It really doesn’t matter where you’re going, whether you’re going overseas or to the grocery store. Traveling with a toddler is complicated. I think it may even be more difficult than traveling with an infant. With infants you can somehow predict how they’ll be cause they have a strict routine of sleeping, eating and pooping. Those three things are pretty much all they do at that age and most of the time they go hand-in-hand.
With toddlers, it’s a whole different story. Sleeping, eating and dirty diapers are still concerns but in a whole new level. Sleeping isn’t as easy as before that they (sometimes literally) fall asleep anywhere, no matter how noisy a place is. Now, even the tiniest sound stimulates them. Also, toddlers are picky eaters (especially mine), he only eats rice, chicken and french fries. When we’re out deciding on a place to eat is such a challenge. I try to pack snacks but they don’t last long. Liam would eat it all up on the way and he’ll be hungry again by the time we get to where we’re going. The only thing, I won’t complain about are the dirty diapers. It’s not like before when diaper explosions are too often that it’s actually already to be expected, that you have to leave the house with a couple of extra outfits that they can change into. Since they don’t go number 2 that much, you don’t change their diapers as much. What I do is, I make sure we leave the house with a clean diaper, check when we get to our destination and change if it’s applicable, check again before we make our way back home. I still bring an extra outfit though just in case an unexpected diaper moment occurs.
When I was pregnant, I LOVED the idea of baby wearing. I kept telling the husband that I rather baby wear than bring a stroller around cause it’ll be easier. I won’t have to constantly push something around and I’ll have my hands free to do everything else. I was all into the idea until I had to baby wear and carry the diaper bag and whatever crap I was bringing at the same time. It was the deal breaker that made me change my mind and come over to the stroller side. Not having to worry about carrying something and just push around your kid, who sits comfortably like a prince, was the best thing ever. I didn’t have to worry about him being comfortable when he sleeps, or him being comfortable at all. I’m such a fan of strollers that, I tell all my first-time mom friends to invest in strollers cause they’ll be able to use it more often than their baby carriers.
One thing, I absolutely love about traveling with a toddler though is that I get priority seats on trains and buses and that I get to board the plane first. LOL. They’re such petty things but they’re huge convenience to a parent. Here in Japan, people even stand up and offer their seats to you. There were even times when someone offered to help me carry the stroller up and down flights of stairs. Japan is very baby friendly, most public toilets have a changing table, some even have those chair things where you sit your baby while you do business. Malls have designated baby lounges where you can nurse your babies in private rooms. In those lounges, there’s usually a vending machine with kid appropriate drinks and sometimes wet wipes.
Traveling with a toddler is complicated but it’s not hard. When I first got married, I would tell people that I didn’t want to have kids right away because I wanted to travel with the husband as much as I can, that starting with a family will make it impossible to travel. I was wrong. It’s not impossible. It’s doable. It just takes a lot more effort in planning. It also makes going places a little more special cause you share it more people you love.