Traveling alone with a toddler can be stressful, and being pregnant makes it more so. Keeping the toddler entertained, content and safe, while taking care of yourself, takes extra planning and effort. However, with reasonable expectations and thought-out preparations, travel can be a pleasurable experience for everyone.
Consult with your health care provider before making travel plans to ensure it is safe for you and the baby, and tell her you'll be caring for your toddler on your own, too. Depending on how far along you are in the pregnancy, whether your travel is international or domestic, and your mode of transportation, your provider might advise against travel or have specific directions for you to follow. It is also wise to find health care facilities at your destination and to plan extra stops or layovers when needed to keep everyone safe and content.
It is helpful to pack a lightweight umbrella stroller to transport your toddler as you move about in an airport or rest area. Avoid carrying the older child as much as possible so you don't strain yourself and put the baby or yourself in danger. Take frequent stops to walk around when driving and, if flying, walk about the airplane cabin at regular intervals. This prevent blood clots in your legs and it helps break up the travel time for the toddler as well and helps prevent a meltdown.
Pack small books and toys to entertain the toddler. Electronic games or a movie device can also be helpful. Small snacks and a sippy cup will keep him satiated and content, too. Pack healthful snacks for yourself as well, such as dried fruit, crackers or granola. Keep yourself hydrated, too, and ensure that you have enough diapers, wipes, and other toddler essentials. If flying, make your carry-on as lightweight as possible while still containing necessary items.
If flying, ask for assistance from flight attendants if you need to lift anything heavy or install the toddlers car seat on the plane. If you are feeling unwell and need help getting to a connecting flight or an extra snack, ask for help and most airline employees are happy to aid you. When driving, make stops when necessary and if you need to take extra time getting to your destination don't hesitate to make an overnight stop at a hotel if needed to ensure your safety. Planning that flexible time into your travel can help make the trip enjoyable and safe for everyone.