As the moms of ten month old very active boys, Club MomMe's Founders have learned how hard traveling with little ones can be, especially on your own! I was so nervous about my first solo trip with my son that I started crying to my mom expecting a doomsday scenerio or every person on the flight glaring at my son and I for four hours and whispering loudly while pointing in our direction.
I boarded the plane with 25 free drink tickets in hand, and to my surprise, everyone on the flight was extremely understanding, patient and helpful! We learned some great pointers from this trip that we will be sharing with our MomMes over the next few weeks.
Some of our favorite MomMes from the South Bay, the Pier to Peer Girls Kristal and Kimberly, are travel experts and have devised some clever and innovative ways to distract little ones while traveling. They blog about motherhood, kids, friendship, life in Los Angeles and the South Bay, craft and other fun ideas like party planning. Reading their blog is like hanging out with your best friends while sipping freshly made lemonade (or their favorite Starbucks) and gabbing about life while being creative. Here is some travel advice from our Peers:
Traveling with small children often makes parents anxious. They are worried that their kid will be the one screaming during the entire airplane flight and they will be the recipient of dirty looks from all the other passengers. I have been one of those parents. It’s funny because before I was a parent, I sometimes wondered why the mom or dad of the screaming baby wasn’t able to get their child to calm down. It didn’t seem like it would be that difficult. As a parent to two young children, I now COMPLETELY understand that those parents were likely doing everything they could think of to keep their child happy and quiet during a flight. It is not a simple task! Now, I empathize with the parents of that screaming kid and wish I could do something to help….maybe even buy them a nice, stiff drink!
In effort to try to make my job as a parent on the flight easier, I have gathered some little tricks that seem to have worked for my family. Since many of you will be traveling with your children during the holiday season, I thought this would be a good time to share these tips with you!
Create A Travel Goodie Bag!
This summer when we took our kids to Hawaii the thought of 5 hours on a plane with my , at the time, 2- and 3- year old, made me sweat. So, I decided to prepare for the long trip by creating a travel goodie bag for each one of my children. I bought two little rolling backpacks for my kids and stuffed them full of all kinds of goodies and surprises that I knew they would LOVE! I included markers (washable, of course –hee hee!), stickers, crayons, coloring books, tiny craft kits (available at Target, Michael’s, Amazon and other stores), snacks, simple projects like stringing macaroni on yarn to make necklaces and any other toy or craft I could find that looked remotely interesting. I also included a few tiny wrapped treasures that they would get to unwrap during the flight! I found a tiny set of Rapunzel characters that I knew my little lady would LOVE, and I got a few different Matchbox Cars for my car-crazy little man!
When we got on the plane they were so stinkin‘ excited about their travel goodie bags that they didn’t make a peep! My very sweet husband got stuck playing Rapunzel for at least 2 hours, but my daughter was smiling ear to ear the whole time!
You can purchase some travel bag gifts from the P2P Amazon Store!
A Few Tips:
1. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to create a fabulous travel gift bag for your child. Places like the $1 bins at Target and the 99 Cent Store have TONS of little treasures that will entertain your kids for hours!
2. Avoid letting your child rip apart their travel goodie bag all at once! Space out the goodies and as soon as you see them losing interest in one thing you’ll know it’s time to bust out the next treat!
3. Consider saving a few goodies for the return flight. I didn’t do this when we went to Hawaii and I wished that I had. The return flight, while bearable, was not nearly as relaxing as our first flight because my kids were less engrossed in their toys and crafts after playing with them all week. I have considered the possibility that they are spoiled, but I am just putting this suggestion out there so you won’t be pulling your hair out when returning from your relaxing vacation…
4. Many times babies and children cry during departure and arrival because their ears hurt! They don’t know how to pop their ears so the pressure builds up and causes pain. This may be a fun time to try to introduce bubble gum to your children, but if they aren’t quite old enough, the act of swallowing from drinking can often pop their ears and alleviate pain (and screaming)! For babies, try to hold them off on their next feeding until it is time for take off or landing. I am not recommending starving your child, but if the timing works out, having them drink their bottle or nurse during these times will help avoid inner ear pressure and pain. If that doesn’t work, sucking on a pacifier may also help to pop babies’ ears. Now that my kids are older, we have drinking contests during take off and landing. No, we don’t chug beer with our kids!! We simply make sure that they have sippy cups full of their favorite beverages and that we have water bottles full for ourselves. Then we relive our college years and encourage our kids to “chug, chug, chug!” They think it’s a riot and they are ear-pain-free!
5. Use this time to let your kids get their media-fix! We load up our iPads, phones, and other gadgetswith games, movies, TV shows and activities that will keep our kids entertained. This way, if and when your kids get tired of their goodie bag, you have a back-up plan! Check out our P2P recommended apps for kids!
Love Notes From Mommy
This summer I had the amazing opportunity to travel through Europe with my dad for two weeks. We had the most amazing time, but leaving my children for two whole weeks was no easy task. I knew that we would miss each other terribly and I wanted to create something that would let them know that I was thinking about them everyday that I was gone.
So, I created this board and posted it in my kitchen with individual notes from me for each day that I was gone. This way, they would get a special message from me during my entire trip! Not wanting to leave out my husband, I included a note for him on each day too!
Here’s how to make your own “Love Notes From Mommy” board for your family…..
Library Card Envelopes
Markers, stickers, other decorative supplies
1. Cut construction paper to fit inside the library envelopes.
2. Write a unique personal message to your child or family member on the construction paper. Create as many notes for the number of days you will be away. Decorate them with stickers or other decorative supplies. My kids cannot read yet, so I made sure to include a fun sticker they would love on each note so they would be able to “read” part of the message on their own.
3. Glue the library card envelopes onto the poster board. Use one envelope for each day and label them with the days of the week.
3. Insert the notes into the library cards.
4. Display the board in your house and tell your kids all about the notes you have written for them to read while you are away!
Hallmark Recordable Storybooks
One final idea…a friend of mine had a great idea for how to “read’ a story to her children at bedtime while she was away on business! She bought a Hallmark Recordable Storybook and recorded herself reading the story! So cute!