By the time your child nears 18 months, he should be ready to to enjoy traveling, seeing new places and new things. However, even the most confident baby can feel anxious in a new environment so it is vital that you prepare well for the journey– and above all, try and relax!
If you are going abroad to the East or to Africa, it is a good idea to visit their pediatrician at least a month before travel to ensure that their child is up to date on all required vaccinations and in case additional immunizations are required. Also load up on all the usual OTT medicines and vitamins your child uses.
Consider traveling at off-peak times and minimize the hassles that often come about with connecting flights. Bulkhead seating and bassinets should also be requested ahead of time, as well as special meals for babies. Alternatively, you can pack some baby jars and have the flight attendant warm it for you.
An umbrella stroller is a must for those long treks through the airport and endless waiting periods before boarding, passport control and customs.
Do pack only necessary items. This should include essentials like diapers, wipes, changing pad, plastic bags, medicine and extra clothing for your toddler and you. Make sure to bring more than enough supply of many of these items, or keep a back up in your carry on.
Entertainment & Snacks
Bring a goodie bag containing a few of your little one’s favorite toys, plus a couple of new objects. Possibilities include sing-along tapes, hand puppets, story books, stuffed animals, musical toys, or anything else that captivates her. Wrap a few toys or books as surprises to be dispensed along the way to ease the tedium of travel. Make plenty of rest stops along the way to let your toddler run off some steam.
Toddler snacks like raisins, snack bags of Cheerios cereal, crackers, cookies and juice boxes are a Godsend during a long trip. Bringing along something for toddlers to suck on such as a lollipop or juice box, or pacifier/bottle can help reduce ear pressure during take off and landing.