Sunday, 19 April 2015

Traveling With Babies & Toddlers

how to travel with babies
Before baby Sebastian was 6 months old he had visited 6 countries, taken 17 flights, 3 train rides and a whole mess of road trips. He is currently 15 month old and has continued to travel quite a bit. One thing that I quickly released is that every time I made a trip I made it with a new baby, not literally but in the first year they change so rapidly that every trip brought different challenges. Like with most things there are different schools of thought, routine is one of them. In our family the only real routine that Sebastian has it that waking happens, meals happen, (we don't play of have TV during meals, bathing happens, books happen, playing happens and sleeping happens. When those things happen is very organic. This approach to routine worked to our advantage as he was not expecting things to happen so when they changed, or we changed time zone he went along peacefully.  Not having a rigid routine works for our family. I am self employed so need to be flexible and needed my baby to follow suit. Every family has different needs, you need to do what works for you but that does not mean you cannot travel. I am a huge believer in exposing children to as much as you can throughout their lives and that can start as soon as you like, the sooner the better.
how to travel with toddlers
Many families live globally, and if not we are certainly scattered across the country due to work constraints so some degree of travel is inevitable. Needless to say due to the intense amount of traveling that I do I often get asked for tips. So here they are:
  • if possible arrange your travel for nap time/sleeping they may sleep through it
  • when flying try and get your baby/toddler to feed from breast or bottle on landing and take off to help their ears with the pressure changes
  • a new book they have not yet seen is a great tool in keeping little ones entertained
  • get yourself an interesting box filled with little things for your little one to discover, on the last trip I made the empty ring box was a firm favourite taking the lid on an off again
  • take baby friendly no salt snacks, (yes I developed the usual parental fear of salt)
  • re-useable sticker books, my friend got me on to these and the peel-able stickers are a win for quite activity
  • let them move when you can, when your baby begins to crawl & later walk they will want to move all the time so let them so that when you need them to sit still they will be more compliant, find a quiet spot in the airport or the buffet car of the train are ideal for free range baby action 
  • make a quiet book, a book filled with activity and great for planes trains and automobiles, you can find lots of inspiration online for quiet books, I will share some of the pages from Sebastian's quiet book on here soon
  • talk to them they are just mini people and we hate to be ignored, I narrate everything to Sebastian and he feels part of it, when he feels part of it he is in a good mood
  • relax and be open to change, babies & toddlers are far more adaptable than we give them credit for 
  • travel as lite as you can, I mostly travel on my own with Sebastian and the less I have to carry the better
  • if you don't have one already invest in a good sling, I have a bad back and a toddler that started life 5kilos and is now a little over 11 kilos but I ca carry Sebastian just fine in the Ergobaby, find the best one for your back
  • get a light pousette (buggy, stroller, pram), the lighter the better that way you can carry it up and down steps with the baby still in it, that is how I get around on the Paris metro
  • even if you have not been a co sleeper before give it a go when on the move as travel cots are not small items 
travel treasure basket for babies
travel treasure basket for toddlers
currently in the interesting box
travel activites for babies and toddlers
All babies and toddlers are different so you need to be adaptable to their needs and find a way that works for all of you. Try to look out for cues and don't think that they will stick to the same routine you have at home, they are in a different place with new and exciting things happening so you cannot just use your watch to guess your babies need at a particular time, those babies will change up on you with no notice. Travel and stimulation is important and house bound parents are grumpy parents so being able to roam the globe with your little ones is of benefit to you and them.

2 comments:

  1. What I especially liked about your tips is that you highlighted the fact that a baby needs a lot of stimulation. It's so crucial in the early phases of the brain development! That's the reason why there's no need to worry about travelling with your little one - it stimulates their brains as well :)

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    1. Hi

      Sorry for the delayed response I have been chasing my tail the past few weeks. I am glad you agree, Seb is such an avid people watcher I would hate if I had fallen into the trap some parents do that their little one is trapped by routine, only sleeps in their own house at a set time. It would not suit me at all

      Take Care

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