Preparation is key!
Traveling with a toddler can be about as much fun as it is painful. For the first few minutes the experience is epic for your baby, but once boredom sets in, all heck can (and will) break loose. Drinks🥛will spill, food will fly, and no toy nor song on the radio will please your cute little cherub.
As a responsible parent, you have to plan for every possible eventuality. This usually means packing a suitcase instead of a purse or backpack because let’s face it, it’s never just a simple trip out. Here are some tips to help you better prepare for the incredible journey ahead (which might just be a trip to the grocery store).
1. Pack for assumed injuries
Toddlers are top-heavy and thus they are prone to falling easily. Their heads really are heavier than the rest of them. This can result in a skinned knee, sliced finger, or thump on the head.
When you’re traveling with a toddler you need to pack for survival. Take a couple of extra bandages, travel facial tissue, and some Neosporin. You never know when you might need them.
2. Be ready for anything
Rule #2 when traveling with a toddler is to be ready for anything. Nine times out of ten, if something dramatic is going to happen in your life, it’s while you’re out with your child. This can be from him or her playing a game of hide-and-seek but failing to tell you about it before they begin the game. Or it could be the moment you are standing in line and your toddler wanders off because they had to see something that interested them. (Then you can’t see your kid). As you’re standing there dying of a massive coronary as you track your kid down, everyone else in line is questioning your sanity.
This is normal. Don’t panic. It’s the simple fear your child is missing that has blinded you to the fact that they are really not that far away and your toddler is actually in plain sight; just not as close as you need him or her to be to you.
3. Saying no (a lot)
Parents never want to be mean, but a child wants to touch and discover everything new and different. This isn’t wrong except that most times, that object belongs to someone else. This is especially true if your toddler sees toys – any toys. Cheap or expensive. If it’s bright and colorful they need to have it. Be prepared to tell them they can’t have it.🙅🏾While this may seem harsh, children need rules. Plus, it helps for them to learn early on not to be spoiled because they can’t have everything.
4. Something will spill
This is inevitable. Toddlers have a tendency to drop what they are holding. Take extra paper towel with you or extra tissues. Sometimes you will need something stronger than a tissue though, especially if it’s say, ice cream that lands on them and the floor of your SUV. Yes, you most likely will be cleaning something up when you are traveling with a toddler.
5. Take hand sanitizer
Toddlers are into everything. They touch everything (and sometimes taste it too)! To keep your toddler from catching the flu, be sure to bring hand sanitizer with you. This can be in the form of disinfecting wipes and/or liquid hand sanitizer for contact made with shopping carts or public door handles.
6. Change of clothes
Just have a pair handy. When you are traveling with a toddler, you never know when an accident will strike. It could happen when you are standing in line and suddenly smell something terrible. It could be when you’re driving an hour or more away from home and can’t pull over. This is especially true if your baby is potty training. It’s always best to bring too much with you than to be caught with too little.👖
7. Have extra diapers
If your toddler happens to be still in diapers, bring extra when you are out and about. It’s always the one time you think you won’t need something and that’s when you’re gonna need it the most. That’s not bad karma, that’s parenting 101. Being prepared for things in advance will save you a lot of unnecessary stress when traveling with a toddler and that is worth its weight in gold.
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Extra tips for traveling with a toddler
Still a bit nervous and need more tips? Our friends at US News & World Report have a few suggestions to share.