How to Vacation with a Toddler

I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical at the idea of taking our nearly 1-year-old on a 6-hour flight for a 10-day vacation, along with a 3-hour time difference (and a partridge in a pear tree…) But so far, luck has been on our side. We had a lovely, smooth flight on the way over with 2 short naps for our little guy, a cocktail and some Hawaiian snacks. I tend to be anxious about flying regardless, but this time our accommodations kept me grounded, so to speak, and I was focused on totally keeping Grey from screaming or tantrum-ing to get down and wander around the plane. (And no poopy diapers this round! Whew!)

What I did to keep him busy on the plane: Brought about 5 new books that were “active” enough to keep him interested for about 1 minute each…they opened and had flaps and shiny things to look at. The new items were great to have around our hotel room all week too. (Grey loves “Dear Zoo,” “Where is Baby’s Belly Button” and anything else with flaps that open or move). Snacks, one of two things I do not want my child growing up to use as a cure for boredom. However, both of these things have free reign when it comes to flying. Since we are from the Midwest and currently living in L.A., I anticipate a good amount of flying in our family’s future and I am ok with feeding my child through some of it if that is what it takes. Passing himself (climbing, rolling, somersaulting, etc) back and forth from mommy to daddy and back again. If he’s not screaming or bothering anyone other than the two of us, just do it. Forced him to nap. Really, I will bounce a child until my arms fall off if I’m determined enough to get him to sleep. Ergo-carrier. I love using this carrier through the airport and definitely used it this time around to put him to sleep. (Check out a few other great ideas from my girl at NU Health & Wellness right here).

What I did not anticipate? The time zone difference.

So on day 1, Grey went to bed at 4:45pm local time, and woke up around 3:30am the following morning. Insert "wide-eyed, blank-faced emoji guy right here."

So for the next 3 days, we stretched him just a little bit each night (bedtime at 4:45, then 5:15, then 6:00, then 6:15 and so on. His mornings were not as consistent, but since we (parents) are also remaining on a Los Angeles-based time zone on our own, we are finding ourselves in bed between 8 and 9pm most nights and taking turns waking up with him each morning. For naps, he’s been a rock star, napping in the car whenever possible and still taking super long naps when we make it back to the room in time to let him have some chill time in his pack-n-play (which we requested with the hotel in advance). Between paddle-boarding, zip-lining, beach exploring and swimming, we’ve still managed to get him down for at least two naps a day and he’s been a very happy little boy! I’m so grateful and so blessed he has been as adaptable as he has been.

We also met the world's greatest babysitter (yes, seriously, we did get a babysitter while on vacation in a place we've never been before and it has been one of the best decisions we have ever made. I highly recommend Kauai Babysitting Company for anyone traveling to the island of Kauai, HI! She has been with him while sleeping, playing, eating and even swimming and we have gotten some much needed adult adventure time! #balance