Leaving on a jet plane…
We are gliding nicely towards the summer holidays now, and many of you will – no doubt – be jetting off to sunnier climes at some point over the next few months. I don’t know about you, but I had so many questions before I went abroad earlier this year. How many nappies should I pack? What should I expect on the plane journey with a not-quite-two-year-old? Would it be totally unacceptable to sit her next to her daddy while I relaxed at the other end of the plane?! Holidaying with a little one was totally new territory for me, and I am sure that some of you will be contemplating similar questions when you head abroad later in the summer. While Nemo Swimming can’t help you decide which shoes not to pack as there isn’t enough room in the suitcase thanks to all the baby/toddler paraphernalia, we can help when it comes to anything water or swimming-related – after all, that’s what we are great at!
Over the coming weeks, we will be sharing plenty of hints and tips to help keep your little Nemos safe in the water this summer. In this first blog of the series, we also provide some useful advice to help you ‘survive’ a holiday abroad with a young child.
The plane journey
This was the thing that worried me the most the first time I went on holiday with my little girl. I’m not scared of flying – far from it. I was, though, scared of flying with a toddler! How was I going to keep her entertained? Was she going to be ‘one of those kids’ who screamed for the entire journey? What could I take onboard with me?
While there is no fail-safe way to ensure a stress-free flight with a little one, there are some things that you can do to make your time in the air more bearable. First and foremost, make sure you pack plenty of books, toys and other distractions in your hand luggage. Think about creating a little sensory or fun bag, with a range of ‘treats’ that you can reward your child with at regular intervals throughout the flight – worked fantastically for us! Do remember when you’re packing, though, that space on most aircrafts is somewhat limited, particularly if you don’t have a seat booked for your little Nemo.
Have plenty of fluids ready to offer for take-off and landing – milk, water, juice. Regular sips will not only help keep you little ones hydrated, the swallowing will help to ease any discomfort that they might experience in their ears.
>> Check out this fantastic guide from Tots to Travel for more information about flying with a baby, toddler, or young child
Babies, toddlers, and young children are not as adaptable to temperate change as adults. This means that the hot weather can be a fraught time for us parents, but there are steps that you can take to make the heat easier for you and your little Nemo.
Encourage your little one to play in the shade as much as they can, particularly between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest. When they are out in the sun, make sure they are well covered in a high factor sun cream that is effective against both UVA and UVB. The most common areas for sunburn on children are their shoulders and the back of their neck, so pay extra attention to these body parts. If your little Nemo will be taking regular dips in the pool, invest in a waterproof sunblock, and don’t forget to reapply throughout the day. Also check whether your little Nemo’s swimwear offers any protection against the sun – the Splash About Happy Nappy offers UPF 50+ for extra sun protection, which is good to know!
The change in routine
The chances are that your child’s routine will be affected when you go on holiday. The heat may make them sleep more, or it may make if more difficult for them; you might find that you – and they – are up later than usual; meal times may not be as consistent as they are back home. I’ll be honest, I’ve always been a bit of a stickler for routine with my little Nemo. Holidays, though, are about relaxing – even though it might not seem that you get much time for this with a little one running around! Make sure you give yourself some breathing space – you’ve earned this holiday, and you need time to chill, too! As I always say, it’s easier to fix a broken routine than it is a broken parent!
That’s all for now, but check back soon for more hints and tips on keeping your little Nemo safe in the water this summer. We’ll also be giving advice on the best floatation aids to use, and some games and fun challenges to occupy little minds over the summer break. Happy swimming, everyone!
Written by Emma, Nemo Swimming