I have much more appreciation for my husband now that I have traveled across the globe with an active toddler by myself. I think it is doable if everything is well planned ahead and having a ‘ take it easy ‘ attitude the entire trip (22 hours) when trying to contain an energy overloaded child in a confined space.
Here’s a few tips on how I survived:
Transit in family friendly airport
This time I’ve decided to transit in Taipei as it provides us with the best options when flying with EVA airways. Great transit time, family friendly airport, supportive staff with good amenities (good quality baby bassinet that could hold a 13kg infant/toddler with sanitized covers, secured buckle for bassinet, free diapers during in flight and transiting, adequate time in between toddler meal time and adult meal services and toys/activities to keep them occupied).
Taipei Taoyuan International Airport has different theme at the boarding gate, ranging from theater experience brought by Sony, Aborigines culture/history, Nature, Children Playground, Hello Kitty to Gaming Zone. You’ll sure find an area that can keep your children occupied. At each concourse there’s a nursing room that has two padded changing table with free wipes and diaper, a nursing room, sofa and a crib. They also provide baby friendly rinse aid for cleaning the milk bottle or hand washing.
Check in all your luggage
If you are travelling alone with children, please check in all your luggages. It will make your life much easier the entire trip. Don’t even try to bring a rolling carry on because trying to chase a running kid while hauling your carry on alone is a pain.
Stock Your Diaper Bag with Goodies
I only bring a large backpack style diaper bag with lots of things for my 19 months old. Even my co workers are still worried that I didn’t have enough. Now I still think I over pack some. Here’s what I have in my bag :
* 6 diapers + 1 pack travel size wipes
* 2 sets of clothes (one set for tropical wear when landed and another for changing if leakage or explosive number 2 were to happen)
* water bottle / Sippy cup
* pacifier if your baby is using one
* 3 different type of snacks (fruit pouch, cereal bars, PB sandwich)
* Mini toy she hasn’t seen before
* Color wonders marker and paper
* Emergency kit (Tylenol, benadryl, syringe, thermometer, bandaid, desitin, & moisturizer)
Request for additional assistance
Don’t feel bad asking for help from the passengers sitting next to you. Most of them willingly lend a helping hand while you are trying to eat or go to the lavatory. I was very lucky that the grandma besides me really like my daughter and they play and sing songs together when I’m finishing my meal or having to go get her milk from the cabin cooler and heat it up.
Baby carrier vs Stroller vs Leash
I have debated with myself many days whether I should bring a stroller or baby carrier or both. I’ve researched online and are getting mixed review. I walked myself through different scenarios and decided baby carrier is my best options and I still believed I made the right choice. This is because while I transit at the airport, they provided me with a baby stroller and I just have to leave it at the gate when I depart. I used the carrier during boarding and deplane and walking when she wanted me to hold her. Other time I let her run around with the skip hop back pack and keeping the leash on without her knowing.
Travelling alone with children really isn’t an easy task. Overall my daughter behaved well until the last 3 hours where she’s overly tired with jet lag and started screaming loudly when I tried to put her to sleep. I still have the return flight back to the States in a month and hopefully it will be a good one as well. I don’t think I would travel internationally again with a toddler without my husband 🙂
I think that flying on a red eye flight also help cause she did sleep for a good 6 hours of the first 13 hours flight across the Pacific Ocean. So, if you ever decided to fly with infant or toddler. I would strongly suggest flying late night. We quickly adjusted to the time difference in Asia within 24 hours of landing.