Road Trip Survival Kit For Toddlers

New project (1)

Road trips with babies can be fairly easy if you leave right around bedtime and pray they sleep the whole ride. We spent a lot of time in the car when Annabelle was under a year old and she usually did well for the first couple of hours. After 4-5 hours she hit her limit and needed a break from the car (or a little nursing session). This morning we are hittin’ the road for our first long trip with toddler size Annabelle. I’m a little scared… so I’ve been planning for weeks!

My survival kit is pretty easy to replicate if you are looking for ways to keep your little one(s) entertained with activities and snacks on an upcoming trip. Definitely give yourself time to shop around for different toys/games – the Target $1 bins were where I found most of my supplies! I collected food on various trips to the grocery store, always looking for items on sale. I would love to say how much I spent on everything for the trip, but since she eats a lot of organic items, the food wasn’t so cheap. You can make your kits any way you like!

{ Activity Survival Kit }

Road Trip Survival Kit Activities

 

Annabelle loves coloring and stickers these days, so I found an activity book and princess sticker album just for her. The Minnie stationary kit is so much fun – she had a Princess kit when we flew last month and still plays with it! She picked out the green squishy ball and sunglasses, but promptly forgot about them by the time we were home. I will put the crayons and markers (which are stamp markers!) in the pink zipper bag. I will not give her all these goodies at once – but rather one thing at a time. When she tires of one things, I will move on to the next! I have my iPad loaded with Sesame Street and Elmo episodes in case of emergencies too.

{ Snack Survival Kit }

Road Trip Survival Kit 2

 

I chose to pack all of Annabelle’s favorite things to eat since I know we will need snacks to keep her little tummy full at the beach. Since she is dairy free, it can be difficult to find snacks on the road. Annabelle loves Plum pouches and fruit bites, Annie’s cookies and bunny gummies, Horizon peanut butter crackers, Chex Mix, peanut butter, Kashi cereal bars, Veggie Stix, and her Foogo water bottle. Most of the loose snacks can be put in a spill proof bowl. I also have a small cooler with extra water bottles, mini apple juice boxes and a container of hummus. We will most likely stop for a quick bite to eat (breakfast or lunch) before we make it to our final destination. Perhaps next time I will pack a picnic breakfast/lunch…

What kind of items would be in your Road Trip Survival Kit?

Tips for Flying with a Toddler

Tips for flyig with a Toddler

In April 2014, Annabelle rode on a plane for the first time. A few weeks before our departure, I reached out to my readers and friends for advice on flying with a baby. There were so many tips that I truly believe saved me and my husband from an epic meltdown on numerous flights. Unfortunately, our baby turned into a toddler and I’ve had to switch up the rules of the game.

1. Attempt to nurse on takeoff and landing – if she refuses (or doesn’t nurse), encourage use of pacifier or sippy cup.

2. Umbrella strollers are your friend. Wearing a baby after a certain age can become dangerous to the wellness of your back. Find a good umbrella stroller that’s a great height and you can fold and open with only one hand. We bought a cute Ladybug stroller from Target that was on the short side and the wheels gave out after three uses – it was only $15. We upgraded to a $29 lightweight stroller from Target (that I can’t find online).

3. Backpacks are also your friend. Invest in a durable backpack for flying with your toddler. It is near impossible to rangle a little one, stroller, and roller bag/tote bag through an airport on your own, so buy something you like. My Under Armour Backpack has survived 8 flight, 2 roadtrips, and countless outings so far. It is spacious, with many pockets to hide snacks and toys, easily adjustable for when B comes along, comfortable, and feels weightless even when its loaded down with supplies. Since I fly a lot solo with A, my trusty backpack and I have become BFF.

4. Bring lots and lots of food. I pack all of Annabelle’s favorite snacks in Ziploc bags and hide them throughout my backpack. Since she is dairy free, I don’t trust the airport shop snacks. Peanut butter crackers, Veggie Sticks, Chex Mix, Annie’s Gummy Bunnies, Plum P0uches, Cheerios, Annie’s Chocolate Chip Granola Bars, and more, can be found in my bag.  I also bring a sippy cup and my own juice boxes. Security NEVER gives me a problem when I bring my own drinks on board. OH – always have a super secret snack. My super secret snack trick is a little piece of dairy free chocolate that I only pull that out in case of an emergency. 

5. A seemingly endless supply of toys. Not only do we travel with an iPad stocked full of Sesame Street, Peppa the Pig, and Baby (herself) videos, but I also bring a variety of non-electronic toys. Books, stickers, a mini pad of paper, crayons/markers, baby dolls, tiny cars, squishy balls, and a tube of chapstick are some of Annabelle’s favorite toys.

6. Sanitizing Wipes. There was once a time when I wiped down the entire area on the plane as soon as we arrived in our seat. Now, I might use the wipes for the window (if she is trying to lick it) and the tray if I am feeling ambitious. I really bring the wipes for emergencies – sticky fingers or BARF. Yes, Annabelle threw up on takeoff last month. All over her poor Daddy. The Purell Wipes worked wonders cleaning up her vomit.

7. Two or Three Sets of Clothing. Now that Annabelle got sick on the plane once and also spent her bedtime waiting to board a plane, I bring an extra outfit and a pair of jammies. I don’t usually pack clothes for myself because of a limited amount of room in the backpack, but since A threw up on her Dad, I will find a way to pack a change of clothes for emergencies.

8. Extra Birth Certificate. It’s always smart to bring two birth certificates in case you lose one in your travels.

9. Thin Blanket and Spare Lovie. Since Annabelle loves to drag her Bunny and Paci all over kingdom come, I always have a spare bunny and paci in my backpack. There is nothing more gross than thinking about her rubbing her bunny on the bathroom floor and then snuggling up with it on the plane. Also, it can get chilly on the plane so I never leave without a thin blanket.

10. A trusty traveling outfit. I learned quickly that trying to look stylish while traveling with a toddler can be extremely difficult. I’ve developed guidelines for my trusty traveling outfit, ensuring it is always comfortable, versatile, and can be reused when you reach your destination.

Traveling with a toddler