Up, up and away!
These tips are great for taking the angst out of air travel.
- Put all the things you need for a single nappy change in a small plastic bag. Make a couple of batches to last you the trip. When you need to change a nappy, you don't have to go hunting for nappies, wipes, cream etc, it's all ready in one handy bag. You can then use the plastic bag to dispose of the dirty nappy and wipes.
- Take a harness for your toddler to help you through busy terminals. You will need to have both hands free when checking bags, presenting travel documents, passing through customs etc and you don't want to give your child an opportunity to wander off.
- Take a baby sling to free up both your hands for dealing with baggage, travel documents, money etc. With extra security these days you may often have to remove your shoes and other items when passing through security checkpoints. On the plane if your child is restless, being strapped to your front may also help them sleep. And if you nod off too, they won't fall!
- Take a cotton sheet to erect over the bassinette, which is often positioned right under the television screen, lights or air conditioning.
- Take a dual time clock so you can keep to your child’s home sleep routine during transit.
- Book items like children’s meals and bassinettes when booking seats. Most airlines will not automatically supply them just because you book a child’s ticket.
On the road
Buckle up and enjoy the ride with these ideas for stress-free car trips
- Record yourself reading your child’s favourite books or nursery rhymes and play them back while in the car.
- Try to plan your trip around parks, fruit farms, playgrounds etc so you can stop and re-charge every few hours. Take an inflatable ball to kick around at a park.
- Roadside cafe's can be dirty and junk food-ladden. Instead try to make meal times an occasion for a picnic. Bring plenty of snacks and drinks for an impromptu picnic at a rest stop. The fresh air will be a valuable pick-up for everyone.
- Pack the car in two stages: items you may need during the trip in the car and those you will not need in the boot.
- Magnet and sticker books are great for cars because they are less likely to slide off onto the floor.
- Carry a torch if travelling at night. There's nothing worse than feeling around a bag for a tiny item...or turning car lights on if baby is sleeping!
Checklist for next time you travel.
- If you have your mobile phone with you, take a photo of your child at the start of the day. If they get lost during the day you have a visual reminder what they were wearing and you can show others who may be helping you look.
- Take a mix of favourite toys plus a few new ones so the novelty expands playtime. Try wrapping the toys in colourful paper to add to the novelty.
- Take items which can be given as rewards for good behaviour such as stickers, temporary tattoos and lollipops.
- If you are visiting family, take photos of your relatives to show your child. It can help pass the time as you tell them stories about their unfamiliar family members and babies love looking at faces.