traveling with babies + toddlers

March 23, 2016

It’s that time of the year again… Our annual family trip to Florida! We have been going the past few years for Easter, which has been nice. My parents have a winter home there, so we stay with them. The area they live has THEE BEST food… I will be writing about my favorites in an upcoming post.

Traveling with babies and toddlers is challenging, but do-able. It’s definitely worth the trouble once you get to where you’re going – the memories you create on trips are priceless.

* ipad
* lots of snacks, even stuff that you don’t ‘normally’ give to them – for Finn that will be fruit snacks and maybe even some candy. We’re also packing the usuals – yogurt pouches, apple sauce packets, granola bars, etc. I’ll bring puffs and cheerios for Bea.
* activities to keep them busy. crayons, coloring books, stickers, books to read, etc.
* baby carrier depending on their age – for Bea’s age (9 months) I will be taking my Sakura Bloom ring sling – it’s easy to get her in and out for security, loading/unloading on the plane, and getting to the next gate.
* if you’re taking your car seat, which i would recommend for kiddos age 1+, this rolling cart is a lifesaver. They can even ride in their seat while you pull it! Although I haven’t actually tried it… Ha
* change of clothes for you + your kids. toddlers, not as much but definitely with babies. Pack little onesies and leggings that don’t take up much space in your bag.
*play mat – if you have a layover that’s longer than just running from one gate to another, you should bring a mat for baby to play on. These are great because they fold up really small and are easy to clean the airport grossness off.
* plenty of diapers and wipes – for young babies, more is always better. Toddlers usually don’t need as many, but always bring at least 2 extra on top of what you MAY need.

* make sure your ticket says that you have a lap infant traveling with you. if you need to, call the airline to add them. some say to travel with their birth certificate, but we’ve never needed ours on any flights.
* taking a carseat works well for kids age 1+ because it’s safer and also because they are used to sitting in it. It’s obviously more expensive to pay for an extra seat, but it was well worth it to us on our last trip.
* make sure your diaper bag is easy to carry and get stuff out of. While I love our diaper bag for day-to-day stuff, lugging it around the airport doesn’t sound appealing to me. We’ll be packing it in our luggage and carrying everything in a backpack similar to this.
*less is more. put everything in the diaper bag and skip your purse and other personal bags. believe me, you won’t have time to read a book or magazine. in the off chance you do, talk to your spouse or enjoy some quiet time!
* either nurse, give a pacifier, or a bottle during take-off and landing. The sucking will help so babies ears don’t pop as much, just like chewing gum for us. It’s also a good time to give your toddler a chewy snack.
* dress your kids in layers – some flights are super cold and others are hot. t-shirts/t-shirt onesies, pants and jackets typically work the best. it also makes it easier if your destination has a big temperature change – get your kids comfy right away!
* we find traveling right away in the morning to work the best. our first flight today leaves at 4:50 am (agh!) but it will allow both kids to sleep for a lot of it.

* if you are able to, skip packing ALL of the diapers and wipes you’ll need, and buy some once you get there. This saves a lot of room in your suitcase.
* make sure your baby/toddler will have the appropriate sleeping arrangements. if you’re going to a hotel, call them and let them know you’ll need a pack-n-play or crib.
* have kid snacks ready for your trip or buy them once you get there. you’ll probably be dining out more and need more distraction methods than you usually do at home.

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