A mommy friend gave me the inspiration for this post. Keep the suggestions coming!
We just returned from a week long vacation with two toddlers and a babe, and I am happy to say it was a success! Good times were had by all, and Ruth only asked to go home a handful of times (she is such a homebody). Here are some things that proved helpful to us:
1) Sleep. Pack n plays are your friend! Bring as many as you have babies. Bring the blankets, loveys, and pacis that they are used to to make it feel more like home. Scott brought all their favorite bed time books too, and the girls were glad to have them.
2) Car ride. Snacks snacks and more snacks. Make sure they are things you don’t have to worry about them choking on. Bring sippies/bottles that are easy to clean and lots of water. Bring pacis and blankies if you are hoping they will sleep (good luck). I have to tell you, DVDs are a game changer. Those little etch a sketch things (like this) are great cheap entertainment with no mess. And the pens on them are attached! Anything you don’t have to listen to them whine about dropping is always a bonus. Also, if you have never given much thought about rest stops, give them a gander! The toddlers usually get restless and need a diaper change every two hours or so, and rest stops have proved invaluable for both purposes. If the baby is screaming and won’t go to sleep, the windows rolled down is the perfect white noise! Also, bottles are easier for feeding in the car than breast. Just sayin. Put diapers, snacks, and an extra change of clothes for everyone somewhere in the car where it is easily accessible. Put your potty training toddler in a pull up and don’t worry about it. Ruth went potty at all our stops and her pull up was dry about 90% of the time.
3) Bath time. Bring an inflatable tub (like this one ) for the baby. Easy to pack and doesn’t take up much space. The toddlers can stand up, but you can bring a bath mat if you don’t trust them to not sit down in that nasty bathtub. I also always bring these just in case a bath isn’t an option.
3) Clothing. Bring plenty if you don’t plan on being somewhere with a washer/dryer. Kids always seem to get the dirtiest on vacation. Baby shampoo and hot water works in a pinch.
4) Scheduling. DO NOT OVER SCHEDULE. Traveling with babes is stressful enough. Stick to only one major activity a day. It is no fun going somewhere only to witness major meltdowns.
5) Stuff. We brought two booster seats and the Bumbo. The booster seats took up some room, but were useful for meal times at our condo and at other people’s houses. The Bumbo was great for the baby when we were too busy to hold her. I also used it in the shower when I didn’t feel like inflating her little tub. A stroller always comes in handy, even if it is just an umbrella one. Toddlers traveling under their own steam are as slow as molasses! And I used the Ergo too when the toddlers were in the stroller. We have a first aid kit in our car that we ended up using a lot. The girls were having so much fun running around everywhere, we had an unusual amount of bumps and scrapes. This is the one we have, and it is seriously the best. It has pretty much everything you might need. Don’t forget to bring your basic baby medicines too, just in case. Also, lots of baggies for dirty diapers. Some people consider it rude for you to casually drop your children’s feces in their trash cans, apparently.
Well, there you have it. Traveling with littles is quite doable and when you see the looks of pure joy on their little faces while experiencing new adventures, it is totally worth it! Feel free to add any good advice I have missed!