PCS Diaries – Episode 5 – What to bring for your baby!

We recently PCS’d to Okinawa, Japan with a newborn (7 weeks old!) and finding stuff for him is not nearly as easy as it sounds.  Yes, the BX/PX has cribs and stuff, there are certainly some things it does not have.
What we brought with:

  • Crib/Mattress
  • Snap ‘n Go stroller
  • Britax convertible car seat
  • Infant Car Seat
  • Swing
  • Bouncer
  • Rock ‘n Play
  • Pack ‘n Play
  • Closetmaid 9 cube storage thing and fabric baskets
  • Baby Monitors (you’re not allowed to use 900mHz here)
  • Diapers & Wipes (our packers packed the wipes – yours might not)
  • Lots of clothes, toted based on size up to 24mo.  We were given a lot of hand-me-downs.
  • Baby bath stuff (in suitcase)
  • Breast Pump, milk bags, double pump bra, the cleaning wipes and steam bags, and some bottles (we are mainly bfing but I would like the option of being able to leave the house occasionally and Superman needs to be able to feed him, it’s good for him.
  • Nursing bras
  • Crib Bedding

Almost everything we brought was available on island – with the exception of the the rock ‘n play.  I haven’t seen that around here, although it might be here somewhere.  We haven’t gone very far. The clothing selection is limited, but we do have Carter’s outfits and there is an Osh Kosh outlet in Naha.  Also, pumps are available, but sold out pretty regularly and I’m not sure if they have the wipes.  They definitely don’t sell the double bra and I have yet to see a nursing bra.  I’ve also had a hell of a time buying them online.  Bring some in advance, you don’t absolutely need them but man are they useful sometimes, I wear mine almost all the time and for some reason Babies ‘R Us won’t ship them to me.  I’ve contacted their customer service and they have yet to get back to me – 3 weeks later.  I no longer like Babies ‘R Us anyway, they’re overpriced, vulturish and not helpful.
Things I can’t find here:

  • Rock ‘n Play
  • Boppy play tray – yet.. I’m sure I’ll find one eventually
  • One of those mirrors you put in the car so you can see them in their carseat
  • A WORKING nasal aspirator – I wish I was kidding.  Buy extras, bring extras or buy a nose frida and have it shipped (I ā¤ Amazon)
  • Soothie pacifiers – the one they gave us at the hospital, it’s green and round.  I’m SO glad I bought extras and even bought the next stage ones.  They’re the only ones he takes and they don’t have them here.
  • A decent baby clothes selection on base.
  • Baby sunglasses (the infant kind, not the toddler kind)

They have all the other stuff, but I’d probably either yard sale the big items or have them shipped over if you really want a new one.  I don’t know if you can ship cribs, but they have cheaper ones (like the $100 and under ones).  I also haven’t seen a decent selection of toddler beds yet but there are Japanese stores that I’ll probably end up going to by then.  I got a Baby Einstein exersaucer for $35 this week, I was pretty excited about that.  If you have all that stuff, BRING IT.  If you were given hand-me-downs, BRING THEM.  You can no doubt resell that stuff after the fact around here.  People even sell car seats (in REALLY good shape).  If you are planning on doing the pricey convertible seat though, I’d bring it with.  I got mine as a baby shower gift.  Oh and we get pretty decent prices on diapers and stuff but if you’re going to stockpile, careful of your smaller sizes and how fast they grow out of them, you can’t return all of them but you could probably sell them.
As for the plane ride, don’t get a stroller travel system.. just don’t do it.  Your poor sponsor is going to be trying to cram you into the car with all your crap and then that.  That’s just wrong, lol.
We brought the car seat and base, snap ‘n go stroller, and his diaper bag on the plane.
In the diaper bag I had:

  • 2 burp cloths
  • 20 diapers
  • a full package of wipes
  • baby tylenol (know your dose beforehand)
  • gas drops
  • johnson’s hand and face wipes
  • pacifier wipes
  • children’s benadryl
  • 2 sleep ‘n plays in case of a blow out
  • a changing pad
  • extra pacifiers
  • 2 blankets – 1 heavy, 1 light
  • a pair of socks
  • those diaper plastic bags (mainly in case of an outfit explosion or dirty diaper instead of wet – be nice to your fellow travelers)
  • a nursing cover
  • nasal aspirator
  • 2 emergency enfamil ready to eat bottles (with nipple).  

I was breastfeeding and didn’t even end up using the bottles but if you’re bottling – pack appropriately and pack for at least 48 hours.. just in case something happens at one of the stops. For giggles and fun, take an extra outfit for yourself.. just in case babes is not so nice to your clothes.

We were told by our pediatrician to take the benadryl, just in case.  It is a REALLY long flight and while the AAP does not recommend it, it may save your sanity and everyone’s around you.  No one says you have to use it.. and we didn’t.  But considering Baby Danger has been sneezing for 3 months now, it wasn’t a bad idea to have it.

We didn’t use the tylenol, benadryl, extra clothing, RTE bottles, socks, burp cloths, or gas drops.  But, you might.  You never know.  We did use both blankets, the changing pad, about 8-10 diapers, the hand and face wipes, the pacifier wipes, and the diaper poop bag.  The plane provided us with blankets as well, but his was softer.  Oh and he slept most of the way.
In his suitcase we packed:

  • all of his newborn sized clothes
  • all 0-3 sized clothes
  • a few blankets
  • 1 or 2 stroller toys
  • clothes that were gifted to us while on leave
  • baby wash/conditioner/etc
  • diapers and wipes
  • nursing pads for me
  • all of his hygeine stuff like nail clippers, brush, etc.
  • baby washcloths
  • 2 hooded towels

His clothing was vaccum bagged for room and separated based on item into gallon size storage bags.  We brought way too many clothes but we weren’t sure when our HHG’s would arrive – we got lucky and they only took 2 months.  You have a washer and dryer almost everywhere you go, so there’s really no point in packing everything.. or buying everything.  Tell them to buy you bigger sizes not the 0-3 stuff.  Oh and it’s hot here.  You don’t need fleece or snowsuits or winter jackets.  If anything, you’ll need a few zip-up sweatshirts (man, are those cute) and a few blankets.  Although, I’ll admit, we’ve used the fleece to sleep in because running the air at 72 feels really cold anymore. Oh and maybe a rain cover for the carseat.. it rains.
Keep an eye on this post, I’ll update it as I find (or don’t find, in this case) stuff.

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One thought on “PCS Diaries – Episode 5 – What to bring for your baby!

  1. Packing for babies is so stressful! You need so much stuff, and if you don't pack something because you usually don't need it, most likely you'll need it šŸ™‚ I love our rock n play sleeper, best thing ever!!

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