Does the idea of flying with your toddler give you heart palpitations and sweat rings — and this is while you're nowhere near an airport, still sitting in the comfort of your living room?
How to travel (well) with your toddler
It's time to take a deep breath and wipe away the perspiration because it is possible to save your sanity while traveling with a toddler during the holidays.
If you ask yourself what usually causes a toddler to have a tantrum, it's usually one of three things: Boredom, exhaustion or hunger. All things that are highly likely to occur when you're traveling — especially on an airplane. To expect a little one to be able to handle long airport lines, flight delays and the confinement of a seat and small space for hours on end is asking a lot. But investing in a few toddler-friendly products can help save your sanity and your vacation!
If your toddler is like most, he's very interested in your iPhone or iPad or anything you have that involves technology. So investing in a child-friendly version of a touchpad tablet like the Vtech InnoTab 2s will not just occupy but excite and engage your toddler during trying times of travel.
And if you're feeling guilty about the "technology" part, don't (and you won't when you've been cruising at 35,000 feet for three-plus hours). It's considered a learning toy. It's educational, offering interactive e-books that allow children to learn reading comprehension and vocabulary; it plays music and even has an app that lets kids draw with their finger. But we haven't even mentioned the best part yet: It comes with built-in Wi-Fi so you can connect to the internet during long layovers or delays at the airport. (Vtech, $100)
Daddy Diaper pack
One of the most frustrating things about flying with a toddler is the colossal amount of "stuff" that you have to bring with you. And if you're like many moms, no matter how organized you think you are, there will come a time when you're frantically rummaging through your oversized tote — and cursing yourself for your shoddy packing skills — looking for that one important item that will save your toddler from going over the edge.
The Daddy Diaper pack — not just for dads by the way — has a custom design that eliminates fumbling through deep pockets or struggling to take the pack on and off while holding your baby. It also features: Two roomy compartments (to store wipes, diapers, you name it), an insulated cooler pocket, two side pockets perfect for sippy cups or bottles and full straps and clips that keep the pack safely in place and make it easy to remove when you're going through airport security. Plus it fits under the seat on the airplane! (Daddyscrubs.com, $70)
Toddler's own rollerbag
If your toddler is Little Miss Independent, she'll love traveling with and pulling her own bag behind her through the airport. Before the trip, let her help you pack some of her favorite toys and books in an adorable Zoo Luggage suitcase that looks like a monkey, dog, bee, ladybug or owl. And because it's compact, she'll be able to access it easily during the flight or long car ride. It even has an adjustable "parent strap" so you can sling it over your shoulder when your toddler tires. (SkipHop.com, $30.00)
Whether you're in the process of potty training or still in diapers, knowing where the closest restroom is — and knowing if it has a changing table — is critical. Download the free SitOrSquat: Restroom Finder app for free and save yourself a headache, or worse, a big mess! (Itunes.com, free)
More about traveling with small children