Holidays

How to travel with a toddler

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We’re currently in the South of France with family and yesterday was the dreaded flight. We’ve flown with the bear before but pre-walking as a baby when she was easily entertained. Now however she’s mobile and wants to walk everywhere and do her own thing.

Added to this was the fact that the airline actually changed our flights and brought them forward a few hours which meant we now needed to leave home by 5am at the latest. Bugger!!

A few things went wrong: (1) we left a little late – only by 15 mins but enough to make a difference!! (2) the car park was uber busy so it took a while to find a space. (3) the queue in security was ridiculous and it took almost an hour to get through, and (4) our gate was the last one in the airport the furthest away. Rushing through an airport at 5 months pregnant with a toddler strapped to your chest is not fun! We made it though – just – as the gate was due to close 2 mins later …. eek!

On the flight she was such a little trooper though, only time we heard her was when she took a rather loud abs dramatic poo mid-flight! So, my top tips for flying with a toddler are:

– Plan ahead: pack your carry on bags with accessibility in mind.
– If it’s an early flight don’t worry about clothes, just keep them in their pajamas for comfort and keep a change in your carry on luggage for later. We did it in arrivals while we were waiting for our luggage.
– Make sure you have dummy and / or drinks to hand for the flight to help with their ears.
– Take a blanket, flights can get cold.
– Think about getting around the airport. For us her buggy is more of a hindrance than a help so we baby wear her and use a sling. I couldn’t recommend the connecta enough if you’re looking.
– Take plenty of snacks. The bear isn’t a huge eater but snacks are still a distraction God send. Added to the fact that you can’t always guarantee you’ll find edible food where you think you will, they’re great to tie a hungry child over. Case in point,  this was the breakfast offering on the flight!!!

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Needless to say she wasn’t given it and it went straight in the bin!
– If you can try and get a spare seat by you. It’s so much easier when you can spread out!
– Have a series of things to play with but bring them out one by one – for us we read the safety manuals, watched (and waved) at cabin crew as they did their safety take, read in flight magazine, played with dollies and toys one by one,  ate snacks, looked out the window and read some books all one by one, moving onto the next thing as she got bored. By that time we were landing and we had successfully navigated each potential meltdown!!

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– Have something failsafe as back up ‘just in case’  for us it was frozen on the ipad but luckily we didn’t need it.
– Finally after being cooped up so long, let them run around like loons before putting them in a car / coach etc for the next stage of their journey as it’ll help them stretch out and also burn off some extra energy so they (hopefully!)  sleep through the next leg!

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What about you??  Anything to add that I’ve missed???

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