The Third Month
I can’t believe our baby boy is already three months old. This month we got his birth certificate, passport, permit to live in Switzerland, and he took his first flights. As for his progress as a little baby, he learned to smile and laugh. We are more in love with this little boy every single day. This month we took a two-week family holiday over the Christmas school holidays and discovered a few hurdles to getting all the required paperwork to travel with a new baby.
Getting A USA Passport
Who knew it would be difficult to get a USA passport for our baby? Liam is a USA citizen but born in Switzerland. I was born in the USA and my husband in South Africa. My husband and I both have USA passports and citizenship. This all makes having a baby in Switzerland a little trickier than if we were citizens of the country we had our baby in.
In order to get his birth certificate, we needed to provide original birth certificates with an Apostille. We ordered the birth certificates but first received them without the Apostille. Ugh. That set us back on our really short timeline to get all Liam’s paperwork before our Dubai flight. And flying with babies without the right documentation is not good obviously. Once we finally received the correct birth certificates with an Apostille, we were able to go to the Zürich Stadthaus and ask for his birth certificate. When we had his birth certificate we went to our Gemeindehaus to register Liam in our town. We also set up the appointment for his Residence Permit while we were there.
Once we had all our paperwork, we took a train to Bern to get his passport. My husband and I both needed to be present in Bern. Zürich and Bern both issue USA passports, but the Zürich one takes 25 days while the Bern one takes only 5 days.
A few days before our flight we realized we did not have a Auslanderausweis or Residence Permit for Liam to return to Switzerland. So we called the Immigration office in Oerlikon and got a 30 day visa put in his passport. Meanwhile, they took his picture and are mailing the actual permit to us. Thank goodness! We did have the appointment set for January, but we needed the visa in order to fly, so we just went in, took a number, and stood in line. It was actually super quick and easy, but stressful as we thought we might not get it the same day. But luckily we did! Phew!
Packing Baby For The Flight
I know you can buy absolutely everything everywhere nowadays, but here is what I packed just in case. It was essentially what I always have in my handbag. I put a thermos of warm boiled water, containers of formula, two baby bottles, a spare baby outfit, a swaddle blanket, diapers, and wipes. He slept on the flight both times and is too little to need any toys so it’s pretty easy at this age.
In my suitcase carry-on I put two bags of diapers, wipes, and 2 boxes of formula. On the way home we used that bag, then empty, for all the things we bought while in Dubai (mainly just food from the USA and South Africa that we found in the grocery stores there that we can’t find in Switzerland). In total we had 2 carry-on suitcases for us and the girls each had a little carry-on bag.
Baby’s First Flight
Liam was 2 1/2 months old when his took his first flight to visit our friends in Dubai. Our girls were also 2 1/2 months old when they each took their first flight to South Africa. It’s a great time to fly with them as they are so little and tend to sleep well on the airplane. We requested a bassinet and were seated in the front row of the bulkhead of the airplane with the bassinet in front. They could only get one seat there, so my husband sat there with the baby for both flights and I sat a row back with the girls.
I have carried Liam in the Ergobaby carrier since he was born. Since he got so small in his first month it was so easy to carry him everywhere and I loved holding him so close to me. And we did use the carrier our entire two-week holiday. I wouldn’t bring a big stroller on holiday, it’s just too difficult and he’s too little to need it.
We finally used our Britax Roemer Go Big during the Christmas holidays on a walk while we had family visiting and went on a post Christmas Eve lunch walk. The girls absolutely loved strolling him around. They love being the big helpers. I had also forgotten the real use of a stroller, to carry groceries! We stopped at a grocery store and loaded up the bottom of the stroller. It can hold so much stuff! And with the weather warming up, I think, we took the stroller as we walked the girls to their sports in the evening and they loved pushing him. How much longer will they love helping with everything?
Pediatrician and Vaccines
Next month we will go back to the pediatrician for the second round of vaccinations (the first was in the second month).