Guest post by Mel from Anyday Adventures.
Melbourne mum, Mel is constantly out and about with her two year old. They have so much fun together, they are always off on adventures together – some near and some far. Recently they have been to Disney on Ice, The Big Freeze Festival at Fountain Gate and Myuna Farm.
Outings with toddlers are fun, but I’m the first to admit they can be hard work too. Just last week I found myself racing past the line of people at the entrance Collingwood Children’s Farm carrying a toddler and big bag, hoping we’d make it to the toilet in time. And as we left a few hours later I was carrying a very over tired toddler who fell asleep in my arms before we even made it to the car. As Mel is out adventuring almost every day I thought she’d be able to share some practical tips to make these adventures easy and enjoyable for everyone.
I’ve never really done well as a “stay at home mum”, I just simply don’t enjoy the cleaning, the washing, the loneliness and the monotony that goes along with it. For this reason my toddler and I like to get out of the house pretty much everyday…so much so I even now write a blog about it,😂.
We love our adventures and so I thought I’d share my top tips for getting out and about with a toddler.
1. Take a deep breath, and relax
I remember the first time we visited the zoo feeling very overwhelmed…How was this going to work? What did I need? What if I run out of xyz? This is meant to be fun, right…. don’t overthink it just go with the flow. Almost everything you might forget can be purchased or you’ll realise that perhaps you could actually get by quite fine without that particular toy after all.
2. Be aware of nap times, but don’t be a slave to them
Sometimes it is hard to see the bigger picture, sometimes each naptime can be all consuming and if a nap doesn’t go to plan our day feels like a nightmare. Well that used to be me anyway, and sometimes still is on my bad days. If you are out and about, having fun, and your child seems happy don’t stress to leave “because it is nap time”. Take note of their cues, acknowledge that this might be a special day out for them and let go of your expectations of routine. I promise one day of routine malfunction won’t ruin your life (just perhaps your evening, lol).
3. Over cater with snacks
Toddlers love snacks, hell, everyone loves snacks. Make sure you pack loads of different items and hide them in a few different places; eg. nappy bag, pram pockets, jacket pockets etc. If you child discovers your entire snack stash at the start of the day your snack bargaining power might be gone….and sometimes you really need that with a toddler.
I use lunch boxes with lots of compartments. You can find a full list of snack and lunch box ideas here.
4. Invest in appropriate wet weather gear
In winter, my daughter lives in her gumboots and all in one waterproof rain suit onesie. Her’s is a jojo maman bebe from the UK but in Australia you can purchase these from Mudlarks or Splashsuits. Obviously gumboots are a no brainer too, and don’t forget some for yourself also.
5. Keep a potty in the car
If you are toilet training, or even if you are done, keeping a potty in the car can be super helpful. We have a My Carry Potty which my daughter uses almost every time we are out on an adventure. Brilliant!
6. Put the phone away
I mean for sure, snap a few pics, but then put it away and just enjoy the experience and adventure with your child. They want to bring you into their world, so be present, be listening and be there….. be on Instagram and Facebook uploading your snaps at nap time!
Have a great time getting out and about, after all, that housework will still be waiting for you when you come home….so don’t rush and make the most of your day out together!
What’s your best tip? What makes adventures easier for yourself and your kids?
Follow Mel’s adventures, and get some ideas for your next outing, on her Facebook page.