How to plan a vacation with a baby or a toddler?

- Nicolas Belisle

One of the question that new parents often ask us is to know how to plan a vacation with a baby or a toddler. Obviously, depending on what to wish you could do, you will need more or less planning and preparation.

Taking an airplane with a newborn?

For the newborn, sleep is an essential so as long as the sleeping patterns are continued and you have all your essential baby gear, you can go to almost any place. If you plan to fly, you might ask yourself how old does a baby have to be to fly? The literature indicates that at around 4 to 6 weeks old, the baby should be ok and it’s better to check with your pediatrician.

Should I plan a long trip with a toddler?

As your baby grows and becomes more autonomous in movement, it might become trickier for long car or plane trips. Some parents will adopt the philosophy that the baby will get used to travel long distance with practice. While this might be true, some parents might also adapt to the urge of the baby or the toddler to play and move by choosing destinations that are closer from home.

Like any decision regarding values, both answers are ok. Parents that need to travel far away from home to really pull the mental plug off and for their mental well-being will need to make sure that the baby has everything needed to be comfortable for the trip. One of them is to make sure that the baby sits or sleeps at the right temperature.

Parents that decide to stay relatively near the home to reduce flight or ride time by prioritizing their toddler’s need to express himself or herself through movement and to learn through play time are also alright in their decision. Of course, the parents need to be in piece with this decision for their vacation.

What activities should we do with our baby or our toddler?

Babies and toddlers mostly learn through movement and through games so depending on their age, here a few ideas of activities that can be done anywhere and parents must take into consideration that the farther away from home a vacation will be, the more preparation will be needed:

  • Putting a tent on a beach in in your backyard and playing or sleeping with it.
  • Swimming in the pool, at the beach or playing with the water hose or any other water games.
  • Making a fire at night or during the day and perhaps, even try to cook on fire with parents supervision for obvious security reasons.
  • Running like a pursuit game or jumping with your toddler.
  • Gardening with your toddler.
  • Doing a bicycle ride with a bike trailer or any other bike device for toddlers.
  • Learning to pick fruits like raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc.
  • Going to see farm animals as a planned event or by stopping on a country road to use the astonishment of your toddler as a fun and educational opportunity.

Jumping around with your toddler can be super fun!

 

Doing bike with a toddler is also great, especially if the dogs are involved in the activity!

Fruit picking with a toddler

A good parenting advice for vacation and any other family time

The thing to remember is that as parents, you need to have fun and reduce your mental stress while being present with your baby or your toddler by reducing your pace. Using a minimum (if any cellphone) is a great idea so that you will send the message to your kid that he or she is more important than work or social media and that memories with hyper presence are more important than filmed or pictured semi-present moments.

Obviously, filmed and pictured moments also have their place and they most remain a complement to avoid distracting the parents and the baby or toddler. Glamorous and jet set activities like going to Walt Disney World or any other are far from being necessary to have a wonderful family vacation with your baby or your toddler.