Tuesday, June 15, 2010

10 Tips for travelling with toddlers

1. Be ready for surprises! Yes, as much as you can possibly be. They sleep when you're excited about a view and they're excited when you're exhausted. They'll hate the sea when all you want them to do is embrace the vast expanses of water. That's step one - mental preparation.

2. Hunger strikes are a great way for toddlers to protest, I guess. Protest against new environments, people and new food. So be prepared to see your kid seemingly starve himself and freak you out in the process. Keep the liquids flowing and going into them at least. Prevents dehydration. Milk, water, juice are quite universally available.

3. No-go-potty is an inevitable result of the above protest. No input, no output. And if your kid is used to a certain potty or potty seat don't forget to carry it along. They won't poop till they're on familiar ground.

4. If your toddler is a real picky eater, like mine (and most toddlers), DON'T FORGET to carry non-peridshable favourite foods. Even if it's junk. In a remote place it comes handy and your tot won't starve at least. I would say if you're flying short distance or doing a road trip short distance carry perishables too if you have access to a fridge at your holiday spot.

5. Call your hotel/resort in advance and ask if your kid's staples are available. If it's not, it'll help you carry stuff that you won't get but your child is sure to ask for. I thought tots just adjust and go with the flow when on vacation. Uh huh. No chance. They like the routine and familiar and will not budge. (At least most of them. I envy those parents whose kids eat whatever's on the buffet!)

6. Don't forget emergency medication. Though it's a hassle to carry umpteen number of bottles that leak, you'll be thanking yourself if you have medicines on hand, if, god forbid, things go wrong. Don't forget to carry something your doctor has recommended for small cuts and bruises for the kid, depending on the system of medicine you follow. Also take something for internal injuries -- kids have an amazing tendency to bump themselves (especially on the forehead) against furniture in unfamiliar hotel territory.

7. Favourite shoes (to make sure they walk willingly), clothes (no new trials on vacation), toys (to bring that smile onto their face), and definitely, his blanket/shawl. Maybe even photos of grandparents if that's who they are with when back home. Chances are they'll miss them and be happy to see their pictures. My boy just drove us mad insisting he wanted to go to grandpa's when at the beach!!

8. Favoutite music/books and definitely crayons and paper/book. Maybe a new puzzle or toy to add a holiday surprise and remember the holiday by. Maybe a toy camera for them to go "click" every time you do! Or they'll be fighting for yours.

9. I would also suggest, if you're travelling in India, that you carry along a scrubber and some liquid dishwash sachets (like Vim)to clean up your tot's favourite cutlery if you're taking that too. And at the cost of sounding like a cheapie, I also carry some sachets of clothes washing powder. I'd hate to pay 60 bucks or some such ehxhorbitant amount to have my child's underwear laundered, if he peed in it. Most hotels have running hot water. At least you can rinse out his undies with soap and water.

10. Kid's sunscreen if you're going to a hot place. Lots of woolies if it's a cold one. And sachets of whatever drinking-powder you use to mix in his milk. (I know it's all random and in no order...but these are things i remembered from the recent vacation and needed to put it down for myself, before I forget, for the next vacation, if I ever dare take one again!!)

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