Traveling Tips – with Toddler (part 3)
Hopping the Pond (Part III)
This rounds out the prep and travel posts (for now, anyway). This final set has some additional ideas for traveling, with the actual flight in consideration.
On the Plane
- If you purchased a seat for your little one, using the airline seatbelt (required) to strap in the car seat will leave a hard, metal lump under baby’s back. My recommendation is to bring a small blanket or use the pillow provided by the airline to cushion/even out the buckle, placing under the car seat liner.
- You may want to invest in ear plugs for baby to help filter ‘cabin announcements’ should baby fall asleep.
- Of course, nursing/drinking/using pacifier will help equalize pressure in baby’s ears for ascent/descent. Do whatever it takes!
- Time to get creative! If your toddler is not the type to sleep, small/new items will help keep their attention. Here are a few I found to be helpful:
- Tape. You got it – masking, painters.. whatever. A roll of tape can provide hours (okay, minutes) of fun. Just give your little one a small piece of tape to play with. When it is all ‘used up’, give them another!
- Sprout enjoyed when I tore the tape to different lengths, showed him how to put it on his hand, shirt, my hand, etc. You could absolutely do this with stickers, as well, but I was going for cost effectiveness, too.
- Cards. I stopped at the dollar bins at the local discounter before we left for some child-friendly card games. No, my toddler can’t play the game as intended, but there is loads of fun in letting him have a bag with 10-15 cards he can sort/bend/take in or out, etc. Again, because they are cheap, I do not care if they are ruined and/or he wants more!
- Again, the local discount store for small plastic animals (not too small or cars. Great for entertaining and one is not heartbroken if they are lost.
- Small toys that make noise. I know airlines frown upon ‘electronics without use of headset, but as long as the toy isn’t obnoxiously loud, I think anyone would rather hear a child’s song playing on the toy phone, than a screaming child. For example, we have a soft toy phone that was designed to have ‘soft volume’. This makes a great travel toy.
- Small board books – new and old favorites. I packed a couple of Sprout’s favorite books along with some new ones to create interest.
- Last but not least, a soccer ball – Sprout’s newest fascination. Small, soft, and again, something I wouldn’t have been heartbroken to lose.
- Don’t forget food for the actual flight. If you will travel during a meal time, cheese/cucumber sandwiches, peanut butter, etc. I found little ones enjoy food more when cut into small, fun shapes (even just small rectangles); making them just interesting enough to eat!
- If you are taking the red-eye, as we did, I found it so helpful to continue Sprout’s ‘bedtime routine’ once on the plane. I had him in his PJ’s, put his oils on his feet (with extra massage to soothe and relax him), nursed him during take off and let him nod off to sleep.
- Oils used on him: Peppermint, to relax his blood stream, OnGuard, to protect against germs, Serenity, to soothe and calm. He slept 8.5 of the 10 hr flight, awaking only when cabin announcements began, which was good, so I could change/feed him!
Happy Travels and Cheers!