Awesome Guide to Traveling with Your Little Ones
If you think that traveling in a tight space such as an RV with your infant and/or toddler is too much, think again! With the rise of RV travel in recent years, more young families are finding absolute joy in RV travel with their little rascals.
Many parents want to introduce their love of travel to their kids, and doing so with small children is not too early! Research shows that much of a child’s brain development happens around this time. One of the best ways to nurture a sense of curiosity and learning is to expose them to new stimulating experiences.
RV camping is full of exciting sights, sounds, smells, and textures that your child will love. What’s more, taking your small kids on an RV adventure is good because you don’t yet have to worry about scheduling around schooling.
Here’s how to make the most of your fantastic journeys on the road with your munchkins.
Infant and Toddler-friendly RV Living
Today’s modern RVs have more layouts and features than ever. When choosing or outfitting your RV, check for these:
- Space – a large area in the RV where they can move and play. Think separate sleeping areas and a place in the living area where they can hang out.
- Functionality – make sure your RV has a good heating and cooling system for when you need it. Also consider options such as a good lighting system, electrical outlets that are safe and placed conveniently, and a built-in bathtub for your baby.
- Storage – interior storage is essential, and we all know that kids require a lot of stuff such as clothes, toys, games, etc. Also, consider a toy hauler; an external unit meant to haul things such as bikes, a stroller, bouncer, playpen, or other gear.
- Safety – probably the most important feature in your RV are things such as seatbelts, a carbon monoxide detector, rearview camera, and electrical braking system. This is as much for your safety as for your child. If you already own an RV and don’t have all of these, they can easily be installed.
Whatever RV you choose, be sure it works for you and your family. It is a huge investment, after all, and will be your home away from home!
Essential RV Gear for Small Children
Along with the standard camping essentials, be sure to bring the following with you wherever you go RVing.
- Car seat – while you don’t need this inside the RV, if you are towing a separate car, this is essential and required by law for small children.
- Crib – if you don’t have enough space in the RV for a full-size crib, purchase a travel-size or RV baby crib.
- Changing bag – look for portable bags that roll out into a changing station. This is great for inside the RV or in public restrooms that don’t have changing stations.
- Toys – this should be obvious but is worth repeating! Bring all of their favorite toys and games.
- First-aid kit – a baby-friendly first aid kit including their medicines will give you peace of mind should you need it on the road. Also include baby-safe sunscreen and insect repellant.
- Bathtub – if your RV does not have a built-in tub, bring a portable one.
- High chair – if you use one, you can purchase a handy foldable high chair that cleans up easily.
Tips for RVing with Infants and Toddlers
Once you’re all packed and ready to go, here are some valuable tips to make your time with your kids extra special and worry-free.
- Create a play area – a pop-up playpen or fenced off play area create a cozy and fun environment for your baby at the campsite. Put in their favorite toys and they’ll be happy for hours. When setting up outside, make sure it’s on a level area away from rocks, tree roots, and the fire ring.
- Babyproof everything – you know the drill! Inside the RV, cover the outlets and stovetop knobs, add corner guards to sharp edges, add a child lock to the doors leading outside, keep cabinets and cupboard doors secured shut, and keep all other hazardous gear up and away from their reach.
- Start small – if you haven’t taken your little ones on vacation before, start with a weekend RV trip to see how they react to being away from home. Then you can make any adjustments necessary to get them excited for their next (longer) trip!
- Stick to your baby’s schedule as much as possible – it’s important to keep things as familiar as possible while introducing them to the unfamiliar. Make sure they keep to their sleeping, eating, and playtime schedule. Establish a permanent sleep area in your RV for them.
- Bring more clothes for them than normal – no doubt you’ll be going through more outfits for them as they will explore the outdoors and get dirty and/or sweaty. Bring back-up clothing that is appropriate for the weather.
Following these tips and tricks will ensure your tiny tot the best time in a new environment and get them excited about the next trip to come!