7 March 2017, by Tan Li Lin
Have Baby, Will Travel (Part 2)
Actually, the drive behind our 5 days/ 4 nights virgin trip with Lia (at 5.5 months) was ignited when my Mom asked (stated) over dinner, “eh, Silkair tickets to Phuket is only $180. Wanna go anot?”
I justified it 101 ways, but one of the top reasons I wanted to go was to make that first attempt to travel with a baby since my parents would be there to help out and guide us. Actually, scratch that. How difficult could it be right? After all, Lia’s still breastfeeding (no problem with food there), and I can get her to sleep… so actually, I wanted to go because… I WANTED TO ENJOY~~~ (reference “Give That Woman A Beer” entry)
The longest time I took during packing her stuff was, well, trying to match her 4 little outing outfits which included socks and hats. I’m proud to say I didn’t bother trying to match her outfits to mine – that would’ve been a week-long mission. Threw in a whole pack of diapers (48 pieces?), swim diapers, swaddles, bag of toys, inflatable ducky tub, basic toiletries. It was quite easy really, took me 45-minutes.
Verdict: Only used 1/2 of her clothes in the end, 1/2 of the diaper pack, inflatable tub only once, and her baby carrier… once.
Just 1.5 hrs from Singapore, which was a good trial time in my opinion. I was mostly concerned with take-off and landing ‘cuz that’s when kids howl the most and annoy the wits out of everyone else on the plane.
Lessons from the Good:
- Dressed her in a Pajama Onesie because infant seat belts are a hassle, plus they are fidgety all the time at this age, so the less clothes there is to get tangled in, the better!
- Beanie hat, as little ears get cold + it helped calm her down by covering her ears (and at one point, her eyes heheh)
- Chew toys/comfort blankie, for obvious reasons
- Easy nursing tops, because breastfeeding is the easiest way to calm the baby (and make them fall asleep)
Lessons from the Bad:
- Hoop earrings, also for obvious reasons
- Sitting next to a stranger, because babies are longer than the freakin’ seat width and their head/legs go all over the place, especially when they nurse, or try to poo (seriously, of all times Lia)
We picked U Zenmaya because my parents were just there last year and raved about the lovely view and the huge Jacuzzi. (Okay, I was sold already.) Given that we’d like an easy transition into this travel-with-baby thing, we figured it would be ideal to spend the time in a beautiful place with minimal need to move around. The resort was 5-minutes away from Patong by TukTuk, so we could shuttle in and out as and when we felt like it. Plus, I could really do with cheap(er) massages to ease my tight muscles from lugging this 6-kg potato sack around.
Lessons from the Good:
- King sized bed (she’s too small for hotel baby cribs)
- 2 x huge daybeds to leave her lying around on (and all those toys and clothes ugh)
- Jacuzzi – for us to enjoy and to throw her into for fun
- Large bedroom space, because seriously there was so much stuff for just 2 adults + 1 baby and no time for my anal-retentive tendencies to act out
- Access to a secluded beach where Ronald and I could take 30-minutes out from parenting and just go on a snorkeling adventure
- The view, which was gorgeous to wake up to and just stare at all day (while breastfeeding or swimming with Lia)
Lessons from the Bad:
- Provision for falling sick, in Thailand’s case, food poisoning. Didn’t cross my mind I’d end up wiped out for 1.5 days. Learnt an important lesson to always consider this because taking care of baby whilst sick is really, really #nofun (good thing my parents were around!)
We spent most of our time indoors – lazing in bed, in the Jacuzzi – or within the resort premises – swimming pool, spa, private beach, restaurant. One afternoon was spent at Jungceylon, the main shopping mall in Patong which oddly sounds like it belongs in Seoul. We just strapped Lia into her carrier as we strolled, and she was asleep in no time. Also, the Thais LOVE kids. Everywhere we went they would coo at her and offer to carry her/babysit her while we had our meals. So awesome.
Lessons (in general):
- Do that foot massage WHEN she is sleeping, not AFTER she wakes up, duh.
- A stroller is quite impossible along the streets; many restaurants don’t have cushioned sofas to put them down on, so be prepared to have to pass the baby amongst the group during meals
- Grandparents are seriously advised if you want time off to do the pampering / adventure stuff (esp. if the husband STILL can’t put the baby to sleep)
Overall, you can’t go wrong with a relaxing stay in a nice resort lah. Especially when you have some babysitting help at times to run off to do your own activities. But from this trip I’d keep in mind 2 things:
1) I think it’s worth spending on a ‘treat’ you can enjoy with baby around (the Jacuzzi or a priceless view or an attached private pool).
2) Be prepared for the occasional travel discomfort (falling sick, minor accidents, unforeseen factors) that becomes a little bit of a deal when traveling with a baby.
Lin Tan is an Entrepreneur and an Executive Coach who dedicated herself to others and her career, until family changed all that. Follow her blog on www.ilovechildren.sg and journey with her as ‘life after 30′ opened up a completely new chapter.