let’s talk about fussy babies and traveling.
Traveling can be quite a breeze when you have a baby…but it can also turn into a nightmare really fast! I just returned from a long trip to Hawaii with my 1 year old son Kana and my grandma. He’s normally the best little traveller with minimal fuss, but this trip was different, he was different. He wasn’t my chill, happy baby, he was fuss central (and it all made sense when we went to the Dr. when we got back and found out that he has bronchiolitis and an ear infection!) Here are some things that I learned about traveling with a grumpy bub:
- It Is What It Is. Your baby is fussy. you’ve probably done everything that you can think of to try to help, but sometimes, your baby is just in an unhappy mood. Don’t feel embarrassed, chances are the people around you are feeling for you.
- Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help. On our flight, we had some great flight attendants who happily played with Kana and even held him for a little to give me a break. It was such a small act of kindness that made a big difference! Also, while we were visiting family, the cuzzies gladly played with him while I got ready for the day or got food ready for Kana. Asking them to watch him was so easy and made little tasks even easier to complete.
- Be Prepared With Food And Snacks ALWAYS! Often times, a temperamental baby came from me not being prepared ahead of time with food for him. Either I took too long to get lunch to him, or he just needed a quick little snack to make it through to dinner. I mean, I don’t blame him, I can get hangry pretty easily too! Just have your baby bag packed with all sorts of snacks and food to always be prepared. You won’t regret it!
- Keep Their Growing Mind Busy. When Kana would have a grouchy moment, I found it super helpful to walk around with him and describe things around us. He would be so captivated that his grouchiness would completely disappear. On planes or in a car, try bringing books, interesting toys, anything that will keep them busy for a little while. Often times, singing songs with Kana would make the biggest impact!
- Take Some YOU Time. If you’re traveling with family or are visiting family, it’s so important to have them help you get a little “you” time in here and there when you’re dealing with an extra fussy little one. When Kana was in a happy mood or taking a nap, his great grandma would watch him while I worked out for an hour. It made all the difference to put a little focus on myself and unattach from my boy for an hour. I would instantly feel re-charged and ready for those fussy moments of his.
- If You Get Overwhelmed, Take A Minute And Ground Yourself. I always aim to be the most patient and understanding mummy for my son, but sometimes I would get overwhelmed (because of his constant and unusually big tantrums) and things would seem to progressively get worse including my attitude and actions. Re-centering myself would help me stay more patient while he dealt with these big new emotions he was feeling, and now looking back, probably the pain of his ear infection as well.
- Time The Traveling Part Right. Our flight to Hawaii left in the middle of the day, so we got some grouchiness here and there that wasn’t fun. Our flight home was a red eye and was the best decision I ever made! He was tired and ready for bed by the time our flight started and literally slept the whole 7 hours home. If you can make a red eye happen, do it! Or if you’re taking a different form of transportation (bus, train, boat) aim for late night travels. With road trips, keep it safe! If your baby is ready for bed, chances are that you are too. Don’t drive drowsy! Use nap times to help with longer drives and stop often to give them a break from their car seat. Getting out their wiggles will help immensely!!
In the end I realized how important it is to let the good outweigh the bad! There were moments on this trip that I thought, “well we’re for sure never traveling again..” or I would call my husband almost in tears, wishing we were home, but then such beautiful moments would happen that would remind me of the important part, the good part! Watching him bond with his little cuzzies made me overjoyed. And watching how much he LOVED the ocean and playing in the tiny waves….I got to watch my heart crawl around and experience life outside of my body. Making memories with Kana in Hawaii was so much fun and well worth all the trouble. A tender mercy of this trip was our flight home, I was exhausted from this hectic trip and terrified of trying to keep him pleased the whole way home….but, he slept the entire 7 hours! Don’t let a grumpy baby scare you away from exploring this big world. Those special moments will far outweigh the hard parts! I hope these little tips help you with your little one(s), and please feel free to share any special tips that you have for vacationing with a fuss of a bub.
“And then I realized, adventures are the BEST way to learn.”
Here’s some of my favorites from the trip! I’ll add where Kana’s cute hats and boardies are from 🙂
Dying over this hat with palm trees and whales printed all over it from Jack & Winn
These boardies scream Hawaii vacation and summer!! They’re also from Modern Keiki!
Visiting his Great Aunty Kere for the first time.
Love love these cute little boardies from Children of the Tribe. So spunky and fun!