Monday, June 20, 2011

Mommy Mondays: Toddler Traveling Tips

Last month we visited Kansas City, last week we went camping with a toddler, and in less than two weeks we will be leaving for a 11 day vacation with toddler. During these trips we have learned a few things about traveling with our rambunctious two year old that has led to less melt downs and awesome new experiences. Here are some tips and would love to hear if you have more...

1) Keep up their routine
If we are going to be in the car before and during nap time or night time we will pull over change Corbyn into his pajamas, read him a couple books, say a prayer,give him his paci (yes, he still has a paci at sleepy times at almost 2 ½, but that’s for another post) and tell him its night night time just like at home so he knows now is time to go to sleep. Then when on vacation schedule activities around naptime and bedtime even if it means leaving an amusement park and having your hand stamped so you can come back after naptime, another ride or show is not worth a whiny little one.

2) Bring familiar food.
We have a cooler and basket full of (healthy) snacks and even little meals Corbyn is used to eat so that when he is hungry its available and if we eat at a place he isn’t interested in or can’t find something he can eat with his allergies we know we have something nutritious he can eat.

3) Consider renting an apartment/house/two bedroom hotel
You need space. Toddlers need sleep. Watching a movie with no sound or having to have a conversation in the bathroom is quite hilarious. Renting an apt or house or even suite hotel room allows you to invite people over after babies are asleep, cook a nice dinner, play games, or watch a movie while are getting their beauty sleep.

4) New “toys”
When we took our first flight with Corbyn our church secretary told me that for every hour of traveling get him a new little toy even if it was from the dollar store. This was seriously genius. I wrapped every toy individually and gave him one exactly on the hour. It kept him entertained and excited the whole time. Example of some toys I got him… two matchbox construction trucks (him and the kid seated in front of him on the plane played with these for an hour and a half, kids dad thanked me!), a little puzzle, a sticker book, a new movie, and play doh. I also heard of bringing a roll of painters tape and letting them “decorate” the car or their airplane seat or just crumpling it up…easy to clean up and doesn’t leave sticky residue, I am so trying this!

5) Pack a convenient extra outfit for everyone
I pack an extra outfit or two for Corbyn almost everyday in his diaper bag, it never fails he will spill something, or get super dirty, or have an explosion so I always have extra clothes for him. The first time we flew with Corbyn about an hour and fifteen minutes into the flight he got super antsy started climbing all over me mumbling “mommy, mommy, mommy” and then proceeded to puke all over me and himself. We quickly changed him from head to toe but I had to sit for another 3 hours covered in throw up. Disgusting!

6) Bring a babysitter with you
Growing up Carrie came on every family trip with us, she would ski with us, go to the beach with us, and then watch me and my cousins when our parents went out at night, not a bad gig. She became part of our family and our parents always had an extra set of hands and someone they trusted when they went out on dates. We did this when we went to my brothers wedding and it seriously eased all my fears when leaving Corbyn in an unfamiliar place but with someone he was familiar with and knew us as parents.

7) Umbrella Stroller
Rarely do we use our stroller anymore, Corbyn says “I walk all by self” which is usually fine, except we tend to walk a whole lot more on vacation. Bringing a small umbrella stroller allows him to choose when he wants to ride or “walk all by self” and I found he would say “ok, I ride now” when his little legs would get tired or he wanted to look more at what was around him. Plus, even if they are not riding in it you can put your purse and diaper bag in the seat and not have to carry it ;).

8) Bring something to change them on
Public bathrooms totally gross me out, even if it’s the cleanest bathroom ever it still grosses me out not knowing when it was last sanitized and who’s tushies were where. There are many times I have been thankful for the foldable pad in our diaper bag that virtually lets me change Corbyn anywhere comfortably. If your diaper bag doesn’t have one, get one it will save your baby from ewwwies.

9) Talk to them
This may seem like “duh” but a couple weeks before we leave we talk about everything that’s going to happen and when, what is exciting about a long car ride or airplane ride, even what will be difficult about the long car ride or airplane ride, who they get to go visit or what awesome things they get to go do. He may not understand everything but tone certainly helps! By the time the trip arrives Corbyn is well aware of the expectations and is excited for the whole thing.

10) Technology
I’m not a huge advocate of using technology all the time, but traveling with a toddler or kids is a different beast…whip out the iPad (we are so getting the back seat connector before our trip in a couple weeks), the DS, the cell phone, whatever it takes to keep them entertained.

After seven hours in the car Corbyn literally just ran into the ocean, I barely got his pants off he was so excited. Enjoying the ocean view...the drive was worth it!
Hope this is helpful! Any one have any other tips?

No comments :

Post a Comment