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Travelling with baby

Japan With Kids - Forums: Traveling to/from and in Japan: Travelling with baby
By Lisa on Thursday, August 19, 2004 - 12:27 pm:

My husband and I are planning to go on a weekend-trip with our 3-month-old baby. Does anybody know about baby-friendly-hotels or ryokans around the fuji-area or the izu-hanto that offer e.g. crib, dinners in the room, etc?
Any advice is welcome!

By Lisa on Monday, January 24, 2005 - 11:18 am:

For all parents who would like to go away with their baby/child. Try the Risonare ( in Kobuchizawa (maybe 1:30hr by car from Tokyo). It's one of the best places I stayed in - nice, big, new rooms with a cot for the baby (without any extra charge), excellent and flexible meals, nice spa (where babies are allowed to come into the pool too!). No problem at all to take the little ones to the restaurant - the staff is very, very nice - provide even little toys for them. I loved that place and my 8-month old did too!

By Pato on Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - 9:52 am:

That sounds great Lisa. Thanks for the heads up!

By Mary Tokuhara on Friday, March 25, 2005 - 6:07 pm:

The 3 of us will be flying to the States for a one week stay and back to Japan again.After reading all the Forum notices on travelling with babies, I feel a bit more confident traveling with my 5 month old daughter (I was going to wait until she was 2 but changed my mind). There are a lot of dos, how about donts? For example, I wonder what I shouldn't bring, to lighten our luggage (I have two sore wrists, I stretched the ligaments.) I'm not so much worried about the baby who is still breastfeeding 100%, she'll probably do fine, I'm worried about what my overly protective husband will do to my nerves, since everytime the baby so much as grunts, he claims she's hungry and needs to be fed. Is there a place to breastfeed at the airport? Can strollers be brought on as carry on luggage? Oh yes, any experience/preference on airlines? We're flying to San Jose. ANY advice would be welcome. Thanks, Mary.

By Steve B on Friday, March 25, 2005 - 7:24 pm:


We traveled to SF last December with a 6-month old.

We flew United and they provided a sleeping cot for the baby, which helped a lot. We alternated with holding him in our laps during naps. The cots attach to the wall right below where they show the movies, so it helps to have something to block the light. Be sure and state clearly that you need a cot when you make the reservations and again once you are in your seat when you see the attendant that seems to be covering your area.

We had to hold the baby during takeoff and landing, for some counterintuitive safety reason, and they did not allow straps that attached to the seat belts. This was a little disturbing, and the best alternative on the spot seemed to be just to hope for the best as 99.9% of flights are fine. If this concerns you, you may want to search around for safety advice or talk to the airlines about what they do.

Our United flight departed Narita at about 4pm, so the baby slept most of the way going there. It was a breeze. Coming back was a bit more difficult to keep him quiet, but carrying him around did the trick.

We were able to carry our stroller right up to the door of the airplane where an attendant packed it away until it was time to depart. Note that we had trouble finding the stroller once we got back to Narita, as nobody seemed to know where it would be. Hopefully, they have worked something out by now.

Narita airport has several "nursery rooms", marked on the facility maps. There are nursury rooms before and after customs, and some very close to the departure gates. However, if you are that close to departure, you might want to try to wait until actually taking off in the plane as ]the suckling is supposed to help avoid ear pressure problems -- a major cause of "baby rage" on airplanes.

The hardest part about the trip was adjusting to the jet lag in California. It took our baby about two weeks to get in sync with day and night, and it took us a few days longer than usual too since we had to follow his schedule. It wasn't as difficult when we returned to Japan.

Hope that helps. It wasn't easy, but it was easier than we had thought, and the reward of introducing our new little one to friends and family was well worth all of the effort.

Good luck,

By Trupti Gandhi on Friday, March 25, 2005 - 9:17 pm:

i havetravelled with my kids when they were really small... they them selves give you the seats in the middle isle in front of the screen as steve mentioned... but if they don't pl. ask them to do so... they also give bassinets to keep the baby in... do try and talk to the paediatrician and keep some sedative with you... just in case...

if he does not suggest any sedatives then you could also try a pinch of nutmeg powder in warm milk... it changes taste... and we often use it in india if the baby needs to sleep but can not sleep... but do try to give once before leaving well in advance to check if your baby's bowel can tolerate it or no...

another trick is to give a new toy... especially for travel... it works better with a little older kids... and try to take the evening flight so baby will sleep most of the distance... do take something to cover you as you are planning to breastfeed your baby... as during the night the window glasses work like mirror and will refelct you image...

they WILL NOT allow but if you can, feed your baby when you start descending... as sucking does the trick and the ears do not hurt much... and pl. do make sure your baby does not have cold during the journey or it will be more painful.

have a pleasent flight!!


By Kim Parent on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 10:16 pm:

Hi Mary,
I'm sure someone has probably already answered your questions
but just in case:

Strollers are not considered luggage. Just wheel it up to the
gate and let them know you have a stroller. They check it in and
have it ready for you when you land.

I am sure you already read all the yeas and nays on airlines-
I have only flown Delta two times roundtrip and didnt have any problems.
Dont hesitate to ask for something. One suggestion: ask for a large
bottle of water from the flight attendant. My baby was 100%
breastfed too and with the dry air too, I was SO thirsty all the
time. Just tell them you hate to keep asking them for water and
ask if they had a large bottle of water you could get from them.
They would much rather you have that than keep asking them for
water. And I got friendly with the staff and it helped me a lot.
EG: I would just get up and help myself to their stations
whenever I needed something. They dont mind as long as the first
time you simply say " oh, I hate to bother you, may I just help
myself to the ....?"

Narita does have "nursing stations" that are nice. Just ask INFO
for them or pick up one of the English Airport maps. Super
handy!! Nice padded play areas and lounge chairs with TVs. Some ppl were even sleeping on one of the padded play areas.

Hope that helps!!


By Bethan Hutton on Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - 10:49 pm:

One piece of advice no one else seems to have mentioned so far is to pack several changes of clothes for baby in your carry-on luggage, plus plastic bags to put wet/dirty clothes in, but also - very importantly - have a change of clothes for yourself handy in case the baby spits up all over you. This has happened to me a couple of times, and luckily I had followed a friend's advice and packed a change of clothes, because sitting for 10 hours or more covered in sicked-up milk is not pleasant...

Also, you can't rely on the airline providing diapers or formula (if you're using it), so bring plenty of your own.

By Mary Tokuhara on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 2:54 am:

We flew Northwest to the US and there were 4 babies and 6 kids on board! The staff were oh so kind. Maybe because they have kids of there own? The attendant attending us has a 10 month old baby of her own ! They saw us holding our 6 month old daughter and immediately set up a bassinet for her, but it was a bit too small, did anyone ever notice this? I think the bassinets are for new borns up until around 4 months would be the max. The stroller was ready for us when we got off the plane, and it helped a lot as we were surrounded by passengers who like babies. Even the middle-aged Japanese businessman sitting across-behind us used his pillow to entertain her. We'll be flying back to Japan tomorrow and I hope we get the same wonderful service as we did coming here. Oh, she did spit up when we met turbulence, but thanks to the advice on this forum, I had a change of clothes on hand.

By Mary Tokuhara on Saturday, July 23, 2005 - 9:20 am:

Strollers on Buses
A friend of mine moved to Tokyo from Kyushuu last month. She called up Tokyo
Bus company (Toei buses) and inquired whether strollers were allowed to get
on buses without having to fold them up. The reply she got was "On
principle, strollers had to be folded up", even for Non step buses, buses
that have slopes for wheel chairs. They argued that wheelchairs had brakes,
and therefore did not have to be folded up (of course, how can an invalid
manage to fold up his wheelchair!). The argument went on that babies were
safer when held by the mother, and that if anything happened to the baby
while in the stroller on the bus, then the bus driver would be liable.
However, when my friend mentioned that she had 10-month old twin boys, each
10.5 kilos respectively, then they changed their strain and said Well, to
fold or not to fold depends on the driver, so good luck !!?? My friend's
house is too far to walk to the station, so she needs a lot of luck everyday.

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