Toddler Travel Tips
As a first-time mom, I often find myself researching tips and "tricks of the trade" when it comes to my toddler, especially when experiencing something for the first time. Becoming a mother has opened me up to the enormous web and social media mom community. The #momcommunity is one of the most supportive, networking, and resourceful communities I have experienced, and one of my favorite resources I have come across is ThinkBaby.org.
ThinkBaby is run by a group of amazing mothers who share information and outlooks on baby care, parenting, and mother's lifestyle. Along with ThinkBaby, my primary focus for 'The Mimosa Mom' is to share my passion for #momlife and parenting, while providing insight to help other moms, all while empowering them to be the best moms they can be. So fellow moms, be sure to check out Thinkbaby.org, and explore their amazing website full of resources and relatable blog posts to help in all your "momming" efforts!
With that being said, tips and tricks on traveling with a toddler was on my research agenda! As excited as I was in the weeks leading up to our California vacation, I began to develop more and more anxiety about Elijah's first plane ride. How will he act? Will his ears pop due to the altitude? What do I do if he starts screaming his head off? What if he goes #2?
It is safe to say that we survived our flights!
Here are my top 5 tips and tricks I picked up, along with a few recommendations of my own:
1. Let Your Toddler Burn Off Energy Before the Flights
As much as you may dislike the idea of ditching your stroller and chasing your toddler up and down airport terminals, JUST DO IT. Just be sure they're safe, of course! Elijah loves to sit back and relax with mom and dad, but after awhile of sitting down, he is ready to move around. To prevent this, I basically had him jogging up and down Austin-Bergstrom International Airport with me - and he loved it! He ended up falling asleep half way through our flight. THANK. THE. LORD.
2. SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS
"Snack" is Elijah's new favorite word, and he is always down to grub. As I am sure is similar with other parents, nothing pacifies my cranky toddler faster than an applesauce pouch or pack of fruit snacks. So mamas, don't forget your snacks! One thing that I quickly learned on our first flight was how important it was to carry an extra bottle of water or juice in your diaper bag to refill your toddlers sippy cup. This is one thing I completely forgot to do, and it resulted in Elijah getting a little irritated. He grew impatient having to wait for the flight attendants to began serving drinks, so moms, make sure you have some extras in your bag, just in case!
3. NEW TOYS & PLAY ACTIVITIES
I had been hoarding a few new travel friendly toys to introduce to him on the flight - that way he was extra interested in them and would hold his attention for longer. This included Play-Doh, Gel Window Clings, and some new books. The window clings were a huge hit - he loved sticking them to the window and opening and closing the window shutter. The Play-Doh held his attention for quite a while, but don't forget to have a pack of "Wet Ones" handy, as the residue sticks to the seat trays and seats. Easy clean up though!
4. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FAMILY BOARDING
Thankfully, most airlines allow families with small children to board after seating class A. My husband and I were determined to get to the airport early enough to ensure we were at the gate, ready to board when they called for family boarding. Being at the front of the plane is a huge benefit, especially when traveling with a toddler!
5. REMAIN CALM
I cannot stress this enough. Children feed off of their parents vibes and composure, so it is important that we as moms be sure to stay collected, even if things get a little hectic! We had a little crying episode on our flight back to Austin, where Elijah was grumpy, throwing snacks on the floor, and fighting his sleep. I saw my husband growing more and more stressed out as Elijah's crying got more intense, but I made sure to continue talking to him calmly instead of yelling and elevating the situation. Was it inconvenient/disturbing to other passengers? Yes. But the most important thing was for Elijah to calm down and de-stress, as fast as possible. I am not perfect - there are instances where I find myself just as riled up as my crying toddler. But! I have learned that this does nothing to diffuse the situation. So moms, remember to be mindful and stay resilient!
I hope these tips are helpful and contribute to a safe and happy flight with your toddler!
Special thanks to Zoe Withers and the amazing moms at ThinkBaby.org for the collaboration and support!