Travelling with a toddler – Skandhu’s Vacation at India!! –
Wishing you all a very happy new year!
Am back to blogging after a month long vacation at India. Have lots to share about our little darling and his activities. Skandhu enjoyed this trip to the core. He mingled with everyone and enjoyed playing with his grand parents, aunts, uncles and with his great grandmother. Skandhu happily went to every person he saw, gave Hi-Fis and played with them. The concept of “New Faces” was completely ruled out in our case. Skandhu didn’t cry or fuss to see the crowd, instead he felt very very happy to see lots of people around him!!
We started our trip on 4th of December 2010 and came back on 3rd January 2011. Skandhu enjoyed every moment of his stay in India. We attended my sister’s wedding at Chennai, then went to Tirupathi to offer our prayers to the Lord. We performed “Kalyana Utsavam” and had a very nice darshan at Tirumala. Back in Chennai we attended our Visa interview and then left to Srirangam. Skandhu stole his grand parent’s hearts at Srirangam. He brought liveliness at their place. After a weeks stay at Srirangam, we came back to Chennai and spent rest of our vacation. Skandhu had a gala time playing with his aunts and uncles (my cousins) and with kids in our colony. We had actually planned our trip for 3 weeks but it got extended for 4 weeks due to the delay in issuance of our passports at the Consulate. On the whole, all of us had a wonderful vacation.
Am planning to write about our entire trip. There is so much to share about our little one. Let me first start with our flight journey.
Air plane travel with our toddler: Plane travel was not new to Skandhu. He had already travelled in plane during his first vacation to Washington DC.
We travelled with British Airways and had a stop over at Heathrow, London. We travelled in First class in the Chicago ↔ London flight and flew in the Club world (aka Business Class) in the London ↔ Chennai flight. Travel was comfortable and memorable! We were the only people travelling in the whole first class cabin in Boeing 777 Chicago ↔ London connecting flight!! Needless to say we got “Raja Mariyadhai”
Skandhu played with the cabin crew and enjoyed roaming around. He ran around the empty aisles and we had to chase him!! Huh… end of the journey we were tried of going rounds in the plane
We spent our waiting time (at London) in the first class lounge. There was a kids play area and Skandhu enjoyed playing with lots of toys in the kids zone!! As usual he ran around the lounge and had fun. The waiters (working at the lounge) were running behind and playing with him and we took rest for some time
Mommy’s Tips: Does the thought of travelling with your super active toddler makes you jittery? First of all relax. Long flight travel with toddlers may seem to be a nightmare. But it can be made easy and comfortable too! Whether you travel in business class or economy, here are a few tips to make your travel with your toddler a breeze.
Toys & Books:
- Carry lots of small toys and books in your hand luggage. Our little one loves to read books. He enjoys turning pages and looking at colourful pictures. We carried lots of books.
- Keep 2-3 new toys and give them one by one when the child is extremely cranky.
- Keep light weight toys like keys in the diaper bag. This will be handy while changing the diaper in the lavatory. The space there would be cramped and kids may cry out of fear! Must admit Skandhu behaved very well while I changed his diaper. He kept staring at the mirror and was interestingly looking around the space!
- If your kid gets hooked to cartoons/rhymes, you can carry a DVD player too. I personally do not like to introduce TV/computer before 2 years. Skandhu loves hearing rhymes. He even watches cartoons but not more than 30 mins. (Especially TV/computer while eating is a big NO)
- I guess you can even carry battery operated toys (AA or AAA). You need to remove the batteries before passing through security check at the airport.
- Keep your diaper bag as small as possible. Just keep few diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream (3oz or less gets cleared through security check), one set of dress, wash cloth and burp cloth.
- The reason why I suggest keeping your diaper bag as compact as possible is that the rest rooms in air plane would be very small and managing a big bag with a child would become very difficult. You can keep rest of the things (other than basic toiletries needed for the flight travel) in your hand luggage.
- Call the airlines at least a day before your travel date and confirm about the availability of milk in the plane. If you are still feeding formula then you need not worry. Skandhu was completely switched to milk before his 1st birthday. Hence we didn’t want to reintroduce formula to him. We gave whole as well as 2% (one flight had only 2% milk) while we travelled.
- We get bottled water in plane. In case you want to warm milk/water, ask the cabin crew to warm it in the microwave. Specify for how much seconds you would like to heat it.
- Carry lots of toddler snacks like flavoured yoghurt, cereal bars, cheerios, fruit loops, raisins etc. Keep them in your hand luggage.
- Carry infant Tylenol/Motrin, Pedialyte (available in small pouches, need not carry big bottles), infant Benedryl and moisturising cream. Put all of these in a clear ziplock and keep them in your hand luggage. Remove the pouch from the luggage and pass it through the security check.
- Do carry a complete set of dress for you and your spouse in your hand luggage. It may be useful if the child gags or throws up.
- Also carry few trash bags. Will be useful in storing the soiled/dirty dress (for the reason mentioned above).
- If your child is above a year old, do carry an umbrella stroller. You may need to walk a lot in airports while changing your flight and the stroller would be highly useful. I do not recommend umbrella strollers for small babies.
- Carry few zip-lock with you.
- If your toddler/baby uses a bottle, then use disposable bottle liners. I saw a couple cleaning the bottles in rest room in the plane. In most of the flights, they mention that the water in the lavatory is not meant for drinking. This being the case why wash the bottles there? Bottle liners are BPA free and convenient to use!
For more tips on travelling with babies/toddlers, click here