Hello! We just came back from a balik-kampung trip to Jakarta & Yogyakarta, me & Adam :) . I must say Adam behaved really well during the travelling time. Phew! He slept easily on train rides & plane flights. Must be the bouncing feel of the train tracks & the zero noise effects on the plane.
This is what I did to prepare for the trip:
- the night before, i didnt do full pumping, so i have extra gush flow in the first half of the day in case A gets cranky.
- minimize hand carry bag weight. Put most things in the checked-in baggage. forego the idea of bringing a stroller along as he can still be cranky on stroller anyway, but is most comfortable when held close, so a sling is the most efficient choice in carrying him (Tested in duo trips to local neighbourhoods).
- ordered the KLIA limousine-train-VIP service to ensure i have someone else carry my baggage till fully check-in while i concentrate fully on carrying & holding A. (Since A cannot hold his head upright yet by himself, sometimes i need one hand holding his neck & the other holding his torso or free to pull out wallet etc from my bag).
- Made my maid stay back with me all the way till i'm in the cab which picked me up in the condo.
- thank goodness i brought a copy of A's birth cert in Malaysia. Eventhough his passport already said he's born here & that's obviously why his passport is still blank from any immigration chop, I still get questions by the young immigration officer. So the malaysian sijil copy helped to prove the case.
- The only 2 times Adam let out a sharp cry was when i was standing still too long waiting on the check in desk & the immigration desk. Rocking motions quickly calmed him down in less than 10secs (and also helped rushed the officers in charge to process my forms faster ;p ).
- Noticed that A slept back when we boarded the sattelite train between the airport 2 terminals. So i decided to hang around longer inside the back-and-forth train for 30mins instead of the 3 mins trip :). Yap and he slept like a baby (notice the pun?). So all i had left was 20mins in the boarding lounge which was spent nursing him and once on the plane, i spent 10-15mins cuddling him before he falls asleep again for most of the flight time :)
- Garuda gave me first row seat & priority baggage queue, so the arrival process was done quickly. The jakarta immigration officer also escorted me to the diplomatic immigration counter to avoid the usual long queing :) Happy me & Adam :)
- Quick nappy change in the airport & quick cuddling on the nappy room mat (since he loves being put freely on a mat once he's full & awake) before picking up the baggage & meet my parents outside the airport :)
- He got a bit cranky towards the last 30mins of the taxi trip to home, that i'm not surprised, after all who can bear the traffic madness of Jakarta. But of course, to all his crankiness, breastfeeding is a simple quick solution :)
Ok, so the travelling was smooth! Before I decided I would go for the trip duo with A (Hubby is on a long stretch of offshore assignment), I had 2 concerns..:
1. will i be able to keep up on pumping breastmilk for stock up purpose
2. i need A to get increasingly familiar with bottle feeding & needs training for this!
Well, the first few days in Jakarta, the 2 things above did not go very well. I kind of discounted the fact of how much help I have been getting in KL with my maid's presence. My parents are not exactly the baby-wearers type who willingly or have the strength to carry a 3m baby for long minutes. And A does not take day naps unless he is swayed & he usually needs at least 15-20mins of being carried before falling asleep! so there i go, handling Adam all day & just hoping the 6pm time will come soon enough, as beyond that he starts deep sleeping & does not need the cradling anymore. So yes, i was exhausted :p taking care of him. First few nights i opted for longer sleeps rather than extra awake time for pumping.
And then on the bottle training, mum was eager to give him bottle at the beginning, but i knew that A preferring milk way better on breast than bottle, will still be cranky after feeding from bottle & will need swaying again to soothe him (This is my maid's trick which is working better & better every day). So after I had a few bottle of stocks, she tried once & found it very hard to soothe Adam after that... so i told myself i will not ask my mum to bottlefeed him again unless she volunteered (which she never did after that ;p ). However, i dont blame my mum, her joints are not strong to withstand this kind of 'exercise'.
After a few days & with some hints here & there, i think my parents saw that i was getting too exhausted, they start to get more involved in handling A, at least when he's not so cranky :p so i have more time to rest. I was quite amazed & impressed by Dad who then handled baby A at his crankiest time of the day (always on the late afternoon) & patiently tried to soothe him (without rocking that is) for at least 1 hour in my 3 days in Jogja. So with this extra help, i was able to be on track again for pumping. Well for bottle training, let's just get back to KL and restart again with my maid. Finger crossed it will be ok.. anyway it's not like we have a choice, he will have to drink from it once i get back to work ... er... in 10 days time from now.. comfort or not comfort now, but he will adapt sooner or later.
So here i am tonight, with Adam peacefully asleep since 9 pm, my mum n my maid each also sleeping in their own room, and I was able to play 'the sims' on the net for 1 hour + ;p. Welcome home to us & cheers to the back-to-daily-routine!