Whether you choose to travel to WDW with just your infant, or you’re heading there with multiple children, there’s no doubt that traveling anywhere with a little one presents some unique challenges for both parents and the child, too. Schedules are interrupted, sensory overload happens, regular diets are all screwed up – all the ingredients are there to make a recipe for disaster. But fear not – to help alleviate some of the stresses that come with infant travel, I have come up with some Tips and Tricks for Traveling with a little one to Disney World:
Don’t Overdo It: There is so much to see and do at Walt Disney World that it’s almost instinctual to try and cram as much into a day at the Parks as possible – but RESIST THE URGE to overdo it, no matter how many awesome things you see that you want to do, just take it slow and do a few rides and take breaks often. Head back to your WDW Resort for your little one’s normal naptime – it may seem like a pain to leave the Parks just to return a few hours later, but your little one (and you!) will welcome the break, trust me. And trying to skip nap time is a BIG no no – that just will not work out well for anyone, so don’t even bother trying it
Pack Accordingly: You’ll obviously want to take a well-stocked diaper bag along with you when you head out to the Parks, and you’ll want to make sure it’s a bag that’s comfortable and easy to carry/wear – I suggest a backpack (leaves your hands free for kid-wrangling). Diapers, wipes, sunscreen, hats/sunglasses, extra changes of clothes (yes, multiple), sweatshirt/hoodie/blanket, some smaller toys, and PLENTY of snacks – seriously, if it seems like you’re overdoing it, then you still probably need more. Pouches, puffs/goldfish crackers, granola/cereal bars, pieces of fruit, water bottles/juice boxes – bring them ALL – as you will not want to have to pay for an adult sized snack every time your little one is hungry – as that would get costly in a hurry
Utilize The Baby Care Centers: All 4 WDW Theme Parks have one of these baby centers, which offer a quiet spot to change, feed and nurse your little ones. There are high chairs in the feeding area, a kitchen with a microwave, oven and sink, and an on-site shop where essentials like formula, diapers, and wipes can be purchased. It’s a great place to take one of your breaks, and offers a private place to nurse too. Plus it’s air conditioned – which can really be a huge plus on a hot Orlando day!
Bring A Baby Carrier: Strollers are great, and while they make it way easier to transport your little one, I personally prefer wearing my baby as much as possible when at WDW. For the littlest babies it keeps them close to mom or dad, and helps partly shield them from the sun and noise too. Toddler carriers are great too – they make ergonomic ones that reduce the strain on your back (we like this one!), and you wear them piggyback style, which leaves them able to check out their surroundings easily. Obviously even the littlest ones will feel heavy after a while – but take turns with your partner, and sit down often for breaks. A carrier may not totally replace a stroller, but I personally think it’s a great alternative and can really help out when you’re in big crowds (like there tend to be at Disney!)
Know Before You Go: Do your research on the various rides and shows to know the age/height restrictions – and make a list of ones that might work for you and your little one. Be aware that even the tamest of shows might scare them – so be prepared to get up and leave a show if need be, as the darkness or lights/sounds might be overwhelming to little eyes and ears
Above All – DON’T STRESS! There will be tantrums and meltdowns and crying – and that’s ok – it is normal, it happens, and it is best to just accept it now – it will make your trip much easier, trust me! Taking babies and toddlers to WDW can be a big undertaking – but it can have big rewards too – watching your baby smile at Mickey, or seeing their face light up as they see the castle for the first time – these are the moments that make it all worthwhile
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