Feeding Tips for Holiday Travel with Baby
As we approach the second pandemic holiday season, many of us parents are feeling a little out of practice when it comes to traveling with our kids (🙋🏻♀️).
Whether you’re planning a day trip to a family member’s for a holiday meal, an overnight road trip or long-distance travel that involves the airport, there are a few super simple mental adjustments that can make “that whole feeding thing” (lol) SO much easier.
1. Snacks are a YES.
I know that using food as a reward/punishment/boredom remedy is totally ill-considered, BUT— when it comes to travel, I (and I think most every other parent…right??) makes an exception. Easy snacks can help get you through a long car ride, an adult-length holiday meal or a plane trip without too much fuss (or at least, with less fuss…).
It used to be that your only packaged options were almost implicitly unhealthy, but that’s changing! We love Amara's toddler yogurt melts — they’re as easy and delicious as any candy, except without the chemicals, caffeine, sugar and everything else. Yes, these are a *super easy, healthful and delectable travel accessory. Stock up. 😉
Bonus tip: If you’ll be on a plane, bring something baby can suck on (like a pacifier, bottle, or water bottle) — it helps release the pressure in their ears. If you’re nursing, that works too!
2. Come prepared.
Whether you’re eating out at a restaurant or dining at a family member or friend’s house, don’t assume they’ll have what you need. There are some wonderful packable accessories that are great to have on hand:
- A decent high chair — The IKEA Antilop Highchair has detachable legs, breaks down easily, is incredibly lightweight and comes in at the right price ($20!). It’s great for car travel and reasonable to store at a grandparent’s house.
- A seat cushion — These seat cushions from Yeah Baby Goods fit well in restaurant high chairs, so they are great if you’re eating out (or will need to while you’re en route).
- A simple placemat — One of the most functional-yet-overlooked components in any meal with a toddler! We love Yeah Baby Good’s simple silicone food-grade placemat, which you can purchase separately but also comes in a handy restaurant bag that also includes food-grade scissors (*these will change your life, seriously — you’ll never know just how much easier it is to “snip” food into pieces than to slice it until you try it…) and a reusable zipper tote that you can use as a green alternative to plastic bags.
3. Honor your routines, but be flexible.
When my oldest was a baby, I tried to mirror — to a tee — his regular routines whenever we were away from home. That meant the same sleeping schedule, eating schedule, nursing schedule, napping schedule; the same foods and books and all the rest. To a certain extent, maintaining some semblance of your normal routine when you’re away IS helpful — but I learned the hard way that being super rigid about it only leads to added stress.
With my second, I stuck to our same loose napping and feeding and bedtime routines, but if something happened a little earlier or later, I didn’t lose my cool. I used formula sometimes. I bought baby food instead of making it. I let other people help where it made sense. I won’t say I was perfect about this (I’m a self-confessed control freak…), but my loosening up a little made a big difference in everyone’s overall enjoyment. It’s a tough thing, but even a little bit of flexibility really helps!
We hope wherever and whenever you’re traveling this season, it’s safe, sane and fun! And if you have travel feeding hacks of your own, let us know!