby like a pro. Wearing Luke has always been my preference, because I like having him close to me, and babywearing frees up my hands for shopping, eating, drinking and other tasks. He seems to enjoy it too, once he’s comfortably seated he calms down, and instead of fidgeting or struggling, he would quietly observe his environment.
I started with a basic black SSC (soft structured carrier) because it was simple to use. When Luke got a bit bigger, I bought another SSC, a fancier one with a vintage Kombi print, mainly for reasons of vanity. But now, under the influence of a close friend, I’ve succumbed to the lure of baby wraps. Wrapping looks complicated and it takes practice, but once it’s done properly…oh the comfort for both baby and mother! There’s just no better way. Baby’s weight is well distributed so baby can either comfortably snuggle or safely explore, mother feels less strained and looks good. The looking-good part of baby wrapping is a dangerous side effect, because the best and most beautiful wraps don’t come cheap. It’s a whole new realm of shopping. Branded bags never charmed me as much; branded wraps reach out to my motherly instincts, conjuring up utopian images of basking in gentle morning sunlight with my baby wrapped a soft, hand-woven rainbow coloured wrap. I got pretty close recently when I wrapped Luke to sleep after he refused to take his afternoon nap – you can imagine my joy; I was close to tears. The temptation to buy another wrap is hard to fight. Fortunately (for my wallet), I have only bought one basic, reasonably-priced wrap so far.
I had a baby wrapping practice session at a friend’s place. She is an expert and guided me well. After a little struggle and sweat, it’s a wrap! (Pardon the lame pun.)
If you are curious about babywearing or wrapping, there are many groups on Facebook and a lot of ready information online.
Back to planning for The Trip. Mums and dads, if you have any other tips or experiences to share, please do comment below. Thanks!