8 smart tips for traveling with a child

Soon, the vacations! We're counting down the days, we know it, we can feel it, it's going to be great... The only problem is that before we reach the destination of happiness and enjoy moments of relaxation and family fun, there's... the - dreaded - journey. Whether by train, car or plane, those interminable hours, when it would be preferable for the fruit of your womb to remain calmly seated and picture-perfect, are often the subject of much anxiety. The super WoMUMs of Milk Away have compiled their tips and tricks to help you avoid a waking nightmare.

First and foremost, it's worth remembering that a child is a child. If it's long for you, it'll be (even) longer for him. What's more, the management of emotions (whether positive or negative) is not always well mastered by the youngest children - and that's normal too! - so take this into account and don't put too much pressure on yourself. Joy, excitement, fatigue and boredom don't always mix... but that's life. Of course, we recommend that you do your utmost to keep the bug under control, but let's be realistic and keep things in perspective: there will always be a grumpy old soul to give you a dirty look every time your child has the audacity to breathe.

In short, you do your best and keep smiling (which is often the best way to throw off unpleasant people, or more commonly known as emmer***).

In any case, no matter where you're going or how you're getting there, don't forget that traveling with a baby or toddler is not just for their comfort, but for yours too. 

  1. Contact the transport company

When traveling by train or plane, find out about the travel arrangements. Do you need a special seat, is one provided, is a child's meal available, do you need to reserve it, are games or activities planned, etc.? Ask all your questions in advance, so you can anticipate the journey as well as possible. If possible, as soon as you book your tickets, try to get convenient seats at the front or back, all together and with direct access to the aisles, so you don't have to bother a stranger every time your child wants to go to the toilet or stretch his legs. 

2. Be well organized

Don't laugh ... it seems obvious, but with the 10,000 things to think about when packing for a child, you might be forgetting the essentials. Are your official documents in order, do you need a passport, an ESTA, a Covid test, advance notice to your bank, hospital insurance, are you sure your child is covered, and what about repatriation? All this administrative junk is often time-consuming, but if you have the slightest problem abroad, you'll be glad you thought of it before you left! And don't forget to take your mini's health record with you, just in case.

3. Explain the trip

It sounds stupid, but it can really make the trip easier. A few days before departure, explain to your child where you're going, how the journey will unfold and what you'll be doing. The unknown always scares everyone a little. Talking is the best way to make sure your child understands what's going to happen, anticipates the sensations he's going to feel, realizes where he's going, with whom and why it's important to be calm and patient during the journey. After all, you're a team, and communication is the key. And don't forget that the flight comes after several hours spent at the airport, in noisy and hectic corridors, with queues and sometimes stressful checks.

4. Provide comfortable, easy-to-wear outfits

And we specify: for big and small alike! Travelling with a child can be a real sport, right from the moment you arrive at the station or airport. Mini-humans are distracted, they run around, they don't follow the right people, they take the wrong corridors - in short, opt for an outfit that allows you to sprint, to carry your child easily, to be able to bend over backwards to pick up anything he or she hasn't deliberately dropped on the floor, under or between the seats, and so on. Another recommendation that applies to the whole family is to avoid wearing white, beige or other light colors, so as not to end up with a patchwork quilt on arrival. Even for us adults, eating properly in a means of transport isn't always easy; there are the disruptions, the braking, and the cramped conditions that restrict our movements. We opt for the simplest breastfeeding possible, with adapted clothing. The essentials to take with you wherever you go: the grey or black In Mum We Trust tank top, matched with its ultra-confident Who Run The World? hoodie. MUMS HOODIE. Combined with shorts or leggings, it's a light, easy outfit that combines style and breastfeeding, everywhere, all the time! 

Beyond aesthetics, for kids, think about practical outfits so you can change them in no time. Also essential: one or more changes of clothes, little socks, a sweater or a stole to wrap them up in, even if you're going out in the sun, as the cold air is often treacherous. And what's worse than the journey? A sick child on arrival, and the first few days of your vacation full of stress. 

5. Take something to keep him busy

Even if you've followed our advice, don't pull out a hundred-piece puzzle or a board game with pieces as big as the nail on your little finger. Even if you like challenges in life... Go for solid values: story boxes(Lunii, Faba, etc.) or music boxes (and don't forget the headphones, because children can listen to the same nursery rhyme over and over again. It's relaxing for them, and it'll drive you and your neighbors crazy!), children's podcasts like those by Auden and Bestiole (France Inter), interactive games, erasable drawing tablets, magic coloring pages with water-based bic, magnetic games, character or animal figurines, or game boards with pen and dice attached. It's worth doing a little research, believe us! 

6. Think about refuelling

What could be more annoying than a child - or an adult, for that matter - with fangs? Nothing! To avoid a bad mood spike, remember to have something on hand to satiate the munchies. If you're breast-feeding, the easiest way to do it is to pull out your breast (so don't forget to wear Milk Away for comfort, style and efficiency). As well as feeding, the action of suckling effectively reduces ear discomfort during take-off and landing. Further proof, if proof were needed, that breastfeeding is the best! Otherwise, don't forget your pumping equipment, a bottle, a cool bag for transport, breads, compotes and snacks (we've got a crush on the Sienna & Friends brand), water or your milk in a bottle (it passes the controls without a problem), in short, things that are easy to transport and store.

7. Take along a mini pharmacy

Imagine if, during a journey lasting several hours, you were to suffer from a stomach bug or motion sickness... what a joke! Don't forget to pack in your carry-on bag enough to soothe fever, cough, vomiting and diarrhea. And pray you don't need it! 

8. Separate your belongings 

Avoid the irritation of having to take out and return all your carry-on luggage because you can't remember where you put the pacifier and blanket. This is the kind of request that's best met quickly; "wait 2 minutes, I'm looking for it" being understood as "only 2 more hours to wait and I'll have found it", which can simultaneously provoke screaming and the uncontrolled spilling of tears... and snot. The ideal solution is to have a bag containing only your child's essentials (tutu and comforter, as well as everything needed for changing clothes), as well as his or her games, clothes, medicines and so on. A good idea is to use mini-cases featuring your child's favorite heroes and heroines, or animals, on which they can sit and remain under your visual control.

Another tip inspired 100% by experience: to move around easily in a herd in airports, train stations and other super-crowded places, we can only advise you to take an ultra-light, mega-fold stroller that will fit in your hand luggage, such as Babyzen's Yoyo, which fits in a backpack, or the Cybex Eezy Twist S+2 offered on Milk Away 's one-year anniversary (yes, that's how we like to spoil you!). Another practical option to avoid having to run around after your little ones is to use an evolving babywearing solution such as Love Radius, which offers slings and carriers suitable for both newborns and older kids.

With all this in mind, travelling should be a breeze! No, we're joking, but let's just say that these tried-and-tested tips should make your life a whole lot easier. 

You're welcome, kisses and happy vacations!

#inmumwetrust #voyageenfamille #allaiteronthego #whoruntheworldmums 

Photo credit: Unsplash - Lucas Favre