Traveling with toddlers – my top tips
As a Dub married to a country man we spend a lot of time traveling up and down the country visiting family, the journey time without children is about 4 hours with them well…….that’s a whole other story!
My 3 month old is still relatively easy to transport, I just need to make sure I have the essentials with me – feeding, nappies and change of clothes. My 3 years old is a whole other ball game. However I have learned a few things over the last 3 years and have made the journey as painless as possible for us all.
1 – Preparation
Since becoming a mother I have developed a serious obsession with ziplock bags (ok I know!!!!). I get the Ikeas ones, my personal favourite!! I have them organised into snacks, changes of clothes in case of toilet accidents or travel sickness and little toys – my son absolutely adores little toys which he role plays with. They are handy for traveling as they are very portable.
Plan in advance the stops, I like to give the 3 month old a good stretch out after 1.5 hours so I time this to coincide with lunch with the bigger man. We go to the same place all the time as we know there are changing facilities, plenty space for kids and a decent lunch.
A toddlers attention span is short, well mine is anyway! So I take plenty of suitable toys which I give to him over the journey, not all at once. What I try to do is give him toys he hasn’t played with for a week or so before hand, I get at least an hour out of the novelty factor! I store his toys in a roll up toiletries bag ( I got this in Dunnes but they are readily available) which I used while in the Coombe having the boys for my own toiletries! It’s so handy, it rolls up neatly and its clear pockets mean I can pick out toys handy for him. Another personal favourite of my big man is sticker books so sometimes on longer journeys I will let him pick one in the petrol station which he just loves. I on the other do not love scrapping Peppa Pig or Fireman Sam stickers off the car seats! However, it does really help pass some time. The key is to take the toys, within reason which will get you some quiet time.
More recently we have been playing games like I spy – but with colours or what has become known in Mamma Fairys house “Storytime” where we each have to make up a story based some details given by somebody else – my toddler loves this game, he loves to hear his name mentioned in stories.
Travel sickness is really common and unfortunately my toddler seems to have developed this in recent times. What has worked for us lately has been:
· Very light breakfast before we go – no bread!
· Water only to drink – no milk and no juice
· No chocolate under any circumstances!
· Caldekids lolly – these have been great, I let my toddler chill with one while I am getting ready. Never in the car and always supervised.
Hopefully you find these tips useful and if you have any other tips please do tweet or facebook them to me.
Currently writing this from a very wet and windy Donegal…..post coming up about the beautiful South West Donegal for families.
~ Mamma F