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Tripping it with Toddlers

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 20-03-2007

Traveling can be a great idea and a first step towards introducing your children to the world outside. It can also be the beginning for your toddlers’ formative memories.

Compared to adults and teens, infants and young toddlers are the easiest to travel with, given any mode of transportation—be it on the road or by plane. Babies at this age are perfectly happy provided they are given their ‘basic’ comforts—healthy food, clean diapers, and pacifiers or their favorite cuddle toy (Bring on Barney!). The younger they are, the more they will sleep.

However, parents also need to be prepared for the fusses and the emergencies. Here’s how you can make your journey a fun family adventure:

Flying High

It is essential that parents be properly prepared and have the right information if they are traveling with their toddlers by plane:

  • Bring your children’s car seat: It will keep them safe from air turbulence.
  • Pre book tickets: It will favor your odds of getting the right (preferred) seats.
  • Keep drinks close at hand: Flying is known to be dehydrating for children.  Make sure to remember the sippee cup. Not only does it help avoid spills, but also helps with ear pressure if your child is no longer using a pacifier.
  •  Anticipate ear pain: Change in air pressure can cause ear pain. Sipping on a drink usually takes care of this problem.
  • Change diapers in the rear: If there are no changing tables, use the empty back seats.
  • Dress your children in easily removable layers: Fluctuations in temperature are to be anticipated at airports as well as inside the plane.

On the Road

At the outset, car travel with toddlers is easier than flying. However, that doesn’t mean your children won’t get cranky, overtired, or carsick. Follow these tips to make your road trip go as smoothly as possible:

  •  Time it right: It is advisable to start out close to your children’s regular naptime so they’ll sleep for the better half of the journey.
  •  Bring the entertainment:  Get along their books and toys to keep them busy during the ride.
  • Shield them: Apply a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher, and keep the windows shaded.
  • Don’t forget the food: Bring their favorite snacks to help relieve their boredom or anxiety.
  • Get the Kit: Pack a small first aid kit along, including pain reliever/fever reducer, allergy medication (if necessary), band-aids and any other medications your children might need.
  • Diapers and wipes: If your children haven’t been potty trained, bring along plenty of diapers; don’t forget the wipes.