Whilst I advocate travel with kids there are times when even I think it’s a bit too hard to take a little one on a family holiday.
It’s just during those few milestone developmental stages where it really gets difficult travelling with your baby or toddler.
Avoid Travelling During these Developmental Stages
During the first few months of your babies life you will be back and forth to the Child Health Clinic with developmental checks and immunisations.
In Australia the immunisations are at 2, 4, 6, 12, and 18 months then 4 years. Personally I wouldn’t want to travel unless it’s necessary before your first round of immunisation at 2 months. Is a holiday really worth risking your child’s health?
At 4 months you’ve had the 2nd round of immunisations, your baby is alert, has a bit more of a sleep pattern and is physically stronger. This should be a lovely time to take off on your first family trip.
2. When Introducing Solids.
So I’ve just said after 4 months should be a lovely time to travel.
However at some stage during the next couple of months your baby will want to start eating solids. It’s just a natural progression as they become stronger.
Now I have to say my most detested part of babyhood was the introduction to solids. Oh the fights with new foods that ended up on the floor, wall and me!
Do you really want to be dealing with this while preparing and cooking a new vegetable to introduce every few days plus mixing rice cereal whilst your supposed to be relaxing?
Also think about how are you going to contend with these food fights when flying, stopping on road trips and in your accommodation which may or may not have a high chair. Of course you could use your pram to sit them up – so now your pram’s filthy as well.
Once solids are established and they are onto finger food it’s a bit easier.
Therefore before booking your travel think about the window between immunisations at 4 months and the introduction of solids. Travelling while you are just breast or bottle feeding will be much easier or wait a bit longer until solids are well under way.
3. Starting Toilet Training.
Time has flown and your baby is turning into a toddler they are on the go and eating well, you can even take them to a restaurant.
Next the dreaded toilet training. Look toilet training really wasn’t that bad but I wouldn’t want to do it whilst travelling.
You would even have to pack a potty. Ugh!
I know there are travel enthusiasts out there who are travelling the country or world and have been toilet training whilst on the go. But if you’re like the average family who just goes away for 1 or 2 holidays a year do you need to coincide it with toilet training?
While you might hear how Grandma had everyone toilet trained at 12 months the reality is it’s more likely to be around the 2 year mark. Most people prefer to toilet train during the summer so you will have to make the judgement call when you want to start.
So either book a trip just before you plan to start toilet training. Or give yourself a good buffer to allow your toddler to get confident with toileting before you plonk them into a foreign environment with foreign toilets.
My last bit of advice on this; even if they have been toilet trained for 6 months or so and you go away, take some spare nappies with you on day trips you just never know if they will baulk at different types of toilets and smells. At least having a nappy you know the accident can be contained.
A Final Note
I hope that these suggestions will help you have the best family holiday possible.
Can you think of any other developmental stages you should avoid travel with kids?
Or have you travelled with baby during these stages? How did it go?