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Two weeks' notice to move to Shanghai - advice please!(11 Posts)
Ladies, I need some urgent advice!
My husband's business has won a big new contract in China. This is great news, but he's going to need to be there for 4-6 months to kick everything off and we will be travelling with him. We need to be ready to leave in 2-3 weeks. I am by nature a real planner, so whilst this is a wonderful opportunity for me, DH and DD (12 months) I'm panicking a little about the very short time before we leave.
We'll be living in the Xuhui district.
My main concerns are childcare/food for DD and availability of basic baby bits - do you use an Ayi/nanny and were they easy to find? Will I struggle to buy good, safe local food to cook for DD? Very excited about trying a new culture and new things, but I'd like to be able to provide some consistency in terms of food etc for DD - anything that is hard to get/very expensive to buy that I should bring with me?
I'm desperately researching all I can, but time is very limited and I badly need some 'on the ground' advice. I have joined the ShanghaiMamas forum and looked over ShanghaiExpat, but if anyone is either in Shanghai or has returned recently, I would hugely appreciate any hints/tips. Would also be lovely to hear from any MNers currently in Shanghai with similarly aged children who might like to meet up.
No experience of travelling overseas BUT - you're taking a 12 month old with you and I have experience of those. She is at the point where she'll start moving and climbing and you will I assume be living an apartment which may not be geared up to a young child. So in your shoes I would take corner covers, plug covers, window catches - V IMPORTANT and a folding stairgate that you can use to keep her in or out of any particular space - balcony/kitchen etc.
I reckon food will sort itself out by the way.
[[http://www.safetots.co.uk/p701/-lindam-flexigate/product_info.html?&utm_source=google-feed&utm_medium=sem&utm_campaign=google-feed this] is the sort of gate I mean.
That's an excellent point NLatLarge, thank you. Stupidly, I hadn't even thought about babyproofing stuff and you are right, the apartment is unlikely to be baby friendly. I'll add these bit to the ever-growing list!
Consider the following:
Vaccinations for your child - hepatitis, rabies, japenese encephalitis - were advised when we moved here. DD was 2.
Food -City Shop in Shanghai (more than one branch) has stacks of imported products, including long life imported milk. Personally, I would not buy local milk or dairy products. Imported food is exepensive.
Sockets are the European type (we moved here from Austria) if you need to baby proof them. Think I got all that stuff from Ikea in China including rubber type things to put on coffee table corners.
How are you shipping your stuff to China? If you are only here for 4-6 months you will need to use air freight, but it can still take a long time to clear customs, and all your paperwork needs to be in order for the customs clearance.
Bring plenty of passport sized photographs with you - lots of forms to fill out when you arrive and this saves time.
Hope the above does not sound too negative and good luck with the move!
Thanks Shanghaidiva (love the name!) Really useful, and relieved to hear that it's possible - albeit expensive - to get hold of some basic imported bits for DD. We are really looking forward to the move and to living somewhere so different.
only just noticed your post takeoff... Listen to ShanghaiDiva!
For baby proofing - Ikea is your friend! You can get the plug socket covers here (and you probably do need them here as they are not as safe as the Uk sockets (I;m led to believe - I've got a just 2 year old who loves to play with them!
For childcare, shanghaimamas usually has recommendations and there are agencies recommended on there too.
Food shouldn't be a problem for a 12 month old - you would struggle to find prepared baby food from home (and will be v v expensive) but if she's eating what you are, shouldn't be a problem. I do bring unsalted stock cubes back from UK with me, and if your daughter is drinking formula bring that too.
If I were you, I'd post your question on ShanghaiMamas - they are usually pretty nice to newbies and will help.... actually there's a newbies post on there at the moment... is it you?? ;-)
I've been here 4 years and love it so try not to worry too much!! pm me if you want to ask anything specific.
We moved to Shanghai a year ago with our large family. Youngest was 18 months at the time. Sudocreme was the first thing I ran out of and found I couldn't get. calpol, Nurofen, stock up on it all! western stuff for babies is all available, but it may take you a few weeks to get your bearings. Also, it is very, very hot here at the moment and will be for some time, so bring light, summer clothes for you and her. If you are above a size 8, you will find it hard to get bras, underwear and nice clothes..there is a Next and an MandS, but they are very expensive. Everything else we have been able to get, really. just come with a very open mind and be ready for the culture shock and the heat...oh and the mosquitoes. Bring Jungle Formula. Sun cream is also very hard to get and very expensive. Good luck. shanghai is great!
Thanks Shanghai and 4pinkbabies - I've just checked back and picked up your messages. This is all so helpful, thank you. I'm packing like a woman possessed at the moment and finally starting to feel on top of things.
Shanghai Mamas has been a great find (and the thread on the newbie section could well be me - I've been trawling the site for tips!) I'm just looking forward to getting there now, and hopefully meeting some new friends. Exciting!
No advice but just wanted to say lucky you...what an experience!....enjoy!!!!!!