When we took our youngest daughter—then nine months old—to Hawaii, I allowed her three mouthfuls of sand before I intervened. I figured, “what the heck, she’s on holiday too” and at an age where nothing is more pleasurable than experiencing the entire world orally, I was willing to change a few sand-laden diapers in order that we could all relax.
Chances are, if you cringe at this idea, you may also be the type of parent who freaks out at the thought of the germ cesspools awaiting your child when you are travelling. You’re not alone.
Here are a few ideas for keeping cooties from wreaking havoc on your holiday—or at minimum, your sanity—while you’re travelling.
Prepare for battle
The best way to keep kids from contracting anything on vacation is to start with healthy kids.
For those super organized parents out there who begin worrying weeks in advance—you know who you are—this means cutting out sweets and increasing vegetable intake; boosting immune systems with homeopathic remedies; and ensuring lots of good sleep weeks before the big trip.
For those less-than-organized parents, doing something to combat the common cold is better than doing nothing. Cutting out sweets and increasing intake of Vitamin C can help minimize the potential threat of airborne viruses.
Prepare a germ-fighting kit with:
- Antibacterial wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Vitamin C
- Tea tree oil (a natural anti-bacterial agent)
- Water bottle (stay hydrated)
Prepare your surroundings
Before you decide to collapse into an airport chair, investigate your surroundings for germs that your toddler could encounter.
With anti-bacterial cloths in tow—or baby wipes with a few drops of tea tree oil—wipe any surface or object you may find that could potentially find its way into your toddler’s mouth.
Think not only of hand-to-mouth cootie transport, but also remember their chewing habits. During my youngest daughter’s teething phase, chomping on a seat’s armrest was apparently the most sensational feeling imaginable—something I was much less comfortable with than her sisters eating sand.
Prepare Yourself and Then Relax
Once I’ve done all I can to prepare, I relax (as best I can). Stress will only weaken your immune system. So stay relaxed and maybe, just maybe, you can work up to one mouthful of sand, a few grains at a time.
Photo by Nicki Dugan
How to Keep Your Babies Safe at Your Destination
You’ll never forget the moment your sweet little one takes that first wobbly crawl across the floor. First, there is the all-encompassing elation that your baby has reached this pivotol milestone, followed one split-second later by an equally all-encompassing feeling of dread.
Renting Baby Gear while Travelling
I had just walked in to my mother-in-law’s home after travelling 15 hours across the country during Christmas holidays, with dubious connections and a five-month-old baby in tow, when I saw it—a glorious Pack ‘n Play crib, set up in the corner of my room, with clean sheets and a blankie, waiting for my little peanut to rest her weary head.
I had been bestowed the greatest gift a travelling mother could ever receive and I was never more grateful to my mother-in-law than at that moment.
Calming Children’s Travel Apprehension
When I was about eight months pregnant with my second child, me and my husband became slightly delusional, and decided a little weekend getaway was in order—sort of a “one last trip as parents of an only child” sort of thing.
All went reasonably well until my daughter’s bedtime.
No sooner had we closed the door to her room and settled in for some serious couple time (and my nightly foot massage), we heard the squeak of her bedroom door.
“I’m scared,” she said, only four years old. “There’s a noise in my room.”