Parenting coach, Sue Atkins, and Ella’s Kitchen infant nutritionist, Claire Baseley, have listed their top tips to help make the whole summer experience with your toddler as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.
Top tips for a stress-free summer with your little one…
Engage your toddler’s senses
When out and about with your little one, it is likely they’ll become restless at points. When this happens, try engaging all their senses to keep them busy and happy. Take a look at your surroundings to see if there is something you can make use of to spark their imagination while giving them the opportunity to learn about the world. For instance, point out the colours of cars, sounds of dogs barking and smells like when passing a bakery or garden. Complementing this, give them a toy they have not used in a while, and for bigger kids, let them choose a toy to bring.
Bring a few familiar faces along with you
Having a disgruntled little one whilst cooped up in transport is no fun for anyone. Try taping brightly-coloured pictures of toys and even photographs of your family’s faces on the back of the seat or the surface that your baby will be facing during the trip to keep them engaged. You could even bring a special photo book made at home for your little one of things they love and will be happy seeing, such as pictures of pets, family, friends and their favourite things.
Keep calm and stay hydrated
If you are travelling on holiday for a bit of sunshine or just out in the sun in the UK, remember your baby’s appetite naturally decreases in a hotter climate. When weaning, you do not need to worry if your baby’s solid food intake decreases a little bit during this time. The important thing to make sure is that they are drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. If you’re breastfeeding, you don’t need to offer water separately, but you might want to feed more often. If you’re bottle feeding, offer cooled boiled water on top of your little one’s usual milk.
Food for your little one, for a stress-free summer
Traveling and simply being out and about does not need to throw your weaning journey off course. Make it a super smooth and enjoyable trip out by packing a scrummy selection of snacks and baby food for your little one.
Yummy and simple meals on holiday
There are lots of simple meals you can make in a hotel room with a combination of foods you can bring from home or source abroad. Cous cous can be made with boiling water from the kettle and then mashed with avocado and a little tuna that you can buy at your destination. You can boil eggs in a kettle to make hard boiled eggs, and most hotels and restaurants will be able to provide cooked vegetables, omelettes, toast or bread, boiled potatoes, hummus and pieces of fruit, which are all great options for little ones.
Trying to enjoy a stress-free summer with a fussy toddler is sometimes a challenge. For outings longer than a few hours, pack their favourite baby food pouches. They are less likely to shy away from flavours they have a track record of loving and the bonus for you is pouches are easy to pack and carry around!
Finger foods are brilliant for practicing hand-eye coordination. By getting hands-on with their food, little ones can learn how to feed themselves and have fun at the same time! They’re also super easy to take out and about with you, whether they’re yummy snacks like Ella’s Kitchen Melty Sticks or homemade goodies like cooked, cooled vegetable sticks such as carrot or broccoli or sticks of soft fruit like banana or melon in lidded pots.
READ MORE: Top tips for travelling with children
Parenting Coach, Sue Atkins, commented: “Getting out and about doesn’t need to be a cause for concern, and can in fact be a great way for parents to bond with their children.
“It is also very important for the child’s development, with popular research showing that children come to know the world and their place in it through socialising and getting out and about in the real world.
“Preparation and practice are both important in helping parents build their confidence when leaving the house with young children – and remember don’t put yourself under too much pressure, it’s ok if you forget something or don’t make it further than the park!”