Archive for the ‘Baby’ Category

How to survive a long overseas trip with a baby

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

Flying over Sydney

I’ve just come back from a mammoth 7-week trip to Dubai and the UK with my wife and 9-month-old son, Zack. Quite a trip! I thought I’d offer some hints and tips for those of you expats making the trip over to the mother country to introduce your kid to their grandparents:

  • Book your flights online. You can save a fortune compared with high street travel agents by booking directly with the airline on their website. We flew with Emirates and saved ourselves AUD $800 in total. Note that most airlines charge a 10% fare for under-twos.
  • Book bulkhead seats. (Assuming you’re flying economy.) These are seats that sit directly behind the bulkheads (dividers) on the plane, usually just behind business class. They offer a lot more legroom, and you usually get the option of booking a bassinet (see below). Plus your little one can crawl around a bit on the floor in front of you.
  • Book a bassinet. These attach to the bulkhead in front of the seat. They’re usually fairly small but your baby can lie with their legs over the end if necessary. Even if the baby doesn’t sleep in it, it provides a great place to stash the 3 tons of stuff you end up with (books, magazines, blankets, pillows, food trays, water, toys, …)
  • Be aware of liquid restrictions for air travel. There are exceptions for baby food and so on, but you still need to stick within certain limits. Find out more information on this Australian site.
  • Take your own baby food on the flight. Your baby will prefer familiar food. Although many airlines offer baby food in-flight, your baby may not like what’s available, and the food often has additives such as sugar and salt, too. Bananas are always a good standby when flying.
  • Give your baby something to drink after take-off and before landing. This will help with their ear pain as the pressure changes. Breastfeeding is great and has the added benefit of comforting. Water does the job too. (more…)

How to find baby change rooms in Australia

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

If you’re a new parent like me, you no doubt find baby change rooms (aka parent rooms) in shops and malls invaluable. I recently discovered that you can use the Australian Government’s National Public Toilet Map website (what a great site!) to find change rooms too, although it’s a little convoluted. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the Public Toilet Map site.
  2. Under the Find option, click Near an address, At a point of interest, or At a latitude/longitude.
  3. Click the More Options button at the bottom of the page. The same form reappears, but with more options.
  4. Enter your search details at the top of the form, such as address or point of interest.
  5. Under Toilet Features, check the Baby Change box.
  6. Click the Find Nearby Toilets button at the bottom of the page.
  7. You’ll now see a list of all nearby toilets that have baby change facilities. Under Toilet Details, you can click a toilet link to get full info on the toilet – you should see a baby change icon under Features.

Now they just need a way to rate the baby change rooms out of 10! :)

Books, the Dalai Lama, and how to calm a screaming infant

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

I’ve been a bit slack at the old blogging over the last couple of weeks. This is mainly due to the Photoshop book I’m co-writing, which is sucking up all my time and energy like a black hole. Who’d have thought a 700-page book would take two people 7 months to write. (Ooh, that’s a cosy 100 pages per month!) Well it’s nearly finished now, so soon my life will return to relative normality.

We did manage to snatch half a day off yesterday, and head into the city – with me carrying Zack in the Hug-a-Bub – to watch the Dalai Lama in the Domain (a big park in Sydney). The rain was coming down in sheets so we weren’t expecting much of a turnout, but it was pretty busy. Nice to see the man in person, even if it was on a big-screen monitor from half a kilometre away! He talked about inner peace, dialogue, 9/11, religion and a lot of other stuff that I couldn’t really hear properly. (The rain pelting on umbrellas didn’t help!) He was asked lots of questions from the audience – some good ones, and some daft ones, such as “What can we do to stop our drought?” To which he replied, “You should know better than me!” and laughed his head off. (more…)

Happy Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

Cat with IsaacIt’s Cat’s first Mother’s Day as a Mum today.

It seems that the traditional Aussie thing to do on Mother’s Day is to head off down the beach for a family picnic, or maybe book a table at a posh restaurant. However, Cat has been working really hard looking after Isaac these past three months, so we decided the best Mother’s Day treat for her would be to have the whole day off! That’s right – a whole day of baby-free (not to mention hubby-free) time.

So I’ve packed her off on a bus to the city, armed with mobile phone and breast pump, so that she can relax and enjoy herself – do some clothes shopping, hang out in the botanic gardens, maybe catch a movie. Meanwhile I’m experiencing my first whole day alone with Isaac. We have plenty of breast milk in the fridge to keep him going. Right now he’s sleeping like an angel, everything’s going swimmingly, and I’m even finding time to blog!

Right – better go and hang his nappies out to dry, then get him up for a feed…