Must Know Travel with Baby/Toddler Tips
Are you travelling with your baby/toddler this Summer? If you're soon heading abroad take a read of these tips we've put together, from our own experiences!
1. Pack New Toys - Packing toys your little one hasn’t seen before is a great way to ensure they'll be interested in whatever you pull from the bag for entertainment during your travelling. When flying we've found some of the best entertainment to be; suction to the glass spinning toys, playdoh with a few cutters/mini rolling pin, stickers, coloured masking tape - you can stick pieces to just about anything and they'll have fun peeling it off, new books, snap game, flashing toys, fidget toys, colouring pens & paper.
A side note on taking toys, try to use them more as a last result, don't pull them out too early into your travelling. Try to use what they have around them for entertainment first, looking out the window, checking out the tray/seat belts, chatting. You'll be surprised at what they'll find enjoyment in.
2. Check your pushchair in at the gate - We would highly recommend keeping hold of your pushchair until the very last moment before boarding the plane. You can check in your pushchair at the gate, or at the luggage counter if you'd prefer.
3. Take a Baby Carrier/Baby wear - Taking a baby carrier can be so helpful when taking a flight with a baby, you can use it in the airport, then on the plane, and once you're off the plane and waiting to get your pushchair back. Not to mention how useful it will be all holiday too!
4. Take your own drinks bottles/flasks - Pack your little one's drinks flasks in your hand luggage, and if they prefer squash pack 100ml or less of this too. You can buy smaller squash bottles in bigger supermarkets. Once you're through check-in, you can then fill up their empty drinks’ flask with water (and squash) This will save you heaps on airport drinks, plus their drinks flask can then be used all holiday too.
5. Snacks - We all know how fussy toddlers can be, we suggest packing lots of their favourite snacks, not only in your hand luggage for your travelling. But also packing enough for your whole trip in your check-in luggage too. Having familiar snacks at hand throughout your trip may just be a saving grace! Especially as food abroad can often be very different to at home, which is a lot for little ones to adjust to, on top of everything else that comes with going abroad.
6. Book your seats on the plane - Choosing and reserving your seats on the plane will provide much needed piece of mind for your flight. Where possible we would suggest booking seats near to the back of the plane, travelling with babies and toddlers can be unpredictable. And even with plenty of planning you just never know how they'll be on the flight. Having seats near the back, means you're not in amongst everyone else on the flight. So, if they're finding the flight tricky to cope with, you'll feel more at ease knowing you're not disturbing everyone on board. Not to mention it makes boarding and getting off the plane that little bit easier, as you usually board from the back and the front of the plane.
7. Hold back from boarding too early - If you're travelling with another adult, having one of you take your hand luggage and board the plane earlier. Whilst the other one holds back from boarding with the baby/toddler until nearer gate closing time. This means that you can ensure your hand luggage has space in the overhead storage and your little one's haven't had a super long wait sitting on the plane waiting for take-off.
8. During Take Off - Babies and toddlers often struggle with air pressure in their ears during take-off and landing on a plane. The best way to combat this, is to feed your baby/ offer snacks and drink to your toddler during take-off and landing. This should help reduce or avoid any built-up pressure.
9. Take a car seat on the plane - It's best to check with your airline first but taking a car seat for your baby/toddler during the flight will help a lot. Your little one will already be used to being in their car seat for travelling in a car. So being on a plane in their car seat will provide a familiar travel feeling and should make for an easier flight. (Fingers crossed) Some airlines allow you to take a car seat on the flight for free.
10. In your hotel - When you arrive at your hotel you might be thinking about bath time and bedtime for your little one! A top tip of ours is to contact your hotel ahead of travelling and request a room with a bathtub. If this is a possibility, it will become a handy part of your holiday bedtime routine, a warm bath to unwind after a day of fun before your little one's bedtime. Also pack your baby monitor, super handy if your little one is sleeping in a room separate from yours or if you have a balcony to sit outside and relax at night once they're asleep. It should help to give you piece of mind that they're OK.
11. Flight times - Think about your flight time carefully. Our best tips are to either plan your flight around your little one's usual sleep patterns (wherever possible) This should hopefully ensure they sleep for much of the flight. Or opt for an early morning flight, this usually provides a quieter airport and quicker security checks waiting. Also, less chance of flight delays. On top of being a better time of day for your little one to be in a good mood. The later in the day the more tired they are usually and less able to cope with all the airport waiting etc.
12. Don't panic!- Lastly don't worry if you discover you've forgotten to pack things. It's natural to feel panicked upon discovering you've forgotten something for your little one. The chances are you'll have remembered all of their super important things. However, if you discover you've forgotten anything, you're more than likely to be able to buy whatever it is, from wherever you are in the World. Remember babies and toddlers are everywhere!