Remember when travelling on vacation was fun? There was time to grab an iced latte at Starbucks, stroll through the book store, a massage in the lounge and tons of movies to catch up en route.
..you become a mother, and need to share your seat with a wiggly six-month-old first time traveler. You are anxious, nervous and feeling like you’re on a slide on the playground that feels more like a hot stove.
Well, it’s normal and you’ll soon become a pro at airport check-ins and long haul flights!
Every seasoned parent-traveller has their essential kit for flying with young kids. Here’s mine:
Bring many, many changes of clothes ( I can’t stress any more on the “many”)
Flights are a magnet for the perfect storm of accidents: vomiting, wee leaks, poo-explosions. It must have something to do with the high altitude. Mommy, you know your child’s propensity for clothes-destroying better than anyone, so use your judgement, but for a baby, a general rule is one set of clothes per three hours of flying, plus two nappies per hour. Don’t forget a huge container of wipes.
For older kids, two changes plus a set of pajamas is safe. Don’t forget yourself. I bring spare jeans, two shirts and some loose pants. Sadly I’m speaking from experience when I say that kids don’t just vomit and wee on themselves, they also vomit and wee on everyone around them. Changes of clothing for each person should go in clear ziplock bags so it’s quickly accessible.
Don’t forget to pack the basics your baby is used to – including bottles, sippy cups and bowls. Even if you’re landing straight into a Macy’s- don’t assume you’ll find what your child is used to. It’s always a good idea to have all the essentials handy. Here’s my checklist from baby wash to medicines and everything in between :
□ Clothing/Accessories : Onesies, Warmers, Casual Outfits, Dressy Outfits, Pajamas, Hats, Footwear, Socks.
□ Toiletries/Bath : Baby Wash, Baby Lotion, Baby Shampoo, Bath Towels, Baby Dental Kit and lots of toilet paper.
□ Diapering: Diapers (What You Need + More!),Disposable Changing Pads, Diaper Cream, Box of Wipes, Travel Potty (For Road Trips) , Seal-able Plastic Bags for Diapers , Hand Sanitizer.
□ Bedding : Crib Blankets, Wearable or Swaddle Blanket for Baby , Breathable Blanket for Shading Stroller
□ Feeding : Breast Pump & Accessories, Baby Bottles and sterilizer, Powdered Formula & Baby Food, Snacks -on-the-go, Baby Utensils, Sippy Cups, Burp Cloths, Bibs, Nursing Cover-Up, Pacifiers (Plenty of them stuffed in more than one bag to make retrieval easy)
□ Medicine (Check with your doctor first) : Panadol, Antihistamine, Baby Nasal Saline Drops, Colic Aid, Thermometer, Teething Medicine or Topical Gel, Emeset or Ondem(motion sickness), Looze syrup( constipation)
Be sure to carry a couple of empty paper bags with you while travelling. They come in handy at places you least expect them to be used!
Choose strategic toys
The aeroplane or a destination vacay is not the place for special toys with lots of parts. Try to bring things you won’t care about if they disappear in between the wall and your seat.
If you’re traveling with a child too young to distract herself, include plenty of small toys, games, stickers, magnets, and coloring books in your bag. (Once on board, don’t whip them all out at once or let them rummage through — take them out one at a time and let them play with each until they really ready to move on to the next distraction. And leave toys that make noise at home. Your fellow travelers will thank you for it.)
No matter what toy you choose, novelty is key. If your child has seen a toy a million times before, it’s not going to snap them out of a tantrum. But if it’s new, they might be distracted enough to quit screaming. Pro tip: wrap each toy in wrapping paper like a present and don’t forget the teething toy at home.
If you’ve got one, load an iPad up with favorite shows and games, but remember, it should be the last resort. Technology is the biggest gun in your arsenal and if you pull it out too early, you’ll be kicking yourself when you’re still 3 hours away from your destination and she’s sick of Elsa.
For the older kids – A travel journal is a must! Let them start filling it before the vacation begins! Also we love the Pack of Fat Crayons or Washable Markers and a Coloring Book – they can entertain children for much longer hours!
Some people will tell you to pack light. These people do not have young children. You may have a lot to lug with you, but you’ll thank us at 30,000 miles in the air! Depending on your child’s age and needs, you may not need all of the items listed.
As with everything and anything to do with parenting – preparation is key!
What essential items do you pack when you travel with kids? Let us know in the comments below