If you’re a new mom and motherhood is yet to sink in, you are definitely looking for a real break! To get your lone time is now a luxury which only comes with a lot of planning. Someone needs to watch over the baby; either that or the baby needs to be engaged or best yet ASLEEP! You are constantly on the lookout for a getaway, certainly not the kind which involves traveling with a toddler! As much as you would like that, that little toddler is now part of your life and let’s admit it, you can’t do without the little human!
However, most mothers struggle with one basic issue which is that of traveling with a toddler. Some of them have preconceived notions about it being tough while most others find it too cumbersome. I FEEL YOU, as I was also of the same opinion till I actually mustered the courage and took the plunge. Having said that, traveling with a toddler doesn’t have to be this hard if YOU know what goes into it! To make life easier for you, here are 5 travel hacks that will let you enjoy the break you deserve, even when you’re traveling with a toddler.
Let’s crack the code for traveling with a toddler!
1. Invest in a car seat
This is a must-have and there’s no compromising! Whenever you are traveling with a toddler, transfer them to the car seat. It only ensures that your toddler is safe at all times and there’s no risk in case of an accident. By strapping your toddler onto the seat, you are FREE from having a numb lap! Not just that, you can also learn to take a nap without having to hold onto a little person. Yes, that’s right and YOU deserve that alone nap time.
2. Carry ALL the essentials
Initially, when traveling with a toddler, I used to make a list of the things I’d need to take with me on my road trip. This idea came crashing down as there’s never a list. You just HAVE TO carry ALL of it! This is the phase wherein you pack less for yourself and carry all of your toddlers’ things. Also, you have to be prepared for situations like flat tyre, bad weather, longer route, etc. You will have a toddler bawling at the back but if you’re prepared, there’s nothing that can shake you!
Depending on the destination you can calculate the quantity. If you are heading to a remote place, carry according to the number of days that you’re there plus 2 more. Things like diapers, wet wipes, formula milk (if at all), medicines and an extra set of clothes are what you need to consider. If it is a location wherein you will find all of the above, just carry enough for your road trip and the rest you can buy!
3. Baby’s playlist
This one did wonders to me whenever I was traveling with my toddler. As a mother, you are now aware of the things that your toddler enjoys. It could be food, it could be books or for that matter, music. When you’re traveling with a toddler, it is really impossible to constantly keep entertaining them. Even worse, if daddy dearest is behind the wheel, you’ll find yourself getting seat belt bites from turning around all the time! So what do you do?
All you need to do is dedicate a folder on your pendrive for those rhymes and songs. Whenever your toddler breaks into a fit, PLAY IT! This is nothing but comforting for them as it’s part of their home environment. Comforting means snooze and snooze means nap time for mommy! As repetitive and as painful as those rhymes may seem, they’re your baby’s favorite, so hang in there!
4. Travel Tray
Another small investment that’ll help in the long run is a travel tray. By now your toddler has a better grip and can access things within his/her reach. Since you will be seated in the front, it gets really difficult to keep reaching out to your bub all the time. So if you want to make traveling with a toddler look like a cakewalk, you need this!
Attach the tray behind your seat so that your toddler can access it easily. On the tray place some of his/her favorite toys, books, etc. When you take your breaks, keep some biscuits or a fruit that’s easy, fix a sipper onto the cup holder and place a hand towel as well. Traveling with a toddler not just helps you break from your routine but also makes your bub independent.
5. Time for a change
Most important of all is changing your baby’s diapers while on the road! More often than ever we don’t want to unbuckle the baby just to change diapers. Let’s remember one thing as mothers, the luxury of a break is one thing but discomfort to your baby is something you just cannot overlook. Carry those self-absorbing mats which you can lay in the boot of your car or your seat so as to place your bub.
When traveling with a toddler, please keep a diaper bag ready with wipes, powder, soft towels, extra diapers, and a paper bag to dispose off the used diapers. Do not throw diapers on the roadside and litter. Put it into your waste bag and as soon as you find a dust bin, discard it!
So, if you’re planning on traveling with a toddler you need to switch off the PANIC BUTTON and get on with your plan. If you follow these 5 travel hacks, you’re good to go. Having said that, I suggest you go on one day trips at first and once you get the hang of it, move on to the bigger picture! Trust me, there is nothing more enjoyable than traveling with a toddler (having done it myself 100 times), once you accept the challenges.