On Travelling with an Almost Toddler

A few months ago I wrote a post about travelling with an infant.

What a difference a few months makes!

Travelling with a toddler (or almost toddler in our case) is a totally different story.   When you fly with a 6 month old, you think “Ahhh my baby doesn’t want to be held…” when you travel with a(n) (almost) toddler you think “Ahhhh my child can’t be contained!”  The madness, I tell you.

So let me break down some key boards of travelling with an older baby.

– Choose your flights…accordingly?  On our flight to Baltimore we chose a super early morning non-stop.  My thoughts regarding this choice were that if she had to get up earlier than usual to catch the flight, she most likely would go back to sleep when we got on the plane.  Not so freaking much.   My Mum and I spent 4.5 hours wrangling a little girl that very much didn’t want to be sitting on our laps.   Our flight home?  A late night non-stop.  Although she struggled going down, and was restless the entire flight…she slept.  For 5 hours.  Ahhh glorious.  It’s too bad our flight choices to Vancouver next week weren’t plentiful.  Mid-afternoon flights.  We’ll see how that goes.

– Food Travels.  Remember it.  The best way to kill time on a plane with a toddler, is to feed them.  That whole independent self feeding thing is really in your favour.  We took snacks with us as well as her breakfast oatmeal.  Keep in mind, if you take baby food with you and it’s over the 3ounce liquid security limit, security will open it for testing.  Oh and don’t forget the utensils!  We forgot her spoon and ended up reusing the same plastic spoon the whole week for her oatmeal.

– Why yes, it is acceptable for you kid to sleep in the bathroom.   What do you do when your baby goes to bed at 7pm, which is not an acceptable time for an adult to go to bed, and you’re sleeping in a one room hotel room?  You set up the crib in the bathroom, and don’t look back because nothing is worse than messing with your toddler’s sleep schedule. I realize it sounds ridiculous, but it worked out SO well.  Plus, a hotel room alarm clock makes a perfect white noise machine.  No need to pack that!

– Choose a baby friendly hotel.  I didn’t even think about this, and we luckily ended up with one of the most baby friendly (non-Disney) hotels ever.  We stayed at a Westin, and not only was every single person on staff extremely accomodating and friendly to our little girl, but they also have little Kid Club packages for every child.  When the lady who checked us in told us that she had something for Ariadne, I expected her to come back with a lollipop or something equally not child friendly.  Instead she walked back with a little drawstring bag.  In it were two rubber duckies (which we now call Baby Westin and Daddy Westin) a battery operated nightlight, plug protectors and a little first aid kid.  Hellooooo best thing ever.  The duckies made bathtime fun (because we didn’t bring many toys with us) and those plug covers were a lifesaver.

– Give your child some freedom.  Ariadne hates being held, tied down or confined in any way.  She’s very much an explorer and crawls, cruises around all over the place.  The plug covers that the hotel provided were a big eye opener.  Next week we will absolutely be taking a little bag of plug covers for the Vancouver hotel since I’m not banking on them having a cool kid bad 🙂  After moving a few things around in the room and covering the sockets, we felt much more at ease with letting her roam.  And it made for much easier play time.

– Go with the flow.  Things are not going to go your way.  There may come a time when your child pees through her diaper and clothes and you can’t get up to change her because the seat belt sign has been on for the last hour due to turbulence.  And when that happens, you may shrug your shoulders at your Mum, pull out a clean diaper and change that child on your lap.  And when the pilot turns off the seat belt sign two seconds post clean diaper velcroing…you’ll snicker.  And then you’ll shove the diaper in the airline provided barf bag because you can’t reach your carry on with the wet bags.  Improvising.

Overall, we’ve been so lucky travelling with Ariadne.  She does so well.  Honestly, I’m more of a travel PITA than she is 🙂


3 thoughts on “On Travelling with an Almost Toddler

  1. And barf bags make excellent sealable receptacles for wet diapers until you can get out of your seatbelt to properly put away said wet diaper.

    Easter string twizzlers are excellent distractions (for mama, not baby).

    Remember, it’s the swallowing, not necessarily the sucking that pops your baby’s ears, helping with the landing and take off pressure build.

    Pj’s are great travelling clothes for babies. Not only are they comfy for baby, but darned cute. People are smitten by cuteness, and that means the fan club becomes an added distraction, causing more adorable smiles and giggles… which radiates smiles from everyone around you creating a perfect travel set up.

    Modern contraptions are wonderful! Those squeezy pouch baby food packets are amazing for traveling…take up no room at all and are great at balancing out all the “new” foods….. like curry chicken, collard greens and 34 ways to eat quinoa. Don’t forget the spoon! Oh, and if baby decides she doesn’t want to eat, try a fork…..for some reason it’s a whole new experience.

    It was a true pleasure to spend almost eight full glorious days with my daughter and granddaughter. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity!

  2. We have two long trips coming up this spring/summer. I’m afraid, haha. We got Ryan his own seat because I know there is absolutely no way the kid will sit in our laps for more than 3 minutes… and the flights are each upwards of 4 and a half hours. We couldn’t get a red eye, so we’re trying the early morning flight like you did. I fully expect he will not sleep at all. I’ve been stocking up on various mickey mouse clubhouse and wubzy dvds… cuz I have no qualms about allowing him to veg out and watch as many as he wants if it keeps him quiet.

    Another trick a friend has told me about baby-proofing a hotel room: bring a roll of duct tape with you. You can find all kinds of baby-proofing uses for it (tape over plug holes, tape dresser or armoire doors closed, etc.) I thought that was actually a pretty good idea and plan to try it this summer.

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