How to Travel With a Child and Not Go Crazy?
The experience of many moms proves that trips with children are not difficult, and can even be interesting. The main thing is to get traveling with children right!
If it is your first time packing and traveling with a child, this article will help you be better prepared to manage the chaos and answer how to travel with children.
What to take with you?
It’s better to pack the child’s things first and in a separate bag. These are things you will want to have nearby.
You will need:
- A package of moist tissues and several swaddling clothes;
- Diapers or a portable potty (if the baby already goes potty). Take 3-4 diapers, 1 diaper for each hour of driving. You’ll save some space in your carry-on baggage. If the child goes potty, take a special child’s travel potty: portable or inflatable. In cases where the child is under 3, it’s better to put on a diaper if they recently wore diapers. In an unfamiliar environment, an accident may occur, which can be very inconvenient!
- If you are traveling by plane, take the largest sippy cups; usually, the max is 300 ml. Don’t worry, they won’t be taken away at customs inspection, unlike “adult” water. They will scan the cup and give it back. Both you and your child can drink this water.
Once on the plane, feel free to ask the flight attendants to fill the cup with drinking water. By the way, drinking water helps to avoid ear popping during takeoff or landing. Chewing has the same effect.
- Also, take light snacks like dried and fresh fruits, cookies, crackers, marmalades, some bread, or cheese. It’s better to pack them in zip bags: food doesn’t spoil fast; they won’t occupy a lot of space; you can use them for garbage later to prevent a bad odor from lingering. Of course, you can buy special boxes for snacks, but they are less convenient than usual food zip bags.
More Things You May Need While Traveling with Children
- Don’t experiment with food. Just take several bags of porridge: you’ll definitely use it.
- If the child is bottle-feeding, take the mixture and a thermos with boiling water. If you typically feed your child fruit purees, take a few jars of them as well.
- First aid kit while traveling with children. Make sure that the medicine that you take is reliably packed. You don’t want your child to become an earth “monster” trying to treat a scrape on their knees. To prevent this scene, take several plasters, Brilliant Green use as an antiseptic, hydrogen peroxide, febrifuge as a fever reducer, antihistamine, and nasal drops. Consult with your pediatrician regarding the medicine and its dosage.
- Clothing. Take one or several sets of changeable clothes, some warm clothes, and a pair of changeable shoes.
- Child’s favorite things. Be sure to pack the child’s favorite teddy bear for snuggling and sleeping. Just for a moment, consider what will happen if you leave it at home.
- A sling or kangaroo will free your hands.
- Consider taking a portable baby carriage. If you do decide to take it, you’ll need to rearrange the items that you will be carrying and how you’re going to carry everything. You’ll probably need to put all your things in a rucksack instead of a big suitcase.
How to keep your child busy on the road?
The answer is obvious: with something new. Old, though, even favorite toys won’t make the child sit still when there are so many new and interesting things around.
Even if you buy a big, new book or a “busy board,” they won’t hold the child’s attention on trips with children, no matter how high-quality and exciting they may be.
There is one more popular answer – cartoons on the tablet. It works for a while, but it’s a) harmful for sight, b) harmful for the psyche, c) bad for development.
If the road trip is more than 5 hours while traveling with children, you’ll need at least 40-50 new games or activities. It doesn’t have to be only books or cars. You can buy different toys like balls, whistles, flashlights.
If these things seem too noisy or distracting for a driver, then you may want to consider getting different items like a ball that is getting thrown from the back seat to the front seat.
It’s distracting for the driver and is constantly having to be retrieved and returned to the child. If the trip lasts 3-5 hours, 30 objects are enough. You can take up 10-20 toys if the road trip is quite short – less than 3 hours.
The main rule is to hide all that until the trip. Otherwise, the surprising effect will be lost.
If you want to save time and money, use the service “Busy child,” which has a selection by age and gender, taking into account the individual characteristics of the child.
Tips for parents traveling with children:
- Don’t hope that a one-year-old child will sleep all the way. This normally works with babies under 6-8 months. After a year, the child’s nervous system will be very exciting because of new conditions. Even if you travel at night, even if the child is tired after an active day, even if the child is fed well, be prepared that your kid won’t fall asleep for a long time or will not fall asleep at all.
- Take some travel accessories, which will make it easier for you to move with your child: a bottle holder, a backpack with a pillow, a small portable baby carriage, a set of toys, a tablet with cartoons, a portable high chair, etc.
- If you travel by train, clean all the surfaces that the child can touch.
- If you travel by car, take breaks frequently so the child can run, have a snack, release energy, breathe fresh air. Then your child will be less capricious and won’t cry. On the train, you can walk along, pushing the child in the carriage, and go outside at a staging post.
- You should put all the child’s things in 2 bags for trips with kids. Put one of them in the luggage boot. And the second one, with the most necessary things, can be taken into the cabin of a car or plane. Put changeable clothing for mom and the child, diapers, napkins, child’s water, necessary medicine, several toys, and garbage bags in there.
- Almost every airport or station has services for families with children: children’s rooms, playgrounds, separate enters without queues, elevators. For example, at the airport, sometimes, if you are with the child, they can help you find an exit or show you the way.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for help.
- Anyway, if you are in a queue to board a plane, don’t get up and stay there first, even if you have the right to priority boarding. Let the child run and release energy because they will have to sit for a long time on the plane. Also, it’ll be hard to make the child sit still if you enter the plane first, as you’ll have to wait until everyone comes in and sits in their places.
- If you decide to fly with a baby under 1 year, you should choose the airline that provides a cradle during the flight and all the conditions for flying with babies. You should book a cradle when buying a ticket because each airline has its restrictions and a limited number of cradles.
- It’s better not to go on a long journey alone with a small child. In public places, you’ll definitely need help.
- Be careful and calm. The child can cry in unusual conditions. Then, mom will definitely feel the dissatisfied looks of others. Just apologize to them and try to calm down your child.
Be ready that:
- the child won’t justify hopes put on them;
- you’ll entertain and calm down the child almost all the time;
- probably, you’ll forget about having a nap on the road;
- outsiders will pay too much attention to your child, make sure
- they don’t give them any food or drink.
So, go and discover the world together with your child and travel with kids all you want. Don’t be afraid of problems and obstacles. You can solve them!
- Know When Is the Right Time to Start Traveling With Kids?
- Having a trip with your little one? Check out Traveling with Baby Checklist
- Tips for Tackling Trips with a Baby
Bring a smile to your kids’ faces by gifting them bodysuits, T-shirts, and bibs.
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