The toddler age is probably the trickiest for most of the parents. They are learning to talk and express more complex feelings, they try to understand the emotions of others, and are extremely inquisitive! Travelling with a toddler is no easy feat, but we suggest travelling as much as you can with your baby because it has its own benefits. Even if you are not a traveller at heart, there are times when you just cannot avoid travelling. This blog gives you the essentials that you need to make travelling with a toddler easy-peasy.
Baby carrier or stroller
If you are going to go on walks, hikes, need to be in the long queues at the airport, or if your bub needs to be lifted several times in the day, just shove your baby carrier in the bag! We don’t suggest carrying a stroller each time because not all roads are stroller friendly, but if you know your routes are all wheel-friendly, stroller can come in handy. If you want to know more, read our blog on why you need a baby carrier.
Diaper bag or backpack
Toddlers and the situations around them are spontaneous. When a toddler spills something, you don’t have the time to reach your bag in the boot or in overhead storage, find the napkin/wipe you need, and replace the bag. You need it within a few seconds. For such a time, you need a lightweight bag that is easy to carry and can contain all the essentials.
A diaper bag is ideal to keep diapers, water bottles, snacks, and so on with you everywhere. Diaper bag and backpack is allowed everywhere and can be kept under your seats.
Diapers and wipes
How can we forget that? Even if your child is potty trained (or in the transition), they are not always used to waiting for a long time to access the loo. If you know you won’t have easy access to the kid-friendly washroom during the journey, don’t hesitate. Take the ol’ diapers and wipes duo for the rescue. Always pack more diapers and wipes than you think you will need, as unexpected delays can occur. Wipes also come in handy to clean up the mess during meals, running around, and cleaning surfaces while travelling.
Snacks and drinks
Don’t rely on those meals served on the train or flight. Most kids at this age are absolutely finicky about food. What’s worse than a toddler on the go? A hungry and cranky toddler. Stuff you little one with their go-to snack when things start getting out of hand. From our own experience, a filled tummy makes an excellent travelling toddler. Grab a few packs of their fav drink too. Hydration helps keep the children cope with weather changes and jet lags. (This is applicable to adults too 😉 )
Imagine a screaming toddler on a long bus journey. The inability to move makes toddlers irritable. Unlike their infant times, toddlers cannot sit on your lap or on their booster chairs for the entire of the journey. Their minds need stimulation. Instead of handing your phone to them (you may not even have internet access), bring along toys, books, and other forms of entertainment to keep your toddler occupied. Fidget toys, touch and feel books, little cars work the best for us. Don’t bother bringing big toys or toys with batteries. Batteries are sometimes not allowed in the cabin and big toys can just make your bag uncomfortable to carry. I have observed that in the absence of a plethora of options at home, toddlers enjoy playing with ANY toy while on the go.
Don’t go for the best. You read that right. Get the clothes that are most comfortable. Our favourite is just pyjamas for travelling. Although we want our children to look the best while travelling (everyone else is dressed so well and what about those social media pictures we wanted to take?), happiest toddlers are those who FEEL comfortable. I generally say no to jeans or non-stretchable clothes. Because travelling involves sitting at a place for a long time and restricted space, the best type of clothes are the ones without any 3D art– sequins, bows, and so on should be avoided. Make your child wear clothes that are stretchable and cover their hands and legs properly. For warmer weather, get them a thin t-shirt and pants. Don’t forget to carry an extra set of clothes in case of spills or accidents.
Note: Always try the clothes on on your child before the travel day. You will know if they are comfortable in it.
First aid kit
If you have reached this point, we know you are a toddler parent/carer, and know already how important this is. Get over the counter or prescribed medication for children’s pain relievers, band-aids, cold medications, antihistamines, and a thermometer. Don’t try new medications while on the trip to avoid any allergic reaction while you are away from their regular paediatrician. Always carry the medication if the child is unwell or recovering. You may not get the exact one at a new place.
Toddlers are stronger than infants but still have baby soft sensitive skin. Always pack travel-size toiletries, such as baby shampoo, lotion, and baby powder to ensure that your toddler stays clean and comfortable. You can get small travel-size bottles from the market and just fill their regular shampoos and lotions in them.
Most often than not, on vacations, you want to spend some late nights with friends, family, or your partner while the kids are asleep in the adjacent room. Keeping a phone near the baby is never advisable. Bring a baby monitor, so you can keep an eye on your toddler during the night, especially if you are travelling with multiple children.
Many toddlers are most comfortable with their blanky. Even if that’s not the case, bringing a blanket with a familiar smell and feel helps them sleep comfortably at a new place. Blankets made for adults or in the hotel can be rough. A regular soft blanket can be used inside the regular blanket in case the weather is cold.
Travelling with a toddler can be challenging, but with a little preparation, it can be a fun and enjoyable experience for both parent and child. By remembering these 10 must-haves, you can ensure that your toddler stays comfortable, safe, and entertained during your trip.