Traveling with Toddlers
If you’re a parent you already know that one activity that causes you dread…traveling. Traveling with our young ones is not for the faint of heart or the weak willed…yes, it is a war in and of itself.
Unfortunately, there are times when having to travel cannot be avoided, whether it’s a road trip, plane ride, or maybe even a cruise. When these…opportunities…for travel present themselves, how are we going to occupy our little ones, while also keeping our dwindling sanity intact?
Recently, I’ve taken a road trip with my 18 month old, and these are the things that made the trip smooth and (almost) stress free!
Seems obvious, right? If you’ve been a parent for more than five minutes, you already know that snacks are the way to go with literally anything you need to get done. But here’s the trick…making sure your toddler does not get tired of their snacks.
My son gets bored of snacks, so it was important to bring a myriad of snack choices. It’s also a good idea to keep the snacks handy for when you need to pull them out, somewhere that does not require you to get unbuckled and rummage through bags.
Road tripping requires many hours of entertainment for your child. Anything can pass as entertainment for a toddler, but here were our choices:
Binkeys! My son is getting a bit older, so we try to limit binkey time, but on long car rides is when that rule goes flying out of the window. Cars are no friends to lost pacifiers, so make sure you clip it down somewhere using a Teething Around pacifier clip, so you can easily find it.
Toys. Best to bring a couple different options with you, but we always need to have his emotional support stuffed animal, something that makes noise, and something to chew on. And to ensure your toddler does not throw the toys across the car every 60 seconds, we use a Teething Around OSH Clip, so the toys are always right where they need to be.
Music/Shows. Before you embark on your journey, take a few minutes to download all of your child’s favorite media. For us, that’s episodes of Ms. Rachel, and the soundtrack to Badanamu.
Rotate between your forms of entertainment so your toddler always has something different to be given for when they ultimately become bored, don’t give them everything at once, or they will be overstimulated and become irritable, at least that has been my experience.
I detest making pit stops on road trips. I want to get to my destination as quickly as I possibly can. However, pit stops will help prevent those toddler tantrums. Sitting in the car for long periods of time is enough to make anyone get a bit stir crazy, but especially the tots.
Find pit stops that will enable your child to have the opportunity to stretch their legs and burn some energy. We like to look for large welcome centers where our son can run around inside the building to burn that energy off…hopefully leading them towards a solid nap when you get back in the car.
There’s no rule book to traveling with toddlers and there will be a lot of trial and error. Ultimately, you know your child best and what works best for you and your family. Follow your instincts.
Most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself when you make a mistake. It’s nothing that can’t be fixed. Plus, if you forget to pack snacks one time, I promise you’ll never forget again!
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