With Easter approaching you may be thinking of going away, or travelling to see family and friends. While the idea of a break is very appealing, the thought of travelling with little ones is often not! Here are some tips for a calm and safe journey.
If you are travelling with a baby in a car seat the current advice is to take your baby out of the car seat every 2 hours, so plan your route with regular stops and allow time for this. If your baby slumps forwards during the journey, stop immediately and check on them, taking them out of the car seat and repositioning them. You can find more information at this very helpful website, www.lullabytrust.org.uk
Window blinds can stop children getting too hot and uncomfortable, and remember that the sun can cause sunburn through glass.
Pack some spare clothes in a handy place in case toddlers are car sick or have a spill. It’ll save you having to drag the suitcase out.
A new toy can work wonders for toddlers, make sure they haven’t seen it before and give it to them if they’re getting fed up, make sure that you’ve already removed the packaging before you travel, I find some of it needs scissors to open it, very frustrating if you’re on the move and you can’t break the toy out of it’s packaging. If you wrap the toy up and give it as a present it’s even more exciting!
If you’re going somewhere that will be hot or the weather is changeable dress your child in easily removable layers, a pair of leggings under a dress or the trousers that zip off into shorts are a great idea, so you can make your little one comfortable without needing privacy to change them.
Keeping a small cool box with you can be a good idea if you’re travelling when it’s warm, a cool drink is more appealing to toddlers on a hot day if you’re trying to get them to drink.
Make sure you you charge all the electricals the night before you leave, and have some power packs and charging leads. Or…
If you’d like a break from screens and are looking for an alternative-remember all the family games our grandparents loved? Eye spy, would you rather, 20 questions, the memory game, my children groan but they do still join in! There are travel versions of games which are great too. Have a sing song, play a game and search online for more screen free ideas.
If you’re stopping at the services try to find a place where your children can move around a bit. See who can do the most star jumps, squats or Spider-Man lunges in a minute.
If you’re planning to arrive in the evening allow your little one time to adjust to their new surroundings before putting them to bed. Take some familiar bedtime books and of course their favourite cuddly toys.
If your journey involves catching a train or bus or moving from one mode of transport to another then using a sling or baby carrier can be really helpful. You can navigate escalators and steps much easier than with a buggy and they tend to nap well in the carrier too.
If you’re on a plane and your baby is struggling with the noise then playing white noise on your phone can be really calming.
A lot of our parenting fails or successes come down to how much pressure we put on ourselves as parents. While you’re travelling and on holiday try to go with the flow, take the good with the bad and don’t sweat the small stuff. If it all goes wrong you can get your baby back on track with their routine when you’re home again. You’re on holiday-enjoy!