5 Essential Traveling Tips with Toddlers
TTT101. If you want to enjoy your time out with the kiddo in your life, here are 5 helpful tips to keep in mind!
ONE. Work around nap time. We all know how important routine is for children. They crave that consistency, it makes them feel safe knowing they can anticipate certain things like meal times and naps. Know your child in your care or ask important questions. When tired, does Billy sob uncontrollably until he has his pacifier in a dark bedroom? If Suzy falls asleep in the car seat, is she able to transfer into a pack n play? Outings are fun, but naps are important too!
TWO. Bring snacks (for kids and adults!) The only thing worse than a hangry child is a hangry adult dealing with a hangry child. Don't forget to pack yourself a healthy snack when you're on the go.
THREE. Create an enjoyable car ride. Rock out to your favorite (non kid, appropriate) band! sing along and encourage those back seat butt-wiggling dance parties. Give them a special treat in their favorite snack cup. Do you get stressed out easily by traffic or bad drivers? Be aware of how your road rage and car smack talk will affect your mini passengers. Be the kind and considerate person you are when you are not behind the steering wheel. Your blood pressure and your kiddo will thank you for it!
FOUR. Allow the outing to be child-directed. We can have well intentioned expectations, hopes, and dreams for the plans we make for our toddlers. You may make it to a new park with the coolest and most unique play structure only to find your sweet little boy is only interested in stuffing as many wood chips in his pockets as possible (drawing inspiration from my own life here, people!). Wherever you find yourselves, be interested and engaged in what your child is interested in. There is no harm in trying to show them something or persuade them to try the super tall slide with you, but if a child is showing interest in something else, respect that and join in!
FIVE. Go with the flow. If you tried to do everything right, bring all the gear, and go at right time, but things still go wrong, that's okay! We are human and can't predict the future as much as we'd like to. I once walked around with a damp shirt in a museum for 2 hours because my toddler peed out the side of his diaper while I held him. Foolishly I didn't have the foresight to pack myself a change of clothes (I also would like to add that on this particular day, I forgot to pack him extra clothes too). Things happen, but take a deep breath. It will be okay and will be a funny story to share later!
Give these a try! Comment below and share some of your tried and true tips for going out with the toddlers in your life :)