Travel Hacks for Babies, Toddlers, and You!
Having just returned from a trip with my three girls, I was vividly reminded that traveling with a baby can be B.R.U.T.A.L. I mean, I recall leaving a plane when my oldest was maybe 5 months old, feeling like I had just scaled Everest…the elation that she had not screamed bloody murder the whole trip was euphoric. It wasn’t that I was ever really embarrassed by the crying of my baby in-flight. I have always been of the mind not to care what people think. It was more that it just stressed me out that she was SO miserable on other flights and that I was trapped with no way to soothe her.
I remember returning from a particularly painful flight and asking my older sister and a few moms I knew with older kids how they soothed their babies, toddlers, and kids on flights and I got a few great ideas that have since served me very well! Generally though, I always try to gauge my child’s attention span, and bring enough items to help so I don’t get stuck with nothing to distract them!
For Babies – Pack a few sensory objects like balls, fabric strips, or a small hand fan in your bag. You can fan them (babies tend to love wind in the face) or use the sensory items to tickle and wow them with new textures and experiences. You can also bring several toys for them to suck on, chew on, and generally be distracted with especially during take-off and landing. Finger or sock puppets can really be great for this!
For Toddlers – Bring a roll or sheet of stickers – you can get them so cheaply. Let your toddler stick them EVERYWHERE in your seat. It can take up hours of time. And as long as you don’t get crazy super-permanent stickers, you are in the clear and can clean them up together as you are waiting for everyone to get off the plane! Two activities in one!
For You – Bring or request water on the flight to stay hydrated. Don’t be afraid to bring along Tylenol or Motrin for you too, just in case! You will be much more prepared for in-flight shenanigans with your child if you are hydrated and not thinking “wow my head hurts” the whole time.