5 fabulous baby-friendly destinations for you to explore
This article was produced in partnership with The Asian Parent.
Like most Singaporean parents, you celebrate your baby's milestones.
Every time your baby reaches a milestone, you cherish it. Whether it is baby's first smile or baby's first steps, you celebrate each of these accomplishments, big or small. And one of the most important and memorable milestones to celebrate is your baby's first flight.
While it is exciting to get your baby on a plane and show him the clouds and the blue sky, it entails a lot of preparation and a fair amount of stress! From choosing the right baby-friendly destination to packing the right gear for the trip, it can be a complex affair.
Imagine all the stuff that you need to pack (clothes, baby's milk, diapers, etc.) and the unpredictability of how your baby would take to the flight! Will he cry for minutes on end? Will the cabin pressure make him grumpy? What about his food? It can understandably stress you out! But the memories of precious family moments while on vacation are priceless, and worth it all.
1. Hong Kong
Not too far, and not to close from Singapore, Hong Kong is a microcosm of urban splendour and natural beauty. Café hopping, shopping, navigating old and new neighbourhoods and exploring the great outdoors—all of these activities will satiate your wanderlust.
It is the perfect urban holiday destination for your entire family with the baby in tow! You can also take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city to experience the outdoors and access idyllic beaches, volcanic landscapes, feng shui woods, nature reserves, marine parks and botanical gardens.
Places to visit: Tai Pak Beach, Cheung Chau and Dragon's Back
Must see: Hong Kong Disneyland Resort & Ocean Park
2. Tokyo, Japan
Japan's capital Tokyo is well-known for its baby-friendliness. Did you know that Tokyo has "Baby Cafes", which are especially designed to cater to mothers and babies? Moms and their little ones can hang out and relax in these cafes with food or beverages while the baby sleeps or plays happily in child-proofed areas. Facilities for nursing and changing babies are widely available throughout the city.
Places to visit: Tokyo Tower, Sunshine International Aquarium/Planetarium.
Must see: Shinjuku Gyoen Park
3. Taipei, Taiwan
This great destination in Asia is an ideal place for 0-2-year old babies on a family trip. Baby carriers and strollers are accepted throughout the city (but make sure you do your research on stroller accessibility before you head out to visit a place). Mothers and baby rooms are widely available.
For sightseeing, Taipei 101 is worth a visit. This iconic symbol of Taipei was the tallest building in the world for a while.
If you want to bring your family to theme parks, head over to Leofoo Resort Guanshi. Close to Taipei, this is a large theme park with fun rides and a water park. There's a zoo here too where you can meet lemurs face to face and see many other animals.
If you are a food-loving family, it's good fun to explore some of the cafes in Taiwan. For example, there is a Rilakkuma Café (Rilakkuma is a famous Japanese teddy bear character); Kobitos' Secret Garden (Kobitos are Japanese forest dwarves, first made popular by The Illustrated Book of Kobitos, published in 2006) and even a Dog Café in Taipei, which houses rescue dogs that are looking for a home.
Places to visit: Taipei Children's Amuseument Park, Taipei 101, Leofoo Resort Guanshi
Must see: Dihua Street
4. Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne has the reputation of being one of the most livable cities in the world. The city is full of family-loving and friendly people, and is easy to get around. It's a green city – you'll find parks everywhere to rest and relax. What's more, food choices are aplenty. Love coffee? It's a haven for coffee aficionados.
For parents with young kids, what's great about Melbourne is that there are infant/baby rooms everywhere: a private breastfeeding room your entire family can occupy. Not only do such rooms have the usual changing table and sink, most are equipped with a microwave for heating bottled milk. Some are even stocked with wet wipes and other personal care products.
Places to visit: Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne Zoo, Brighton Beach
Must see: Hosier Lane
5. Koh Samui, Thailand
Just a short flight away from Singapore, Koh Samui is a beautiful and scenic place to relax and have a great time in. It hosts a wide range of attractions and activities that will excite your little ones such as Coco Splash Adventure and Water Park and Aquapark. Of course, most of the activities are in the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand.
Places to visit: Coco Splash Adventure and Water Park, Aquapark, Samui Canopy Adventure
Must see: Ang Thong Marine National Park
Excited, now? Mums and dads, it's time to pack your bags, get on board that SIA flight with your baby and make some unforgettable memories!