How is your December so far? Mine is busy, but happy!
I am by no means an expert on traveling with a baby, but we’ve had a few very successful trips recently. With holiday travel coming up for many, I wanted to share a few tips that have made our trips fun and relaxing for both our little one and us.
I would love to hear any tips you have for traveling with young children in the comments!
1. Create a “home base”
This is the number one thing that has helped us in traveling with a baby / young toddler. If you can baby proof a whole room wherever you are staying, that is excellent, but even a little corner of a room can really help. It’s important for a baby to have a space that’s his own, where he can move and explore without constantly hearing “no”. It is also super helpful for allowing the parents to relax!
In Maine, there was a sun-room we could easily baby-proof. When we visited my husband’s family in Wisconsin last week, my mother in law set up a little corner of the living room for James. She set out a blanket to define the space, and cleared off the lowest shelf of a book shelf and set a few toys there. This was so effective, that we did the same thing in our own living room as soon as we got home!
He is in a stage where he loves to run around and explore, so he did not stay in that corner the whole time, but he seemed to really love having a “home base” to return to after exploring other parts of the house.
2. Bring or Buy familiar foods
My son is not picky (yet…), and it’s really fun to introduce him to new foods when we travel, but I still like to make sure we have a few of his staple favorites on hand.
I like to pack a few of these favorites, so we don’t have to rush to a grocery store as soon as we arrive somewhere. I generally pack a small container of frozen peas, string cheese, and frozen pancakes (I make a big batch and freeze some, so generally have these on hand). Of course, I also bring lots of puffs and pouches, just in case 🙂
3. Build in free time
What kind of vacationer are you? I definitely used to be a “do all the things” traveler, but no more! At least not quite as much….
Exploring new places as a family is awesome, but I find that letting the little guy have a big chunk of time every day to just be goes a long way toward making everyone happy. If you’re staying somewhere without much space, find a local park or play place!
4. Protect bedtime
Naps and bedtime may get a little wonky on travel days, but in my experience, more than one day in a row of missed naps or late bedtimes is pretty much a disaster. We make sure James gets to bed on time, with rare exceptions. Granted, we’ve never stayed in a hotel room with him, just Air BnB’s or family homes where we could continue hanging out after he went to bed, so I’m sure that would be trickier in a small hotel room.
5. Surprise him with favorite books
I think I may have mentioned this before, but I like to put away a few of James’s all-time favorite books a few weeks before we travel, and surprise him with them on the trip. He is always so excited to see the books he loves and is happy to read them about a hundred times in a row, which is particularly helpful on airplanes.
Do you have any tips for traveling with little ones? Please share!