Long distance journey can get a little annoying if you have kids with you (especially if it’s a baby, you just can’t predict when they would be in a good mood or when they would throw a tantrum or burst out crying). Here are few tips to make your journey less annoying and more interesting.
Get a baby bag
Baby bag is inevitable when it comes to traveling with an infant. It would be useful even after your baby become a preschooler (my daughter is four years old, and I still use one when I go to my native). Keep the following points in mind while buying a baby bag
- It should be strong and durable.
- It should be spacious and should have a minimum of 3 compartments. You can keep the baby’s clothes, diapers, wet wipes, etc. in one. Medicines (fever, cough, cold, etc.) in the second compartment, tissue papers, empty carry bags/old newspapers (to wrap and discard soiled diapers) in the third and so on.
- It should not be too small or too big (you will have to carry it to whatever place you go with the baby)
What things should you keep during the journey?
- You should keep some of your baby’s dresses, napkins, diapers, a small towel, wet wipes, some tissue papers, old newspapers, two or three small carry bags etc. in the baby bag so that you will have easy access to all those things that you would need in case your baby’s dress gets dirty or soiled.
- Before starting the journey you should consult your pediatrician and get all the necessary medicines (like cough syrup, cold syrup, fever syrup, syrup to stop vomiting in case the baby gets travel sick, medication for gas problems, antibiotics etc.), especially if you are going to a place where you cannot get immediate medical help or if you do not know from where to get the medical help. Also take a thermometer with you.
- If your child is an infant, you can carry some of his/her toys (like rattles, squeeze toys, bright objects, etc.) that can hold his/her attention for a while. You can give it to the baby when he/she starts to cry. Do not show all the toys at once to the baby or he/she would get soon bored off it. You can give him/her one toy at a time.
- Take some picture books with you if the baby is older than six months That would keep the baby engaged for a while
- Always keep a separate bag to carry your water bottles, snacks, and other food items.
- After getting into the vehicle, always keep the baby bag and the bag containing the food and water in a place where it is easily accessible for you
- If your children are older enough to read, you can carry a couple of books board games and other travel games. You can ask the kid to carry it in their school bag.
How to deal with the children during the journey
If the children are school going, you can give them the board games and other travel games to play with. If you need to travel for more than a day or two, you can carry some crafting materials (like play dough, glue, craft papers, popsicle/ice cream sticks, etc.) with you and encourage the kids to get creative. You can also show them the water bodies and other things you pass and narrate those stories or mythologies connected to it; there can’t be kids who don’t like stories. Some kids love to solve problems and complete activities in workbooks, so it would be better if you carry such books with you. As I said before, you can let the kids carry in their school bags.
You need to be little more careful if your child is a baby or a toddler. Children of the age group 0-4 years would annoy you only if they are hungry or if they have not slept well. So ensure you have all the necessary food items with you. If the infant is on formula feeds carry a flask of hot water and a bottle of boiled and cooled water so that you can adjust the temperature of water to mix the formula. If you had started weaning, then you can carry travel foods with you. Keep the toys, food, water, books, games, etc. within your reach so that you can take it without any difficulty when there is a need. If the vehicle sound (like that of trains) scares or disturbs the infant, you can plug his/her ears with cotton (do not push it deeper) and cover the head with a cloth or a scarf. Holding the baby closer to your chest and swaying can have a soothing effect on him/her. If your kid is a special child, you should take all those extra needed items also. You can also entertain the kids with your phone, tablet or other gadgets for a while but do not let them use it for 2 or 3 hours at a stretch. You can offer those devices intermittently and when all the other means of entertainment fail to engage the child.
Don’t let the kids (of age two years and above) sleep more than an hour during daytime on the day of the journey; else you would have a tough time trying to put them to sleep.
Fathers and mothers put your mobile phones and other gadgets away and join the kids in their play, and you would find traveling with kids no longer annoying.