11 Tips To Make Traveling With Babies & Toddlers Easy
BY: SHANA CHERRY
Whether this is your first family vacation and you don’t know what to expect, or you’ve done this before and it’s memorable for all the wrong reasons, have no fear. After 6 years in the baby travel business and contact with thousands of families, the folks from Wee Travel Baby Equipment Rentals have put together some tips that encompass the areas of most concern for travelling families.
1. Bathrooms in airports are generally big and clean. Use them before you get on to the plane.
While on the airplane, try to use the Business Class bathrooms. They are generally bigger and cleaner as they are used by fewer people. If you plan to travel a lot, you might want to invest in a diaper bag that also functions as a changing station. There are a number of them out on the market, such as the Studio Cherie Diaper Bag (especially designed for changing diapers on airplanes) and the the gr8x Baby Traveller® Deluxe Diaper Bag .
2. Airplane seat belts are designed for adults, however there is now good news for kids!
Consider purchasing or renting a CARES Aviation Restraint for your trip. CARES is a device that attaches to the airplane seatbelt, turning it into a 5-point harness. It is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for use on all planes, weighs less than 1 lb, and is designed for children 22-44 lbs.
3. A crying baby is not a joy to be around!
Give your baby a soother or something to drink during this time so their ears won’t get plugged. If your baby cries during the flight, go for a walk. Even if it doesn’t stop the crying it will appear that you are trying to do something and should stave off glaring stares from your neighbors! Alternatively, pay a visit to your neighborhood hardware store and buy a few dozen sets of earplugs. Pass them out to the nearby passengers. It’s a great ice breaker and they won’t be annoyed if your baby cries.
4. Entertaining a child confined to a seat can be a real task!
Bring a small DVD player with a new DVD. Although most planes now have personal screen in the seats, you can’t always find a show that will interest your child. Colouring books, Lego, puzzles and books are also life savers.
5. The jet lag….
Try taking a red-eye flight. Although you’ll be tired, your kids will sleep better if it’s their natural circadian rhythm…and you won’t have to worry about entertaining them.
6. The extra baggage charges and sore back can really put a damper on your trip.
There is no need to haul your nursery along for the trip. Most cities have baby equipment rental companies where you will be able to get top-of-the-line baby gear delivered right to your door. This will also save you from having to pay the excess baggage fees that most airlines have implemented.
7. Different airlines have different policies.
Visit your airlines’ website well before your flight and search for the section on traveling with children. It will tell you stroller restrictions, weight limits and special seat bookings.
8. Get your toddler involved and excited about the trip with a Trunki Ride-On Suitcase.
They can pack it with all of their own special things, and they can ride it around the airport while you’re waiting for the plane. It also makes a great seat and comes with a handy strap so you can pull them too!
9. Keep your active child entertained and maybe even tire them out before you board.
Bring a balloon. Don’t assume they’ll want to watch the planes or that they will have a good vantage point. Easy to transport and drop it in the garbage before you board. It’s a long flight for a small child and boredom will likely set in.
10. Bring snacks!
It’s amazing how much latitude you can get by presenting your child with his or her favorite treat! Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Planes are dehydrating and a dehydrated child is often a cranky child.
11. If you’re traveling alone and need to go to the bathroom, ask a flight attendant to watch your child.
Better yet, hope Barbara Walters is on your flight. She recently commented that she always loves to hold babies when she is on the plane!
About the author: Shana Cherry is Co-Owner of Wee Travel and runs the Vancouver office. She is the mother of one traveling 7 year old!
About Wee Travel Inc.
Wee Travel (Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria) launched in 2005 as Canada’s first full service baby equipment rental company. Our mission is to make it easy for parents to travel lighter by providing the full range of the latest hard-to-pack-can’t-live-without baby gear and accoutrements. Equipment is safety inspected and sanitized prior to delivery, and is replaced regularly to ensure that customers receive the latest gear in new condition.