Australia with a Toddler

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Sep 27th, 2003, 05:16 AM
  #1
RKM
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Australia with a Toddler

Hi,

Three weeks in Australia in October--our first big trip with a 16 month old baby. Any great travel suggestions: Flight/jet lag/getting around/usefulequipment/fun? We will be in Sydney,Blue Mts, Port Douglas,Cairns.

I know many cringe at thought of this, but hope to make the best of necessary travel.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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Sep 28th, 2003, 06:41 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
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Just did the opposite of what you're doing w/ a toddler - but we left Australia for several weeks to go & visit family.
Flight: We did 30 hrs straight, thinking that it was better to get it all over with at once (Melb-NY). Mistake. If you can, break up the flight. Also, if you can arrange the long leg of the flight to be at the baby's bedtime that is better too. Bring more diapers than you think you'll need on the plane. I also bought my son some new toys (quiet ones) that he didn't see until we were on the plane. Pray for understanding neighbors. Also prepare for pain relief. My son started cutting his eye teeth about 4 min. after we took off & we had no pain relief for him. Stupid mistake #2. The baby will need to drink frequently - more than usual, we found - but wasn't interested in eating.

Jet lag: Same for babies as for adults. Should probably be a rough couple of nights, but then I found our little boy adjusted quickly.

Getting around: Assuming you will rent a car w/ a baby seat? This obviously isn't practical for Sydney, but most things can be seen by walking. Bring a sturdy stroller/pram. Ours was indispensable in the US. We also had use of a baby-backpack, but used the stroller more. There are several places in Aus. now where you can rent this eqpt vs. bringing from home.

Just try to keep to normal napping/eating schedules as much as you can - although my baby didn't seem to eat much the whole time we were gone.

Enjoy your trip - but keep in mind it is 100% different from traveling sans children. Aus. is a great place to visit w/ kids.
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Sep 29th, 2003, 08:32 PM
  #3
RKM
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Mrs Fletcher,

Bless you for your reply!

May I ask a few more questions? We bought a seat for the baby on the plane...do you recommend putting her in her car seat, or letting her stretch out between us? Just can't figure out how she would sleep better and longer (and us). Also, adults are warned about moving around frequently to avoid bloodclots...what about a baby sleeping upright in a carseat for several hours (if we are lucky)?

Are highchairs available in most restaurants in Australia, and are cots fairly reliable and safe in the hotels?

Are there any chain (Baby's r Us) type baby supply stores in Aus (probably Sydney) if we find we need anything.

What about the ferry's in Sydney...are they child safe as far as railings etc.

Finally, are you familiar with Port Douglas hotels/apts?

If I think of more questions before we leave in a few weeks... your reply is most helpful...especially since you are from oz! Thanks!
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Sep 30th, 2003, 12:27 AM
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Hi, RKM!
I can't answer all your questions, but here are a few comments which address your concerns:
1. Sydney ferries. They're safe enough for older children, but I wouldn't let a toddler wander around without someone holding his hand... there are numerous hazards, such as metal stairs and ropes, and when the ferry docks, someone opens a gate to put in the gangplank, and you're looking at green water.
2. Restaurants: most restaurants that welcome kids (not all do, but there are a lot of family ones) will have a couple of high chairs available.... occasionally you might find them all in use when you arrive.
3. Baby supplies: yes, there are any number of specialist stores, and you will find it no more difficult to get what you want here than you would in LA or New York... only we're probably cheaper!
4. Car seats and plane travel: why not ask the airline for advice here? I recall when we travelled with a six-month old, Qantas were so eager to provide seats with a bassinet in front of them that they upgraded us to business class. Of course, a 16-month-old is a different story to a 6-month-old, and I don't know if the airline bed would be appropriate... but do ask! I wouldn't think that bloodclots are likely to be a problem with a toddler, as they seem to do a lot of moving around, asleep or awake! You're bound to spend a good bit of the time bouncing him up and down on your lap, anyway! But, once again, to reassure yourself, ask an expert... what does your paediatrician say?
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Sep 30th, 2003, 05:05 PM
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As Alan said, there are hazards but the ferry should be fine as long as a close eye is kept. There are seats inside, so if the seas are a bit rough I think I'd stay indoors. Docking is always bumpy so keep that in mind.

We didn't get a spare seat for our child on the plane, but really wish we did. I think I would go for the carseat option. That way due to unexpected turbulence you know they'll be safe. DVT shouldn't be a worry, because as mentioned, there's no possible way a 16 month old will stay seated for any lenght of time. You & your partner better rest up. I think between the 2 of us, my husband & I trekked several miles up & down the aisle of the plane.

There are baby supply shops all around in the big cities. Toys 'r us is here, as well as other places such as Babyco. One thing I would bring (if you can) is a fold up booster seat for restaurants. I hope you know what I'm talking about...they strap to just about any type of seat, have restraints, fold up to about the size of a legal envelope?? Sorry, that's a horrible description...

Cots in hotels should be fine. Just re-confirm before your arrival that one is needed.

I have been to Pt. Douglas (pre-child), but am not familiar w/ most of the hotels/apts. We stayed at the Sheraton Mirage - which has a kids club. However, PD has to be one of the more laid back cities I have seen in Aus. & think it would be a great place for families. There is a great beach, most accom. would have a pool, & almost all restaurants are very casual.

One thing to keep in mind. Bring sunscreen & lots of it. The sun is really strong here, and even on slightly overcast days it would be easy for anyone (& esp. a bub) to get burned. Hats are essential too.
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