Now, it’s coming up to that time of year when people are starting to book holidays or get excited about them. Whether that be good old Butlins or Haven (it is a child’s right of passage to have a holiday at one of these and join the kids clubs!!) or a sunny/cold holiday abroad adults and kids are all starting to get excited. However, I was thinking about when I take Alyssa on holiday and amongst my friends recently we have been discussing how the hell we would keep our babies/toddlers/very very small people occupied on flights however long they may be (one is attempting a 9 hour flight with a 9 month old!) So, that was my inspiration for this week’s post for you guys over at The Baby and Toddler Show…
Okay so, thinking of travelling this year? Going on holiday with the family? If you are I am sure you have had a big smile slowly spreading across your face at the thought of getting away, relaxing, potentially not having to cook your own meals, enjoying time with your family and just generally having the best time ever. Then, you suddenly remember that to get to said holiday
you must travel…. WITH KIDS! If this involves a public form of transport such as plane, train or coach then I feel your terror because I myself am also worried about the day I choose to travel with my little bundle.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that we don’t love them and we don’t want them with us, but kids are unpredictable. If we could program them for the journey then things would be a whole lot easier. Think how we as adults feel when we arrive somewhere after a journey – we’re tired or lethargic and just generally want to sit down and rest for a bit before really settling in and beginning the holiday. That’s not to mention, who knows what time you will even be travelling – have flights been kind to you or have they completely messed up the routine that is often so important for little ones to try and maintain but when travelling is near on impossible?
We have all been adults or older teens travelling without young children and how many of us have observed young children screaming, crying, banging, kicking chairs, running up and down
aisles squealing with delight at being chased and considering it the best game EVER! To make matters worse, there is always that one traveler who can’t resist making the parents feel even worse and more shame than they already do by either tutting or actually saying something to them and they always have faces that are looking murderously towards your offspring. I am quite pleased to say I have never been one of those people and despite the fact that yes I have found some children on journeys annoying, I am one of those placating people who just smile and say “Oh, don’t worry. Kids eh?!?” whilst inside my head I have been screaming, “if you hit my chair one more time you little devil child…” Of course, my fear now is that the screaming in my head will soon be directed at my own child when we eventually choose to travel. So what can we do to combat this and dare I say, successfully travel with our young children without leaving both us and them with too much mental scarring?!?!
1. First thing you should know is that ‘The Parenting Rule Book of Good Parenting” needs to be thrown out the sodding window. None of the normal rules apply, you are dealing with a completely different creature now and not your adorable offspring!
2. Snacks, snacks and more snacks! You can never be guaranteed as to what if any airplane food is going to be available. One time I literally ate crisps all the way there as they had run out of vegetarian food by the time the cart got to my seat in the middle. Plus we all agreed to over-pack on the snacks and bugger choosing the right thing! Pack anything and everything your child
has ever shown interest in and something will surely work!
3. A nice idea suggested by Michelle over@Planthehappywas to buy new inexpensive little toys and gifts and wrap them like presents and every so often bring a new one out for them to unwrap, explore and play with. Kids love something new and shiny… kind of like magpies really!
4. Another great idea and this one from@themumzilla was to create little sensory play bags, each with a different item in such as bangles or beanbags for the children to explore. Like with the presents bring a new one out every so often for them to discover and play with – remember not to be too messy!
5. Putting aside all the judgmental looks this one is about to get and remembering the old rules don’t apply, I would pack an iPad and headphones and depending on the flight 2-3 power-banks of extra charge. On it, I would download episodes of my child’s favourite program (in this case and at present it would be In the Night Garden… and yes I did say that my daughter has a favourite television program so please feel free to shoot me now for this heinous
crime I have committed) and I would also down load some of the amazing sensory and child activity apps that are available such as the musical and animal phone.
6. Another thing I would make sure I had was a blanket and whatever toys act as a comfort at bedtime.They will need to nap and may get overtired but these will help combat that. Plus, I always find that airplanes can get quite cool!
7. One thing heavily discussed amongst us when talking about travelling with children was the physical transportation of our children around airport terminals or bus terminals or railway stations. Laura over @100awjsuggested that she prefers using a baby sling through places such as the airport. If you have a baby who is happy in the sling, I can completely see the advantages of this as you won’t be battling with a buggy and bumping into people and if your child is older, they are less likely to be able to run off and get lost in the crowds as these places are usually busy no matter what the time of day. However, if you are going to use a pram, we had the general consensus of “TAKE AN OLD OR REEEALLLLYYY CHEAP ONE!!” as they tend to get battered about quite a lot.
8. This may seem like a pretty dumb thing to say, but if you are travelling with other adults make sure you get a break too! If your child feels you becoming tense, stressed or upset they are more likely to get that way too. So if you can pass them over and have five minutes to have a drink and a quick bite and tune out. If you are travelling alone with your child, firstly congrats because you are bloody awesome and secondly make sure you pack some treats for yourself too!
You may look at all that and think yeah okay great idea but ummm I don’t have enough room to take all that on the flight… yes you do! Both you and your child will have a carry on (check with your airline just to make sure) and none of the items need to be huge!
Something you should remember… if your child is having a tantrum and you do nothing people will judge you. If your child is having a tantrum and you do something people will still judge you. You cannot unfortunately avoid judgment but what you can avoid is not caring about it. Do what is needed for your child and you to survive the journey. At the end of the day it probably won’t be that bad and if you hear a tut from an onlooker, you always have the option of going over to them and handing them the child and asking them to show you how to do it better?!?! I’d pay to see the look on their faces! In the meantime, thumbs up to you – you’re doing great. Have you got any tips, tricks or experiences you can share with us?
That’s all from Alyssa and I for another week. Don’t forget to head over to The Baby & Toddler show and see what amazing exhibitors you can expect to appear this year!
Any exhibitors attending The Baby & Toddler Show this year who would like their products featured in a weekly blog post, pop me an email to email@example.com
Anyone looking for tickets for this years Baby & Toddler show head over to the website here for all the details