Curious about how it was to travel overseas with a baby?
Thinking about headed someone with your little one?
Wondering if Japan is the place to go?
Traveling with a baby is exactly what you would expect… full of highs and lows (think screaming baby tantrum in a restaurant).
But boy-oh-boy am I glad that I chose Japan as our getaway with our baby girl!
I can’t fairly compare Japan to Canada. Although I have been all over Canada (Nfld, ON, AB, BC), I haven’t been everywhere with a baby so I wasn’t taking in all the baby-friendly atmospheres.
But I can tell you this… the entire time I was in Japan with Eleanor I was thinking, “Wow, Japanese tourists with babies must hate travelling to Canada!”
Let’s start by talking about transportation.
Airlines are the same everywhere, right? Wrong!
The Japanese airlines play cool little child-friendly cartoons, and show you a real-time video of the plane taking off from the front of the plane! OK… maybe that was kid friendly, not baby-friendly, but it was still amazing!
The other amazing thing is that the flight attendants went out of their way to calm down my screaming child – including making a rattle out of cups and candy for her to play with. They also had a selection of toys for her to choose from. Baby and child toys were available for each little person to play with and take home. So fun!
God bless the rail systems in Japan.
You do not need a car or carseat to get around in Japan. Save “x” amount of time on hauling equipment or money on renting it – yea please!
You can get anywhere in Japan on these rail systems, and they always have a “priority” seat section that people respect – they will always give a mama with a babe a seat :)
All of the trains have change tables, and many have multipurpose rooms, meant for nursing, sleeping, and breastfeeding. I usually just fed Eleanor in my seat, but it was great to have the option!
Speaking of feeding…
Every tourist destination that we went to had designated nursing rooms. WHOLE ROOMS! They had little bottle symbols outside the rooms and on maps, so they were easy to spot. I’ve only seen a few places in Canada with nursing stalls and usually they are fairly wide open (i.e. no privacy). The rooms in Japan were comfy, and roomy, and were always had designated changing stations too. I never had to stop and think, “hmm… where will we stop in the middle of the day so that I can feed her??”. After a couple of days, I just knew a spot would come along!
Let’s talk about bathrooms.
Most public bathrooms had huge stalls for moms with babies, including changing tables, sinks, toilets, etc. But on top of having those huge stalls available, all of the bathrooms also had these ingenious baby seats in each stall! For all of those times that you have to go pee, but don’t have to change the baby :) They can be found in mens and women’s washrooms. They didn’t always have one in every stall, but don’t worry, they have all the stalls labelled with little pictures of a baby in a seat on the outside so you know before you peek in whether it will have it or not. UH-mazing.
Restaurants all supplied little seats, bowls, spoons, and sometimes cups (even though she can’t use one yet!).
We brought our tiny $20 garage sale stroller to navigate the busy streets, and our Ergo baby carrier. Both were very easy to use there and both drew lots of attention to our adorable baby. I guess a blue-eyed, blond baby in Japan is a tourist attraction!
Everyone was extremely respectful and polite to our family and our baby.
Going to a country with so many amenities for moms and babies made me jealous! Why can’t we be up to these Japanese standards at home?!
This trip was more baby-friendly than I could ever have imagined!
You should travel to Japan with your little person :)