Comedian, Jerry Seinfeld once said, “There is no such thing as fun for the whole family.” While family outings do require a lot of work they can be enjoyable for the whole family if properly planned. Toddler tantrums, overtired babies and diaper emergencies can be prevented with proper planning and the right products. The following 10 tips will help you prepare for any outing with your kids while taking steps to reduce your ecological footprint.
1. Plan Ahead
Have a flexible game plan. Know where you want to go and the activities you want to accomplish for that day but be flexible on the timing and activities depending on your kids’ moods.
2. Be Prepared
Get as much ready the night before such as
- Map to location
- Snacks prepared
- Bags packed
- Clothes laid out
3. Carefully Time Your Outing
While some events have set times, other events allow you to show up at your convenience. Consider your child’s nap time when planning when you should arrive. If it’s an evening event, try to get your child to take a second nap in the afternoon or delay their morning nap. Younger children can sleep at the event if you bring along a baby carrier or a stroller.
4. Bring Snacks
Even a quick trip usually requires a snack break. Bring along easy to eat snacks such as crackers, baby carrots, cut up apples or grapes. Avoid using plastic containers if you can, there are reusable stainless steel containers available. For the breastfeeding baby, you can easily continue walking while nursing in a sling. Nursing in public is easy to do if you wear a shirt that easily lifts up. If you feel more comfortable being covered up you can use a nursing cover which can also help keep the baby from being too distracted by the surrounding events.
5. Bring Water
If you’re spending the day out in the sun you want to make sure your kids are getting enough water. Use stainless steel or other reusable drink containers and avoid packaged juice boxes.
6. Don’t forget the diapers
Always pack more diapers than you think you will need. Some families who use cloth diapers opt to use disposables for outings. While it’s true you can’t simply toss out cloth diapers, you can easily store them in a travel wet bag.
7. Plan your Transportation
Kids get tired of walking quickly so you need to decide if you should bring a stroller or use a carrier to carry your children around. Strollers can be difficult to navigate in large crowds but can be used to hold all of your extra gear. Using a carrier such as an Ergo allows you to comfortably hold children up to 4 years old for extended periods of time. You may be able to store all your gear in a backpack.
8. Use Sun Protection
Children’s skin is especially sensitive to the sun so make sure you are applying sunscreen regularly. You can use a non-toxic sunscreen to reduce your children’s exposure to chemicals. Sunscreen is not recommended for babies under 6 months old, so make sure they are kept in the shade as much as possible. A great way to protect babies from sun exposure is to use a Peekaru baby sun protector which is a lightweight, breathable fabric that fits over baby carriers, car seats and strollers and filters out UVA and UVB rays.
9. Arrange To Go With Another Family
If you can meet another family at the event it will give your kids someone to play with as well as an extra set of eyes and hands. If you need to wait in a line-up or take one of the kids to the bathroom you don’t have to worry about your stuff being stolen.
10. Make Some Memories
Even the best laid plans don’t always work but remember that you’re there to have fun. Don’t forget to bring along your camera to capture all the fun you and your family will have.
Guest author: Freelance writer, Kelly Neufeld is a breastfeeding, babywearing, vbac mom to two toddler daughters living near Vancouver, Canada.