I can’t say I was overjoyed at the idea of taking a toddler on a 30 hour flight but thankfully I convinced Mr B to change our flights and stop over in Singapore.
(Mama’s. This is a must do! Whether it’s Hawaii, KL, Singapore or another stop over destination it made the way over completely seamless. Don’t cause yourself unnecessary stress and ridiculous amounts of jetlag – stop over both ways and enjoy the entire time not just the destination).
We stopped over in Singapore’s Sentosa Island for three days and had the most amazing time with Jake. Highly recommended.
Now that we have the most essential travel tip out of the way, there were also some others which were gratefully shared with me prior to leaving, and some I discovered myself.
I can thankfully say I do not need to put my travel plans on hold for the next 5 years with young children. Just another #mumhack to carry on living our best lives.
1. Plane Pal
I was sitting on the plane somewhere between Singapore and London (maybe New Delhi) adjusting (again) Jake’s sleeping position when I thought to myself, ‘surely we could create something that blows up and sits between the seat, and the chair in front, that would create a lovely bed for kids – and a perfect foot rest for me’.
I get home and HOLY FREAKIN’ MOLY! Scanning insta (as you do), I come across Plane Pal.
It’s my idea! E.X.A.C.T.L.Y!
Well, it’s not actually my idea as another mama had clearly thought the same thing, only years earlier!, but I was like ‘shut the front door!’.
No more words needed. If you travel, you must buy this. Period. Get it here.
2. Ipad Apps
Yes, yes. I was also one of those judgmental women who would look down on parents giving their children ipads at the restaurant/ cafe/ planes…and then I become one.
Every mumma knows that sometimes s*it just needs to get done (like cooking, cleaning, washing, showering) and having a clingy toddler who needs your attention 24/7 doesn’t make it conducive to any of the above.
I’m certainly not someone who let’s Jake sit on the ipad all day but approx. 30 minutes over the full day whilst I get the essentials complete has become the norm.
So, as a conscious mama Peppa Pig wasn’t at the top of my list.
If he was going to interact with the ipad I wanted to ensure it was as educational as possible. After some research I discovered a variety of apps which have now taught him new words, shapes, colours and skills, dare I say it. Yep, I’m a happy mumma.
(But let’s not talk about his discovery of the ABC Kids app, which is in another folder, to turn on his favourite shows…including Peppa Pig. Sigh. How the hell does a two year old know how to use an ipad?!)
Here are some of our favourites:
Intro To Math, By Montessorium
This was a given and the first keyword I searched when looking online. I truly respect the Montessori way. This app was our first download. View here > Intro To Math
(Another great one is Intro To Letters)
Duck Duck Moose
These guys have a variety of apps for children of all ages. I love that they do some of his favourite nursery rhymes in an app (and so does he!). View here > Duck Duck Moose
I downloaded a few drawing apps until I found one which he loved. And here it is! View here > Drawing Pad
Jake loves putting the shapes where they belong. In fact, this is his all-time favourite game! View here > Shape Guru’s
Tip: Pay for your apps. The free apps are constantly popping up advertising which means you have to continually close these new windows and direct your child back to the app.
Not only was this so adorable to watch, it also meant Jake was more excited to pull his own bag through the airport than run away (and that’s a good thing!), it also allowed more baggage room for us (yay) with him having his own carry on full of toys, snuggie, snacks and water ANNNND with the long walk to the gate, he sat on Trunki the entire way whilst we pulled him along. Tick. Tick. Freakin’ TICK! And it get’s better…
3 (a) Trunki full of exciting new presents
This was the one tip I was given by multiple parents when we asked, ‘what do we do with a toddler on a 13 hour flight?!’.
It was quite handy that Jake’s birthday coincided with our departure date so all his little gifts we kept wrapped up and popped them inside. We also gathered in his old favourites, books and a change of clothes. Each time we pulled out a new toy it kept his attention for at least 45 minutes. This was vital when he wanted to walk the length of the plane multiple times and play with all of the kids (again) when we just wanted to stay seated.
Side note: For your own peace of mind do not, I repeat, do NOT even entertain the idea of walking the plane if you can. Once they catch on that this is possible they won’t want to stay in their seat.
4. Baby Monitor (WiFi)
When we were booking our room for Singapore, Mr B and I were discussing whether we upgrade to a suite which would allow us a room to sit and talk (or watch TV for Mr B) as Jake had his day nap (which usually goes for 2-3 hours), or if we get a superior room with no seperate area and just sit their…quietly. Hmm.
Well, it just so happens as I was doing research on Baby Monitors that we could watch him as we sat by the pool. Um. Yes!
This app is set up via two devices. We used my iPad and my iPhone.
It runs off a wireless network which means you could be three countries away and could still view your little one (not that you would, but you get the gist).
At first I was super uncomfortable about leaving him in the room by himself despite him being a locked hotel room in a secure resort, inside a cot that was impossible for him to get out of.
Yet after checking the windows and doors multiple times the first day I soon learned to relax and enjoyed my time by the pool and in the cafe watching him on my iphone whilst he slept (although I was STILL an ADD mumma checking multiple times per minute to make sure he hadn’t moved – even though there was an alarm sound every time he stirred).
In the end, we went up around the time he was due to wake up so that each time we were both in the room, but we were only ever a 2 minute walk away. About as long as it takes to get up the stairs from the kitchen in our own home. View the app here.
This app also would have been incredibly useful on the day of Mr B’s brothers wedding (the entire reason for our trip) as it was a private estate with locked rooms and we were just out in the garden. It meant we wouldn’t have to sit inside for 3 hours whilst he napped and miss the wedding. Perfect for EVERY travel occasion when you need to go a longer distance than the regular baby monitors allow. Unfortunately Jake picked up a nasty virus from the plane, which meant I spent the wedding day in the room with him asleep on my chest, with me watching the wedding via whatsapp – lucky I travel 32 hours across the world to be there
5. Bag With A Lead
I remember being around 8 years old and I saw a little boy being held on a lead by his parents. This was a harness style lead and I thought to myself, ‘I will never walk my kid like a dog!’.
Well, well. There I go again being miss judgmental even at that age! How e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g shifts when you actually become a parent.
Like the ipad situation…. I bought a lead.
But this is a small cute (and essential) travel back pack with a lead attached so it’s different (who am I kidding?!). You can grab it here.
It caught my eye at the airport one time on the way to visit my parents in Noosa. It was at a time when Jake was walking and would throw a tantrum if he was in the carrier for too long. It has a cute owl on it, with a detachable lead. Seriously, this was the best travel #mumhack when he was a toddler. Plus it’s helpful to have snacks at very easy access, plus his fav toy for those moments when you don’t have time to rummage through your massive bag to distract his attention.