Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Traveling with a 15 Month Old

In the past, LittleLim has proven to be a pro at flying long distance and taking changes in environments. I shouldn't be worried, nervous or anxious but I was. Mostly nervous about the long haul travel - 32 hours going and 24 hours back. It was the first time LittleLim would be on a plane for almost a day. I was worried that she would get bored, throw a fit or unable to settle down but I'm happy to report that my fears were for nothing. LittleLim not only slept well for most of the flight, when she wasn't sleeping she'll happily play by herself. Everyone who was sitting around us and the air stewardesses commented at how easy she was and how well she travels. Honestly, I am just as surprised at how amazing my 15 month old travels (even better than us adults) and I am so thankful she makes life easy for us. 

Getting through the flights was the hard part. Once we were in the US, everything just flew by so quickly and now we're home nursing some serious jet lag but with many amazing stories and memories to keep. Of course having a toddler there changes the way we travel as we no longer have the freedom to do things we want at a pace we want. Most of the planning for our trip had revolved around LittleLim. We chose attractions that were baby friendly, we got from one place to another with UBER because trains were just not stroller friendly and we had to adjust our timing around LittleLim's nap times. It was tricky BUT doable and as a result we had a very accommodating toddler who was happy to explore the new place with us.

Planning for this trip took a bit of research and I'll share with you my itinerary in another post. But here are some things I learnt and found really helpful in making this trip much smoother. Hopefully it will help some of you travelling mamas out too :)

Bring a Stroller
Unless the place you're going is not so baby friendly, I'd strongly recommend a stroller. I found it so useful because it was so convenient to strap my heavy 15 month old in and have both hands free. Also my back is thankful. Whenever LittleLim wants to be carried, we'll use the stroller as a carrier for all our bags and shopping. 

Plan in advance
Know the place you're travelling to and whether it's baby/toddler friendly. Plan activities that involve your child which means skipping adult only activities like musicals, art galleries etc. Planning helps avoid any surprises and ensures that you have a fun trip. It's not fun lugging around a wriggly toddler and roaming around aimlessly figuring out what to do.

Stick to your childs routine the best you can
Babies and Toddlers are creatures of habit. Not sure for other kids but for LittleLim, she hates changes to her routine. She is flexible with her environments but when it comes to timing, it's best to follow or face her wrath. I found that she was following her Malaysian routine just that it was in US timing. So if she slept at 2 PM in Malaysia, she must have her 2 PM nap in the states. So we planned accordingly to accommodate this. This is also where the stroller comes in handy because she is able to nap in the stroller without disrupting our plans. 

Bring pieces from home
Again, creatures of habit. Bring a pillow she always uses, her favourite teddy, pyjamas... anything that will help make a strange place familiar. This helps them settle in faster and adapt quicker. Yes, it's unnecessary and sometimes bulky, but happy child happy parents.

Lastly relax. Kids are very intune to your emotions. The moment they sense you're stressed they tense up as well. So just relax. You've got this mama! 

If you're deciding whether to travel with your baby / toddler, I say go for it. Even if it becomes a nightmare, the reward is so much more worth it. The memories made will one day overshadow the pain. 

I think LittleLim grew in this 2 weeks and I am sure her personality is now brighter than ever. The exposure has done her well and has helped her find a bit of herself. Then again, I think Hubbycat and I have also come home different people. Some how travelling does that to us, it exposes us and reminds us that the world is big, beautiful and different. It's not just what we know and that there are so much more we don't know.



  1. Hi Ally,

    Just wondering if the first few days of jetlag changed her nap and sleep routine? Thanks for the helpful post!

    1. Hi! She didn't get any jetlag going to US. Napped and slept like usual but I think it's because she slept in the plane too. I'd definitely recommend taking a night flight so they can sleep on the plane and then sleep again at night. It was the coming back when she developed jetlag and it took us about a week for us to get back to her usual pattern. It was 4am wake up calls for all of us back home -.- haha! Hope this helps! -Ally

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