travel

Doing Tokyo with a baby.

We’ve been having an amazing time in Japan and I’ll be posting more about the trip but first, here’s one on doing Tokyo with a baby.

us tokyo

When we first considered the option of bringing a 3-month-old Theo along to Tokyo, it seemed like an insane idea. But the thing you need to know about us is that we have these insane ideas and then we just do them. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t and sometimes, right in the middle of doing it, we’re all “WHAT DID WE JUST DO??!!” but then it’s too late and we figure out a way to roll with it.

Thankfully, this is one of those yay, it worked out times. Sort of. So if you ever decide to do Tokyo with a baby, perhaps this might help.

theo tokyo

1. Contingency planning. 

Have back ups. And back ups for your back ups. The baby will have a massive blowout kind of diaper situation at the most inopportune times and you will need to be prepared. At any given time, I have a stash of back up baby supplies with me and another set of back ups with the husband.

2. Bring a stroller. 

Navigating the streets of Tokyo and the subway system with a stroller is surprisingly easy. People walk fast and it gets crowded but there are strollers everywhere so we were in good company. We brought along a Peg Perego that’s comfy enough for sleeping, plus it doubles up as a nappy changing station for those emergency situations I was talking about earlier.

3. There are nice baby rooms in malls. Use them. 

We spent most of our time at the touristy places like Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ginza and Harajuku so I can’t speak for the other areas but all these places have big malls and these big malls have great baby room facilities for nappy changes and baby feeding.

4. Breastfeed on the go.

I wasn’t sure if breastfeeding in public would be an issue in Tokyo but turns out, totally not a problem. I fed Theo everywhere in Tokyo – in the middle of Shibuya Crossing while being flanked by 5,000 people; strolling along Takeshita Street in Harajuku; in malls, restaurants and cafes. Whenever we stopped to eat, the baby ate too. So far, nobody has even given me a second look so I’d say it’s gone very well indeed.

5. Finding diapers in Tokyo is harder than it should be.

I thought that Tokyo, being the land of Goon and Merries, would have diapers available everywhere but diapers almost impossible to find here. We spent 2 days combing supermarkets, comvenience stores, drugstores and malls in Shinjuku and nothing… until we got to Odakyu and found 2 packs of Merries diapers hidden in a drawer on the 9th floor. HIDDEN. IN A TINY DRAWER like it’s a super secret prize in a ridiculous treasure hunt.

We asked like 5 people for omutsu until finally, a nice lady brought us to a corner and started digging around in a drawer for it. There were only 2 packs left, both in size S. It’s a tad small for Theo’s fat thighs but it seemed like these were the only 2 packs of diapers left in the whole of Shinjuku so GIVE IT TO ME I’M TAKING IT.

6. Have some serious skills.

There are some skills you need to have before you decide to venture into unfamiliar territory with a baby, such as changing a poopy diaper in tiny confined spaces. We were having desserts at Henri Charpentier when Theo decided to make the big poop. The toilet, while gorgeous, was tiny and didn’t have a changing room. I thought of changing him in the stroller but this wasn’t the sort of place to be seen scraping poop off a baby’s bare bottom. The nearest changing room was 5 minutes away in the rain.

So I did what I had to do while sitting on the toilet seat with the baby propped up on my crossed left leg. That badass move totally deserves some kind of advanced nappy changing award.

7. Relax and have fun.

Even with the most detailed plan, things will sometimes go wrong. Babies will get cranky and fuss and be upset and it’s ok. The first night in Tokyo, we were recovering from a red eye flight and I had already been up for 48 hours. Baby Theo decided he wanted to stay up till 3am to fuss, before sleeping in 45 minute stretches for the rest of the night. But after that terrible, terrible night, he’s been sleeping like a champ, one night for a record 6 hours straight.

***

Traveling with a baby can be challenging but I’m happy to have him here with us. Feeling his sleeping baby weight on my chest as we strolled down the streets of Tokyo exploring new places felt just right.

At just 3 months, this baby already has all the makings of a jetsetter.

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12 Comments

  • Reply Fang November 2, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    We were JUST discussing if we are insane bringing a 2-month old baby with us to Perth in Dec. Seeing this post brings me some comfort and some courage… that maybe its doable?

    Looking forward to more updates from you! :)

  • Reply Pooja November 3, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Traveling with an infant was THE BEST. We did Hong Kong at 13 weeks and 8M, the US at 16 weeks, India at 9M and 11M, Phuket and Sydney at 10M. So easy!

    • Reply Anonymous November 5, 2014 at 12:14 am

      I totally agree. Before babies can crawl. Easiest time to travel with your children.

      Much easier than the 2 year old!

  • Reply Fonny November 4, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Yeah .. I also had the same problem … Finally we found all the diapers in Toys r Us in Subshine City, Ikebukuro …

  • Reply michelle November 4, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I am sorry u didn’t know about akachan honpo before your trip. I love stocking up on baby products there. There are probably branches in every district.

  • Reply Audrey November 4, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    There are actually more pet dogs than babies in Tokyo that is why diapers are hard to find

  • Reply Joanne November 4, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Went to Tokyo recently with my 3 month old baby as well and found it hard to get diapers too! Almost couldn’t believe it given that it’s the land of Merries and Mamy Poko! Haha

  • Reply Lyn Lee November 5, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Yes that stunt in the toilet definitely deserves an award!

  • Reply DEANNA November 8, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    I can’t imagine traveling far with a 3 month old..My youngest isn’t the best traveler. Adorable pea coat.
    DEANNA´s last post ..Possible Family

  • Reply Su November 10, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    This reminds me of a trip to Japan. One of the children who is just of diapers needed to poop, which I didn’t happen to know. Suddenly, there was some poop falling out of her pants piece by piece at the hotel lobby. Needless to say, I was horrified and embarassed. I had some issue of looking for milk powder, which I have no idea where to get them in Japan! Can’t find a supermarket, convenience store that has it.

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