The time will eventually come when you must exit your newborn bubble and leave the house again. There is a good chance that the second (or third, fourth, etc) time around will be even sooner than it was with your first as you have another little person to attend to. For some, taking both children out together for the first time can be a very daunting task. My first born is already four so I didn’t worry as much as I can
bribe reason with her and manage her behaviour easier than if she was a tinier terror. Adjusting to carrying out tasks with twice the occupancy does take some time and practice but with a few tips and a lot of wine patience, you will be a pro in no time.
Snacks. All the snacks.
Boredom= Hunger so if you are at the grocery store or a doctor’s appointment or on a walk longer than 30 seconds, children become ravenous. Having a snack bag on hand helps keep the hangry at bay and also keep them occupied. Bonus points for healthy snacks and triple word score if it is something that takes a really long time to eat!
A seat for each rider
When you are doing anything with small children it is always helpful to have them each in a seat that allows them to be both comfortable and also contained. Your double stroller is amazing if age appropriate but a ride on board that keeps your older child on board also works well. The invention of a double seat in grocery carts should win a nobel prize in my opinion as children free to roam the store will surely knock over at least one display of stacked coconuts. Plus, children forced to walk for any length of time when it is not to an activity of their choosing are ripe for a meltdown, and nobody wants to carry a screaming toddler home from anywhere.
Remember that you’re not an octopus.
Since you don’t have eight hands to satisfy each child’s every whim and demand, free up the two you do have and go hands free when possible and necessary. If you are taking a trip to the park, a baby carrier is the perfect place for baby to relax while simultaneously allowing you to push swings, open water bottles and carry rocks and dandelion bouquets. Backpack style diaper bags are also great for going handsfree but also being prepared with your on the go essentials. For destinations in your stroller, an organizer will free you up from holding on to your phone/water/keys/coffee and allow you to push freely.
You’re on the clock
Consider your children’s ages and how much time they can handle doing any one activity. If your baby naps every 90 minutes then capping your trip at one hour will leave you with enough time to be home for a nap and not wear your babe out. Similarly, in the blazing summer heat, extended trips to the park will result in a sweaty meltdown if you are not careful about limiting your stay. Plan your trip and stick to your timeline and you will set yourself up for success.
It’s ok to be a quitter
If, in spite of your best preparations and planning, the wheels fall off and the trip becomes an absolute disaster, don’t be afraid to abort the mission and call it a day. We all have bad days and there will be some days that are just better spent at home than battling the terrible twos, teething and traffic.
Whether your first trip out with your twosome is a fantastic success or a giant failure, remember to enjoy the journey and the destination. They won’t always be little, they won’t always hate the car seat and they won’t always fit in the grocery cart. Some of my most favourite times with my children are when we are out adventuring, even if the adventure is just deciding what we will have for dinner tonight while browsing aisle four. Setting the expectation that outings- whether fun or functional- are a part of every day life will make them just that and your kids will likely settle in and enjoy the side by side, reclined ride.
Katie is a new mom of two and will be sharing her experiences in parenting a toddler and a newborn though this series “New with Two”.
Travelling with kids can be tough but one way to make each family vacation an enjoyable and memorable time is to have well-rested kiddos along for the ride. While protecting your child’s sleep while away from home as best you can helps, making sure you bring along the right sleep tools can mean sleep filled nights and better days throughout the whole trip.
DreamPod Portable Crib – Sharing a room with your baby while away may be inevitable and bringing along this Kidco portable crib can be an easy solution to keeping everyone sleeping soundly at night.
Grobag Gro Anywhere Blind – This travel blackout blind can help create that dark and dreamy sleep zone no matter where you are. Easy to set up and take down. A definite addition to your ‘what to pack’ list.
Light My Way NightLight – Sleeping in a new place can bring up some new fears and bedtime anxieties for your little ones. This Munchkin night light can be the perfect addition to your toddlers holiday bedtime routine as it can proved enough light to keep the bedtime fears at bay and can also easily accompany any middle of the night bathroom breaks.
Wet Dry UV Sun Hat – There is nothing better than snoozing on the beach, even for our little ones. When our babies are sleeping in the sun though we want to keep their little heads protected and CaliKids sun hats can do that.
Up and Away Travel Grobag – When on vacation napping on-the-go can be unavoidable and the Up and Away Travel Grobag makes it easy to transfer your baby from car seat to crib without waking them up.
Inflatable Bed Rail Bed Bolster – Safety should always be a focus in a new sleep environment and for your little one who may be new to a bed The Shrunks Inflatable Bed Rail can easily be packed in your suitcase and can make any bed a safer sleep environment.
Lulla Doll – Nothing can comfort your little one more while away from home than their favourite toy or stuffy. With its soothing sounds and soft touch it can be just what your child needs to help them fall asleep easier when away from home. *I only recommend stuffed animals and toys to be placed in the crib once your child is a year or older.
Puddle Jumper Bag – Lug bags have been a family favourite at my home. I’ll pack my Puddle Jumper and the kids have their own Mini Puddle Jumper and we’re all able bring along our comfort items from home that help us sleep better in an unfamiliar environment.
Alanna McGinn is Founder and Certified Sleep Consultant of Good Night Sleep Site, a global sleep consulting practice. She and her husband, Mike, live in Burlington, Ontario with their 3 children (1+twins!) Alanna and her global team are working with families to overcome their sleep challenges. You can follow her expert advice on Marilyn Denis, The Goods and national publications like Today’s Parent, Maclean’s, Prevention, and Huffington Post. Alanna strives in helping families and corporations overcome their sleep challenges and have happy well-rested smiles in the morning. Join Alanna on the first Wednesday of every month at the Burlington location of Snuggle Bugz/Nestled for her in-person sleep clinic from 10-11am, and follow Good Night Sleep Site on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all your sleep essentials.
We love to travel, and we always bring along our stroller, the Uppababy Vista. This stroller has more passport stamps than our youngest child and has been with us from the beginning! And while all Uppababy strollers are extremely high quality, airlines are not gentle with stored items at all.
Last year, when travelling to Sweden and Italy, our stroller was totalled. As in, it arrived on the luggage carousel in pieces. Not a great way to begin our family vacation, especially with three little ones who were still very stroller dependent. Thanks to duck tape and ingenuity, we were able to use our stroller during our holiday, but it was clear that it needed to be replaced ASAP.
After a quick Google search, we discovered that the majority of Airlines do not claim responsibility for broken strollers for a variety of reasons. Strollers are free to store, it’s difficult for the airline to know the previous condition of the stroller before your flight, they don’t come in cases, and they’re often checked at the gate – all reason enough for most Airlines to ignore the damage they’ve caused to your kid’s ride. We struck gold with our Airline, and they did take full responsibility for our broken stroller, but we understood how lucky we were and vowed to never take the risk again.
This year we travelled to Iceland and of course, brought along our Uppababy Vista, though this time not without the Uppababy Vista Travel Bag to keep our stroller safe. What a game changer! Last year’s traumatic stroller saga left me really concerned about bringing our stroller on this most recent trip, but I know with three kids in a foreign city a stroller is a non-negotiable. The Uppababy Vista Travel Bag let us bring our stroller without any worries. Here are my thoughts after travelling with it by car, bus, and plane:
- Make sure to try your the bag with your stroller at home before you travel. We made the mistake of using it for the first time in a busy airport when we were running late for our flight. Not ideal! It is easy to use and the stroller fits perfectly, but if you’re rushing and not familiar with the bag, it can be difficult.
- Give your stroller wheels a quick clean before storing them. With the UPPAbaby Vista Travel Bag, you remove the wheels from your Vista, which is why it is so compact. But stroller wheels can be gross, so wipe them down first!
- Ideal for all kinds of travel! We wanted the UPPAbaby Vista Travel Bag particularly for flying, but we were amazed at how much simpler it made packing the car. Tiny European rental cars are already tricky enough to pack, so this was so great. For our next road trip, we’ll definitely put the stroller in the travel bag instead of simply fold it into our trunk.
- Don’t forget to register your gear! This is so so important!! Your UPPAbaby stroller needs to be registered, as well as the travel bag, or claims are not valid. It’s an extremely simple online form and it takes seconds to fill out, but it’s crucial.
After using the UPPAbaby Vista Travel Bag during our recent trip to Iceland, I swear by it for all kinds of travel. I only wish we bought it sooner, and I’ll use it again and again for simple road trips or International flights.
Emily is a Montreal-based writer and blogger, but most importantly, a mom of three littles (age five and under). She geeks out over cloth diapers, lattes, and will do just about anything to travel. You can find her on Instagram @emmorrice where she profusely overgrams pictures of her meals, kids and city.
Ok. Let’s be honest. Traveling with kids is stressful. After all, isn’t that why you can buy wine on airplanes?
A trip to Florida presented itself a few weeks ago, and I happily booked three tickets for me and my two kids to get out of the GTA, and into the sun. It couldn’t have been two minutes later that I went from totally elated to totally freaked out with the amount of “stuff” I would need to bring. I have traveled quite a bit with my kids – but not on my own, and not since they are both big enough to warrant their own overpriced seats.
Once I finished packing for three, put my double stroller in its travel bag, and dealt with my daughter’s melt down – for not allowing her to bring 5 pairs of flip flops (I didn’t even know she had 5 pairs)- it donned on me that I might need a car seat.
Airplanes are just like cars in that there can be sudden movements, and keeping a 2 year old (who now has his own seat) in their seat during those turbulent times or even during meal service, really made me wonder how I was going to hold my wine AND my squirmy toddler. The solution? CARES Fly Safe Airplane Harness.
This nifty contraption was amazing. It took less than 30 seconds to install, weighs less than 1lb, and turned the standard lap belt on an airplane into a 5 point harness system – just like a car seat. Designed specifically for children age 1 and older who weight between 22 and 44 pounds, CARES is made by AmSafe, the foremost manufacturer of aviation seatbelts and pilot restraints in the world.
You simply slip the strap around the seat, and below the TV of the passenger behind you. Tighten the strap and step one is complete. Next, you simply feed the airplane’s lap belt through each loop and you are done! It was fool proof, came in a pretty little blue bag, and fit easily in my purse.
My son loved that he could do up the buckle (just like his car seat), I loved that he was safe and secure, and all the other passengers on the flight loved that he wasn’t running up and down the aisle yelling “I tooted” – because obviously – that would be his favorite phrase at the moment.
Kids are wonderful for a lot of things, but as travel companions they leave much to be desired.
We just got back from a 10-day trip, and while I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything, I am here to tell you that traveling is not easy with an 11 month old.
Our 15-hour travel day seemed an awful lot longer accompanied by our sleepy, but nevertheless lively, son. We missed many naps, throwing any semblance of predictability and schedule out the window. The mornings, which used to be my favorite and most relaxing part of vacation, started around 5am most days. Yup, 5am. On vacation!
Traveling as a family is a whole lot different than traveling as a couple. We do a lot less hiking, snorkeling and general exploring, opting instead for long walks, pool time and even one trip to a local zoo. Unique hostels have been swapped for practical condos; economical buses and trains, for pricey (but convenient) rental cars.
But please, don’t for a second think I’m complaining. I love my son and I love taking him with us to see new places. It’s a chance for the three of us to enjoy time together free from chores, errands, work and the distractions of day-to-day life. The memories we’ve made on vacation are ones we’ll cherish forever.
People are always telling young couples to get all of their traveling done before they have kids. By all means, travel as much as you can before introducing kids into the mix, but please don’t call it quits the moment you become parents. If you loved traveling before kids, then let me encourage you to find ways to keep traveling with your little ones. It’s not easy, it’s not convenient, but it is worth it!
Here are a few things I find make the trip go that much smoother:
- Lots of snacks in portable containers
- Travel high chair
- Sanitizing wipes
- New, never-been-seen-before toys (small and quiet are best for planes)
- Hat and sunglasses (ya, they look goofy but it’s worth it)
- Long-range baby monitor
- Compact stroller (see my City Mini GT review)
- Travel play pen
- Ground-level accommodations where hubby and I can enjoy the sun/sand/pool/etc while Grayson naps
What do you do to make travel more manageable with kids?
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