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March Break: 5 tips for taking your toddler on a trip

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Culture & Entertainment

March Break: 5 tips for taking your toddler on a trip

I make the mistakes so you don't have to: 5 tips for taking your toddler on a trip, which I learned the hard way. Toddler trip tip #1: Choose a trip best suited for your child's age and personality. We chose to take a trip out West to visit all the relatives who had never gotten to meet our son, at the height of 18-month-old separation anxiety. So we got really good at apologizing while detaching small fingers from their death grips on our legs. Toddler trip tip #2: Pack age-appropriate toys to keep your child amused. We travelled with my mother-in-law who brought my son's first-ever-seen portable DVD player. Halfway through the drive from Revelstoke to Castlegar B.C. on the lovely, winding, dipping roads graced with spectacular scenery, and having enjoyed an unusual peace and quiet (if any quiet graced with the dulcet tones of the Wonder Pets can be considered peaceful), we discovered that my son gets carsick when he watches DVDs in the car. Or books. Or looks at a particular toy for too long. Toddler trip tip #3: Bring familiar objects for comfort and sleep time. I spent weeks putting my tot down for nap in a travel bed that looked a bit like a small tent and cost more than one, so that he would enjoy sleeping wherever he went. He slept in our bed, including a fold-out couch where I stayed awake making sure he was not suffocating in the "dip" in the middle, every night. That said, his lovey? Was priceless. Toddler trip tip #4: Plan frequent breaks, preferably where your child can run around and explore. Our most memorable stop was at Peter's Drive-In in Calgary. When I close my eyes I can still see my son breaking my grip on his hand and dashing into the the parking lot in front of a pick-up truck. Luckily, Calgary drivers are really good at stopping! Toddler trip tip #5: Bring your sense of fun I'd still do it all again because if you wait for it, toddlers are pretty awesome. My son was a kid who used more baby sign language than speech at that age, and the first time he saw the Rockies -- he had been asleep -- he signed "mountain" about a hundred times. He also was entranced by a ferry ride, sun glittering off a waterfall, and his teenage cousins. Also, by the last day he'd gotten over the anxiety - and decided everyone in British Columbia was family. At a Tim Horton's he cheerfully went over to give a grandma a hug...someone else's grandma, but she did give him a Timbit. Good luck, toddler parents! (I still am one, with my youngest. We are staying home this year.) For some amazing March Break ideas and tips, be sure to keep an eye on the blogs here at CLMoms, sign up for our newsletter, or visit our March Break in Canada page.
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March Break: 5 tips for taking your toddler on a trip

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