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Few parents relish the prospect of traveling with toddlers. But if it’s been a few years since the extended family has seen the kids, or you haven’t taken a trip since your family started to grow, then perhaps you’re thinking about planning a little getaway. Whether you travel by car or plane, though, there are a few concessions you’ll have to make when you take a trip with toddlers. And here are some must-haves you’ll definitely want to pack.
Even if your toddlers are potty trained, it may be hard for them to hold it on a long flight or car ride, and you just know that they’ll have to hit the restroom at an inopportune moment (like when the plane is boarding or the next town is miles away). For this reason you may want to give them (and yourself) a break and create one less potential stressor by simply allowing them to be diapered for the day. Don’t want to derail your potty-training progress? Try a product like Pull-Ups; toddlers can use the restroom when time allows, but the big-kid diapers will compensate for occasions when they just can’t hold it.
If you think travel is upsetting, consider how the disruption of routine, the long lines and waits, and the noise and confusion of travel strike your toddlers. They will be understandably agitated in airports and antsy on long car rides. So make sure to bring along a few pacifiers so they can practice the sucking activity that helps them to self-calm.
3. Bottles and Snacks
Although the years of breastfeeding and bottles may be behind your toddlers, there are a couple of good reasons to choose bottles over sippy cups when you travel. For one thing, they won’t spill all over the car or plane if your kids drop them. In addition, they will help your toddlers to pop their ears during takeoff and landing. Just make sure to fill them with water or milk instead of sugary juices or soda; the last thing you want in an enclosed space is a couple of hyperactive toddlers. As for snacks, you can’t go wrong with crackers, cheese, and fruit slices to keep them feeling full and aid in digestive health.
You might not necessarily want your toddler messing with this pricy gadget, but considering you can fill up your iPad or Kindle Fire with myriad entertainment options, it certainly beats bringing along a bag full of toys that your toddlers are likely to throw at the stewardess and other passengers. You can download plenty of movies and games before your trip, not to mention a few of their favorite books to help them get to sleep along every leg of the journey.
5. Favorite Toys And/or Blankets
Whether you’re driving to see the grandparents a couple of towns over of flying for a week-long stay at a Reykjavik hotel, it’s imperative that you remember to pack each toddler’s favorite toy or blanket, the one comfort item that they can’t sleep without. Otherwise you’ll face a very long trip indeed.