Going away with your little one gives you the opportunity to spend time with your family and enjoy their company. To make your trip a success, good preparation and organisation are essential.
Packing for your child
If you’re traveling with your child, don’t bring along your child’s entire wardrobe! Take only the essential items: clothes suited to the weather of the place you’re going to, toiletries, nappies, wet wipes and maybe a favourite toy or picture book.
As child equipment (collapsible cot, pram, etc.) can be bulky, leave them behind if you can hire them at your destination. Some hotel chains provide everything for their little guests, so do enquire before you leave.
Tips for a stress-free journey
If you leave with nothing else but nappies and enough food when traveling with your child, then you have the essentials. A well-fed child is a calm child, so make sure you feed her before leaving. And travelling at night will avoid multiple toilet stops and other disruptions.
When driving, you can easily change your child and heat up her meal. Nevertheless, always keep food, a small cover and security blanket close at hand. Remember to give your child something to drink regularly and make frequent stops along the way.
Driving to your destination: safety first
In the car, parents often find it difficult to resist the urge to hold their little one in their arms. However, when travelling with your child, it’s vital for your child’s safety to seat her in a safety-approved child car seat suitable for her size and weight. If your child is not able to sit upright, choose a seat that faces away from the front. For older children, harness seats are recommended, but make sure you attach the seat correctly and secure your child properly.
Finding space for storing luggage can often cause a headache. Even if the boot is full, it’s a good idea to keep the back shelf of the car completely free.
Leave just after you have fed your child or at night so that she can sleep and you can avoid traffic jams. If travelling in the daytime, attach sun visors to the windows. On the road, make stops as often as possible and give your child lots of fluids. And never leave her alone in the car, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Playtime with your little one
It’s important to spend as much time as possible interacting with your child, and to make playtime a special time in his day. Here are some games you can play together.
For your little one
• Peek-a-boo: This game teaches your child that even though he can’t see something, it’s still there. An all-time favourite that children just love to play.
• So-o-o big: Make exaggerated gestures to teach your growing child to stretch, and connect the action to the words.
For your older child
As your child grows, so do his coordination, mobility, and attention span. This is a good time to start him on more complex games like:
• Where is it? Hide his favourite toys in obvious places like under his blanket or behind your back. Then watch the joy on your child’s face when he finds his hidden treasures!
• Sing-Along: Start with a song your child loves then add in simple movements like hand clapping, fingers tickling and more. Watch with joy as your child starts to follow your movements.
Whenever your child is uncooperative or starts to fuss, repeating his favourite rhyme or initiating his favourite game, may help settle him enough for you to comb his hair, change his diaper or do anything he doesn’t really like. So, it helps to remember his favourite things to do.
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