We just came back from our first family vacation with Max and Alexa. I think a little photo essay helps to capture our trip. It was exhausting but we all had a blast!
I’ve joined a babywearing cult. More specifically, the Kinderpack babywearing cult.
Ok, first, let me rewind a little bit to when Max was just a wee baby (HA!). During the newborn to four-month period, Mr. C and I swore by our Beco Gemini Baby Carrier.
Max hated his swing, never went down in the crib, and unless I was lying next to and/or nursing him, the boy would not nap. The Beco was our GODSEND. I still remember the countless hours that we strapped Max on while bouncing on a yoga ball while playing loud white noise in the background while attempting to eat our lunch/dinner or watch Netflix.
Trust me, if your baby is being exceptionally fussy or refuses to sleep, you will do whatever it takes and this was what worked.
Not to mention that the Beco pretty much saved our lives on our 14-hour international flight.
So, yes, I have always been a HUGE fan of babywearing. Sadly, Max outgrew the Beco a little after he turned a year old and I stopped thinking about babywearing in general.
With the upcoming arrival of Bean, I had to re-evaluate our transportation options. I initially wanted to purchase a double stroller but we had previously invested in an excellent (and expensive) stroller. Plus, I don’t really like maneuvering the single stroller to begin with – let alone a double stroller.
That’s when I started looking into soft structured carriers for toddlers and came across the Kinderpack. The company, Kindercarry, is a small family-owned business started by a stay-at-home mom, based in the US. Each carrier is beautifully handmade by her team of tailors. The carriers range in price from $179-$194 (+$12 shipping) and, depending on the style, come with Koolnit, which is a mesh back panel that promotes air flow. Kinderpacks are also unique in that the back panel is comprised of three panels, creating an exceptionally deep seat for the baby/toddler. This is ideal for the child’s comfort and promotes an M-position carry (where the knees are higher than the bottom) which is the optimal position for a child’s developing hips.
It took me a long time to write this post because I think child car seat safety is so important. This review contains a lot of important car seat safety information (for those of you who may not already know). So if you have zero interest in reading the story/review and want to get straight to car seat safety for your baby, just expand the post and then click here!
When I was still pregnant and researching car seats, I was overwhelmed by the plethora of choices available. (What else is new when it comes to baby gear?) One of the big questions for me was: Do I buy an infant car seat or a convertible car seat? In the end, I opted for a Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 Car Seat. It’s supposed to fit babies up to 30″ and 30 lbs. I figured that I would have at least a year before I had to buy another car seat.
So how did it turn out?
Well we are back and we survived, in some ways better than I expected. After traveling by car, by ferry, by subway, by train, by trolley, by bus, by cable car, and a total of 32 hours by plane, I feel like quite the seasoned traveler with a baby!
As promised in Taking an International Flight with Baby, Part 1, this is a follow-up post by revisiting my prior pointers, but now based on my personal experience of flying with an 11 month old baby.
1. Request bulkhead seating.
We managed to get bulkhead seating for all four flights. I preferred the bulkhead seating on the sides of the plane more because we had our own private area to move around in (roughly 2 feet of floor space in the front). Also, this allowed Max to play around on the floor where we could easily prevent him from crawling out into the aisle by blocking only one end. My favorite set up was where we reserved the two side bulkhead seats, with Max’s car seat installed in the window seat and Mr. C sitting directly behind us in the aisle seat. This way, Mr. C and I could take shifts taking care of Max. On our flight back, the plane was somewhat empty and Mr. C was able to convince the passenger sitting next to him to relocate. Score!
2. Buy an actual seat for baby.
Ok, so I’m ambivalent about this. I don’t regret buying Max his own seat… but he probably spent a total of four hours actually sitting/sleeping in it. For shorter flights, I would definitely NOT recommend buying a seat. I guess just consider what your own personal limitations are on wearing a baby and use that cutoff for determining whether or not to buy a seat.
As Mr. C and I are gearing up for our upcoming trip to Japan and Taiwan, I figured this would be a good time to write a post about flying internationally with an (almost) one year old baby. Please keep in mind that I haven’t actually flown with Max yet. I am definitely very nervous since the flight from NY to Tokyo, Japan is approximately 14 hours. Not to mention, on our way home, we are flying from Taipei, Taiwan to Narita International Airport, where we have a 6 hour layover, before flying back to NY!!! ::panicked breathing::
Of course I had to research extensively about flying with an 11 month old baby. I’ll write a follow-up post based on my own personal experience after I get back.
Some general pointers I have picked up:
1. Request bulkhead seating.
In general, airlines will reserve bulkhead seating for parents traveling with babies. Bulkhead seats are the seats located at the front of each partition of the plane, essentially, the first row. This provides some additional leg room and is a small area when you can put your baby down to move around a bit. The disadvantage to the bulkhead area is that any bags or additional items must be stowed away in the overhead compartments during take-off and landing as there is no storage area in front of you. Also, tray tables are tucked into the side armrests of the seats, slightly reducing seat width, as well as making the armrests immovable.
2. Buy an actual seat for baby.
Airlines allow babies under two years of age to travel on the parent or guardian’s lap. Since our flight will be 14 hours long, there is just no way that any of us would survive if Max was sitting on our laps the entire time. No. Way. Some airlines do offer discounted fares for children (especially for international flights) so definitely check with your airline before purchasing a seat. Note: airlines do provide bassinets that can be mounted to the wall of the bulkhead area, so you don’t have to purchase an additional seat, BUT, once your baby is mobile, good luck getting him/her to stay put in it.