Parenting truths we have learned on the road and in the air traveling with a toddler
We have been celebrating our wonderful Master L’s birthday this week so this week’s “5 for Friday” is dedicated to a special little man who has brought so much laughter and fun to our family and taught us a thing or two about dealing with parenting on the road while he’s at it!
1. Baby Proofing
If I can touch it and hold it, surely it’s allowed to go in my mouth? No one will forget Master L attempting to taste-test a baby crocodile at the Malcolm Douglas Wilderness Park in Broome (amongst countless other objects, but this was probably the most terrifying).
The Truth: You can baby proof the hell out of a hotel room but nothing can prepare you for all child safety issues when you travel.
2. Feed when they need
If your 3-month-old decides he’s going to flat right refuse to take a bottle from you anymore despite moving to the desert and both of you being utterly dehydrated and losing weight, they will insist on still being fed by boob, no matter where you are or how convenient this might be. This is how my nursing cover and I became best of friends.
The Truth: When your baby is hungry, there is no shame, get your gear out and get that baby fed.
3. Medical cover isn’t universal
If your expat child is going to get sick overseas, try and avoid a day when you’re insurance company is closed. Even if you are travelling back to your home country, don’t automatically expect your beloved offspring to be recognized as “one of them”; unless you are currently paying taxes or one of a handful of countries with a reciprocal relationship in Australia you will need to pay for your medical care.
The Truth: Friday evenings are probably the most inconvenient time to take your kid to A&E if you’re insured from the Middle East.
If your child happens to crack their chin open at an airport (perhaps because their big sister has bear hugged them then dropped them on the concrete floor), get it treated on the spot and request enough plasters to last a 12-hour flight. If you wait until you’re on the plane all they can offer you are bright blue plasters – this is apparently for health and safety reasons so it doesn’t fall in your food (of course if they had any sort of adhesive qualities it wouldn’t be an issue).
The Truth: When you’re off on a family holiday always take a small medical kit with you in your carry-on, you know if you don’t they are bound to injure themselves.
5. It takes seconds to get lost
There is nothing more heart-thumpingly terrifying than losing a two year-old in Walmart. For all that think the Middle East is a dangerous place to live, I can assure you the thought your child has been abducted in an American megamart by some crazed lunatic is far more petrifying (I watch too many American crime dramas, I know).
The Truth: It only takes seconds for a child to wander off; as soon as a child can understand explain meeting points in a crowded place, or even better put a contact phone number on them.
What unexpected truths have you learnt the hard way travelling with your tots?
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