Taiwan for Young Kids and Baby (Part 1) – Luggage Packing and Taking the Flight

This must be our third trip to Taiwan with kids. Have been meaning to pen down the trips happenings but always too engaged with other stuff. So finally, I’m determined to come up with this series of posts for the first trip with our 2 kids and 1 baby.

This is Bub’s first trip so we picked somewhere that’s so kids friendly and familiar so it’s easier to manage.

We decided on Taiwan because

  1. Flight to Taiwan is a manageable 5 hour direct flight.
  2. The weather is not too cold and not too hot at this time of the year
  3. Easy to engage private driver for transportation
  4. Lots of kids friendly Minsu and places to go.

Packing for Trip

Years back when we had only 1 baby, we packed lots of baby stuff for our trip, including jar food, blender and cooker for cooking and blending food for the weaning baby. Most people were overwhelmed with what we packed.

First trip with Baby #1 to Hokkaido. Sweet corn and Pigeon baby apple juice from local supermarket. Potato, brought from home.

2nd baby time,  We had double the number of diapers to bring and milk powder for the elder one so we dropped the blender and the jar food but still brought the cooker for sterilizing of bottles and cooking and We also standby some packets of ready food like ready cooked rice and baby soup. 

Dry ingredients from home, fresh ingredients from the local supermarket.

With the 3rd baby, although the sisters are done with diapers, we totally dropped the cooker and brought sterilizing tablets instead. And only cereals for food, since Bub just started weaning. For the next trip, we’ll probably use thermos flask to cook porridge. We tried it previously and it works amazingly! 

But the luggage was still huge, considering now we had 5 pax worth of stuff to pack. 

In the end, we managed to pack with 2 big luggages, filled to almost maximum weight, for 3 adults (including my mother-in-law) and 2 kids, 1 baby! But our luggages were being tagged as heavy weight, so hopefully the handlers would be more careful with it. Cannot imagine if we were to pack the same as baby #1’s time, we’d probably need like 3 luggages? Not forgetting we still have 1 stroller.

2 big luggages to start with and some foldable bags that were opened up to put our purchases at the end of the trip

Heavy weight. Lucky no need to repack

The vacuum bags were my savior. I stuffed the clothes in and vacuumed until they lay flat in the luggage for easy packing 🙂
We were lucky that Bub was still breastfeeding so we didn’t have to bring much formula milk, just some, in case. The hardest to estimate were the diapers. We didn’t intend to buy over there in case we were not familiar with the brands there or we totally can’t find any. So we brought all the diapers we need, plus some extras. Heavy!

This is roughly what we packed just for the kids

Packing list for kids and baby travel

The weather in Taiwan at this time was a cool 16+deg to 24deg so we don’t have to bring any thick jackets, just some pullovers or light weight jackets. 

Pullover with covered toes pants, save the need for socks that kept sliding off

For bottoms, it was useful that I brought along some leg warmers for days that was unexpectedly colder.

Overalls plus front zip jacket for layering and leg warmers because this day was supposed to be warm but ended up quite chilling

And here’s the medicine inventory 

Reddish rash around the cheek

  1. Zertec – for allergy and cold. We experienced 1 time that our baby was allergic to air/dust (according to PD) and developed rashes. Bub had the same symptom this trip and we were prepared for it. 
  2. Cough medicine 
  3. Biogaia probiotics tablets for stomach discomfort (for the older kids)
  4. Paracetamol 
  5. Brufen 
  6. Thermometer
  7. Anti diarrhea
  8. Anti vomit medicine

Thankfully we didn’t need any of the other medicine for this trip although we did get the girls to take probiotics daily as preventive measure.

The Flight

We usually reach the airport around 3 hours earlier than flight time so we can have a quick meal and more time to check in. 

There are many playgrounds around the boarding area such as this one located near Gate A15 at Changi Airport Terminal 3.

Things to do at Terminal 3 if you are early

We almost always take the Singapore Airline unless it doesn’t fly to the place that we want. Singapore Airline usually have priority boarding for families with kids, so do check in and standby at the boarding gate early!

Take a look at these!

Bub resting on the bassinet, Nat enjoying a movie, Nic writing a postcard to send back home. Goodies for both kids and baby!

We took budget airline with the kids before and had a miserable flight with bored and cranky kids, sleepy but no proper flat bed for baby to nap and ate expensive but simple airplane meal that if you were not fast enough to order, you only get to buy biscuits or tidbits stuff. *Major wails.. 

So above picture sums up the different treatment if we travel on non budget airline. 

The baby goodie bag was something new for us. Didn’t remember they had such gift but was really heartwarming. In the bag was 2 M size diapers (the air stewardess enquired about baby age when we boarded the plane with priority queue), 1 packet of wet wipes, a bib, a plushie and a paper bag for disposal of anything. Then they set up the bassinet seat and topped up with a waterproof mat and a blanket for baby.

And then of course there was the usual hassle of carrying baby in and out of the bassinet during turbulence and landing. The worst part was having to buckle up with the infant seatbelt even when the baby was sleeping so nicely halfway through. 

Brightly colored waterproof mat to lie on

Then comes the usual routine for take off and landing. Milk time for Bub! I did standby the pacifier for him to suck on in case he was not hungry for milk. It was important for them to keep swallowing something to clear the blocked ears encountered with the change in pressure during take off and especially landing. Some kids started screaming away during the landing, possibly due to the discomfort. For the girls, we prepared gummies, biscuits and milo and hubby makes sure they keep drinking or eating so they can clear their ears with the swallowing action. 

Once you managed to settle baby into bassinet for a nap, the next thing to do? Eat! Our stewardess did check with me whether I would like to have my meal as soon as baby is napping so she reserved my order in advance. I just had to inform her as soon as I had chance to eat. And eat fast! Because you never know when baby’s going to wake up and disturb your meal or the next turbulence that require you to carry baby out of the bassinet. Life of a mum! 

1 mum who was sitting next to me had to eat with 1 hand and carrying her kids with another  arm because her kid just had a major meltdown. I helped her take out and keep her tray table as she was having some diffulty managing.

Oh have I mentioned that its a good idea to bring your baby carrier on flight? After the plane landed, there would be some waiting time between disembarking and getting the stroller. So it’s really convenient to strap up the baby so you can be hands free to carry other baggages. 

And so we landed in Taoyuan Airport, Taiwan. We almost fainted when we saw the snaking queue at the customs. Then we had a savior. The ‘angel-officer’ came up to us and led us to a family counter, queueless! It wasn’t convenient to take a picture but if you happen to be there, the family counter is at Counter 20.

1 thing about the flight booking on SIA. If you have Krisflyer points to redeem for you and your infant, it’s totally impossible to redeem it online. Go straight to Ion and get the customer service to help. Don’t even try the phone call, unless you have a lot of patience with the heavily accented telephone operators. And for some strange reason, when I tied the infant ticket to my ticket, both of us had our names cut off during the ticket printing at check in. The Officer claimed that we didn’t enter full name which we 100% disagreed. It’s a system glitch. So do check your tickets and have the ticketing officer do the amendment if it happens. 

Next up will be the write up for our first stop – Yilan and the incredibly fun hotel Silks Place Yilan

Car lovers paradise


Pokemon Research Exhibition at RWS

And so we caught on the Pokemon Go bug and the kids were introduced to pokemons who had been around for sometime and now revived by the game. 

We happened to be at Resorts World Sentosa Singapore over the weekend where the exhibition first opened, so we dropped by to take a look. The downside of this exhibition was that it was tied to the entrance tickets of the sea aquarium so you had to buy the tickets to both attractions.

Quite empty on a Saturday morning

First in queue on the first day

What to expect

We went there without reading up what was the exhibition about and had only some explanation by the staff there on what to do. 

The exhibition was basically a simple game where visitors were given a pokeball (to be returned afterwards) and some clues for you to guess what Pokemon was inside the ball. No prizes for guessing right though and no penalty for guessing wrongly as well.

Step 1: Pick a ball

Different difficulty levels based on the ball type

Each visitor gets to choose a ball and the level of difficulty is based on the type of ball. 

We picked 2 normal pokeballs, 1 great ball and 1 ultraball. The pokemons to be discovered is not restricted to only the 144 from the Pokemon Go game. For the regular and difficult course, the range is there in the brochure distributed to you. For extra difficult, you need to guess from the full range of pokemons displayed on both sides of this wall!

Didn’t know there were so many of them!

Step 2: Choose only 4 out of 8 stations to get clues

There are several stations to where you can get clues on what Pokemon you are having. Be careful which station you choose because the clue is very vague and disappears very fast if you didn’t take picture of it. Here’s some examples of how vague the clues were. 

Silhouette shooter

For this clue, you are given a few seconds to adjust the sharpness until you see this. You are only given 1 chance.

Facial analyzer

The worst clue. The facial features were so enlarged it’s almost impossible to tell, unless the Pokemon has a distinct colour or feature.

Outline shooter

The most tiring station. You are supposed to step repeated on the mat to generate enough power to get a good shadow of the Pokemon. The best is if you can hit the top of the energy bar on the right of the screen. *Tip: get 2 people and each stand on 1 mat. 

First try – not enough energy

2nd try – with 2 people stepping at the same time

Appearance analyzer

The best clue in our opinion. Straight forward and fuss free. The only trick is that you can only choose 2 descriptions out of 4.

The other stations like footprint collector, height and weight gauge, you probably find it useful only after you are more or less confirmed of your Pokemon, then you do a google search on their statistics to match. Another station is the cry analyzer which is least likely to help unless you know how each Pokemon cry?

After you finish your 4 stations, it’s time to check your answer.

Who is the Pokemon?

And the answer is simply given without letting you a chance to put in your guess..

The next highlight of the exhibition? Meet pikachu!

Too bad only got pikachu

We didn’t find the exhibition to be that fantastic and not sure why they didn’t go to other countries until now but kids had some fun and even requested to go back! Please consider showcasing somewhere outside the S.E.A Aquarium!

Show info from the RWS website


Kidzania Singapore!

We braved the crowd and tried out this place.. Finally! The result? Bang head and cry out loud.. Major fail. 

We made it to the ticketing queue just 15 minutes past the opening hour of 10am on a weekday but school holiday for the primary school kids due to the PSLE oral examination. We started to feel the panic mode the moment we were near the building when we start to see people running towards the building. I managed 1 photo with Nic while hubby rushed to the ticket queue with Nat.

Peace before the chaos

The queue was expectedly long and we got to know that even if you bought the tickets online, you would still need to go through this snaking queue until you are almost at the counter and the staff will direct you out of the queue to the entrance. 1 mummy tried to break the queue to enquire but grumpily joined back the queue after being rejected by the staff as she was still far away from the counter. What’s the purpose of buying tickets online then? Strange logic.

Snaking queue under the aeroplane at 15minutes past 10am

We queued for around 40 minutes. According to the staff, this queue is actually not too bad. The record was 2.5hours! Ok if your kid is super patient or if you are used to this queuing time for other hypes like getting cheese tarts or getting a hello kitty from McDonald’s. >.<

And we finally made it in. It looked surprisingly empty at the first floor when we first entered.

Feeling chilled about the whole thing

Checking out the place

Panaromic view of level 1

To our horror, real horror I mean, if you don’t already know how exorbitant  were the entrance fees, BOTH kids complained of tummyache and said they weren’t keen of playing any of these roles! *Bang head and roll on the floor crying.

Ok in the end we managed to get Nic to try out 1 job. She was like turning green with tummyache but we asked if she was ok to go and she said ya she could try. So here’s photos for that 1 job that we did. Everyone was trying to queue for that hot cabin crew or firefighter job so there was not really any queue at this station

Briefing for the medics

Nat couldn’t join as they were already full. And she refused to go for any other jobs.

On the way to help a patient

The doctor

Taking notes

The pay – 8 kidzzos dollars

And that’s all we did for the day.. Major boo-hoo.. 

While Nic was at the hospital stop, I brought baby and Nat to the nursing room. Nat happily watched the iPad while waiting for baby to nurse.

Brightly lit nursing room tucked at 1 corner

Enjoying the peace here

Only 1 room here

The nursing room was nice and quiet and equipped with a basin. But it did not have any power socket in case you need to plug in to pump milk

Nappy changing area

There’s a nappy changing area outside the room with a sofa. Nat had some rest at the sofa while waiting for us. 

Then we came across this empty area that is specially catered for toddlers 3 years old and below. My girls were more interested in these places than the jobs.. Lazy girls!

Toddlers playroom

Ball pit. (Not very sure is the toilet bow there for use or not)

Toys area

Pretend play kitchen

Bouncy bed!

So if you have very young kids you could bring them along for their own fun too. 

They also have an art and craft cum music room for the toddlers, which the staff kindly let our big girls in as we told them about our situation 

Kiddy craft room, parents allowed

Happier inside here (read: wasting our $$)

Selection of toys

Parents can rest here

Next comes lunch. While most of the kids had their lunches in their queues, and the parents at the resting area, we had our lunch at the proper resting area together. Since nobody was queuing. The KFC had the longest queue. Might be advisable to bring your own lunch. I saw some kids eating their homemade bentos, definitely better than the unbelievably overpriced food there.

Conclusion and pointers

1. Make sure your kids are in good mood or understand the idea of it and are willing to queue to experience the jobs.

2. Go early to queue and hit the hottest job the first thing because that’s the only time it’s going to be least waiting time

3. Bring your own easy-to-in-the-queue lunch.

4. Check for promotions on the website before buying tickets. For this trip, we made use of the August promotion price that is only applicable for walk-ins. It’s even cheaper than buying tickets online. 

5. Activate your kidzania debit card as early as possible. The bank (where the kids need to personally queue to activate the card) is always super crowded and parents were not allowed to queue in place. There are 30 Kidzos in the card and only effective if you activate on the day itself. 

6. As a rough guide, the cheapest item you could get is around 100 Kidzos for a small hair clip. We left empty handed because the kids couldn’t wait that long to activate the card.

7. 1 staff told us that it’s usually quieter on weekdays afternoons, so you might like to try that timing although you only have got half a day left, but hopefully more fruitful.

Kids first debit card

And finally, this is the situation of the queue when we left in the afternoon.

We probably wouldn’t come here again, unless the kids requested. 

Baby’s First Week

This post has been in my draft for the longest time. Still learning how to adapt with 3 kids in the house. So here goes..

And so I survived the first week post delivery of baby #3.

The past week flashed by in a blur. I was mostly in the sleep-deprived mode, emotional post-natal and in pain.. Lots of pain, everywhere. The stitches from episiotomy, sore nipples and occasional backache.

The first 2 nights after baby came back, I had to attend to the night feeding, late night diaper changes and soiled clothes from diaper change accidents. The girls had disturbed sleep and kept waking up to check what’s going on. Hubby woke up to check too and went back to sleep. Occasionally I’d raise the white flag and get hubby to help get baby to sleep so I can catch up with some sleep.

Then comes the jaundice report.
The Jaundice Episode

Both my girls had jaundice few days after birth so we were prepared that #3 would get it too. We were just hoping that it won’t be serious. Turns out, it was high jaundice of almost reaching 300 (baby needs to be admitted jaundice score of >300). And his weight was dropping, which meant that he hasn’t been drinking enough to keep hydrated. I was feeling depressed when I learnt about it. It might be a better idea if I had given in to use that standby tin of formula milk powder instead of trying to rely on the not-yet-established supply of milk.

The paediatrition gave us an option to rent the phototherapy machine back but we decided immediately to admit baby instead.

We tried the first option way back during baby #1’s time and it failed terribly. We couldn’t do it as efficiently. Imagine the discomfort of baby having to sleep on the hard machine bed for 2 whole days and 2 whole nights! All the crying and screaming.. No! We are not going through this again.

So off baby went, to hospital for a 2-night stay. During baby #1’s time, we admitted ourselves as well as we thought I needed to hang around for the breastfeeding. We thought this would be the case again this time round but the experienced nurse adviced us that there was no need for us to hang around. Latching baby for a 1-hour feed each time only shorten the treatment time and it made a lot of sense now that it’s our third one already and I was even all ready for that feeds of formula milk just to keep baby hydrated through the treatment. On my part, I tried to pump 2 times a day and bring to baby whatever little supply I had then.

Meanwhile, back at home, everyone missed the presence of baby but everyone had some quality sleep on these 2 nights.

While baby was not around, I also had some time with the girls and I tried to do some stuff with them too, hoping they won’t feel left out after arrival of their brother.

And baby’s jaundice dropped to a safe level 2 days later and was discharged from hospital. And our ‘nightmares’ came back again.


The Nipple Confusion Episode

After baby was back at home, I tried to latch him on for milk, same as before he was admitted to hospital. To my worst fear, he developed nipple confusion. He couldn’t remember how to latch on and tried to suckle with the bottle teat method. It was really depressing as it couldn’t get him to drink properly and it was so crucial.

The worst times was during the night. He couldn’t sleep since he wasn’t full and everyone else couldn’t sleep as well. Hubby and mother in law and myself took turns to feed baby and make him sleep. But it was so hard.

I asked around among some friends how they managed and some say they didn’t really try to resolve the confusion, just went ahead to pump and feed by bottle. I thought about this option but I thought I would still like to try my best to be able to continue with direct latching before giving up to the bottle. But it was a tough try.

My mother in law who helps out with the night sleeping was already dropping hints on how fast baby finish feeding by bottle and can go back to sleep faster. And it’s even better when fed with formula because he can sleep for longer. Double sob.

It was the same situation back when it was baby #1’s time and I remember that I was almost falling into postnatal depression. The familiar feeling came back, crystal clear. The difference was that I could now manage that depression better and I was going to just standby my own decision and ignore/KIV all other voices, all other suggestions or expectations. I think I will do better this way. Only thing was the bad feeling that I’m causing others to lose sleep because of my attempts to try.

I just hope this period will tide over faster and I can decide to either continue latching or bottle feed.
Managing Milk Supply

After baby was discharged for the jaundice treatment we had to be cautious to make sure baby is hydrated to make sure it doesn’t bounce back to a high level, although PD said it would definitely bounce back a bit.

My milk supply was not in yet and it was a known fact that the supply will be lower than demand on the first week.

So we supplemented with formula. Instant stress relief. At least we know baby is getting enough milk and which in turn will help in reducing jaundice. The total breastfeeding thing? Leave it for later. Just continue to religiously latch and pump whatever amount there is. Milk will come eventually.
Managing the older siblings

At just week 1, I was still trying hard to adapt and adjust. I could only try to do my best not to neglect the 2 girls. Hubby, my MIL and helper helped out with the daily tasks during this time. Talk about recruiting all the help that you can get. It really works. 

And here comes baby!

The exciting day came, finally! After all that months of anticipation and waiting. Those worries, those anxiousness was going to end today!

After today, we can finally start to replan some stuff, like the sleeping arrangements, our future holiday plans.. Oh and work arrangements need to be re-visited too. With 3 kids in toll, more time is needed to spread across them all. I would still like to continue working if possible because I cannot imagine myself getting stucked with kids the whole day everyday!

My girls have all come on the dot so far, exactly on the estimated due date. We were kind of expecting this one be the same although people kept telling me that boys tend to come earlier. 

So we were just waiting at home the whole day for baby to indicate his arrival. We didn’t dare to go out in case the emergency occurred outside.

2 bored kids

I wanted get some rest this day and really do nothing just to treasure the last bits of time without a crying baby at home. Hence the girls were parked at the iPads for almost the whole day unless they decide to play something else. #guiltymum
But after a whole day and night of waiting, there weren’t even the slightest sign. So we headed to the hospital that night for induction as planned.

Gynae asked if I would prefer to wait for baby to come until post due date or I would prefer to  induce. We decided on the latter because I had a feeling this baby was going to be big. Anymore delays might cause some difficulty for a natural delivery. Just the thought of having to go through a c-section for the last baby scares me a lot. And hubby agrees too.

So here’s how it went. We checked in to hospital around midnight (because that’s when they start charging for room) and the nurses strapped me on the CTG machine to monitor baby’s heartbeat and contraction.

Not long after I started lying in the uncomfortable position, suddenly there were signs of contractions!

And it was getting regular! Baby decided to show up on the EDD at the last hour! Gynae decided to wait a while to see if I could go into labour without induction.

After few hours of waiting (zzz…) the contractions started to go away. Strangely. And so I was still going to be induced. And so induction started and there was more waiting (zzzz…..). I was even allowed to eat something while waiting and before Gynae came back to break the water bag.

Around 4 hours later, I started to get some painful contractions. I then decided to start on the epidural because I get into too much pain. The very nice anaesthetist had been waiting for me since few hours ago as we all thought I might go into labour soon without induction. 

Strapped up and bed bounded

(After more waiting….) So finally Gynae came and burst the water bag and gosh, the feeling of flood came back ago. The experienced Gynae explained that she had to hold on to the breakage to let water flow out slowly initially to prevent the umbillical cord from being flushed out and strangle baby. Imagine all the discomfort then! And there I was on the bed, feeling helpless and totally uncomfortable. 

After the breaking of water bag comes the waiting of cervix dilation. And the real labour started when I had dilation of around 3 cm. Gynae estimated the time that I needed to get to 10cm and came in just in time when I started feeling the pressure of baby’s head coming through. With every contraction I could feel baby trying to come out.

Time for the push! I didn’t count how many attempts I did, but I know I would run out of stamina soon if I took any longer. It was really a major workout and I was sweating buckets and hubby was wiping off my sweat non stop. 1 of the very experienced midwife came in to help with the pushing. It was the same who helped me with my #2 baby and she was really good! After less than 10 attempts (I think) I did it! 

It was a huge effort as it turns out to be a big baby after weighing on the scales

Here’s the cutie who had been making me lose sleep and walk like a grandma for the past month, but awww… It’s alright baby, you are just too cute. 

And the start of a new journey begins. I have no idea what’s in store yet but I hope I will survive. 😬

On the last night of pregnancy with the last baby

I sleep with extreme difficulty with a huge belly with an expected-to-be-big baby inside. Sleeping on the left side makes my left side go numb. Sleeping on my back makes my spine feels crushed and under lots of pressure.

I woke up to go to the toilet and have a hard time sleeping back. The dark circles around my eyes have already started to be rather obvious.

Baby is moving and kicking around still and I try to enjoy these last few moments although I actually wanted more to be able to sleep.

I can’t wait to meet baby soon and find out how much weight had been crushing down on me every night.

Good night, baby, see you soon!

Back to Baby Adventures

Just realized that I haven’t been posting for almost a year! Too many things happened around the house and everyone was physically and mentally strained. Glad that’s now over for now. 

And at the end of the tunnel we found a rainbow. A new life is coming to us. Baby number 3! And here’s baby while still in the tummy!

Ok I wasn’t really prepared for this. We tried but I wasn’t really expecting anything to happen. But baby just came, right after we went through a depressing phase in our house! This bub must the the sunshine after the rain!

Anyway since it happened, I needed to get myself ready. All that baby phase that we went through, I really cannot imagine going through it again!

Other doubts that I have in mind, how can I ever manage all the kids? Will I still have me-time? Will I neglect any one of them? I needed our couple time too and how about parents-time? Gosh, I’m going to go crazy, I just keep having this feeing. 

Those complicated matters aside, I still have 2 young girls to tend to! Ok so I tried to be a supermum, so the girls won’t feel a ‘threat’ is coming. I did stuff with them, give them TLC and my time while I still could. All these in the midst of first few months of morning sickness, increasing size of tummy, decreasing mobility due to the weight and tummy etc. 

Accompany the kids to school when I can

Bring them to playdates with their friends



And not forgetting homework

And Revisions

But now that I’m going towards my delivery date, I start to lose a lot more energy. I toss and turn in my sleep, wake up for toilet breaks, get water retention and cramps in my sleep. And of course experiencing the amazing baby-in-tummy kick feeling with worries everyday that all those kicking might cause the umbilical cord to twirl round the baby’s neck. 
I had hoped that I could keep my weight gain low this pregnancy. Unfortunately it was not that easy. I had cravings for different food everyday. From spicy to sweet and to savory. All my dieting plans before baby came were flushed down the drain. So I didn’t manage to keep the weight gain below 10kg. But I think baby was quite big sized too! I hope all the weight goes to him and after I ‘offload’ him, I would have lost a major chunk of that weight. 🙂

No bumpfies

I didn’t really take any ‘bumpfies’ because I thought I just look like a hippo with that bump but this was me at around 34 weeks. Can’t wait to ‘offload’ it because it got harder and harder to walk and sleep properly with every passing day. I pant easily and I walk like a sloth. Even an old folk could walk faster than me!

All the worries aside for now, I really hope I will be able to manage and hope the new life will bring more joy to our family and will be welcomed by everyone in the family. 🙂 

P.s. Oh I need to get used to baby cries and screams and shrieks all over again! Agrh! Hope I’ll survive..