What do you mean ‘keep her happy’? She’s on vacation for crying out loud! 🙂
Okay, so vacation means something far different for me than it does for her. Lounging in a chaise lounge all day probably won’t cut it for her…..nor would hours of walking around a bustling city.
So what do I do to keep her happy when we travel?
- Anticipate, anticipate, anticipate! I swear my brain needs a break from simply keeping an eye on how she was doing. With the hustle and bustle going on all around her, I didn’t want her to go through sensory overload. Her bottle was always ready for her before she cried out for it and if something caused her any anxiety, we did all we could to make it a positive experience for her.
- Keeping to the routine: With the 2 hour time difference between here and Chicago, it was important for us to keep her as close to her normal schedule as possible. We did our best to get her to sleep at the same time she would go down to sleep at home. So yes, if that meant she slept at 10PM in Chicago to match her 8PM time in California, that’s what I did. It helped her adjust more quickly when we returned home.
- The plane, the plane!: We were so anxious about the plane ride, but she handled it like the champ that she is. We had a bottle ready at landing and take-off (as well as a back-up bottle if she drank through the first one before falling asleep). Toys, books and food were always easily accessible, but even a plastic cup from the stewardess made her happy. And don’t hesitate to walk around the cabin – so long as the seat belt sign is off.
- Plan ahead, but be flexible: Of course, I like to plan and organize. But it’s more important when I’m traveling with a baby. I guess it goes hand in hand with #1. Planning ahead let me focus on Malia’s needs without having to worry about what was next. And if things didn’t go as planned, then we went with what was in front of us. Since Malia can sense our anxiety, it’s better to simply roll with the punches.
- The world is her playground: Use any little thing as a new adventure or lesson. From touching her toes to the buttons of the elevator or her feeling the plants in the hotel lobby – it was so easy to show her something new to engage her senses.