16 April 2018, by Siau Jiahui
“We are going to Taiwan!”
This decision instilled mixed emotions of excitement and anxiety and to be honest, I couldn’t really determine the dominant feeling!
Mr T and I hadn’t been on a trip since our honeymoon back in November 2015, and we really wanted a break from work and other high-stressed elements in life.
Since we only had an overlapping window of leave in mid-January 2018, it limited our choices of destinations.
Seoul was freezing, Hong Kong was too cold and not very child-friendly because of the absence of lifts in metro stations, so ultimately, Taiwan became our choice destination with its cool temperature (ranging from 15-22 degree Celsius) and abundant child-friendly facilities.
We were thrilled to embark on a journey with Little T for the first time, but I was also worried about my insomnia as it would affect baby care. I am more hands-on with Little T when it comes to feeding, showering, diaper-changing, bottles-washing, and making her sleep.
But well, come what may!
Useful advice from my mummy friends prepared me mentally and psychologically, for the trip. And we were pretty prepared for the first challenge of our adventure – the flight!
Her favourite toys, stickers, and assorted toddler snacks kept her happily occupied for most of the journey. And while I wasn’t and still am not into using electronic devices to entertain Little T, the in-flight entertainment certainly helped too!
And oh, not forgetting the baby carrier! While the 4-year-old frequent traveller next to us was knocked out with her legs sticking out of the bassinet and her face totally covered by the blanket, I believe that most toddlers would still need the baby carrier to get the much-desired nap on the plane.
Accommodation-wise, we chose W Taipei because of its excellent location! It was right above the metro and right next to Hankyu Uni-President Mall, which meant that if we couldn’t travel far due to possible unforeseen circumstances, we still could easily get our meals settled. What’s more, it was within walking distance to Taipei 101, so we got to enjoy the panoramic view!
In Taiwan, there are lots of child-friendly restaurants a.k.a. “亲子餐厅”. Some have highly raved, e.g. Elephant Garden “象园咖啡”.
We settled on the branch closest to our location which was in a mall instead of the highly-recommended scenic one near a lake.
Elephant Garden had egg-shaped high chairs for the kiddos which looked really safe and comfortable and even healthy porridge on the menu for the young toddlers! Not only that, everything else on the menu looked and tasted pretty good, even for adults!
Little T had so much fun at the indoor playground next to the restaurant, and there was even a super low built-in sink for the children to wash their hands before and after play. It was our favourite place during this trip, because not only Little T enjoyed the experience, Mr T and I finally had a little break from constantly entertaining this kiddo!
For this trip, I brought along porridge pouches for Little T just in case the food wasn’t suitable for her.
Good thing she could eat most food from various restaurants!
Of course, as with all mothers, I didn’t really get to choose my preferred dish at any restaurant; I merely ordered a dish that would suit her the most, served a small portion of it in a bowl that I prepared beforehand, cut the food into small pieces to feed her while I ate the cold leftovers from the big bowl. #amotherslife
What was probably the toughest for Mr T throughout the trip was that he had to carry Little T in his arms or in the baby carrier most of the time, as I couldn’t manage that for long without feeling the aches in my body. The loving dad was more than happy to carry his precious daughter.
Each night when we are back in the hotel, my routine would be to shower Little T and prep her for bed. When she was sound asleep, I would sneak back into the bathroom, wash and sterilise her milk bottles, water bottle, bowls, utensils, and packed the diaper bag for the next day.
And because I brought along only a 500ml travel kettle, I had to boil numerous rounds of water before everything was thoroughly cleansed and done. It didn’t help that the bathroom sink was so low that it gave me a dull backache because I had to spend over an hour every night washing and preparing all these stuff for consecutive days!
Our first family trip, though extremely tiring, was definitely a memorable one. And as long as our precious daughter is happy, Mr T and I would be too!