18 December 2017

Brasil Trip 2017 - Week 4 {plus travelling with a 9-month-old!}



Travelling with a baby
[photo by Andre]
[photo by Andre]

Pumped after a night of rock-climbing!!! Gui and Natassja took us out and it was SO MUCH FUN!!!
[photo by Natassja]

Yay for friends who like board games!!!
[photo by Andre]



The strangest rock-climbing [rock?!] ever


Training her while she's young :P 

The avocados in Brasil are HUGE!!!

Cooking together and eating together :)
[photo by Andre]

Juninho's pizza... sooooo delicious!!!
[photo by Andre]

Trying to take Zoe's 10 month photo... even between Paulo and I it proved difficult!

When we visited in 2013, my family sent this AFL football as a gift to Andre's family - they still proudly display it!
(PS for anyone who doesn't know what AFL is, check out this link for a quick overview)

Late-night shenanigans with Andre's cousin's kids!
PS In Brasil, kids stay up late. I mean LATE. I mean 11pm on a school night. (!)

We got to catch up with Andre's best friend Danilo, his wife Deise and their son Pedro. It was so special!! 
Zoe loved Pedro! And his toys!

Hanging out with Tio Marco

Spending time with Andre's old pastor and his wife was really special.

Playing with Tio Juninho
[photo by Andre]

Uncles are the best!!!!
[photo by Andre]

When the boys were doing the renovations and painting, they made sure to leave Zoe's mark!
One final dinner with the boys! This was a fun night, with underlying sadness because we knew we'd be leaving the next day :(
Stop-over in New Zealand!

To finish, I want to share our experience and offer a few thoughts on travelling with a [crawling] 9-month old.

The trip to Brasil was close to 25 hours from start to finish, so we knew ahead of time that it would be a bit of a tough journey, what with being in confined spaces, trekking through airports, and time changes along the way.  We mentally prepared ourselves as well as we could!

Infants can travel close to free without a seat when they're under two, so we knew Zoe would need to sit on our laps for the trip.  We also knew we would get a bassinet for her to sleep in.  For most legs of the journey we we blessed to have at least one spare seat next to us, if not two, and having that extra space was awesome!

Bags
  • Calico bag full of toys
  • Nappy bag with Zoe's clothes and nappies
  • Small suitcase with our toiletries, clothes, and a cooler bag with Zoe's packaged baby food
  • Backpack with our valuables and personal items - passports, camera, iPads, journals, etc.
We kept the toy bag and nappy bag under our seat and stowed the suitcase and backpack in the overhead luggage.  On each flight we took out iPads, books, journals, water bottles etc (anything Andre and I specifically wanted), and placed in the pockets in front of us.

Next time I would try to have a small bag for each of us with our personal items and just keep the bag with us - it was a hassle wrangling Zoe, getting out our items, storing the larger bags, etc, and I think having a small bag for each of Andre and I would make the on-boarding a little easier.

Entertainment

I'm so glad we took a bag full of toys!  They did provide a couple minutes of entertainment at a time ;)  The one book we took was a little puppet book (Mary had a Little Lamb) and that was one of the best things we took - we read it soooooo many times, but it did the trick.  Things like cutlery packets, TV remotes and seat belts also provided a lot of fun.  We learned very quickly to just let her play with [almost] whatever took her fancy.

Next time I would also download some videos that Zoe could watch on our iPads for additional entertainment.

Food

We took a little bit of fresh food for Zoe's first meal or two, along with packets of pureed baby food and some crackers and rice cakes.  Zoe had never really eaten pureed baby food before (although we did let her taste one or two different flavours beforehand), and she actually didn't like a couple of the flavours which was very sad (I took such pains to fine packets on special because it hurt to buy packaged food!!).  We soon learned that the airlines would actually provide some packaged baby food, so we appreciated that.  Oh, and, breast-feeding was a life-saver... just putting that out there!

Next time, I would try to take more variety of snack foods - maybe homemade biscuits and crackers; small tubs of peanut butter or Vegemite for flavour varieties to spread on the crackers; and even other packaged snacks that would last the whole trip.  Back then, though, at 9 months old, we were quite particular about the food that Zoe would eat, focussing mainly on vegetables, so we weren't very adventurous - so I'm giving myself grace this time ;)

Nappies

Something I picked up on was to just take the few necessary items when changing Zoe's nappy, rather than taking the whole nappy bag - I'm sure that may seem simple to some, but I hadn't thought much about it until I saw Andre (and other parents on the plane) do that.

Sleep

On the way to Brasil Zoe did not sleep in the bassinet much at all, which was exhausting.  Now I realise the main reason this was the case was because whenever she made a noise we would quickly pick her up so she wouldn't disturb the other passengers - I think this was our mistake, because on the flight back to Australia if she made a little noise while sleeping in the bassinet, we tried to just settle her back to sleep without picking her up, and she slept for about 6 hours straight which was a huge win, in our opinion!  It was an effort to not pick her up because we were so worried about disturbing everyone, but sacrificing a few moments of crying for a longer period of complete silence was worth it in the end for us.

Movement

With our baby and in our experience, we wish we had have taken this big trip before Zoe could crawl - she had always been a really good sleeper, and such a happy baby, and we know now that, for us at least, if we had have travelled maybe in her first 6 months of life, she would have slept better and of course sat still on our laps.  We travelled at this time for Andre's brother's wedding, so it couldn't be avoided; however, for any trips we would choose to take, next time I think we would try and avoid any time from crawling through to an age where the little one has more understanding of when to sit still and when it's okay to get up and run around.


So that's it! Photos from our final week in Brasil, and my reflections on travelling to the other side of the planet with a 9-month-old!

If you have any tips (or any of my reflections above that you have experienced or think about differently) for travelling with small kids, please share in the comments!

~Rachel

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