Anyone with small children knows how stressful it can be to travel with a baby or a toddler. Taking your kids out of their routine (even if it means that routine is being replaced with the magic of Disney World) can be stressful. Here are my tips for making that trip a little less stressful.
Flying with little ones can be rough. But there are things you can do to make the trip less chaotic.
Pick a flight that works for your child’s schedule. If you are able to fly during his or her nap time that can be a real lifesaver. As you start to move for takeoff have a bottle or cup of milk ready to go. Whatever will soothe your little one, and possibly help them to fall asleep.
Did you know you can take milk or formula through security if it’s for your baby? Just let the TSA agent know that you have milk for your child. They will check it and let you go on your way.
You can also take your stroller or car seat through security. If you have a little one that needs to ride in a stroller or car seat through the airport, fear not! You can take all of that through with you.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to pull baby out of the car seat or stroller to walk through the metal detector. You’ll also have to fold the stroller and put it up on the x-ray belt. When you get to your gate, let the gate agent know that you want to gate check your stroller and/or car seat. They’ll stick a tag on your items, and when you board the plane you can leave the stroller at the door. When you get off the plane your items will be there waiting for you, so you can put baby back in his or her stroller and be on your way.
If you are renting a car during your Disney visit, and don’t want to lug your own car seat, I highly recommend reaching out to your car rental company to make sure they have the appropriate car seat for your child. All of the big companies offer car seat rental, but they don’t all guarantee that they will have what you need.
On a recent trip, we arrived at the airport from Chicago only to find out that our car seat was STILL IN CHICAGO! Somehow it didn’t make it on the plane. If you are worried about this happening to you, don't worry. When this happened we learned that the airlines keep car seats for just this situation. They were able to lend us the appropriately sized car seat for our daughter. They put our car seat on the next flight out from Chicago. When it arrived they delivered our car seat right to our resort.
Magical express is personally my favorite way to get to my Disney World Resort. If you are traveling with a baby or toddler you don’t have to worry about lugging around a car seat or renting one for your visit. Our daughter loved the Magical Express ride because the buses are large and there are televisions on board that play Disney cartoons during the ride. She was able to comfortably sit in my lap the entire time.
If you aren’t comfortable holding your little one on a bus, you can also attach your car seat to the seats on the bus. I learned this recently on a Disney World trip with my entire family. My brother’s daughter was only 4 months old at the time, and they had her in a car seat. The driver kindly offered to help them get the car seat attached to the seat of the bus.
If your child is anything like my children, you’ll go through approximately 5,798 diapers a day. Ok, so maybe not THAT many. But it certainly feels like it. Babies and small children need some very specific items, and the thought of packing all of these items might seem overwhelming (not to mention HEAVY).
I suggest packing enough diapers and food items for 1-2 days. When you arrive at the resort place an order through Amazon Prime Now (or other grocery delivery service). They will deliver to the front desk and hold either with the concierge or with the luggage hold area.
If you aren’t a Prime Member you can use Garden Grocer. Their website offers delivery to Disney World Resorts for a $14 delivery fee. The order minimum is $40 for this service. A plus is that if you plan your delivery ahead of time you can get a percentage discount on your order.
On our first trip to Disney with my daughter, I thought that we might be able to power through and let her nap in her stroller and we’d be fine touring the parks all day.
Oh, how wrong I was.
Our trip was in June and it was hot, and by the end of day 1, she was cranky and hot and MAD. So mad that she decided to throw a cup of Cranberry juice in the lobby area of the Boathouse Restaurant in Disney Springs.
After that fun little incident, we learned that taking a break was necessary for everyone in our group. We decided that after our morning tour, we would have lunch and head back to the resort. The little kids can nap. The older kids can swim at the pool. And soon everyone is cooled off and rested and ready to hit the parks again. Not only will everyone feel refreshed, but you’ll miss the afternoon crowds, and the afternoon heat!
The thing about kids is that they don’t care about your plans. Kids change their minds frequently, and they wont think twice about changing up all of your perfect plans. If things don't go as planned, go with the flow. Change reservations or FastPass, stop to take a break, or whatever will make your family happy. It might not be exactly what you planned, but being flexible allowed everyone to have a magical vacation.
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See you at the parks,