Travelling with little ones! Tips so you don't reach for the vodka!
Travelling for us means moving house & home across the world to Ireland. It is a long journey but one that we have made with 1 child many times & with 2 a handful of times. The thought makes me feel unwell but in reality when planned right we have found the trip fun, relaxing & not as stressful as you imagine!
My tips ...
Firstly & my favourite is I never travel without my car seat. We have invested in car seats to ensure our little ones are safe in Australia so why fly across the world & hire out of date car seats that are not safe. Not only do I take my car seat to the destination but I also take it on board for my little ones to sit in. This is not seen often & you must follow the airlines guidelines but if possible I say DO IT!
I have used the GoGo Kidz Trolley for around the airport & when we have stayed for a few days between flights. Again great for Taxi as some places they drive a 100km & you do not need a carseat!!! So having one on hand that can double as a pram is perfect situation. When on board the car seat can slot straight into the plane seat & is held in place with the seat belt which is tied around the base of the carseat. And in my opinion this is the safest way you travel with your little ones. You will also hear the airline staff mentioning that they would travel no other way with their kids but this is not widely known. So not only are they safe but they are also in a comfortable seat to sleep & eat in.
My son has been told by us that he must stay in his seat at all times & he is not allowed by the pilot to walk or run around the plane. You do not know when you will hit turbulence & I would prefer them to be safe & deal with the tantrum once at the beginning rather than an argument every hour on the plane. If they walk around once they will want to walk the entire way to the destination. Just saying!
Bless look at my little baby!
Unfortunately most little ones under 2 will not have a seat & this can be a difficult decision to make. They are too big for the bassinet & they will have to sit on your lap. I say if you can afford it then book the seat & bring another car seat & set both little ones up side by side.
Once seated & comfy I bring out our bag of tricks. The tricks range in price & it is really every parent's decision on how they entertain their child as every child is different but this is how I do it.
Firstly zip locked bags for everything! And here is my list of items in a zipped locked bag.
- A range of healthy snacks. Some wholegrain crackers, a few sultanas, chopped up musli bars & anything else you can think of. I pack at least 10 of these & they are eaten. And keeps them entertained for ages!
- A bag full of clothes pegs - YES you heard right clothes pegs. They clip them together, they clip them on themselves, they loose some & maybe clip them all over Daddy while he is trying to have a nap! Too funny when he wakes up.
- A bag of stickers. Let them go mad. Stick them everywhere. It takes no time to remove & they think its hilarious.
- A few crayons & pieces of paper. Again if lost no problem.
I also recommend a few books but bare in mind you may loose them so maybe not your favourites - small & light books that you can read to them.
I also take along a new toy of some sort. Again has to fit the bill of light & easy to use. And of course not too expensive. I love the magnetic story books for boys & girls. They love to play with them & will go back & forth to it a few times. Keep in close to you!
And in my opinion a must have is the ipad or some other device that they can watch favourite cartoons etc on. Charge it fully & bring the charger & adaptor with you so you can re-charge in the airports. I also purchased a great set of child headphones that kept the sound to a safe level. No one else needs to listen to Fireman Sam or Wiggles for hours on end!
None of the above will keep them entertained all the time. However it helps. It is a long haul but with a few of these tips will make it easier for everyone.
Travelling with a baby is something slightly different & each baby is different on how they cope. Some will sleep the entire flight & some will cry the entire flight. I had both! The main aim is to help your baby feel as comfortable as possible with familiar things surround them for sleep times.
My recommendations for flying with a baby.
- Comfortable clothing - Preferably baby grows.
- Wraps or sleeping bag whatever is used while they sleep at home.
- Their favourite toy but don's loose it!
- A thermomother, panadol, nurofen, nasal spray, wipes, tissues & any other medications that your baby may need.
- A light blanket that can be folded so it doubles to be a couple of blankets.
- Toys not really necessary but maybe a rattler or again depending on age some clothes pegs!
- A change mat purse. This is my No 1 must have. It needs to be easy to grap for quick exit especially when flying alone. I swear by this bag all of the time but great for travelling. Inside I keep stash of nappies, wipes, pawpaw, sudocream, distracting toy for the tight squeeze plane bathroom that you may be trying to change them in & wriggling around is not ideal!
I always try to keep them in a same routine but lets face it its noisy & not at home so you have to go with the flow as much as possible.
When taking off & landing I highly encourage you start feeding once the plane wheels have left the runway. Not a moment before in case you run out before you have landed or reached a level that their little ears are not effected. Also bring something they can suck on whether its a dummy or a toy if needed.
When my babies have been very upset I have always taken them to the back of the plane. If I am trying to get them to sleep, I wrap & hold them very close & start a motion to rock them to sleep that I can keep up for a long time! It takes a while but they will sleep.
Once you reach your destination I always make an effort to get them back into their normal routine as soon as possible. It will take a few days. Im a huge fan of taking your own travel cot & pram. The travel cot again as it will be familiar to them & a pram so they can sleep anywhere & you can enjoy your holiday.
Of course there is a million & one other things that can be considered but this is my list. This is how I have travelled & most of the time we are all happy. It is not easy but worth it in the end!
Have a great holiday!
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