Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Toddler Travels

Anyone who has a toddler knows that traveling can sometimes be hit or miss.  With the trip we took over the weekend, I'd say we hit somewhere in the middle.  There were times I wanted to pull my hair out, but then there were times she was just her old self! 

The one thing I was a bit nervous about was sleeping arrangements.  Thankfully I had read a post of fellow blogger Rachel's arrangements she had made for her son, Henry, when converting him from a crib to a 'big boy' bed.  It was so helpful!  Before our trip, I got out our pack and play and found that Makayla had outgrown it.  So my plan on this trip was to take the mattress off of one of the beds in our room (we had 2 queen beds) and put it on the floor and then stuff pillows and rolled up blankets under the fitted sheet.  That way she couldn't push them off in the middle of the night!  And you know what, it worked wonderfully!!

Her setup

The first night she rolled off the bed into the floor (somehow!) but didn't wake up since she was just a couple inches off the floor (mattress height).  She was, however, curled up in a ball from what Damon said because she had no blanket on her.  When he woke up around 7am and found her like this he tried to put her back in bed and cover her up, but then she was up for the day.  But that was ok!  We like to get early starts when we are on vacations.  Only downfall is, normally Makayla is a LATE sleeper (anything before 9am is unusual for yeah..she takes that after me!), so around 11am-ish, she would get cranky and take a quick nap. 
Our biggest problem was crankiness with this trip.  Bedtimes being thrown off, naptimes off as well, and different sleeping arrangements combined with long car rides is enough to make anyone cranky.  But a know they just don't handle schedule changes like an adult does!  When we were at Blackwater Falls, she wanted to walk down to the falls.  No problem, right?  It worked, mind you, but there was like over 200 steps that leads to the falls (not including going back up)!  That's alot of walking for those little legs!  She handled it like a trooper, but at times it would have been easier carrying her a little ways (even though she is heavy).  Only problem there is she got MAD if we tried to carry her.  Oh and the falls themself?  She could have cared less..the steps were way more fun apparently!
I just noticed I got her sippy cup in the picture!  She was mad!

But the steps were sooooooooooo fun!
Being her sweet self and stopping for a photo op!

The thing with traveling with a toddler, you just have to learn to roll with it.  When they start to throw a fit, don't make a big deal out of it..just take them away from the situation (whether its a store or whatever) until they calm down.  The first day was the most trying for me because the last time we'd traveled with her she was really good for us. 
But she was also 11 months old too.
Traveling with babies is SO much easier than with a toddler!  Whoever said sleepless nights, crying, and more crying comes with babies sure didn't know mine!  She was such a good baby, traveled well, and the whole nine yards.  Now she's got some attitude (that's part of developing!) and can say "No!" so it makes for a whole different experience. 
The best advice I can give on traveling with a toddler is this..try to keep as much 'normal' as you can.  That is, bedtimes/naptimes/story reading/potty training (if your doing so at that time)/playtime.  We did bedtime away from home the same way we did at home.  The only thing I wished I had ready to go the day we traveled up was her portable dvd player.  We brought it along so she could still watch her sign language dvds that she's addicted to (it was a lifesaver too!!) at the room, but I didn't check it out before we left and didn't know there was a car adapter (wasn't sure if it was charged..again..I didn't check).  She could have watched it while we were riding!  I know that would have helped immensely!  I had it ready to go on the way back but she was good the whole way down so it wasn't needed. 
But I hope that my experience has helped you if your about to travel with a toddler anytime soon!  I know I'll know what to expect the next time and be a little better prepared!


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