August 4, 2004

quick japan update

1. flying 14 hrs was a breeze. the kid slept 8-9 w/no drugs, no crying, the only problem was over-eager-to-help-and-hold-her neighbors and total randoms.
2. oh, except she goes berserk as soon as the plane pushes back from the gate. this has happened 4/4 times now. A flight attendant with three kids says it's because they start pressurizing the cabin as soon as the door shuts. so start your ear-popping strategies earlier than takeoff. Any independent confirmation of this?
3. there's a Kids Paradise superstore next door to our hotel. I'll be doing research while avoiding the monsoon rains and/or 100 degree heatwave.
4. The Bugaboo feels like a monster truck compared to the teeny Japanese strollers. Aprica and Combi, mostly. And the town we're in--Niihama, no one's ever heard of it-- is freakin' with kids. Free strollers for use in the mall are very popular.
5. The kid's a hit, gets lots of attention, but with blond hair, blue eyes, and 25% size advantage, she might as well be Alf driving around in a space pod.

6. Asian-themed reader recs: Muji, the agressively minimalistic Japanese lifestyle store has cool kids stuff. Unfortunately for us, there's no Muji for miles; we're in the total sticks. Also, from Sohee, a heads up on a cool-looking 'antique' 19th c. cradle from China with a secret compartment (for discipline? for hiding the second kid from the one-child-only police? who knows?) that's for sale on ebay. Reminds me of this crib with a cage underneath it for sale at Babies R Us Japan.


Glad to hear the trip was easy... that's a huge relief and reduction in potential stress for a long trip.

Not surprised to hear that the Bugaboo is the monster truck of strollers -- especially in Japan where they seem to like everything reduced in size. ;)

Can you make it here The Ghibli Museum in Tokyo.

When I fly with my daughter, we use swimmer's earplugs, because my wife and I both have high sensitivity to the change in air pressure, which happens fast on a plane: I didn't wear them once, and I ended up with double ear infections and two ruptured eardrums.

They're the silly-putty-like ones that you flatten into shape *over* the ear canal, as opposed to shoving them into your baby's sensitive ears. We used them on our daughter's first flight, when she wasn't quite a year old, and after she had them on for a few minutes, she stopped trying to pull them off.

The most recent flight, she just wore them like a pro, didn't fidget with them or anything. And none of us had any pressure problems. Give 'em a try, you should be able to find them at a good drugstore, although I'm not sure about where to look in Japan.

For the ear pressure, for babies, our pediatrican recommended us to either feed/breastfeed the baby or use a pacifier when taking off and landing. Sucking is supposed to help to ease the pressure.

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