Moutain Buggy Nano travel stroller

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We decided to buy a compact travel stroller which we will use while travelling. Previously, we have tried travelling with the bugaboo bee (which is really light weight as well), but we found that the canopy was slightly damage after getting it back from the flight personnel.

I’m not really going to do much comparison with the other compact travel stroller out there as I think there’s plentiful already online. I think all the stroller on the market today have it’s pros and cons. It really depends on your need and preference.

After some research, I decided to get the mountain buggy nano (it’s by a new Zealand company). We’ve been using the stroller for 7 months now. It has been travelling on plane with us for 4 times and countless road trips / shopping trips. Please bear in mind that at the end of the day, it is still a travel / compact stroller. For our day-in day-out use, I still prefer the bugaboo bee.

 

Ok, so here are some of the reasons why we love the Nano.

  1. It’s really lightweight and compact. Easily foldable to a small size which fits comfortably on the cabin. (weights about 5.9kg)
  2. It comes together with the case. Not an additional option (I’m not sure why other stroller company don’t offer it as a set. Come on… if you put it under travelling stroller, we will definitely need the case / bag. Forcing us to buy as an option is just painful)
  3. It can hold up to 20kg! The other stroller I like was Babyzen Yoyo but their max load is only 15kg.
  4. The baby car carrier adaptor is built-in (not a separate option. Again – I like)
  5. Adjustable leg rest. As Baby R grow taller, it’s easy to fold it down and allow her feet to rest on the basket area.
  6. Mesh top at the back allows breeze to flow thru.
  7. Price point seems fair for the needs we have for a travel stroller.

 

Some things which we don’t really like about the Nano.

  1. The folding only locks the 2 sections together. The handlebar is not lock. So, if you take out the stroller on the metal area, the handlebar will flip over and lock. It’s quite irritating if you want to go around without the case. 20160814_102942

    (We overcome this issue by using the shoulder strap to tie the handlebar back. Mine is the 2016 version. Not sure if the company have rectify this issue, or still working on it)

  2. Once unfold, the canopy is really in the way of the handle bar.
  3. It’s not suitable for tall babies / children. Baby R is not tall and even now she’s touching the mesh top when recline for sleeping.

 

Overall, we still really like the Mountain Buggy Nano especially when travelling. We have even use it as high chair (just flap down the handle bar part). It’s really nice to use it when we are attending wedding dinner in Malaysia. Just fold it down and park it next to us or slide it under the table (instead of leaving it outside the restaurant / hall).

 

Newborn and first 6 months clothes – what to buy?

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Most first time parent wonders how much clothes to buy? and What to buy? before the arrival of their newborn. I’m no different. I ask all my experienced friends, relatives and colleagues. Search and read every article I can find online.

So, I thought I’ll share with you all my experience. Before I buy any clothes for baby R, I always keep these 5 points in mind. Even till today, I still do.

  • Newborn / Toddler grow very fast!
  • Easy to wear and remove
  • Easy to wash and dry
  • Soft, Stretchy and Simple
  • Never buy Full price whenever possible

 

  • Newborn / Toddler grow very fast!

Seriously, they grow very very fast, especially in the first 12 months. One minute they look like they are drowning in the clothes, the next thing you know, it’s too small.

Bear in mind that you will tend to receive quite a fair bit of clothing as gift from friends / family. So, don’t get crazy buying every piece of cute and adorable clothing out there. (I know it’s hard to resist…I fail many times myself.)

The way I try to limit my purchase is to keep a tab on how much clothes baby R has at any one time. All her clothes are separated into category and whenever any clothes don’t fit anymore, I remove them into a separate basket. Once the basket is full, I vacuumed pack them accordingly. That way, all the packs are kept away accordingly to size. This way, I get to see immediately if any of the piles are getting lower, which means it’s time to re-stock.

  • Easy to wear and remove

Newborn are extreme fragile and soft. Most of their body are quite limp. So, if you are a first time parent handling them, it is really a scary experience to cloth them. Picture this scenario, limp baby crying with poo all over them and while halfway trying to clean up, the baby peed. (YES. It happens)

Being easy to wear does not means it is easy to remove (E.g. Rompers which only snap at the bottom)

These are BAD for me. When the baby poo and leak out… Do you really want to remove it over their head?! If you really like rompers button bottom, please make sure it has enveloped neckline. (these are the foldovers you see at the shoulders. If you push them apart, you can then slip the rompers downwards over their body. Or, you get rompers which can easily be open in the middle (mostly are style like a wrapover type)

enveloped-neckline

Example of Enveloped Neckline – From Mothercare

In fact, when baby R was a newborn, she only wear FRONT button down shirt (Yes- FRONT button down is important. It’s really hard to button babies on the back and I seriously think it’s not comfortable for them).

I’ve seen many baby clothes with back zipper and I seriously think it is really uncomfortable for the poor wee thing since they spend most of their time lying down on their back.

I dressed baby R in Long sleeves shirt for night time and short sleeves in the noon. No pants. Diaper only. Why?

Because Asian loves to swaddle the babies up really well. The believe is that the baby will not grow up to be well behave?! RIGHT?! But I like swaddling baby R because she seems to sleep better. Baby R surprisingly still loves to be swaddle even at 5-6 months old. In the afternoon, we just drape the swaddle blanket to cover her half body (bottom half).

It is always a good idea to keep your baby warm even though at times you might think it is very uncomfortable for the baby. Since the baby is already well bundled, it is pointless to put on pants since she’s wearing diaper. On top of that, newborn tends to poo and pee almost every 2-3 hours, which requires the constant need to take off and put on their pants.

After baby R turn 3-4 months, I prefer to buy the semi-jumpsuits (it’s like jumpsuit without the long pants and long sleeves) which opens up right in the middle down for noon time. And night time is 2 piece (long sleeve shirt and long pants). This way, if you REALLY need to change the pants at night, you only need to remove the pants without disturbing the upper torso.

3-months

This is typically how Baby R is dressed at night. She’s wearing a WrapOver Longsleeve bodysuit and Long pants from H&M, Beanie and Mitten from Mothercare

I only start putting on the full jumpsuit on her at night after she’s 6 months old. That was when swaddling no longer work and she roll all over the place in her cot. I also start her on wearing her sleeping bag then.

  • Easy to wash and dry

Newborn and babies goes thru clothes like crazy. I recall on certain days, baby R actually had to be changed like 4-5 times. And then, there are the mittens, booties, bibs, handkerchief / napkins, beanie and swaddle.

Hence, it is essential to check that clothes are machine washable / and quick to dry. That way, you can minimise the quantity you need to buy. I once bought a really cute outfit and turns out certain “soft” area takes FOREVER to dry due to the padding.

Some clothes are so fragile, it needs to be hand washed, dry flat and under shade. AVOID ‘em unless you REALLY truly love it.

  • Soft, Stretchy and Simple

Newborn skins are very delicate. So, try to get textile which are soft. I prefer cotton or bamboo. And you will need to hold onto your baby quite often (especially if you are breastfeeding), so you will also benefit hugging onto something soft! ;p

I love anything which has stretch for the babies. It’s so much easier to manoeuvre while trying to put on the baby’s cloth with minimal gymnastic movements on the wee thing. Clothes which stretch also fit better for a longer time (longer means 2-3months in baby world). I kid you not; they can outgrow their clothes in 2 weeks!!! Especially the newborn stage (first 1-2 months).

Keep the clothing simple. No ribbons sticking out here and there or anything detachable. It’s really dangerous. Be really careful especially on the mittens you buy. The baby loves putting their fist into their mouth and chewing it, making it wet and slimy within 2-3 hours. I had to keep changing them to make sure her tiny finger stays fresh.

  • Never buy Full price whenever possible

There’s always surprisingly good deals for baby clothes everywhere all the time. Some of the brands I really love (e.g. Mothercare, Poney, H&M and etc) have at least 2-3 times sales every year. It is essential to plan your purchase and buy periodically.

Whenever I get notice of a good sale, I’ll always raid baby R’s cupboard. Then, I’ll make a list of items and how many pieces I need. That way, I can head out to the sales making informed purchase. (Of course you will have impulse buying… but, at least you will control that knowing what are the thing the baby needs and what are the thing “you” think the baby need. LOL)

Always remember that IF you don’t find any good deal this round, there’s always next round.

 

For those of you who would like a list, below are just some suggestions of what I think are essential (bear in mind that I stay in a tropical Asian country and the baby laundry is done on DAILY basis)

 

Newborn (0-2 months)

4 x Long sleeve shirt

6 x short sleeve shirt

4 x swaddle blanket

6 sets of mittens

4 sets booties / baby socks

4 x beanie (very important to keep baby’s head warm)

10~15 pcs of napkin / handkerchief (get those big soft thin layer types – you go thru em like crazy)

 

Baby (3-6 months) – Additional from the Newborn sets

4 sets of 2 pcs Pyjamas (long sleeve shirt & long sleeve pants)

3 x short sleeve shirt

3 x pants (short / long depend on you)

4 x rompers / semi jumpsuit

4 bibs

** 3-4 sets of really cute outfit since you will be bringing your little one out for show and tell more during this stage (You will also need a good BIG diaper bag now)

 

Have fun shopping !

 

 

 

 

 

Best time to Travel with baby?

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Personally, I wanted to get Baby R on a plane as soon as possible.

But hubby felt it might be better after she had at least a few rounds of vaccinations. I’ve known some friends who are already flying with their little ones at 2 or 3 months old (Respect!!!). But on hindsight, babies do sleep a lot during those ages, so… it is much easier to fly then.

We finally agreed on a 6th month mark. At least she will then be able to sit steadily by herself and also got most of her important injections.

In order to better prepare ourselves, we planned a road trip with her first.

We learn one thing; she could only sit in her car seat for a maximum of 20-25mins before squirming and wailing. At most, we manage to push to 30-35mins if we continue to play peeka-boo with her. With this in mind, we planned our return trip with 30mins stop interval. It really helped her to stay calm and she even took an hour nap (bliss).

We notice that she drops off to nap as long as her 30 mins car seat ride crosses around her nap time. So, it will be like 15-20 mins into the car ride, doze off for 45-50 mins morning nap, wakes up drowsy and sit for another 15-20 mins.  This gives us about 75-90 mins of good solid driving, before we have to make a 30 mins interval stop.

However, when we try to time it with her afternoon nap (around 3:30 pm) it doesn’t work so well. Sometimes she doze off, sometimes she don’t. This come as a big surprise for me since she normally only take about an hour nap in the morning and a deep 90-120 mins nap in the afternoon. We thought she would travel better during the afternoon nap. So, don’t let their normal routine fool you into thinking that it will be the same when travelling.

After the road trips, we decided that she’s ready for the plane. She is about 8 months old when we took her to the immigration to get her passport done. Process was surprisingly efficient and quick. I think we only spend about 2 hours in the immigration. They even offer to give her a free photo update once she passes 2 year old. Awesome!

Even with her passport ready, we decided to do a domestic flight as test run. The first destination was Langkawi. The flight journey was about an hour. We timed it to be around her morning nap, just like how we do our road trip.

Her first flight was with Malaysia Airlines. Good thing was they have a special check-in counter for those travelling with young children. We manage to get our boarding pass and check in our luggage within 25-30 mins. It was really amazing considering that it was school holiday & public holiday that day. So the normal queue was crazy long.

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Sorry the picture is blur.

She was asleep as soon as we board the plane. After about 45mins nap, she woke up just as we are landing. I was a bit worried but thankfully she was still in her drowsy mode. Having a pacifier in her mouth helped as well, I guess. So, it was a fuss free first flight.

IMG-20151211-WA0017

For our return flight, we try to test time it with her afternoon nap time (hoping that flight might be different from car ride). FAILED!

She refuses to sleep and was on full alert mode. When the plane got ready to take off, she was happily trying to climb mount mummy. It was really a struggle to try and get her to sit still. I gave up and just let her climb me while trying my best to hold on to her with the seat belt strapping me and her together (No – we didn’t fly with a car seat). The Landing was a bit rough and loud. So, imagine our surprise when the little one lifted up both her hand in the air and let out a loud “Wee….” just when the plane touch the ground. It was so funny we burst out laughing which prompt her to copy us and started fake-laughing also.

The subsequent flights, we planned it around her time. So, only morning flights for us for now… I really hate morning flights. sigh… Some of my friends actually find it easier to fly night time with their wee ones.

From the little experience we have travelling with her, I was really happy that we pace our travel bit by bit. It really helped us to understand her travelling behaviour, the best time for her to travel (different babies have difference preference) and also handling her during travel. NOT to mention, what to PACK?! LOL…

Don’t be afraid to travel with your little one.

Try to pace your travel plans and find out their temperament before attempting the long haul journey. But, if things don’t work out as hoped / prayed… just take a deep breath and try to enjoy.