Travelling with a Toddler – Part 1.

We’re now into our second and final week of our holiday here in Cayman Islands. We were lucky enough to get the opportunity to come here as some of my boyfriends family live on this beautiful island and they wanted to spend time with Olivia. This is a major holiday for us and when the tickets were booked it was pure excitement, but as the time to leave drew near the reality of travelling thousands of miles with Olivia kind of scared the shit out of us but mostly me! In the weeks leading up to our departure I checked out YouTube for video tips to help make things easier for Olivia and for us while travelling. One video in particular put me at ease, so I basically just had to take the advice that mother had to offer, some was relevant, some wasn’t. I guess the rest I had to learn for myself.

So here are my tips for travelling (on a plane) with a toddler.

1. When booking your seats, children under 2 years can sit on their parents lap, luckily we had an extra seat booked for O and my God did we need it! When she was napping I lay her down on the seat and she slept peacefully for hours, I just don’t think she would’ve slept so well if she was on my lap. So basically, if you don’t happen to book a seat for your toddler ask at the check-in desk if there is an empty seat available beside your own two as the flight may not be full.

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2. Time Frame for booking – If you can choose your flight time then go with a time that doesn’t mess up your child’s routine too much. We left in the morning, it was an early start but O was ready for her nap the
minute we boarded, so it worked out well.

3. Pram – I blogged a few months ago that we had bought a stroller for our holiday as it would’ve been much handier for carrying onto the plane. That was all well and good at the time but a few days before we left, I decided that we were bringing our Bugaboo Cameleon with us, I knew that it was much more comfy for O to sleep in and a lot easier for us to push, so it made sense to take it instead. I called our airline a few day’s before we left just in case we weren’t allowed to bring it right up to the gate but they said there was no restriction on what size pram you can bring to the gate. Great right?! You attach a label to your pram (if there is two parts then they attach two) fold it up and the crew will put it on the plane for you, then you just pick it up outside when you get off. I can’t recommend this enough to bring your big pram if your child is more comfy in it. It definitely worked better for us.

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4. Toys- Bring enough to keep your toddler occupied in the airport & on the plane. I picked up a tube of colouring pencils before we left (markers could leave stains on the planes furniture) and I brought a colouring book from home, this kept O happy for hours. Also downloading their favourite programmes onto an iPad is essential, we borrowed my nieces one and I don’t know what we would’ve done without it either! Pack small but interesting toys and books and of course their favourite teddy if they have one, that will help soothe them in their cranky hour!

Colouring pencils and a book kept her busy for a while

Colouring pencils and a book kept her busy for a while

5. Food – Most airlines don’t supply food for babies or toddlers, so pack more than enough to get you through your trip. Pots of fruit, tinned spaghetti, crackers, bread roll, a sweet treat. Bring plenty of fluids too, we brought milk and water. There’s no restrictions at all on baby food or milk when you go through security – you may be asked to sip the liquid, we weren’t, but I would of had no problem doing it because I needed everything brought through for O! I just have one huge tip for you – We had a very long trip to get here, our longest flight was 7.5hrs which isn’t too bad but we had long waiting periods in airports to catch two more flights, so we were allowing O to drink her milk and eat her food whenever she wanted, but once we were on our last flight from Miami she started feeling unwell, her tummy was full of milk and eating at all hours probably didn’t help either so in the end she was sick on the plane. It was an absolute nightmare at the beginning but the crew were so helpful which put us at ease a little, I was upset that O was ill but once she had been sick, she slept really well, so that’s a lesson I’ve learned for our trip home. Not to over do it on food and drink.

6. Change of clothes – once we reached our destination, Olivia was only wearing a nappy! Unfortunately, I only brought one change of clothes and I’d already used them in Miami. We had to strip her on the plane after she was sick, the rest of her stuff was in our suitcases, so she was wrapped in a blanket going through immigration in Cayman Islands (we got a few funny glances) but I’m sure the smell of vomit wafting from us gave it away!
7. Medication – My local pharmacy made up a travel kit of medicines we may need while we’re away. As my friend said to me “don’t you know being ill normally happens in the middle of the night so it’s better to be prepared”!
8. Ear popping – Giving your child a dummy or a bottle while taking off and landing is essential to try prevent their little ears from popping. Calpol is essential too for flying as this will help to relax your little one during the flight.

9. Child Safety Harness – I really wanted to have a harness for O while we were going through three different airports. It was great to be able to let her walk herself at times and it put our mind at ease as she was attached to one of us at all times. This one by Diono was perfect and a great price too!

Diono harness was very handy walking through the airports

Diono harness was very handy walking through the airports

My lap was the best place to settle her

My lap was the best place to settle her

Taking a break in Miami Airport

Taking a break in Miami Airport

We made it!

We made it!

So far, this is all the info I have to share with you guys. Part 2 will be posted once we’re home. I’m sure there will be plenty more moments that we’ll have to deal with on our return journey and when the time comes to leave, I would just love to click my fingers and be back home safe and sound but that would be too easy! I’m just going to look at it as another big adventure.
Until then, best of luck to anyone going on a trip with young kids. I hope my post helps in some way.

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