November opens the door to one of my favorite times of year – the Holidays!! I come from a huge family so when I think of Thanksgiving and Christmas, I can’t help but remember all the happy times spent with friends and family when I grew up. My Dad is one of 11 and my Mom one of 7 and since they divorced when I was very little I always celebrated each holiday twice – I didn’t hate it.
Now that I’m adulting and we have two littles of our own, the holidays take on a whole new meaning. Anyone who has kids knows what I’m talking about. It’s like a whole new level of MAGICAL. The amount of joy they have when they get to play with all of their cousins at Thanksgiving, or travel to their grandmother’s the following weekend each year is something that we always get so excited for.
Packing up the Littles
There are many families out there that serve as the host each year – we’re not one of them. It’s not because we don’t want to – but more because SO MANY of our other relatives are eager to host. And that’s ok by me! So that just means that for each Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Christmas Eve party, Christmas Day celebration, and everything else in between (because there were so. many. in-betweens) we travel. We pack up each kiddo and we visit.
It certainly isn't always easy. I swear we forget something every time. It's become a running joke because it legit happens every time. And it is never the same item that was forgotten. (Fellow parents – I know I’m not alone here!). The amount of gear we have lug place to place is kind of insane. Since the girls are 2.5 years apart, they need different things which is clearly the reason I always forget something.
But in retrospect, I think back to when my girls were even younger, and I definitely could have narrowed down my load of gear to a much more manageable haul. The key to traveling with kids is MULTI-FUNCTIONAL gear. It’s actually critical. It will save your sanity – and your arm strength.
Here are some items that I’d recommend for traveling with kids over the holidays:
- A portable highchair. Babe is going to need a place to dine on his turkey dinner. And if he’s too young to eat turkey dinner, he’ll still want to be at the dining table with you while YOU eat your dinner (without a baby in your arms). The Uplift Portable Highchair is a great option because it folds up super compact and comes in a carry bag so you can easily transport it from place to place. It also wipes clean and the tray comes off completely and can be put in the dishwasher. Win!
- A playard/playpen. This is CRITICAL if you have a crawler. Gram’s porcelain dolls are not going to make it through little Suzzy’s visit if she’s got free reign of the house. And as much as Grams loves that grandbaby – she’s not going to appreciate the damage. So save your sanity and grab a playard like this one. It’s portable and super easy to set up. Also – the fabric actually comes off and can be machine washed.
- A portable bassinet. For the tiny babes that aren’t sitting at the table or crawling around the house, a great option for a portable bassinet is the Slumber. It sets up in less than a minute (I’m not exaggerating here) and gives your little one a safe and cozy place to nap while you mingle. And even if the baby isn’t napping, it offers a comfy spot to lounge and it even rocks. The mesh walls allow you to sneak a peek at her too!
- A front carrier. Another product that I love and took everywhere was my front carrier. Though probably not as important for holiday visits since everyone is going to want their own turn holding the babe!
You Got This Mama
Traveling with kids for the holidays can be super overwhelming, but with the right products, it doesn’t have to be. Start looking into what you need now (and watching for all the upcoming deals!) and you’ll be ready to hit the road and create some amazing holiday memories!