HOW TO MAKE YOUR KID THE BEST TRAVELER
Keeping your baby comfortable and entertained or your toddler busy during your travel hours, is probably the best thing you can do! Here are some little ideas & tips that I’ve gathered along our trips. Hopefully they will be helpful to you. Oliver has been on a lot of flights, and while every flight with him is a brand new experience, we have some wins!
Stressed About your Trip Coming up?
Here are a couple of things that may help you:
Remember: Your baby feels all of your emotions. Every parent is stressed out at some level travelling with kids, you’re not the only one. There’s always someone who can relate to you. Focus on your child staying busy. Be ready to offer activities and to stay busy with them. If you’re planning on watching a movie or reading a book, you may get frustrated if you can’t.
Stay calm! You can redirect tantrums or try to help them sleep, even if they get really fussy. It’s important to remember that it is temporary and you’ll get through it! It’s better to follow their lead than to force them and then spend an hour fighting over a nap. For more information on how to help tantrums, read my post here. Don’t use up all your “resources” aka activities at once to keep your Little one busy! One activity at a time. Keep the ones that you know he’ll be really into for when you’ll need it the most! Mary Poppins style!
Pack 1 to 2 days before, so the day you’re travelling you don’t have to do much. It is truly a game-changer. I’ve only recently started doing this and looking back I didn’t realize how much it took away from my patience, energy and time. It is better to just focus on the travel itself and Oliver.
Flights during nap time for babies are easier and flights at night tend to be a little harder because of the “witching hour.” It creates too much stimulation. Toddlers closer to two years old seem to be more adaptable but nap time flights are still the best bet! If your flight is in the afternoon, take a little walk outside with your LO to get some fresh air, so they’re not too antsy on the plane!
Babies are curious about EVERYTHING. Keeping them busy and content involves milk and anything with shapes, colors and noise. Always bring their favorite toy, stuffed animal, or blanket. In addition rattles, books, and fun toys that will catch their attention are also a great item to bring.
I would dress Oliver in a onesie so he’s comfortable and his little feet aren’t touching everything. At least, you don’t have to worry about losing socks…
Following your baby’s cues and keeping them on the same schedule can make your life easier. If your baby doesn’t want to sleep at all…focus on them being comfortable. Sometimes putting them in your carrier and rocking them is all they need. Walking up and down holding them, singing a song or bottle-feed/breastfeed, can calm them. If they’re upset, don’t worry about what people think…They have the right to express themselves and if you’re doing what you can, that’s all that matters,
Take a string, put toys through the string and attach it around the tray table so they don’t drop anything. It’s super fun for them! Another fun tip is to ask your flight attendant for a cup or a little bag of chips. They’ll love playing with it! The bag of chips on its own is like a world of fun. Lastly, if they’re eating puree of finger food, prepare it beforehand. If they eat finger foods but won’t eat as well when you give it to them, (some babies are at a stage where they don’t want your help!) you can get these sticky one-use placemats and have them get busy eating on the tray table.
Toddlers have so much energy and they need activities to stay focused. They also need your attention to stay happy. I like to bring little pouches of activities, things to draw (magic crayons are pretty convenient), snacks on snacks, prepared food, books, blanket, favorite toys and the iPad! When we travel, I have my diaper bag, Oliver’s suitcase, his activity bag and my suitcase, of course, but that’s just some must-haves at this point in my life! ha!
Oliver is not really crazy about his iPad so we only hand it to him when we run out of activities that satisfy him and we are in need of a break ourselves! Nothing wrong with that. He usually keeps his same schedule in the plane but definitely will fight his nap so it’s a matter of paying attention to his cues and riding out the few minutes of screams…or more… I take deep breaths, take in the people staring at me wishing them the best, and move on to the next phase that Oliver will take me.
If he wants to get up and walk when it’s not bumpy, let’s do it but I try to keep him as busy as possible sitting down. In my activity pouches I bring: magnets, cars, smoochy toys, stickers, crayons and a drawing booklet. I also put on a little Muppet show with his favorite stuffed animal (he will crack up so hard) and I offer him snacks, food or his water as often as I can especially during a transition of an activity.
Metal lunch box and magnets are fun. You can put your toys inside and they can use the magnets all over it. Get letters as magnets or shapes for an educational 10 minutes. Another tip is to attach your crayons to strings and pass it through a notebook wire so they don’t drop! In addition, fishing toy games can be really fun and keep them busy for a while!
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