Traveling With Tots
Traveling with littles is not for the faint of heart! When a surprise pregnancy at almost 40 started us traveling back and forth again, I didn’t quite know what I was getting into. On our last trip overseas, a family a couple of rows over had a 3 year old that screamed and kicked in her car seat for the first 45 minutes of our trip. I just remember praying for that poor mom and thanking the Lord it was not my child! This time…
My little boy is now 2 1/2 years old. We have estimated that he has been on at least 35 different airplanes. Several of them were long overseas flights. The longest flight he has been on was almost 14 hours long. Out of necessity, I had to figure out a couple of things to keep us going. This is a compilation of things that I took with me on my flights and a few tips and tricks to keep my little one happy. Of course, it does help if your little guy LOVES to fly!
The first thing I think about is what I will use to get through airports. I have to have a couple of options, because you never know what time of day it will be, or what mood the little ones will be in. Sometimes, he only wants mama, and I need the body carrier. Sometimes we have to move fast, and the stroller is the most helpful. It can’t be too big, because then it gets too cumbersome, but if it is too small, you can’t use it to load your carry-ons on when your little one is tired of sitting! Sometimes they’ve been cooped up so long, they just have to get down and move! I even found a favorite for that!
These are my 3 essential things I have used when we are on the move in transition times.
*You can click on any of the pictures to find out more!
Summer Infant 3Dlite Convenience Stroller
Any light-weight, easy folding stroller will work, and there are a bunch out there! Here is an example of a great aluminum stroller that will fold easily. Just remember that you may have to fold it to go through security!
LilleBaby Ergonomic Child Carrier
I have tried many different carries and this is by far my favorite for travel! It is so comfortable, but my favorite part is that it comes with lumbar back support.
Safety Harness Backpack
This little thing has come in so handy! He loves the backpack, which is big enough for a diaper and a few toys or small books. It gives him freedom to move around a little when we are between flights.
During one of our travel trips, my little guy would NOT sleep in his pack-n-play. He was exhausted, but things were different, and he would not sleep. A friend happened to have a baby sleeping tent she said I could borrow. I was skeptical, but it worked like a dream! It has accompanied us on every trip since. (I offered her anything she wanted if she would sell it to us!) The tent has been used in the back of an SUV, in the middle of an airport, and many different hotels. I also keep a sound machine in the bag, just in case we are in a noisy area. The tent also folds up nicely and can fit into a carry-on! One thing we did was make a soft cover for the little mattress so I didn’t have to worry about sheets.
The Scariest Part of Traveling…
The part of traveling I was always the most worried about was not the moving from place to place. It was sitting still for long periods of time! How on earth would I keep him busy and keep the crying to a minimum?
- Always have a snack with you! The airlines don’t always carry child-friendly snacks. Keep some of your child’s favorites, and even some goodies. I am not above bribing with gummy bears!
- Bring a sippy cup! I have cleaned up so many spills on airplanes. Not fun. Bring a good cup with you and don’t fill it until you get in the air. The pressure will push liquid out of the best cup! If you do fill it, make sure you loosen the cap once before giving it to a child.
- Bring a few new toys or games they have never seen. Busy books are great, because you can’t lose pieces! You will get so much more mileage out of something new! Maybe a few extra minutes anyway…
- It’s ok to use electronics. This was hard for me to let go of, but once I did, it was a life-saver.
My Favorite Take-Alongs
This set of cozy headphones is the best item I bought this last trip! They are the perfect companion for the LeapPad! Our little guy likes Paw Patrol, but they have several other choices as well. They come volume controlled, so you don’t have to worry about the sound being too loud. They also work with the videos on the airplane!
Wish I had…
One thing I wish I had, but haven’t had the chance to get yet, is one of the new ride-on suitcases for kids! They look so cute, and I know my little guy would love to go zooming around the airport on one. Maybe our next trip?
The important thing to remember when traveling is that you know your kids best. Choose things that they will enjoy and have fun with. Don’t forget any special blanket or stuffed animal they usually use. It is common for kids to be more insecure while traveling. My little man won’t let me out of his sight. That can make it hard for mama, too! So, don’t forget to put something special in for mama to enjoy during nap time!
Need something for your older kids?
Here is a quick view of some of our favorite traveling Take-Alongs for our older kids!