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So Dianna and I recently travelled to Manchester to visit my dear sister Nettie. This was Diannas second planeride, so I wasn’t really nervous about having her along. But last time we travelled she was only 4 months, and SOOOO much easier to travel with!
Dianna was 14 months when we travelled this time and just starting to take her first steps on her own – little ms. Independent!
So of course you can see, keeping her stationary for 2-3 hours, not quite so easy.
First of all
I did my homework. Pinterest is my best online-friend and of course I searched “travel with toddler” and a gazillion great hits popped up.
My first recommendation is to spend time preparing, whether that is reading up for you or packing your carry-on over and over til you get it just right – just go ahead and do it. Spend the time it takes, until you’re satisfied!
Listen to your mother (or others you know, who have experience with travelling with kids). My mother had 4 children and has travelled with us lots and lots of times. Now times may have changed (No Ipads back then she sighed!), but she still has great advice.
O.k. – here goes:
What kind of child do you have? My Dianna is a little quite, nosy wonderer. She can spend incredibly long reading a book or studying a picture/toy. Which isn’t a bad starting point for travelling with a baby, I will admit.
I filled my carry on with her favorite books, cuddly toy and a toy phone which she loves to “pretend” to call grandmother with! (affiliate link!)
But if your child is more a “mover and shaker” kind – consider a little handheld game or toys for the window (and of course be sure to get a window seat!), or maybe something sensory that can fulfill his physical need for movement.
Well I always start with the essentials:
- Diapers (No fun travelling without!) I pack about 5 diapers for a 2 hour flight. She doesn’t use them all, but I am a cautious person and like to be sure that if our flight is delayed or anything unplanned happens, at least I have diapers for 1 whole day for her.
- Wet wipes travel case. I love this one from Huggies! It’s expandable and refillable! You can also make your own wipes and refill – I won’t tell! 😉
- Hand sanitizer for me and her.
- Dirty diaper bags
- Extra set of clothes (I sometimes bring more then 1 set, if I know we’re travelling for a long time, or if your baby is a sweat-betty like mine!)
- Sippy cup, I bought this wonderful one from MAM, but actually Dianna mostly wanted to drink from my water bottle.
- Extra pacifiers and a pacifier clip, so you don’t have to pick it up off the floor all the time.
Now this is my secret weapon when travelling – Tupperware baby formula dispenser!!!!
TIP! : Just ask for 1/3 full of the bottle with boiling water from the stewardess and fill the rest with water from your waterbottle – add in the formula and PRESTO – almost instant baby bottle and no mess! I love it!
And I use this every night as well – and it’s great! No more measuring off in the middle of night or mistaking the bottle by a measure or two!
Since Dianna is eating real foods now, I’ve changed my snack-packing a bit. And if you didn’t know, you’re allowed to bring any food you need for your baby, and also any liquid needed for them! (So no need to worry about the 100 ml rule when travelling with your baby!) It still however, does need to be put in a plastic bag. (Go figure!) 😉
This time around I packed:
- Bananas! This is just a perfect snack for travelling. Dianna loves bananas and they come with natures own wrapping – perfect!
- Squeeze smoothie pouches. We love these from Ella’s kitchen. Easy to travel with and great for a quick pickme up anywhere – even standing in line for the security check! YUP – tried and tested! 😉
- Happy-Tot Soft oat and fiber bars. Quick and tasty! These are very handy and delicious (even for mommy!)
- Knoppers, small chocolate wafers, for
briberyan extra treat! 😉
I don’t usually pack anything lunch or dinner specific, as I just let her eat the same as me. For example if I buy a sandwich or a snack, I will let her taste or buy similar for her. I can’t really be bothered packing more then snacks and just buy what I need at the airport. Honestly the variety of food has really improved and you can buy lots of organic and even lowcarb food at the airport!
This time I bought a lovely cheese/grape snack box for us at WHSmith. Delicious and Dianna loved it! My little cheese-lover.
But if you want to keep your costs down, you can always pack a lunch or sandwich-dinner.
Keeping your baby entertained!
Now this is the hard part! So when all the food has lost it’s interest and you’re in the air, how do you keep them quite and still?
Well sometimes I don’t. (I know !!!). I let my baby walk around the aisle and say “hi” to the other passengers. Most enjoy it, but of course I try to steer clear of those, who put out the “no-thank-you-vibe!” If your baby loves to move, let them! Also I try and let Dianna move all she wants before the flight. This time, we spent almost an hour walking up and down the airport hall in Manchester before the flight, and she was so tired out, bless her little heart, she just wanted to snuggle and read. (Yes! Mission accomplished!)
Some other great entertainment ideas are:
- Books! Dianna loves farm-animal books at the moment! Ever since we went to the eco-day at our local eco-dairy farm, she’s been obsessed with cows!
- Toy phone (preferably with a low-tone setting, so not to annoy every passenger in the plane).
- Ipad. Nothing beats this for plane entertainment. I downloaded 2 apps for her to play with, one which makes animal noises and another that plays her favorite childrens songs! Best $5 I’ve ever spent!!
- If your child can keep them on, headphones are nice to bring along as well. Your fellow passengers will thank you! We love these iClever headphones with cat-ears, because they are so CUTE!
Good to have along
Now these are just things I always bring along. You never know when it will be needed, but when they are, I’d rather not be without!
- Tissues for those runny noses! (Save your sleeves and jumpers!)
- Pain and fever relief for kids. A fever can strike at any time, be sure to be prepared. I keep it in a plastic bag in the front pouch of my backpack, easy to take out for the security check. (I always buy the 100 ml. one, so I can be sure and bring it with me!)
- Grown-up paracetamol for pain relief. Nothing worse then travelling with a headache or pain somewhere. I ALWAYS bring this!
- Diaper rash cream
- Chapstick. For some reason my lips always dry up on planerides. Dianna loves having some as well! My little lady-in-the-making!
- Chewing gum or läkerols for chewing when the plane ascends and descends to help clear my ear-sinuses.
All the rest
I have a little inside pocket in my backpack for my stuff. I try not to set my hopes up for reading or listening to music when I’m travelling with Dianna, because usually she takes up all my time. But this time, on the way back from Manchester, she actually fell asleep (!!!) and I had time to listen to some music and meditate a bit.
- Passport & boarding card. I have this wonderful passport-holder that my hubby bought me and I always bring it. Great way to protect your passport as it can block RFID signals from stealing your passport information!!
- My swarovski crystal pen. I know it’s a bit showy, but I never travel without it, or my dayplanner!
- Earbuds (incase you luck out!) I don’t use any fancy ones, simply the ones that came with my phone! FYI – some airlines don’t allow wireless earbuds, so be aware of that, if you use those!!
- Cell phone (never leave home without it!)
And I think that’s it! Phew… and in case your backpack can’t fit all that – I can recommend this one from HapTime. It has room for everything AND has stroller-straps as well, if you’re travelling with that, so you don’t have to tire out your shoulders for the whole trip!
Did I forget anything?? What are your “must haves” for when travelling with your child? Please share below