Travelling with a toddler? You’ve got this.

Me and the Popple climbing the stairs at Versailles

We were in the Musée Picasso in Paris and the Popple was repeatedly climbing a small set of stairs while shouting, “One, two, three, eight, nine, TEN!” I just stood there watching her, very conscious of the fact that a) I had yet to actually look at a Picasso painting and b) the other patrons probably didn’t want their Cubism served with a side of bad toddler counting.

“Do you want to go look at the art?” I asked her hopefully.

“ART! ART! ONE, TWO, THREE, TENNNN!” she yelled.

“How old is she?” an older woman asked me in English.

“Twenty months,” I said.

“My husband and I have three boys and we took them travelling with us everywhere,” she said. “You’ve got this.”

You’ve got this.

Sometimes that’s all you need as a parent – a helpful reminder that yes, you can do this. Sure, my child tried to climb on a Picasso statue earlier and spent most of the flight to Paris helpfully yelling, “AIRPLANE!” every time she saw the wing out the window, but I had handled it. And I’d handle whatever else she decided to throw at me on this trip.

I handled it when she wanted to spend the first half hour of our trip to Versailles walking back and forth on the entrance ramp. I handled it when she attempted to drink my bottle of sparkling water, spilled it all over her dress, cried because she was wet, and then cried because I tried to change her into dry clothes. I handled it when refused to sleep in her travel cot because she figured out that Adrian and I were sharing a room with her, and then spent most of the night rolling around our bed and saying, “I sleeping bed. Mommy sleeping bed.”

No, Mommy is not sleeping bed, because you keep kicking me in the face.

I used to worry so much about travelling with the Popple. How would she deal with the disruption to her routine? Would she nap? Had we packed enough toys? What was she going to eat? But now, after this most recent trip, I’ve realised that I don’t really need to give a shit about any of that. Her routine will be different, but she’ll adjust. She might nap…or she might not. Either way, she’ll be fine. A few books and some crayons can keep her busy for hours. She’ll mostly eat bread, probably.

It will be okay. Hell, it may even be fun.

So thank you, random lady in the Musée Picasso, for reminding me that travelling with a small child is the best kind of challenge.

The Popple giving me a kiss in front of a painting at Versailles

3 Little Buttons
Two Tiny Hands
The Pramshed

36 Replies to “Travelling with a toddler? You’ve got this.”

  1. Lovely. My post today is about not overthinking things and I think you’ve proved this works. Just deal with what arises as and when and enjoy the moments. I love the photo 🙂 Alison x #DreamTeam

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      I agree – less thinking, more going with the flow!

  2. Oh how truly wonderful and yes you’ve got this! Just so lovely to travel the world with children and show them new experiences – what a beautiful trip you must have had – oh and plenty of steps in that beautiful gallery to nail the counting to ten process! Gorgeous photos lovely – just gorgeous #DreamTeam

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Thank you! There are such beautiful sights in Paris – I’m so glad that I was able to share that with my daughter.

  3. Such a lovely post. We’ve not done a lot of travelling, mores the pity, but when we do go places I try to chill about routines and what we normally do – because we’re not doing what we normally do! This has inspired me to try to get out more with my little man! #dreamteam

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      I’m glad it helped inspire you! I want to travel more too – it’s really nice to ditch the routine sometimes and experience something new together as a family.

  4. I love this!! The photos are brilliant. To be honest we haven’t ventured out of England with TM yet but he has come along to drunken weekends away with my uni friends as the token baby and just generally slotted in to what we normally do… yes, sometimes it’s hard work but most of the time it’s great fun. I think it’s great that you’ve done so much travelling with her already. And I bet a fair proportion of people thought it was cute and/or funny when she was sharing her new vocabulary ❤❤

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      I love that he’s come on drunken weekends with you! I hope people thought her bad counting and shouting was cute – thank God she’s pretty adorable. I think it helps her get away with a lot.

  5. Great post, and what a lovely lady. It’s true, travelling with toddlers will disrupt their routine and there will be numerous challenges but that’s ok, you just go with the flow and they soon adapt. And you’ll make loads of great memories to boot x
    #FamilyFun

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Exactly! It’s worth the disruption to make all the great memories.

  6. Lovely post and sounds like you had a great trip! We had a rather, err, traumatic trip to Lisbon last year when Little H was 16 months old. It threw us because she was ill and we hadn’t ‘got this’. But we do need to start exploring the world with her again. The plan this year is to try driving to France on holiday so hopefully we’ll have some fun exploring. And at almost 2.5 years old by the time we’ll likely go, I will have to heed your words and know she’ll eat enough and cope if she doesn’t sleep!

    Hope you have lots more fun trips! #FamilyFun

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Oh no! It can be hard when they’re ill out home – forget trying to manage it on holiday! I hope your France trip goes well.

  7. I totally agree. We have always and will always travel with our girls. They deserve the experience as well, and we don’t deserve to NOT travel. Although we do tend to pick activities and adventures that children are and can be a part of. I don’t think my nerves would have coped with a Paris Art Museaum so well done you! You are definitely handling it!

    1. Oops … I forgot. #Stayclassymama

    2. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      I think the Paris art museum might have been a bit ambitious!

  8. We’re going on our first flight with our baby next week, so good to the read words “You got this.” I’ll need to keep repeating them to myself, I’m sure. #stayclassymama

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Ooh, good luck!

  9. You have totally got this, and as stressful as it is (I’ve written about the sh*t fest travelling with kids is) it’s worth it – although it’s hard to think that at times. We started travelling with our kids when they were all babies, and it can be done – the other travellers might not think it should be, but it can be! #stayclassymama

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Love that attitude!

  10. Awww! I love this! She sounds like such a chatty little sweetheart. <3

    I think it's awesome you're traveling with her, exposing her to wonderful things. Mama, you more than got this!
    We do emphasize way too much on the small things. Sometimes we have to stop micromanaging and stressing and just enjoy the journey.

    XO #StayClassyMama

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      I totally agree – it’s so much better when we stop stressing about things being perfect and just go with the flow.

  11. The random lady rocks. We need more people around like her! I’m happy to read that you had a good time in Paris. I’d love to travel with my daughter and hope to. #fortheloveofBLOG

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Yes! It really helps when we share a bit of positivity with a mum who clearly looks like she’s had it.

  12. Awwwww I LOVE it when you come cross amazing human being like this lady! There are so many judgements once we step outside our homes as Mothers it is so so important to remember that we have indeed got this! <3 #stayclassymama

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      We do have this!

  13. What a gorgeous post, and an inspiring statement. ‘You’ve got this’ is really all we need to hear sometimes. High fives for the parenting wins on your trip. And you are very right that travelling adventures are the best type of challenges. Thanks so much for sharing with the #DreamTeam xx

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      It definitely helps to focus more on the wins than some of the more…let’s just call them challenging moments.

  14. Absolutely right. I used to worry about all the same things with my first. We had no choice but to travel with him all the time so to be honest I soon got over it. We must remember there is no harm if they do things completely different when they are on holiday because in all fairness we do too. Love that last photo of you an Popple. So sweet. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      I think the more you do it, the easier it gets. They get used to new routines, you get used to dealing with all the little things that you have to manage when you’re holidaying with a small person.

  15. Hope you enjoyed your visit to Paris. I definitely find travelling easier when I lower my expectations. I don’t expect routine, I don’t expect they will enjoy everything I think they will. I try not to plan too much. I think this makes me more relaxed and this makes for a better experience for all!
    #ForTheLoveofBLOG

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Lowering expectations is key!

  16. You’ve got this! Great sentiment! Well done, sounds like a real adventure. Thanks for sharing your post on #fortheloveofBLOG

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      It was a really great adventure – I can’t wait for our next one!

  17. Ahh yes you got this! We have travelled quite a lot with our daughter. I worried about naps and routines too but they do generally adjust even if it means a grotty couple of days. #DreamTeam

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      They do usually manage to adjust – I’m willing to put up with a few napless days for the experience of being somewhere new.

  18. You’re very brave – I wouldn’t dream of taking mine anywhere near a museum that wasn’t aimed at children!! #familyfunlinky

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