Friday, December 12, 2014

Travelling with a toddler

Each trip we've taken during Little Bean's short life has been very different. I think that the first was the easiest. He was two months old and slept most of the time. We met so many lovely people that helped with bags and at customs checkpoints. For the next trip, he was 12 - 13 months old. He was able to sit in our seat while I stowed our overhead luggage. Very convenient. He toddled around a little but was light enough that I could carry him. On this latest trip, last weekend, Little Bean was 16 months old. He will often play independently now, so he was easily entertained. He loved saying hello and bye bye to everyone on our plane and at the airport. He's definitely a Leo. For the first time, he was interested in looking out the window. He really likes to be Mummy's Little Helper, so giving him small jobs when he was restless worked well. This time, it felt like I was travelling with him, instead of just taking him along for the ride.

We flew from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Perth, Australia. We always fly with Singapore Airlines via Singapore. (More on why I love Changi airport later.) If you have small children, I find that Singapore Airlines makes life much easier for you, especially if like me, you usually travel with only one parent. They will let you take your pram to the boarding gate and will load it just before boarding. They also have bassinets on board that can be used for children up to 14kg. We usually take red-eye flights so that most of our travel is done done during Little Bean's natural sleep-time. I love the inflight entertainment system with movies, TV shows and games. You can even play games against other passengers. A great feature for siblings travelling together. Flying is one of the rare times that I get to see a current movie, as I haven't been to the cinema since Little Bean was born.

Now that LB can walk next to me and hold my hand, I got this cute monkey backpack - baby harness combo. I wish I had practised with it before we travelled because he keeps trying to run off and sometimes falls when he reaches the end of the lead. We'll be practising a lot before our return trip. It will make all those customs checkpoints much easier if I know he won't be running off. I bought the harness in a pack with a neck pillow and safety mirror from Target in Australia. It was only $17. Bargain!

For the plane ride, I made up a special Discovery Basket to keep him amused. It included a numbers board book, two Mr Men paper books, a couple of teething toys, a toy phone, a wooden car, an X-Box controller and a face cloth for playing peek-a-boo.

Little Bean found the X-Box controller when he was rummaging through some drawers last week. He's never seen anyone play video games, so he has no idea of its intended use. He's just fascinated with the various button and toggles. It was a big hit during the plane ride. He has recently started to play pretend phones with us. I have lost count of the number of fake phone calls he's had me make in the past two weeks. 

The basket was a great way to store everything. It fit perfectly on the seat between his legs so his toys didn't get spread all over the place. It also made it easy for him to carry around and kept his little hands occupied at customs checkpoints.


  1. I have the exact same monkey harness! Don't give it away when your toddler is done. We slung it on my toddler's chair, and he's using it to practice buckle work. :) I'm going to have to look this article up for tips when we start traveling next summer.

  2. Great idea Elaine. I hadn't thought of that. I read the other day (I think it was on Planting Peas) that they put a zip-up jacket over the back of a chair for zipping practise.