Travelling with little ones doesn’t sound like much of a vacation, but it doesn’t have to be that way! With the majority of families planning their trips for the warmer months, we thought we’d share some tips for travelling with your little jet-setters:
· Babywear through the airport and load the stroller with your smaller bags. Your back will thank you for it! As long as your stroller folds up, you should be able to gate check it before you get on the plane too! (*I’ve heard from other moms that BOB strollers can’t be gate checked, so a smaller stroller might be better).
· Bring formula, breast milk, and baby food pouches (depending on your kiddos’ ages) to help with the change in pressure. The TSA agents may ask to test your liquids/pouches, but I’ve never had trouble bringing them on board (even baby food pouches over 3oz). Try to time your feeding so that you start when the plane is wheels up. You never know if you might be delayed and waiting for other planes to take off!
· Check with the travel agents at your gate to see if there’s an extra seat on your flight. If there’s room, they’ll allow you to bring your car seat on board and give your little one his/her own seat. More space for mommy and baby means one comfy flight!
· Bring things to keep your little ones happy and entertained! C loves when I pack her “treasure bags” (zip lock bags filled with dollar bin items) and sing Stroller Strides songs! Some of our other favorites: books, crayons and coloring books, post-it notes to stick on the windows, and stickers. Christina, our Fit4Mom Ashburn owner, also shared this fun list of ideas: http://therulesofmotherhood.com/2013/12/16/16-ideas-keeping-small-children-busy-airplane/
· It’s okay to ask for help! We’re used to doing things all on our own, but remember…even supermoms have to use the bathroom! You can hold your baby while you squeeze into that little closet…or you can find a motherly-looking flight attendant and ask her to hold your kiddo instead! When C was six months old, I flew to California with her and found myself in this exact situation. The flight attendants were so sweet and stood right outside the bathroom door until I was done.
· Your kiddos’ schedules might be a little off when you travel. My best piece of advice: Just roll with it. They may or may not want to eat or sleep according to their normal schedule, and unfortunately there’s not much you can do about it. Just know that they will get back on schedule when you’re home again — give them a couple days and you’ll both return to your routines!
· Keep extra clothes, food, and toys easily accessible so you don’t have to go digging for them!
· For infants, bring mirrors, sensory toys (things with different textures, toys that crinkle, etc), and books to keep them entertained! Sing songs with your little one when they are getting cranky — they love to hear your voice and see you make silly faces!
· For toddlers and older kiddos, bring (or gift wrap!) a couple of toys they’ve never seen before or create busy bags just for the trip! Here’s a great list of busy bag ideas sorted by category: http://www.powerfulmothering.com/ultimate-guide-of-busy-bag-ideas-100-ideas-sorted-by-category/
No matter how far you’re travelling, try not to stress — little ones are so in tune with our emotions! Remember, if you’re calm and relaxed, they will be too!