Travelling with a Child

Travelling with a Child

This weekend, my little family and I took a trip to The Baby Show at the NEC in Birmingham. This is the first time we have traveled away with Lily since she was about 9 months old (she is now 20 months). Since then, she has learnt to walk, her speech has improved and she is also a very independent little girl.

This presented us with a few challenges, the worst of which being bed time. We booked a hotel room, which meant we were all in the room together and she didn’t like that. She sleeps well in her own room where it’s quiet and relaxed, while we usually stay up and watch something on TV. Here, however, she spent the majority of the time moaning that she was back in a cot (travel cot), she was in the same room as us watching TV and had spent her day stuck in a car. We were left with the grumpiest toddler known to mankind!

After about an hour, Matt gave in and took her on an ‘adventure’ around the hotel, after which she came back and slept. This was not the end of the troubles though. We soon realised that we had left Lily’s beloved IgglePiggle (from In The Night Garden) at home. We had two days of ‘giggle, gone’ and ‘Igglegiggle, gone’. The persistence of all of this drained me within a few hours of waking up. How could I have forgotten him?

It wasn’t all that tough though, it lead to a few things happening which I was surprised by. With lots of new surroundings and people, Lily didn’t notice that she wasn’t in her pushchair as much. Usually, after 20 minutes or so walking, she moans to go in her pushchair. I believe the amount of new things to see distracted her as she spent a good hour walking around, then went to do a toddler activity class!

It also showed me how well she adjusts to new situations. At The Baby Show, there was a small nursery type facility for parents to use. When Lily started at nursery, she had a few settling in sessions to get used to everyone, which she did need. Since being at nursery for nearly a year now, she has become so confident that she just walked in, with no problems and was happy as anything when she came out!

Traveling with a child

Travelling with a toddler is completely different to travelling with a baby. Instead of making sure you have your nappies and milk, you have to make sure you have some sort of stimulant to keep them occupied. As adults, we can find travelling anymore than an hour quite tough and boring, but for a toddler that can happen within just 15-20 minutes into a journey.

After our experience, I have compiled a list of my ‘must haves’ when travelling with a toddler, which you may find useful:

1. Portable high chair
You’ll be shocked how many places don’t have highchairs, or will only have one. We went out for dinner in an averagely busy, family restaurant where the one high chair was already in use. Luckily, we had our little munchkin back pack which turns into a high chair, and it was nice to have Lily eat at the table with us.

2. New packets of wipes and nappies
This one I discovered a while ago. Whenever you go away for more than a couple of days, take a brand new pack of wipes and nappies, it reduces the chances of you running out at the crucial poo explosion moment. Also, you can never be sure how far away the nearest shop will be!

3. Pack some home comforts
Travelling can be hard on children sometimes and having that little bit of home can really help. This could be a favorite toy or book. I truly believe that if I had remembered Lily’s IgglePiggle, I would have had a much easier time getting her to bed.

4. Snacks
This is for the whole family. We all get a bit grumpy and annoying when we’re hungry, so a small carrier bag of fruits as well as a drink or two can really help keeping everyone happy and ticking over until you arrive your destination.

5. Specialty food
If your child has specific dietary requirements, pack a couple of jars or home made ready meals, just in case you can’t find anything suitable where you are visiting. Lily can’t have raspberries and it was so hard to find things like yogurt and summer fruit bars that didn’t contain them.

I hope you find this list useful and if you happen to have any advice of your own or a similar experience you would like to share, please know you are more than welcome to!

Creator and writer for the Young Mummy Survival Guide, a blog aimed at helping younger mothers from the view of a younger mother. Currently studying PR, media and marketing in Canterbury, Kent.

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