Travelling With A Baby/Toddler
Disclaimer: This post is about my experiences travelling with one child. I pray for the sanity of and salute those parents who travel with multiples.
So from the wee age of 5 weeks, I travelled with Reyaana from the UK to Dubai. Scared shitless, barely coming around to the fact that i'm responsible for a small human... I did it, with the help of my breast feeding booblas and my family travelling with me. Now looking back, this was the easiest journey we've done with her, all she did was feed, sleep and poop. If she was having a cry, i'd stick her on the boob, landing and take off - stick her on the boob. By the end of the flight I smelt of milk thanks to Miss Reflux Gill and rewarded myself with a pit-stop at a make-up counter :)
From then on, it became more and more difficult, she was toddling, exploring, eating and all sorts, and the following items were and (some still are), my go-to life savers!
There's no room for handbags anymore, grab yourself a stylish backpack and be on your way! My favourite has to be our Armani Junior Baby bag - backpack/side strap, all the usual baby bag pouches, fold out change mat - it was fab (Purchased from Selfridges)! Other options Lyle and I have used are the Orla Kiely range, with hidden zips for safety when travelling alone and looking after passports. Lyle on the other hand loves his Herschel backpack, fits documents, nappies and food in with easy access (you know... less fuss).
Skip Hop Zoo Safety Harness is by far a favourite. Reyaana loves being able to put her snacks and water in the back (like a big girl), the straps are comfy over her shoulders and waist and it looks cute too! (not like a leash....)
As much as we'd may love to be that parent who doesn't allow their child to too much screen time, all rules stay at home when it comes to travelling abroad. A little sceptical as to what earphones are actually safe for a 20month old that she won't find too heavy after a little while.
We've opted for Headband headphones, soft and silky, feels like a headband but has inbuilt earphones - winner winner! Plug this into a tablet/plane screen and you're set! (for hopefully just enough time to eat your meal). (available from Amazon)
I have a little issue with mess... I don't like it. At home, in the car, on someone's make-up and definitely not in my personal space on a 10hour flight... so mess-free toys are a must. Etcher-sketch (mess free drawing/colouring), water colouring books (colour, without the colours!) and thin paper back books.
Keep them watered and fed...
Aside from the no-sugar rule when travelling, anything else goes. As long as it keeps Reyaana entertained, in one spot for a short period of time :) I purchase pre-cartoned milk, sterilising bags (dummy tantrums and bottle throwing were her favourite in-flight sports), cabin crew are generally happy to pop some water and microwave your items for you :) and snacks, lots of them.
- Don't let them realise they're allowed to or can, walk up and down the aisle. A tip from my 'mum-of-twins' sister, her 2.5 year olds have never walked down the aisle when travelling. It's a recipe for disaster. The only positive is that you may get a days worth of steps in!
- Keep a pouch of nappies, wipes and bags easy to access and small enough to fit in a seat pocket. From personal experience, it's necessary when a pre-take-off poonami happens and you don't have time to get your overhead luggage out!
There you have it, travelling go-to's we've tried and tested. Our next journey is nearing, and she's more active and crazy than ever, so if you have any suggestions or tips for long-haul travel, i'd LOVE to hear them :)
Over and out...
The momma packing up the life of 3 into boxes!