Helpful Tips for Taking a Road Trip With Your Baby or Toddler

Helpful Tips for Taking a Road Trip With Your Baby or Toddler

Planning a road trip with your baby or toddler can be overwhelming. There are so many extra things to consider when you have a little one on board. But, with a little planning and preparation your road trip will be smooth and enjoyable. Here are my helpful tips for taking a road trip with your baby or toddler:

Drive at Night

Spending hours in the car can be tough for anyone, especially for babies and toddlers. The most helpful tip for taking a road trip with your baby or toddler is to drive at night. By doing a majority of your driving at night you are cutting down on your child’s travel time. When they are sleeping they won’t realize how much time they are spending in the car. I have taken daytime road trips and nighttime road trips with my daughter and nighttime road trips go much smoother.

Plan Your Stops

You may be able to tough it out and drive straight through to your destination, but your little one can’t. A helpful tip for taking a road trip with your baby or toddler is to plan your stops. I try to stop once every two or three hours with my daughter to check her diaper and stretch our legs. A great way to plan these stops is to know your route before you leave for the trip. Choose the locations you want to stop at and plan to add these breaks into your travel time. Even if it’s a short five minute stop, these breaks are so helpful for your little one.

Bring Snacks

Snacks are a great way to keep your baby or toddler content during a long road trip. Pack a small lunch box of on-the-go snacks for your little one to enjoy. It’s good to have a variety of snacks available so you can switch it up throughout the road trip. When my daughter becomes restless during the long trip having a snack to offer to her usually helps keep her happy for a little while longer.

Play Music

Playing music your child enjoys throughout the road trip is an excellent way to keep them happy. It is a great idea to create a playlist or two of your little one’s favorite songs prior to the road trip. Ella gets so excited when I play her favorite songs in the car. I have two road trip playlists for Ella, one is our favorite Disney songs and another is her favorite children’s songs. It is nice to have a couple playlist options so things don’t get too repetitive.

Bring Toys

It is so important to have a variety of entertainment options to offer your child during the road trip. A helpful tip for taking a road trip with your baby or toddler is to pack an organized bag of toys for them to play with. I like to bring a bag that includes some of her favorite toys as well as some new toys purchased for the trip. It is smart to offer your child only one toy at a time so once they get bored with one toy you have others to offer them.

Keep Them Comfortable

It is important to keep your little one comfortable during a long road trip. Dress your baby or toddler in pajamas or comfy clothes. Let your little one wear only socks while they are in the car. Bring some of their favorite comfort items such as blankies, stuffed animals or binkies for the trip. Your child will be much happier traveling long hours in the car if they are comfortable.

Watch a Movie

Having your little one’s favorite movie available to watch during the trip is an amazing way to keep them content during a long road trip. Download a couple of your baby or toddlers favorite movies to your tablet or phone prior to the trip. WiFi usually isn’t available in the car so plan on doing this before you leave. Netflix is another great option for your road trip because you can download and save shows right through the app.

Thinking of traveling by plane? Be sure to read my Tips for Flying with a Toddler.

Thank you for reading my Helpful Tips for Taking a Road Trip with your Baby or Toddler. I hope these helpful tips have made you feel more prepared for your upcoming trip. If you have any additional tips you would like to share please leave them in the comments below.

The Crystal Palace Disney Character Dining Review

The Crystal Palace

Disney Character Dining Review

Character Dining is a must-do during your Disney vacation. But with so little time and so many restaurants to choose from which character dining restaurant should you pick? Luckily, Ella and I have visited each of these amazing Disney restaurants and reviewed them all so you can spend less time picking a restaurant and more time making magical memories! Here is our Disney Character Dining Review of The Crystal Palace:

The Crystal Palace

The Crystal Palace is an All-You-Care-To-Enjoy buffet with character featuring Winnie the Pooh and friends. The restaurant is located in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom right on Main Street USA. The Crystal Palace is one of the few Disney Dining restaurants that features characters during breakfast, lunch and dinner. The price range for the Crystal Palace is $15 to $34.99 per adult for breakfast or lunch, and $35 to $59.99 per adult for dinner. If you are on the Disney Dining Plan the Crystal Palace is one Table Service Dining Point per adult.

What’s on the Menu?

The Crystal Palace is an American-style buffet. Breakfast features All-You-Care-To-Enjoy omelets, delicious pastries, fresh fruit and other mouthwatering favorites. Lunch and Dinner feature roasted carved meats, fish, garden fresh salads and much more. I have listed the official menus below.

Breakfast Selections:

 

Omelette Station

Pancakes and Waffles

Freshly Baked Pastries

Breakfast Meats and Potatoes

Seasonal Fresh Fruit

 Kellogg’s Breakfast Cereal

 

Lunch and Dinner Selections:

 

 Garden-fresh Salads

Roasted Carved Meats

Seasonal Fish

Chicken

Freshly Made Soups

Peel-n-Eat Shrimp

Freshly Baked Breads

Vegetable Creations

Assorted Desserts

Everywhere with Ella Tip: We suggest making a reservation for a late lunch. The Lunch and Dinner selections are exactly the same, but lunch is half the price of dinner. 

The Character Dining Experience

The Crystal Palace is home to Winnie the Pooh and his Hundred Acre pals. The characters featured in this character dining restaurant include Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet. The character experience takes roughly 90 minutes to complete depending on how busy the restaurant is. Winnie the Pooh and his friends will come directly to your table for a meet and greet while you enjoy your meal.  The characters are happy to sign autographs and take photos with you during their visit. Children are also encouraged to march around the Crystal Palace with their favorite Hundred Acre pals during a Friendship Day Celebration Pooh-rade held once an hour.

Conclusion

The Crystal Palace is a great character dining choice for your Disney vacation. If you are a fan of Winnie the Pooh and his Hundred Acre friends, this character dining experience is an absolute must-do! Reservations are fairly easy to make since the Crystal Palace features character dining during all three meal times. The American-style buffet is delicious with many options for both adults and children to enjoy. The overall atmosphere of the Crystal Palace is one of my favorites. I definitely recommend visiting the Crystal Palace while visiting the Magic Kingdom.

Fun Fact: I worked at the Crystal Palace during my Disney College Program in 2012. I had the best experience ever working there! I’ve attached some of my favorite photos from my time at the Crystal Palace below.

I hope this review helps make your Disney Character Dining experience extra magical! If you have any questions or reviews of your own please leave them in the comments below. I would love to hear from you! Thanks for reading!

Ella’s First Trip to Fenway Park

When I was 5 years old my dad took me to my first Red Sox game at Fenway Park. I can still remember walking down Yawkey Way for the first time, sitting in the old wooden seats and listening to the excitement of the crowd. I’ve been in love ever since. During our recent trip to Boston I was blessed with the opportunity to take Ella to Fenway for the first time. It was such a special experience for the both of us.

Fenway Park Tour

Ella is still too young for a Redsox game, so I decided to take her on a tour of Fenway Park instead. Fenway Park offers tours to the public that last about an hour. During the tour you have a guide who walks you through the park and teaches the history of Major League Baseball’s oldest active ballpark. The atmosphere at Fenway Park is like no other! You can feel the history in the air. Ella was in awe as we explored each section of the ballpark. Even though she’s too young to understand the historical aspect of Fenway, I could tell she knew it was a special place! Even if you aren’t a Redsox fan, the tour of Fenway is an incredible experience that I highly recommend to anyone visiting Boston.

Yawkey Way

After the tour we walked around the outside of Fenway Park. Ella loved visiting Yawkey Way! On game days Yawkey Way is a big outdoor party with music, vendors and some pretty awesome food. There wasn’t a game this day so Yawkey Way was quiet. It actually worked out great because and Ella was able to get out of her stroller and walk around on her own. Ella enjoys things so much more when she gets experience them independently. She had the biggest smile on her face as she stopped to explore everything she saw. It was so sweet to see her enjoying something that is so dear to my heart. She really loved our visit to Fenway Park and I can’t wait to take her back for a game when she’s a bit older.

We ended our day with delicious fish and chips at Cask’n Flagon across the street from Fenway. Ella was so tired from our day filled with fun that she fell asleep before the food even came out. We had such an incredible day at Fenway Park. I feel so lucky to have shared this day with Ella. Thank you for reading!

Our Trip to Boston

I was born and raised in Massachusetts and so many of my fondest childhood memories were made in the city of Boston. It has been a dream of mine to take Ella on a trip to Boston since before she was even born. We were blessed with the opportunity to spend some time in my favorite city this past week and I’m so excited to share the highlights of our trip with you.

Where We Stayed:

The Boston Harbor Hotel

The Boston Harbor Hotel is located on Rowes Wharf and offers the most beautiful view of both the city-scape and the Boston harbor. The hotel itself is incredible, it is so luxurious! The staff were so friendly and helpful throughout our entire stay. Traveling alone with a toddler can be tricky at times so I can’t even begin to express how much we appreciated them! One of the things we really loved about staying at the Boston Harbor Hotel was that it was walking distance to just about everything. We really enjoyed being able to walk through the city to each of our destinations, it was one of the highlights of our trip!

Our Room

We stayed in the Deluxe Room overlooking the city-scape. The room had an open floorplan that included a large living space and king sized bed. Ella made herself right at home. I was so happy to see that she was super comfortable here!  As you can see, she really loved the bed! She must have passed out within 10 minutes of laying down, which is very fast for her! We really enjoyed our stay at the Boston Harbor Hotel.

Where We Ate:

Rowe’s Wharf Sea Grille

We decided to have dinner at The Rowe’s Wharf Sea Grille. It was a great choice for us because it was actually located in our hotel. The dining staff were just as amazing as the rest of the staff at the Boston Harbor Hotel. The menu offered a wide variety of meal choices including an excellent children’s menu. I had the 8oz Filet Mignon with a side of sautéed mushrooms and onions. Ella had a grilled cheese with a side of French fries. We really enjoyed our meal. We also loved the beautiful view of the Boston Harbor from our table.

What We Did:

Faneuil Hall 

Faneuil Hall is a large indoor and outdoor marketplace located near the waterfront and Boston’s Government Center. It is a cool place to check out different shops and local foods. I had been here many times as a kid and always really enjoyed the atmosphere and just walking around. Faneuil Hall was about a 5 minute walk from the Boston Harbor Hotel so we decided to spend sometime there one evening. Of course Ella found the street performer right away and really enjoyed dancing to the music. It was a nice area to let her explore and run around.

What We Did:

Public Garden and Boston Common

Boston Common and Boston’s Public Garden are home to some of my favorite childhood memories. I can remember visiting the city with my mom and my grandma as a kid. It actually gave me chills to bring Ella here. It was really cool to see her enjoying a place I loved so much growing up. I have been reading the children’s book Make Way For the Ducklings to her since she was a newborn preparing for this day. I swear I almost cried when she ran up to the ducklings and looked back at me and said “quack, quack, quack!” She would walk up and down the line of ducklings checking each of them out. This was real full circle moment for me and I loved so much that I got to share this special moment with Ella.

Ella and I really had the most amazing trip to Boston this past week. There was one more stop on our journey through the city that I’m so excited to share with you! Thanks so much for reading!

 

Going Back to School as a Mom

Going Back to School as a Mom

As much as I love being a stay at home mom, I have always regretted not finishing school. When I first had Ella I put everything else on hold so I could focus on being the best mother possible. Being a new mom is hard work and I think it was a great decision for me at the time to focus solely on Ella instead of trying to juggle school as well. But when Ella turned one, I decided it was time for me to re-enroll in college and continue working towards my earning my degree.

Originally, I planned to take classes on campus but I realized pretty quickly that wasn’t going to be an option for me. Childcare costs are insane and being a single mom.. I just couldn’t afford it all on my own. I felt so disappointed and actually considered giving up on going back to school at this point but when you are a mommy giving up isn’t an option.

 

I started researching programs that I could complete from home. I found out that many schools actually offer programs that are exclusively online. This was perfect for me because it allowed me to continue to be a stay at home mom to Ella and work towards completing my degree at the same time. I chose to transfer into the online Medical Office Management degree program. I was so excited when I learned that many of my previous credits transferred into this program.

I’m currently on my second semester of the Medical Office Management degree program. I completed seven classes last semester with a 4.0 GPA. I was so excited when I received the letter that I made the Presidents List for the Fall 2017 semester! This semester I am enrolled in five classes and I am working hard to achieve honors for the Spring 2018 semester as well.

 

Being a full time student and full time mom is hard work but it is so rewarding! It feels so good to be working towards a goal that is so important to me. I have learned to juggle both motherhood and school pretty well. It’s funny because as Ella grows and reaches new milestones, I have to adjust how I make time to do school work. This semester is much more difficult than last semester. Ella is so busy now. She is curious about everything and wants to be right there with me. Anytime I bring out my laptop she climbs right next to me to see what I’m doing. It’s so sweet to see how excited she gets. I know at this age she doesn’t understand but I hope one day she wants to earn a college degree like her mom did!

If you are a mom who has been wanting to go back to school I really hope this post inspires you to begin taking steps towards achieving that goal. If you have any questions at all please contact me! I would love to share more information with you.

Everyday Me Time Ideas for Moms

Everyday Me Time Ideas For Moms

As a mothers we often get so busy taking care of our children that we forget about ourselves. The first six months after having Ella I really lost myself. My life became a never-ending cycle of nursing, diaper changing, getting Ella to sleep then trying to rush around to get as much housework done as possible. I was going through the motions of what I thought a mom was supposed to do and completely neglecting myself. It was so exhausting and it only got worse as time went on. I was sleep deprived, depressed and totally burnt out.

Now Ella is 19 months old and things are so much different than they were back then. I still have all the responsibilities I had with the addition of a few more. The big difference is, I have learned how to incorporate “me time” into my daily life. I want to share with you some of the ways I added self care into my daily life. They are simple things but they made a world of difference for me and I really hope they can help you too!

Early Morning Coffee

This took time to get used to because let’s face it we’re moms and we are tired but early mornings have become one of my favorite parts of the day. I set my alarm for 30 minutes before Ella wakes up and sit, relax and enjoy a cup of coffee in peace and quiet. It’s an excellent way to start the day.

Go to the Gym

Not only is exercising great for you, but it’s a great way to add some “me time” into your day. I go to the gym five days a week for at least one hour a day. The gym I go to offers child care so it’s a fun activity for Ella as well. She looks forward to seeing her friends each day, and I enjoy some time to myself.

Make Mom Friends

Making mom friends is a life changer. I can’t even begin to explain how much I have enjoyed spending time with other moms while the little ones play. There are so many ways to meet other moms and most communities have mom groups that offer weekly playgroups. I found my first mom group on Facebook and made one on one connections through there.

Find a Hobby

Blogging, art and photography are a few things that I have always enjoyed. I started incorporating these hobbies into my daily life and it has made such a huge difference for me. I feel so good about myself when I am being creative.

Look Your Best Everyday

Before I became a mom I would wake up and get ready every morning. I wouldn’t leave the house unless I looked my best. I didn’t do this to impress others, I did it for myself! It’s so easy to get busy and stay in pajamas all day. This became a bad habit for me when I first had Ella. I have now made my habit “wake up and make up” and my self esteem is so much higher than it used to be. When you look your best, you feel your best!

Find Things You Both Enjoy

There are so many activities that you can enjoy with your child. I take Ella to the local museums, gardens, parks – really everywhere I have wanted to go but never had an excuse to. We both enjoy exploring new places and it makes it so much more fun that we get to do it together.

Pamper Yourself

You don’t have to do this everyday but make a plan to spend time pampering yourself once a month. I feel so much better about myself when I have my hair and nails done but those are the first two things I neglect when I get busy. I have made a point to keep up with my hair and get a pedicure once a month.

Relax Before Bedtime

Take an hour for yourself after the little ones go to bed. I made a rule very early on that when I am having my me time there is no laundry or chores allowed! My favorite thing to do in the evening is to relax and catch up on the newest episode of my favorite show, and if I’m feeling crazy sometimes I’ll even have a glass of wine!

Taking time for yourself as a mom is a necessity. Not only does it benefit you, but it also benefits your children. These are just a few ways I have incorporated me time into my daily life. Everyone is different so these examples might not work for you personally but I hope it helped to get you thinking of ways you can add me time to your busy mom schedule.

Museum of Natural Science, Raleigh, NC

One of the best things about living in Raleigh is there are so many awesome activities available for families. Some of my favorite places in the city to take Ella are the museums – they are a nice mixture of fun and education. This week we decided to explore the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Science in Raleigh, NC is the largest natural science museum in the southeast! The museum consists of two giant buildings, containing seven floors of exhibits combined. That’s huge! The museum is so big it actually took us several trips to realize there was even a second building.

IMG_5892

The main building is called the Natural Exploration Center. This area of the museum is home to exhibits containing a wide variety of animals, marine life and insects local to North Carolina – both past and present. Here are some of our favorite exhibits in the Natural Exploration Center:

Discovery Room

Located on the second floor of the Natural Exploration center, this area of the museum was created specifically for young children. What we love about this exhibit is it interactive and encourages kids to explore using their senses and imagination. Ella loves the Discovery Room and runs right for the basket of stuffed animals every time we visit. She loves this singing cardinal so much we bought one in the gift shop

Terror of the South

This exhibit is located on the third floor and features an actual Acrocanthosaurus skeleton! Along with the Acrocanthosaurus, there is a huge Brachiosaurus and a group of Terradactyls flying above. It’s hard to believe these guys used to call North Carolina home. This is my favorite part of the museum, and Ella is really becoming fascinated with the dinosaurs as well.

Arthropod Zoo

This exhibit features bugs that live in the area. From ants, to bees, to spiders and even some sea creatures – who knew so many bugs lived in the area? It’s interesting to see how many different creatures call North Carolina home. Ella really enjoys this area and it’s a lot of fun to teach her the names of different types of bugs. Most of the habitats are located at her eye level so she has even started pointing out the insects she likes the most.

Living Conservatory

Right next to the Arthropod Zoo on the fourth floor is the Living Conservatory. This exhibit is a beautiful indoor butterfly habitat that you can actually walk through. It’s incredible to walk through the conservatory and see the different types of butterflies flying around you. There are always tour guides in the exhibit who are more than happy to answer any question you may have. I was fascinated to find out that butterflies have such short life spans. The Living Conservatory is also home to turtles, a tarantula and a two-toed sloth.

Bridge across Hargett Street

Moving on from the Natural Exploration Center is the second building of the museum. To get to next part of the museum you actually have to cross a over a bridge. There is an indoor bridge connecting the second floors, or an outdoor bridge connecting the third floors. This bridge spans across Hargett Street and offers one of my favorite views in the city!

Nature Research Center

The second building of the museum is the Nature Research Center. This wing focuses on scientists and the techniques they use to discover the information we know about the planet. It’s really neat to see how scientists obtain this information. This area of the museum features incredible exhibits such as Postcards from Space, Ancient Fossils, Researching Weather and much more! Here are some photos from this wing of the museum:

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Science is such a large museum that you would have to visit a couple times to experience the whole thing. Each time we go we spend a little more time exploring a different area. Whether you are local to Raleigh or just visiting I definitely recommend checking out the museum.

Everything We Loved About Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Everything we loved about Disney's Animal Kingdom

Everything we loved about Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom has undergone some major changes over the past few years. It’s always bittersweet for me when they change things up at the parks. This was my first time visiting the park since they made a majority of these changes so I was really excited to check it out! It was also my first time going to Animal Kingdom as a mother! Here’s Everything We Loved About Disney’s Animal Kingdom this trip:

Pandora

I’ll admit, I’ve never actually made it to the end of the movie Avatar – is so long and I always fall asleep at the same exact spot. I really wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy this new area of the park since I’m not fan of the movie but wow! Pandora is absolutely breathtaking! They did such an incredible job making it really feel like you’re in a completely different world. You could seriously just spend your entire day in Pandora admiring its beauty.

 

 We spent most of our time in Pandora adventuring through the Valley of Mo’ara. Ella loved running around and exploring this area. You are surrounded by all different kinds of exotic flowers and plants – some that even glow! One of Ella’s favorite parts was the native drum circle. Her and a bunch of other children got to play the drums and other instruments right in the middle of the Valley. The best part of the Valley of Mo’ara was the floating mountain. Yes, you read that right a floating mountain! Only in Disney right?

If you think the Valley of Mo’ara is incredible wait until you float down the Na’vi River! We were able to get fastpasses for the Na’vi River Journey through the My Disney Experience app ahead of time so the 60+ minute wait was only about 5 minutes for us. I’m always a little nervous taking Ella on rides for the first time, and since this was my first time as well I had no clue what to expect. It ended up being one of her favorite rides in the park! She loved the music and could not keep her eyes off the Shaman at the end of the ride!

The Boneyard

I usually just walk right past this area when visiting Dinoland U.S.A. but this time I stopped to give Ella the opportunity to run around and play. The Boneyard is a large open air play area for kids and it’s themed like a dinosaur dig site. This area is super cool because it has so many different things for the kids to enjoy. We spent about an hour in The Boneyard. Ella would have stayed there all day if I let her. She loved climbing up the stairs and going down the slides in the toddler area. We also climbed up to the top of the dig site and ventured over to the large sand pit to dig for dinosaur bones. The Boneyard is definitely worth the stop if you’re visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom with young children.

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Kilimanjaro Safaris is a guided safari tour through the African outback. Some of the animals you see during the safari include: antelope, baboon, rhino, cheetah, elephant, giraffe, lion and much more! The animals seemingly roam free so its awesome to see them up close. What I love so much about this attraction is that each safari is completely different! We did the wildlife adventure during the day, then went back and did nocturnal encounters in the evening! I had never done the safari at night before and I was amazed at how different it was from the daytime tour. Many of the animals that are inactive during the day are awake and very active at night!

Tree of Life Awakenings

Disney’s Animal Kingdom recently extended their park hours to 8pm and Tree of Life Awakening is one of their new evening experiences. The feel of the park is completely different at night time and in my opinion the park needed this nighttime upgrade! Tree of Life Awakenings is a light and projection show on the iconic Tree of Life. The show begins after sundown and runs every 10 minutes until the park closes. Awakenings is mesmerizing! Each animal comes to life and has a show of its own. The tree glows with lights and colors and beautiful music to match. Tree of Life Awakenings is something I never knew I needed in my life! It was incredible and it is high on my list of things to do during my next visit.

Street Performers in Africa

Ella jumped right out of my arms when she heard the street performers singing and playing the drums. She loves all things dancing and music so she was so excited when they offered her her own instrument and invited her to play along. The performance was super upbeat and interactive. It was so much fun to watch her dance and sing with all the other kids! See videos of Ella dancing with the street performers in the Animal Kingdom Recap video below.

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Tips for Flying with a Toddler

Tips for Flying with a Toddler

Tips for Flying with a Toddler

Planning on flying with your toddler soon? Here are some tips for flying with a toddler to help your flight go smoothly.

Flying with a toddler for the first time is so scary. I was so nervous that I even considered canceling a few times! For weeks leading up to our trip all I could do was worry about everything that could possibly go wrong. What if she cries the whole time? What if the air pressure hurts her ears? How can I keep her occupied during the flight? Thankfully I was well prepared and her first experience flying was a positive one.

Book the right flight

With babies and toddlers scheduling is so important. Make sure you plan your flight according to your child’s sleep schedule. The best flights for Ella were during times that she would normally be asleep – first thing in the morning, afternoon nap times and during bed time.

Plan your seat

Some airlines allow you to choose your seat ahead of time, this can be extremely beneficial when flying with a baby. If your airline allows, choose a seat at the front of the plane. The front is the quietest and smoothest area of the plane. Planning to sit up front also allows you the convenience of being one of the first people to exit at the end of the flight.

Pack efficiently

Bring a carry on bag with only the necessities. You will want to have everything you need and you will also want to have easy access to it. My carry on included: diapers, wipes, one change of clothes, an extra binkie, small snacks, a sippy cup, a couple comfort items as well small toys to keep her entertained.

Protect your babies ears

Air pressure can effect your ears during a flight and it can be pretty uncomfortable – especially for children. The most common time for your ears to pop is during take off and descent. Bring a pacifier or a sippy cup for your toddler to suck on during these times to help prevent their ears from popping.

Plan your time

Arrive at the airport early, but not too early. I like to arrive two hours before my flight. After going through security, you will have about and hour before they start loading the plane. I use that time to let Ella play and burn off any extra energy she might have so when we board the plane she is ready to relax (and hopefully sleep) for the duration of the flight.

Bring entertainment

Most toddlers don’t have the patience to sit still for the duration of a flight. Make sure you are prepared by bringing several different activities to keep your baby entertained. I like to bring a variety of things so if they gets bored with one, I have something else to offer. Reading books, coloring books and crayons, and small table toys are all great ideas for a flight.

Download Netflix

I downloaded the Netflix app on my phone for Ella to watch during the trip. Some airlines offer free WiFi and others allow you to purchase it during the flight. The great thing about Netflix is you can actually download certain movies and shows onto your app for free. After you download the shows and movies you want, you can watch them with or without WiFi! It was a lifesaver for me to have Netflix available because towards the end of my flight when Ella started to get restless I was able to put on her favorite movie and calm her down.

As mothers we worry and taking a toddler on their first flight can be nerve-wracking.  I hope this guide helped put your mind at ease and better prepare you for your toddler’s first flight. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have! I would  also love to hear about your experience flying with your toddler for the first time.

Tips for Taking a Toddler to Disney World

Tips for Taking a Toddler to Disney World
Tips for Taking a Toddler to Disney World

Tips for Taking a Toddler to Disney World

Thinking of taking your toddler to Disney World? Here are some of the best tips for making your trip to Walt Disney World a magical one!

My Disney Experience

When taking a toddler to Disney World there is a certain level of planning required to make sure your trip goes smoothly. My Disney Experience allows you to make and share those plans directly from your phone! Through this amazing app you are able to book dining reservations, select FastPasses and keep track of entertainment times.  I can’t say enough great things about My Disney Experience, I highly recommend signing up and taking advantage of all the wonderful things this app has to offer.

FastPass+

If your toddler is anything like mine then you know waiting in long lines while visiting Disney World is just not an option. This is why FastPasses are your best friend when taking a toddler to Disney World! FastPasses are reservations but for rides and attractions. Through My Disney Experience, you are able to book your FastPasses up to 60 days prior to your trip. This is awesome because it allows you to choose up to 3 of your must-see attractions per day and plan your days accordingly.

Character Dining

From Minnie and Mickey to Disney Princesses, Disney offers a wide variety of character dining options. This is the best way to meet your child’s favorite characters without having to wait in line. Character Dining always ends up being one of the highlights of our trips so I definitely recommend booking at least one character dining experience during your trip. Reservations book up quick and walk-ins are never guaranteed, so make sure you book your reservation through My Disney Experience ahead of time.

Stay At A Disney Hotel

There’s something extra magical about choosing to stay at a Disney Hotel during your Disney vacation.  Not only is it much more fun to stay on Disney property, but it is also beneficial. One of the biggest advantages to staying at a Disney hotel  is access to free Disney transportation. Each hotel offers buses that will take you directly to the entrance of each theme park. This is a huge time saver when taking a toddler to Disney World because it cuts down on travel time as well as money!

Start Your Day Early

Check the park hours and get there right when they open. The morning is the least crowded part of the day.  If there are any rides or character meet and greets you and your child were unable to get FastPasses to, morning is the best time to go.

Plan Around Naptime

Even though you are in Disney World, your toddler will still need to get in their daily nap. Pay attention to the time and make sure you plan your day around this. Sometimes they will nap in the stroller, other times, it’s best to head back to the hotel for a couple hours. Make sure you do not skip naptime!

Bring A Stroller

You will definitely want to have a stroller while in the parks, but you will also need to park your stroller often. Disney offers rental strollers but they are expensive, I suggest bringing your own small, light weight, foldable stroller with a canopy. You can buy these cheap at Target. Another tip is to scope out the stroller parking areas ahead of time. This just makes things a lot easier for you throughout the day.

Carry A Backpack

Trade your purse and diaper bag in for a backpack while visiting the theme parks. Backpacks are super convenient for Disney because they are hands free and allow you to pack everything into one place. I actually hang my backpack right on the back of my stroller so you don’t even have to worry about the strain on your back.

Pack Light

Obviously when going anywhere with a young child there are several things you have to bring with you. In my case, I packed a backpack with diapers, wipes, change of clothes for Ella, snacks, a water bottle and a small wallet. This will be different for everyone, but the lighter you pack the better.

Bring Snacks

Disney allows you to bring snacks into the park for children – take full advantage of this! I always pack a small bag of snacks such as granola bars, crackers and cheerios. This is great for if your child gets hungry in between meal times because snacks in the parks can be pretty pricey.

Stay Hydrated

Disney sells water bottles throughout the parks but they also allow you to bring your own. Staying hydrated is so important. Make sure you keep your water bottles filled throughout the day. If you forgot a water bottle and don’t want to buy one go to any quick service food station and ask for a cup of ice water – they are free and unlimited.

Thank you for reading my Tips for Taking a Toddler to Disney World. I really hope these tips help make your trip to Disney with your toddler go smoothly. If you have any additional questions or would like to add a tip of your own, please share in the comments below.