Toddlers can become bored and restless very easily, which can make them difficult to travel with – especially on longer trips. But you don’t have to prepare for a long journey of screaming and crying when you take steps to ensure your child will be entertained and rest easy until you arrive at your destination.
1. Keeping toddlers entertained should be a top priority, so packing a bag of your child’s favorite things should guarantee some quiet time. Make sure this isn’t too heavy if you’re expecting the child to look after it themselves, and avoid packing any toys that make loud noises – these could soon get on your nerves as well as those of your fellow passengers.
2. These toys don’t have to be advanced either, as even something as simple as a blanket could keep younger toddlers entertained – as well as provide something for them to snuggle into and drift off to sleep. If your child loves drawing or coloring, bringing plenty of colorful stationery could also help pass the time in peace and quiet.
3. It’s not just boredom you’ll have to fight against, but your child’s bodily functions too. This means bringing plenty of snacks – in your own bag, rather than theirs – as well as disposable bags and other sanitary items if you need to clean up after them. If you’re taking your toddler on a flight, they may experience pain from cabin pressure, so giving them a dummy or sweet to suck on could help alleviate this earache.
4. Whether you’re traveling by car, train or plane, you could carry your child’s booster seat around with you, as they may be more comfortable and more at ease in a seat they’re familiar with. If you are traveling by train or plane, and don’t have the opportunity to take rest stops, taking your child to the bathroom or for a quick walk up and down the aisle could help break up their journey and prevent them getting frustrated.
5. You can also ensure the minimum of fuss and less time spent waiting around when you arrange all parts of your trip ahead of time – from making sure you have your child’s passport with you, to per-booking your travel and accommodation arrangements. There are also financial advantages to booking early, allowing you to make the most of cheap train fares or flight tickets so you’ll have more to spend enjoying the family holiday of a lifetime.
6. Never travel without knowing you have a seat or a bed booked. It’s not like when you were footloose and fancy free and you could just turn up and chance it. A small child doesn’t understand when you have to get back in the car when they are tired, hungry, and thirsty, and so guess what they cry, and this is more stress for everyone.
7. An occupied toddler is a happy toddler, so thank God for electronics. An iPad with Apps and games can keep a child happy for hours. Another great idea is the new child proof, shock proof working camera. Explain what it does, encourage them to click at everything they see, and it will occupy them for hours. You might even like the results too!!
8. A cold toddler is an unhappy toddler, so be aware of the weather at your destination. Children without gloves in cold conditions will cry. Children without shoes on hot sand will not only cry but could stand on the many sharp things that lurk on beaches, and that could not only mean tears but hospital as well. What this will do for your stress level is immeasurable.
9. Food is another stress area with toddlers. With the additives today in sugary foods, I have found too many sweets and fizzy pop can give you a hyperactive child, and on an aircraft this can be embarrassing as well as stressful. You just need to be aware of this because many parents keep their small children quiet with sweets on a flight, and the consequences, never mind the long term dental decay, can be an out of control child.
10. Parents tend to worry about coping with a child on a journey when they are in the middle of potty training as there is a high risk of accidents. Don’t feel you have to carry a potty, plus a bag of wet and soiled clothes. It’s much simpler to go back to the pull up trainer pants, and let them get on with it. You will worry it will hinder things, but be reassured it won’t.