Well the time has almost arrived for me to travel across the world from Australia to the USA to visit my family. I have been soooo anxious thinking about the two plane rides on the the way over as I am traveling BY MYSELF with my three kids!!! My husband is Australian and I am American so we have traveled many times with children but this is the first time I am doing it solo! EEEEEKKKK!
I have my toddler (15 months old) my six year old and my ten year old. The oldest two will be fine (thanks to DVD’s and games on the plane!) but I have no idea how I am going to entertain my toddler! His attention span is about five seconds long…
Here are my top ten tips for traveling with kids 😆
1. BRING NEW TOYS for your toddler to play with. Think about what they like to do while they are hanging out at home. My little guy love containers that he can open, and take things out of. I have a few different small containers. One Trashy (these are all the rage over here and are so weird I can’t even explain what it is-see pic below) which has a plastic smooshy toy he can take out and put back in over and over again! I have also bought a Lego man (they sell single packs of Lego people) because he is always trying to get into my oldest boys’ Legos so he will LOVE having one all to himself! I will also bring one pack of Play-do for him to play with on the tray.
2. FOOD. I will be bringing dried fruit and nuts on board for him to eat. This way he has snacks in between meal times and is a form of entertainment!
3. BE READY TO WALK. At least you will be getting exercise and preventing DVT on the plane! I have already warned my three boys that we will have to take turns running up and down the isle with him. This way I will get a small break, my little guy will get a walk and we can alternate running around with him.
4.BREASTFEED! BREASTFEED! BREASTFEED! If you are reading this blog then chances are you are a breastfeeding mum 🙂 Breastfeeding helps to equalize any ear pressure on take off and landing, helps put your baby or toddler to sleep, helps with comfort and boredom…I could keep going! When in doubt, “whip it out!!” Consider wearing a breastfeeding top and bra so you are completely comfortable breastfeeding and do not have to have your stomach or boob hanging out all the time! I never mind having my stomach hanging out while I breastfeed, but I will also be trying to keep track of my luggage, children and passports so the last thing I need to think about is if my top is positioned well and covering as much as possible…
5. BABY CARRIER. Bring a comfortable baby carrier that you can breastfeed in. I will be bringing my Ergo which is incredibly comfortable for my baby and myself, I can breastfeed in this and he can easily fall and stay asleep in it. This will save me (hopefully!) when I am putting him to sleep on the plane, in the airport or any time he needs some comfort and movement.
6. YOUR STATE OF MIND…needs to stay positive! I have been a little ball of anxiety but I keep reminding myself that IT WILL BE OK! I will get through this! I have to accept the fact that most likely I will not sleep much for twenty four hours (which I used to do willingly when in college. Hehe) I will not be able to read my book or trashy magazine and I will not relax. At all. BUT once I reach my destination I will have my amazing family who will whisk my children away and allow me to sleep! For two hours until my youngest needs boob. 😀
7. ASK FOR HELP! Airlines are usually really good if you are traveling with children. Ask for some help if you need it while on the plane or in the airport
8. LET GO OF YOUR HIGH EXPECTATIONS. Your kids will get cranky and tired, you will get cranky and tired and there will most likely be tears from all or one of you at various times. Traveling is stressful but just keep a realistic outlook on what to expect and what NOT to expect from yourself and your children. If you can see your kids are getting tired then have them turn off their little TVs, lay their seats back and give them a little head massage to help them get to sleep.
9. BRING A SMALL PHARMACY WITH YOU! I hardly ever give my kids medicine BUT if there ever was a time to carry baby ibuprofen, now is the time. I have various medications packed including baby ibuprofen, baby balsams eucalyptus rub which has lavender as well to help calm and comfort. I am also bringing homeopathic teething medication and Rescue Remedy which can work really well for traveling. Even if you don’t believe in homeopathic medications bring it for the possible placebo effect! Who cares as long as it’s working!
10. PACK LIGHT! I am taking the least amount of stuff with us on the plane. My oldest two boys have one little carry on each which I will pack with new toys, colouring books and stickers to stick all over themselves. They will also pack toothbrushes and a change of clothes. For myself and my little guy I will pack a change of clothes for him, new toys and a book, nappies and wipes, medicine and a trashy magazine (I will get five minutes of peace here and there right?!)…please please!
Can you think of anything to add? Please leave a comment below if you have any suggestions for me! And watch this space! I will be writing up an article when I get back to let you know if all of these tips actually worked for us. 😀