Each time we take a trip I want to update what traveling with our toddler was like. Toddlers change so quickly that we firmly believe that we should keep an open dialogue with some of the challenges and joyful moments we had on our recent vacations.
The flight went pretty smoothly both ways this time. We are still struggling with her insisting being with mom and mom only during flights. This can kind of be a drag for Elyse because Kaitlyn is so heavy and long. Elyse is only 5’1” and Kaitlyn is practically half her height already.
Kaitlyn is currently 15 months old and weighs a whopping 26 lbs (this is a factor for us because people tend to treat her like she is much older than she actually is.) For example cast members will always set food and utensils in front of her because they believe that she is between two and three. Adolfo and I are constantly on guard at restaurants because milk and food will be placed right in front of her. If we don’t catch her fast enough everything will be dumped on the floor.
Kaitlyn did what?!
Unfortunately, for Elyse, on our second day of vacation Kaitlyn tried to become a master shoplifter. (I kid, kind of). While we were at the Contemporary I set Kaitlyn down to pick out some stuffed animals. She’s allowed one or two souvenirs each trip and we often get them early so she has something to play with in the room. She had picked out a Tigger plush and as we were walking around she grabbed a Donald plush and made a run for it. Elyse was beyond mortified when she darted out of the store at full speed. Luckily the cast members thought it was cute but it was something we had to watch for the rest of the trip. We were definitely going through a sticky finger stage.
Another thing is the rides tend to exit into gift shops. One gift shop that is really a struggle for us is Winnie the Pooh. Kaitlyn would gladly let us buy her everything in the store. We usually let her walk a lot on vacation but after a decent sized tantrum we now carry her out to abate crying and trying to throw herself on the floor. ( I always thought throwing yourself was a learned skill but Kaitlyn started doing it when she turned one and hasn’t looked back since. Who knew?) Toddlers dont always understand that they cant get what they want 100% of the time.
Independence Is Important
We like to give Kaitlyn lots of opportunities to walk. Don’t let anyone’s sighing or eye rolling get to you. Most people are going to go AWWW look at the baby (or toddler). Every once in a while someone is going to be annoyed. Toddlers aren’t the fastest but it’s important they get to walk. Obviously there are times and places where this isn’t going to be appropriate. Toddlers get really fussy being told they have to stay in their stroller. Especially Kaitlyn. She wants to be in the action and will commence screaming at the top of her lungs if she doesn’t agree with being in the stroller. I let her walk on the way to the bathroom for a diaper change and on the way to rides after we park the stroller.
Scheduling long breaks are good for toddlers. Kaitlyn only takes a one hour nap now a days. We will still take a two or three hour break in the early afternoon. Usually after her nap. We found that letting her nap in the stroller while we browsed the stores was the best course of action for us. Trying to take her back to the room either the monorail would wake her up or trying to remove her from the stroller would.
Kaitlyn Is Coming Into Her Own.
One of the things we seriously enjoyed this trip is that Kaitlyn is really starting to have a preference for rides and characters. Mickey Mouse is Kaitlyn’s best friend as far as she is concerned. She cried so hard when we had to say goodbye to him.
She was also into the fireworks which we watched from our room balcony at the Polynesian. Staying in the park until 8 30 is a no go for us but if your kid can hang do it. We didn’t try to acclimate Kaitlyn to the time change and let her body do it naturally. The first few days we were in Florida she was waking up as late as 9 am. Towards the end of the trip she had adjusted on her own and was waking up between 6 and 7.
All in all we’ve got to say that each vacation we go on with Kaitlyn things get easier. We begin to know what to expect and what not to stress over. Things won’t always go as planned so being flexible is key. If we do five rides in a day that’s amazing for us. We usually do about three.
Don’t get upset about missing a dining reservation or not making a fast pass. We had to reschedule a few meals on this trip. There was no way Kaitlyn was going to make it through without throwing everything and crying. If you call Disney dining and explain the situation they will not charge you for missing the meal.
Don’t be scared about taking your toddler on vacation!!! And even if they won’t remember it you will and you can cherish those memories forever.
Check our what traveling with Kaitlyn was like when she was one here. We focus on the flight to Orlando from Phoenix.