Traveling with a toddler is possibly one of the most challenging things I have done. Holding down your baby while daddy buckles her into her stroller is not for the faint hearted. You need to be quite swift at clearing the area to avoid people’s stares and whispers at the horror you’re inflicting on your child. Ever since Jana started walking properly, Turkey was our first city break and I came up with a list of things I realised she needed in order to keep her happy and calm and for you to come out feeling only slightly less sane.
1. Techy Gadget
We all use it but most don’t like to admit. In this day and age, our children are growing up more and more attached to screens. Tv’s, ipads and our phone. It’s no surprise because we (parents) use it all the time! It was an absolute life saver. Weather it was to avert a melt down or get your child to just take one goddamn bite and stop chasing the birdie around the block! I could whip this bad boy out and all our worries would temporarily facde away. (Of course, I like to keep a limit to how much she uses it) We’re at that age now where even an ipad isn’t ALWAYS entertaining. I am happy about that as I love watching her run around but means less breaks for mummy…
2. Back Pack
If you’re going to be spending time out and about in such a busy city, you need to keep your valueables secure. There’s a lot time spent paying attention to your child which means not so much time paying attention to your belongings which also means easy access for pocket theives. Instead of packing a baby bag and seperate hand bag for me and my husband, we decided to take a single back pack (with two seperate compartments). This had our essentials like wallet, passports etc some travel size sun cream, extra clothes for Jana and nappy. Don’t forget the trusted ipad of course. I also kept all sorts of snacks and drinks on hand because we never knew where the day would take us!
3. Child Safety Harness (I don’t want to call it a leash!)
Before I had a baby, I was one of those people who would shake their heads and tut at the sight of a child in a harness. Why would you possibly want to strap your child into one of those things? I’ll tell you why! When you want to be able to stand up straight because the pain in your back is killing you and the sciatica caused by the pain in your back is killing you even faster and you frankly just don’t want to say ‘Don’t touch that!’ another time and would much rather just tug at the leash to get your child away from the god forsaken crumbs on the floor that is this world. They will test you over and over and over again. You. Need. A. Leash. Of course you will get stared and pointed and laughed at. Do you know what I say to that? If you haven’t got a toddler, you haven’t got an opinion. How do these toddlers manage to be so super crazy annoying and super cute all at the same time?
I had a surplus of these in our rucksack. Jana loves them and would rather nibble throughout the day then eat proper meals sometimes so they always come in handy. Also best to only take them out in dire emergency or when trying to distract your baby long enough to avert potential disaster. Packet of crisps, breadsticks, cucumber/carrot sticks, cheese slices, biscuits basically anything they enjoy munching on and these options are all minimum mess snacks!
These are the most important four items I never went anywhere without and found the most useful. Of course there are things like what clothes to pack? It’s always good to make sure what the weather will be like in the city you are traveling to and always pack extras even if your going to a very hot country and there’s a slight chance of rain, you should make sure to pack at least one item for the rain e.g. raincoat. It helps to know what’s going on in the city you plan to visit as well in terms of how far you will be walking, will you be traveling via public transport, will there be hiking involved? Will you need special shoes? Is it pushchair accessible or would you need to take your baby carrier? These are all questions to ask yourself before you pack and knowing your destination is the best way to be prepared.