Cherish this special time together. It’s the perfect time to bond with your child.
Some say that traveling with a small group of people was very helpful. Lots of people meet other families through online yahoo groups ahead of time.” Plus a good agency can make a huge difference when you are traveling alone. It is a good idea to check to see if you will be met at the airport, what services are provided at or near the hotel (babysitting, a restaurant, laundry, email or fax). Find out if will have access to a translator and someone to walk you through the “paperwork process” while in the country.
You might not be able to take thousands of photos or tons of videotape documenting the journey. It’s kind of hard to do well by yourself but it’s doable. You might not be in a lot of the shots but I am sure that others in your travel group will definitely help you out here. If you have a baby carrier or stroller, you’ll be able to have a hand or two free to take some photos and you can always practice before you leave if you have any friends that have a little one.
You’ll definitely need someone to take pictures and video for you on gotcha day. This, I would imagine, would be the hardest. Be pro-active here and try to organize with the other members of your travel group, or people you meet along the way. For me, if I have to travel alone...I’d even be willing to pay someone in the building to come with me and take photos. You do what you have to do. I will have my digital camera, video camera, and a bunch of disposable cameras. I am very protective of my cameras so if you are ever wary of someone handling yours, just give them the disposable one. It’s an option!
Bring the baby with you in the shower, let her play on the bathroom floor with the shower open so you can see her, shower with the door open when she’s asleep, or shower before she wakes. If none of these work, maybe she can even play with one of her China Sisters while you shower.
How do you attempt the buffet with your little one in tow? Lot of people say this is a hard one too. You could have someone fill your plate for you, but I could never do that especially when you don’t know what some of the items are. I think I would have to check it out for myself. If you’re wearing her on a sling or have her in a stroller, it would make it easier. If you strap her in a highchair, I am sure a travel mate could watch her for a minute or two.
You have room service or if you’re at the White Swan, there is always the famous Danny’s Bagels that delivers and so do a lot of other restaurants on Shamian Island. Some have resorted to stocking up on a few items from breakfast and bringing them along for a snack. Others liked that they brought packets of oatmeal, granola bars and peanut butter for snacking. Some brought enough formula or rice cereal for the same reason. They said stock up just before gotcha day so that first day or two you won’t have to run around for basic needs and spend more time bonding.
Typically, Room service will deliver water to your room, above and beyond the amount given to you each day if that is inadequate.
Some babies have colds and the medicine makes them sleepy so they might just sleep for long periods of time. A seat of their own seems like such a lifesaver. I know some like the Baby B’Air. I think it’s awesome in theory and WILL test it out. This way, she can be attached to you and should you dose off, she won’t fall off your lap. I will need someone to hold the baby on the airplane when I want to go to the bathroom. I hear flight attendants will do this, as will other people you are traveling with. Someone said that it is also possible, albeit inconvenient, to take her to the bathroom with you, using a sling. Also, if you can afford it, buy a seat for your newest little one on the flight home. I have found that sometimes it’s cheaper to buy a round trip ticket rather than a one-way and other told me that it’s cheaper to actually purchase that in China. My agency arranges all of this so I might not have a choice in the matter. Anyway, I’m told that the extra seat made ALL the difference on our return trip.