Elderberry · 19/08/2001 21:06
We're going to New Zealand for two months in October, taking our (then) four month old baby boy. Does anyone have any tips on long haul flights / what to take / New Zealand in particular?
Suew · 19/08/2001 21:43
I took our then 11mo to NZ to see my mother-in-law back in 1997. We stayed for a similar length of time although it was over Xmas and NY.
We stayed in Nelson (top of South Island) and although the place isn't huge, I didn't take more than a couple of days' worth of nappies and bought all the supplies I needed out there. I was using Huggies at the time but was gutted to discover NZ hadn't moved onto velcro tabs but I know they have since!
Sunscreen was also cheaper to buy out there although I imagine you'll be keeping a 4mo out of the sun.
For the flight make sure you have booked your bassinet and bulkhead seats well in advance and, if necessary, phone the airline you are travelling with today and make doubly sure. Take a change of clothes for the baby and possibly one for yourselves just in case of accidents!
We travelled back from Australia last weekend and a baby in front of us did the trip beautifully although one further back in the cabin cried an awful lot. If you are breastfeeding, feeding on take-off and landing will help with the ear pressure; if you are bottle-feeding, this will also help so it's handy to have a feed ready.
Parents Centre is the NZ closest equivalent to the NCT providing antenatal and postnatal support and you might be able to find out something more through them. Unfortunately their website wasn't working when I put this link in so I hope it's up and running again soon.
Whereabouts are you heading for? Is it your first trip? Are you visiting family?
Have a great trip and feel free to ask anything more specific. I'll do my best to answer although it's almost 18mo since we were last there and our daughter was 3yo at the time so circs were different to yours.
Chelle · 20/08/2001 02:54
While it will be spring in NZ in October, it can still get pretty cold. I was in Wellington (bottom of North Island) in late Sept/early Oct last year and some areas were having blizzards! It was very cold, wet and windy in Wellington but much warmer (although still not that warm) in Auckland. You can find everything you will need for a baby in NZ and even though I was there for work and not travelling with my son, I was impressed by the parent/baby facilities everywhere I travelled (I was checking these out for further trips with sone in tow!).
Good luck and have fun!
PS I just love the NZ accent!
Evesmum · 20/08/2001 21:52
Hi there, I lived there for the best part of a year in my childless days. The country is very baby friendly and breastfeeding is common in public. The country is very eco-friendly and a lot of my friends used terry nappies rather than disposables! However you will find disposables on sale there in all supermarkets.
The weather is very changeable, you can literally get any type of weather at that time. I think if you pack something for all weathers you will be fine! You can always add/take away a layer.
NZ is a beautiful country and you should really enjoy it. Would recommend a visit to the South Island if you are not staying there. It is an amazing place with so much to see. Internal flights are not too expensive and most towns have airports.
Good luck and happy holidaying.
Aussie · 21/08/2001 00:16
I'm an Aussie living in Auckland in the north of the North Island and have been here for 5 1/2 years. My DD was born in October 2000. October-December can still be quite cool, even in the north of the North Island. Because it's very long north-south, you'll need clothing for all seasons if you're planning to travel both islands as it can be 20 degrees celsius in the north and 8 at the bottom of the South Island! But saying that, some places in the south have 'heatwaves' where it can be 30 degrees one day and 15 the next.
You can hire equipment short term like car seats and strollers (maybe even portacots) from several places but you'll have to be quick - I can get you contact numbers if you need them. No use lugging it on the plane if you're able to get it here.
Looking at Suew's message, nappies here do have velcro tabs - both Huggies and Treasures Ultra - if you're after disposables. Parents Centre is a good site, too, and have a discussion board. Also try www.newmother.org.nz as they have a discussion board too where you could post a message about travelling in NZ.
If you're breastfeeding, doing so in public is not a problem as NZ is pro-breastfeeding and mothers are really encouraged to do it. If you need to take your son to the doctor, health care is very accessible but being a non-resident you'll probably have to pay (health care is free for under 6yrs here).
Will you be visiting family, north/south island? There's plenty to see and do, scenery is magnificent. Heaps of adventure tourism - bungy jumping, white water rafting etc. Also the opposite with plenty of relaxing things to do like walks, hot pools, museums, art galleries, etc. If you'll be driving a lot, I find the roads outside the cities are sometimes not that great.
If you have any specific questions or want any phone numbers re hiring equipment I'd be happy to help.
Elderberry · 21/08/2001 20:37
Wow! This is the first time I've posted a message and I never expected so much detailed advice. Thanks!
My husband and I have both been to NZ before and we loved it so much that we wanted to go back and see more. We thought the climate would suit the baby (not too hot, rather like here!) and knew it would be easy to travel. We're planning to visit both North and South islands and to see friends in the Marlborough Sounds area - at the moment the plan is to take a one-way car hire from Auckland to Christchurch and then an internal flight back to AUK (no availability internationally from CC).
Aussie, I'd appreciate a number / e-mail address for hiring a cot if you've got one, if not I'll try the Parents Centre website - we were planning to bring ours with us and bung it in the boot but if it's cheap it might be worthwhile hiring one.
We can't wait to go. The only bit I am a bit daunted by is the flight but once we get there at least we don't have to do it for another two months! Thanks for the flight tips Suew, I have "requested" a bassinet but I think phoning is a good idea. I hope my baby won't cry all the way!!
Thanks for all the tips...
Aussie · 21/08/2001 22:29
The cots for hire are wooden and do not fold up like the other ones, so space in car would be a problem. Also, they're $25/wk, so it's no doubt cheaper for you to bring yours (or buy here as they have one on sale for $130)!! The shop is The Baby Factory, ph 64-9-522 0396, no email. They do hire car seats and strollers too but I didn't ask for a price on those.
Good luck with your plans and the trip. I'm sure you'll have a fantastic time.
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