Amsterdam - departure home & baby tipsFebruary 22, 2017 in the Netherlands
Our goal was to leave the apartment by 6:45 as we had a 10:30 flight out of Amsterdam Schipol for Boston. It didn't work out very well and we were scrambling to finish everything in time and we still didn't leave until 7. It was raining earlier in the morning but stopped by the time we left so we decided to just walk since we had (still) not figured out the tram system in Amsterdam. The city was very walkable so we really never had any need to take the tram anywhere. Anyway, we took the train to the airport and waited in a lot of lines at Schipol. Poor Maggie had a blowout while we were waiting in line for security and we still had to wait in line to go through. Finally we got to the other side and were able to get into a bathroom to change her. We went to the customs booth to get a stamp so we can get a refund on the VAT we paid on our Delftware vase. Then made our way to the gate as quickly as possible and got on the flight with a little time to spare. Maggie didn't do as well on the way home since it was during the day. We were in a cycle of nap, play, eat, but she was fussy from not being able to run around and have some variety. Eventually we landed though and overall it was a good flight. We definitely had a great time traveling and didn't feel that we missed out on anything because we had her with us. If anything, we would've stayed out later at night or maybe visited a coffeeshop, but that didn't detract from our experience at all.
Here are some notes I made about traveling with a 6.5 month old.
-Amsterdam was tough with all the stairs but it was manageable. Would be better to have an apt on the ground or first floor, but we made do with our 2nd floor apt.
-Stroller (folding) and front carrier were a must! Being able to lay her down for naps with the canopy was a lifesaver. We have a Baby Jogger City Mini and it was amazing. She took 30min naps, which is what she does at home generally. We kept her warm with a crochet blanket and she also wore a winter coat and moccasins (after we bought them in Haarlem).
-Pre-filled bottles with water and formula in a formula dispenser. We had bought a Zero water filter cup on Amazon so we didn't have to buy bottled water the whole time we were there (We use a Pur filter at home for her bottles).
-Tether toys with a casino slinky (the things that you use at casinos so you don't forget your card), and use a pacifier tether too so it doesn't get dropped everywhere.
-Folding cloth high chair: another thing we bought on Amazon. It was useful in our apt but didn't fit a lot of the chairs there. When the back of the chair is hard, we found that Maggie hit her head on the chair back a lot.
-Jarred food from home with extra spoons. We had a lot of pears on hand in case of constipation.
-Bought Pampers there but they seem less absorbent and she smelled of pee whereas at home this isn't an issue. Just more annoying than anything. Next time I'd rather bring the diapers and have extra luggage room when we go home.
-Not many places to change her diaper. Restaurants/churches did not tend to have a baby changing space but larger restaurants and museums did have changing pads. We brought the folding pad from our diaper bag which was useful for every purpose. We changed her in the stroller, on bench in a bar, on bathroom counters, pretty much everywhere...
-Set up the changing station in her bedroom with wipes, diapers, etc. Here we just used a towel as a changing pad. We did this on one of the twin beds that was in the room.
-We brought an emergency kit with medications we could use in case of emergency. I brought this on the plane with me which was not an issue but did require extra screening. Included Benadryl, Tylenol, Saline/bulb suction, Pedialyte and diaper cream.
-Time zone change was difficult for the first night. We tried to replicate home bedtime routine. The first night we weren't able to get her down for good until 11pm which was home bedtime (6hr ahead of home time). Knowing that made things less stressful. Future nights were 100% normal and she went down easy. We only shifted her by 3hr instead of 6hr so we could get up a little later than normal and put her to bed later than normal. At home she's awake from 6am to 6pm but on vacation we typically had her awake from 8:30am to 8:30pm or so.
-Time zone change going east to west (coming home)... the travel day was very long. On the plane she took 2 naps 30min each. Was very overtired and screamed once we landed. Did a crib nap once we got home but we had to wake her up as her body "thought" it was bedtime at 2:30pm. Then the next morning she woke up at 3:30/4 and wouldn't go back to sleep. We got her up at 4:20 finally. Luckily we had the day off from work. By the following day she was back to her normal sleep schedule.Read more