When my family travels, the stay at the destination is never the problem, it’s the getting there part that frazzled our nerves. Anyone who has flown with a squirming toddler or screaming infant can probably identify. Gathering a few contingency plans for tiny tots can be a smart move to keep the plane or car ride smooth. Here are a few ideas to choose from to keep small ones happy while you travel.
1. Bring one or two new and novel toys. If you’re in the car, you can wrap it up so they can open their new plaything. Tuck the new toy into your diaper bag if you’re flying since the airport won’t allow a wrapped present through security. These I Spy Bags are really neat (and compact) and keep the kids busy for a long time searching for all the hidden objects.
2. Snacks! Little finger foods can keep them occupied, keep their tummies full and minds off being stuck in a stroller/plane/car/waiting area for a bit. There are many stylishly designed re-usable snack keepers out there, so you don’t have to settle for Ziploc bags.
3. Teethers. Little ears have a hard time in the sky. Having something to chew on will help them adjust in the air. The Sophie the Giraffe is a great choice, as she serves as a beautiful toy and a teether all in one.
4. Things to draw on and with. Most kids can blissfully sit and draw for a good amount of time. Many Etsy sellers offer crayon/paper rolls to keep art supplies all together in nifty cloth packages. A smaller-sized magna-doodle also works well.
5. Stickers. (And a place to put them.) Kids are fascinated by stickers. You can usually find books of teeny tiny stickers at any dollar store that your kids will love peeling off and finding a place of honor for. Remember to double check yourself for these badges of honor when you arrive at your destination—they have a tendency to show up in curious places.
6. Pack your eReader. Load your Kindle, iPad, etc. up with tons of books for the kids—they’ll take up a fraction of the space in your bags. When they tire of reading, the toddler-oriented educational apps and kiddie shows can keep you from having to buy a round of drinks for the whole plane. Don’t want to use electronics? Favorite board books can be a great entertainer.
7. Basic first aid supplies. Many a meltdown has been avoided with the application of a band-aid, even in instances where there was no booboo. Having a few medicines, band-aids, etc. in your bag will help handle emergencies and meltdowns alike.
What are your tricks and tips for traveling with babies and kids?