Travelling with a Toddler
With many of us making the most of the last week of August with the great Bank Holiday Weekend escape, Rosie, one of the founders of Doddl shares top tips for making life easier when travelling with a toddler.
Snacks – Take plenty of them! Ideally ones that don’t make too much mess! Raisins, bread sticks, crudities such as cucumber sticks are ideal, and don’t forget drinks!
Toys – a small selection of toddler’s favourite small toys. Cards, books, etcher-sketch are ideal – basically anything that doesn’t make too much mess! It is worth investing in a lap activity tray with edges, especially the ones designed for car seats. These are great to allow toddlers / pre-schoolers to busy themselves with puzzles, drawing and games and helps keep everything contained. All singing all dancing lap trays or simply a baking tray, plastic box lid or a high chair tray will do the job!
Naps – it’s not always possible, but if you can try to time long car journeys or flights to coincide with your little one’s normal nap routine, it will make the journey much easier for you and your toddler, and will help ease meltdowns and cranky children when you reach your destination!
Technology – I know it is frowned upon to stick your child in front of a tablet or handheld device to keep them quiet. I even found myself judging parents that did this before I had children of my own! As a parent on a packed flight, there is nothing worse than a screaming child, and as a parent you can feel everyone glaring at you to keep control of your little monster. So if Peppa Pig or the Teletubbies is going to keep them quiet and entertained just go with it and don’t torture yourself by resisting! An hour or two of extra screen time isn’t going to ruin them for life and it may be your lifesaver! And don’t forget to download their favourite programmes before you travel. Audio books and nursery rhyme playlists are also a great way keep little ones entertained on long journeys.
Make flying easier…
Try to travel light! Easier said than done with a toddler! If you can take one max sized cabin bag with all your essentials it is so much easier than battling with a toddler and armfuls of hand luggage.
Give them their own bag to wheel, carry or pull – they will love copying you pulling your cases along, but be mindful of the point above as you will end up carrying it onto the plane! Trunki and Litelife bags are fantastic and often come with straps so you pull along or keep hold of your toddler – great in a packed airport!
For long haul flights, you can sometimes book a bulk head seat with travel cot or seat. On BA the travel seats are like baby bouncers and it is worthwhile taking a large muslin, small sheet or thin blanket to lay on the seat before placing your infant on it – as they tend to be well used! Also take a light blanket to tuck over the top.
For landing. When flying give your child something to suck – bottle, breast or dummy to regulate their ear pressure, especially when starting the descent to land as the pressure change from 8,000ft (normal cabin pressure) to the ground is significant, especially the last 2000ft. Swallowing helps to regulate babies and toddlers ear pressure.
Lastly, relax and enjoy…
We know how stressful journeys can be with little ones in tow. Just remember there are many of us going through the same stresses and strains and the end gain of some special time with your family will be well worth the effort!
Happy Bank Holiday!