How to Baby proof When Traveling with a Toddler
Guest post from Safewise:
Traveling with a toddler can seem like a daunting proposition, but with a little practice, both you and your little one can become seasoned travel experts. Air travel, hotel rooms, and long car rides all pose challenges for parents. These travel tips can help make any travel adventure a positive and stress-free experience.
How to Babyproof a Hotel Room
Hotel rooms, bed-and-breakfasts, and Airbnb’s are likely not babyproofed, which means you’ll need to give the room a once-over as soon as you arrive. Babyproofing the room as soon as you get there can help give you the peace of mind you’ll need after a long flight or car ride. A thorough check for hazards should take you about fifteen minutes.
Start by looking for any common objects you’d rather not have your toddler get into. Trash cans, coffee makers, ice buckets, and telephones should all be placed up and out of reach. Once you’ve removed any loose objects, check that the TV can’t be tipped onto the floor.
Next, check the locks on windows and doors, especially those that lead onto a balcony. The best tool in a parent’s travel kit, in this case, is a simple roll of duct tape – you can tape over any locks to prevent accidental opening. Tape any cabinets or refrigerators shut as well.
You can also tape over any electrical sockets and tape any power cords securely to the legs of furniture so they can’t get pulled free. And finally, check the drapes for hanging pull cords, and tape those up and out of the way.
Next, get down to your toddler’s point of view and look for any potential hazards, like sharp edges on the furniture. You can tape paper towels over sharp corners to prevent accidents, and keep an eye out for choking hazards like coins.
Essential Travel Gear for Parents
Seasoned travelers know that the right kit can make a big difference in your comfort and peace of mind. The same goes for traveling with your toddler – a few essential items can streamline the travel process, letting you enjoy your family’s trip instead of stressing about your stuff.
Having a safe place for your toddler to nap and sleep will make any hotel room feel a little closer to home. Unlike traditional wooden portable cribs, modern travel cribs usually resemble a tent, utilizing foam, mesh, and lightweight fabric to keep your toddler safe and happy. Most travel cribs fall between $50 and $200, and make sure your travel crib is certified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. After that, consider looking at larger toddler travel beds that can accommodate your little one as they grow.
When setting up your travel crib, make sure it’s in a safe location and follow any instructions in the manual to the letter to ensure your child’s safety. You may want to give your toddler a chance to get comfortable with the travel crib before your trip so that they’ll feel at ease in their new environment.
Strollers can be prohibitively large, especially if your plans involve air travel. A baby carrier can be a better solution for moving quickly and easily with your toddler. Since most toddlers are too large for traditional body carriers, look into a framed backpack carrier as a potential airport solution. Most packs fit into overhead luggage restrictions, and also include a bit of storage space for in-flight essentials. Plan ahead; these carriers may count towards your carry-on bag allowance, unlike a stroller. Top baby carriers range anywhere from $20 to $250.
A few travel accessories can make your time spent in transit less stressful. Your toddler will travel better with a few familiar objects in tow. Be sure to pack along a few favorites, and avoid bringing any toys with moving parts that can get lost between airplane seats. Additionally, a portable DVD player or game can help keep your little one quiet during a flight delay or an unexpected traffic jam. And maybe most importantly, use a travel checklist to avoid forgetting any essentials.
Don’t forget to pack extras of any consumable items you might need. Diapers and food aside, it’s also a good idea to pack along things like Band-Aids, travel soap, baby wipes, and hand sanitizer for hotel doorknobs and TV remotes.
Every trip will be different. Every hotel or lodging will have different things to worry about. With basic preparation, you will feel confident in any situation, protecting your little one and enjoying your travels.