The words stress, toddlers, and travel do seem to fit together. Everyone of us who has had or has now got small children would by and large agree with these three words. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be like that, all you need to do is to follow a few simple hints and tips.
We adults spend our lives dealing with deadlines, and travelling on vacation is no different. We tend to cut things fine, but our toddlers have no concept of time so we have to learn to allow for this. Just leave early, don’t be in such a hurry, because our toddlers see everything as new and exciting so they want to stop, explore, have a rest, you name it, they are up to it. We get stressed, because we know the aircraft will leave on time without us, so allow more time, and your stress will vanish.
Never travel without knowing you have a seat or a bed booked. It’s not like when you were footloose and fancy free and you could just turn up and chance it. A small child doesn’t understand when you have to get back in the car when they are tired, hungry, and thirsty, and so guess what they cry, and this is more stress for everyone.
An occupied toddler is a happy toddler, so thank God for electronics. An iPad with Apps and games can keep a child happy for hours. Another great idea is the new child proof, shock proof working camera. Explain what it does, encourage them to click at everything they see, and it will occupy them for hours. You might even like the results too!!
A cold toddler is an unhappy toddler, so be aware of the weather at your destination. Children without gloves in cold conditions will cry. Children without shoes on hot sand will not only cry but could stand on the many sharp things that lurk on beaches, and that could not only mean tears but hospital as well. What this will do for your stress level is immeasurable.
Food is another stress area with toddlers. With the additives today in sugary foods, I have found too many sweets and fizzy pop can give you a hyperactive child, and on an aircraft this can be embarrassing as well as stressful. You just need to be aware of this because many parents keep their small children quiet with sweets on a flight, and the consequences, never mind the long term dental decay, can be an out of control child.
Parents tend to worry about coping with a child on a journey when they are in the middle of potty training as there is a high risk of accidents. Don’t feel you have to carry a potty, plus a bag of wet and soiled clothes. It’s much simpler to go back to the pull up trainer pants, and let them get on with it. You will worry it will hinder things, but be reassured it won’t.
I don’t know whether you have ever been in a busy place crowded with people and suddenly the toddler at your side has vanished. It can be so frightening, and so I recommend when you are travelling with a toddler you invest in a Child Locator. They wear it around their waist and you have the transmitter. If suddenly they have decided to stop and look at something, and you have moved away then one press of the transmitter makes a sound that leads you back to them.
You do need to take a small First Aid Kit with you, as there is nothing worse than an ill child on holiday, or worse still when in transit. Take some antibacterial wipes and sanitisers so if your little one touches things they shouldn’t you can wipe their hands, or if you are unsure of cutlery they can be wiped as well. In addition you should carry plasters, calpol, cream for stings, and a thermometer.
I hope this article might be of help in reducing the stress whilst travelling with toddlers.