Taking a long road trip or a flight by yourself or with a friend can be stressful enough but add in a baby or toddler and it can get downright scary!! Don’t let your mind run in too many directions or you will end up having a horrible trip for sure! Use these great tips on traveling with toddlers and babies to get yourself prepared in advance for your trip and try to have some fun!
Tips on Traveling with Babies and Toddlers In the Car
Take car of your child’s basic needs before you leave the house. Starting your trip with a full belly and an empty bladder is a must while traveling with a young one. The moments before a trip can be quite stressful for little ones because they feed off their parents emotions. Make sure after you get everything packed up that you spend a little quiet time having a snack with your child or feeding the baby. Try to get your toddler to use the restroom beforehand and change your babyís diaper.
Packing for success†is a great idea and it is pretty easy to do. Take along your child’s favorite blanket and stuffed animal to help them feel more comfortable. Keep a diaper bag within arms reach that will hold enough diapers for your child throughout the trip and one to two outfits for an older child. Accidents do happen and you both with handle it a lot easier if you have things in a bag available to you. Nobody wants to unload the back of the car looking for a fresh pair of underwear! We often pack two diaper bags… one in the very back of the car or truck stuffed full of everything you may need and then another up front with just the essentials for the drive.
Having snacks in the car†will keep your child well fed and a whole lot happier on the trip. Their tummies are quite a bit smaller than ours and they tend to get hungry quickly. Take some healthy snacks along with you just be careful that you don’t give them anything that could be a choking hazard especially when traveling alone.
Be prepared to stop a lot. There will be multiple times that you hear the words “Mommy, I have to go potty”. Plan your travel time to include multiple trips to the restroom. I find it beneficial to factor in that we will need to stop at least once an hour. That way you will be able to keep yourself from stressing about being late to the event you are going to. It’s also best to keep a bag for babies changing needs and also a changing pad just in case you need to do a changing in a spot that has not changing table….. trust me it will happen! It’s always best to try to get a little leg movement in on a few of your potty breaks. Check out your trip online before you leave and see if you can find a place that has restrooms and a little park area. Giving your child some much needed running space and fresh air on your trip.
Take time to play or read to your child†if it’s a family trip. If you are able to, move yourself to the backseat with your child while someone else is driving. Reading them a few books, coloring with them or playing a game will help them forget that they aren’t happy about being stuck in the car. If your child is too small for too many activities you can try playing Peek-A-Boo and Patty Cake with them. All kids like a little one on one time with mom and dad and this works especially well when traveling with babies and toddlers.
Dress for success†when traveling with a baby or toddler. Keep clothing easy to remove and re-assemble. If the weather is warm try dressing baby in a pair of leggings and a onsie. This will make diaper changing a breeze! You will be able to quickly change their diaper without having to remove their pants and shoes. All clothing should be a cotton fabric to keep them from getting to hot. Frills ans lace is probably not the most comfortable outfit to have on in a car seat so keep it simple.
Tips for Traveling with Babies or Toddlers on a Plane
If at all possible take your child for a quick check-up before traveling on a plane especially if they have a tendency to get ear infections. Riding in a plane in probably NOT going to cause a problem with your child’s ears but if they have an infection in the making its going to cause them a lot of discomfort and make for a not so nice trip. So if you get a chance before traveling you might want to just head in and get them checked out just to be sure.
Pack enough food and snacks to tide you over†just in case you run into delays. The worst possible scenario would be having a baby on a plane and running out of milk or formula. If you are a breastfeeding mom you should be good to go but if formula is your babies meal then pack more than you think you will need. Crackers and dry cereal work well for toddlers and can give them something to do while in the air. I have run into a problem before where they wouldn’t allow any liquid in my child’s sippy cut to be brought in from outside of the airport. You are normally able to buy things from the airport and take them on the plane with you. So find a vending machine with juice and fill it up after you are on board.
Pay more for extra legroom on the plane. It is well worth the extra money when you have a child in tow. Having your own legs crunched up on a long flight is bad enough but add a squirming child into the scenario and things can get a lot worse.
Charge up your gadgets before the flight. I know a lot of you don’t really want your baby or toddler to be a couch potato and have their face plastered in an electronic device but if you are ever going to bend the rules this is the time!! Having some games or movies on them may keep them happy for quite a while on the trip and give you some much needed rest.
Don’t worry about the other passengers! This is probably what I would call my top tip. Don’t worry if your child is going to cry and bother them. I guarantee they have probably been in the same boat as you at one time or another in their life. The looks your are getting from them are probably not looks of anger but more a look of sympathy. We have all been there and done that and worrying that you are going to bother someone will drive you nuts! So sit back and enjoy some bonding time with your child and have fun!
What tips have worked for you when traveling with babies and toddlers?