Moms on Call’s Holiday Sanity Savers

Whether you’re traveling right down the road or have a long drive ahead, Moms on Call has compiled a list of holiday sanity savers for keeping our little one’s schedule (and our sanity) intact!

Written by Moms on Call / Photo Credit @paigemolinaphoto

Holiday gatherings can become overwhelming, especially when traveling, being off routine and seeing family for the first time in a while. Something about the excitement of getting family together can throw our little ones off balance. Moms on Call has compiled our best, most practical tips for keeping your schedule intact (as much as reality allows), our little one’s feet on the ground and their temperament in check! 

We’ve compiled a list of simple travel tips, sanity savers and toddler tips for these hectic holiday gatherings! 

So, whether you’re traveling right down the road or have a long drive ahead (possibly through changing time zones), you’ll want to pocket these quick tips to keep your day and little ones in check! 

Sanity Savers: 

  • Feed and Go 
    • We recommend feeding, then getting in the car and hitting the road. 
    • Stop as needed for gas (or diaper explosions-yikes!), feed again and then get back on the road!
    • It is okay to be off “routine” on travel days. 
    • If flying, feed (even if it is not a full feeding) around take-off and landing times.  Use a bottle for babies and offer toddlers a sippy cup. (Don’t forget to bring snacks too!)
  • Upon arrival, pick up with the next feeding time, regardless of time zone. Feed to the time of where you are! 
  • Moms on Call parents are used to seeing “C” times in our schedules! This is specifically for these crazy days. Hit your “C” times, and keep the evening routine in place, when possible. 
  • Remember it is OKAY to have an occasional late dinner/night-time routine for family activities. 
  • The day following travel, get up and start the day on time! 
  • Extend tons of grace! 
    • Remember, your child’s behavior is not an indication of your parenting skills or self worth! 
    • You are there to connect with family. 
    • Great parents have kids that misbehave and are unpredictable sometimes!
  • Consistency is key! Having a few key markers in the day creates familiarity for our little ones. 
      • Stick to the schedule as much as life allows! 
      • For naptime, find a quiet space with some natural light and make it familiar! 
      • For bedtime, we recommend the SlumberPod (use code momsoncall for $10 off) which fits over most travel cribs and toddler cots to create an optimum black out sleep environment. 
      • Use portable black out curtains if your toddler will be sleeping in a normal bed. 

At Moms on Call, for toddlers, we use the SMART paradigm to identify their motivators and get the best out of their behaviors.  Download the Toddler By Design App to find your toddler’s design. Here are some specific tips for each toddler type to help get your toddler on track for the day!

  • Social: Give them recognition. 
    • A wink and a smile go a long way in filling up a Social kid’s “Look-o-meter”. It provides the attention they crave in an easy and simple way. 
  • Movement: Being cooped up in a car all day is no fun! 
    • Be sure to map out a way to get that energy out before AND when you arrive at your destination (and depending how far you are driving – sometimes in between)! 
      • Plan to stop at a park or have some rambunctious time upon arrival. 
      • If we don’t get the energy out in fun ways, it often comes out in some frustrating ones. 
  • An Engineer: These littles often take time to warm up to strangers. 
    • Do not “force” them to hug family right away. 
      • Have an activity for them to do when you arrive and give them permission to “take time to warm up”. 
      • Help loved ones by saying “They’ll warm up at their own pace, let’s just sit together for a few minutes”. 
    • Unlike social siblings, engineers hide and cling to you. You being relaxed will allow them to ease their inner processor. 
  • Rule Follower: Map out your arrival and let them know you are still the one in charge! 
    • Remind them, “Not everyone does it like we do and that is OKAY!” This is a great way to temper the tattle-tale tendencies (say that 5 times fast!).
  • Touch: Give high fives and hair tousles a plenty. 
    • Be sure to initiate contact with this toddler and they’ll demand it less often. 
    • Make a special handshake (or elbow kisses) so they don’t climb on everyone every second. “Less climbing, more elbow kisses” is a great way to redirect while still meeting that need for human contact.
    • They will find their way towards older cousins and older family members. 
      • Make a plan for this cuddle bug during this unique time with grandparents, etc. 
  • Having puzzles that the entire family can jump in on, or a favorite board game from home is great play that gets everyone involved. 
  • Be sure to bring what makes them happy. Showing off their favorite doll or recent block build is a wonderful conversation starter for shy ones and keeps them occupied in new spaces. 
  • Holiday crafts aren’t just for school! Check out our blog for a fun holiday treat the whole family can enjoy! 

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