Babies stay where you leave them, and some even sleep. My youngest had just turned 1 when we started travelling, but my thoughts are that the baby-travelling wouldn’t be much different to the baby at home. Toddlers and preschoolers? I’ve travelled with children at each age from 1 year olds to 10 year olds. My experience is that the 5 and under club is the hardest.
Quite frankly, I’m scared to toilet train my children overnight until they’ve had dry nappies for months on end. I just don’t have access to enough water to wash their bed sheets. How can I let them just go without when it may be a week before I can wash those wet sheets…and that’s living in an RV. I only have room to carry two spare changes of sheets, which is not nearly enough for toilet training over night. My situation is probably easier than the parents who are backpacking, house-swapping, staying in hotels or other rented accomodation. How can you toilet train when your kids are always sleeping in someone else’s bed?
Toilet training during the day is possibly even harder on the road. I’m currently toilet training a toddler. Toilet training is enough of a challenge already, but when the toilet is in a different place each day it makes it harder still. How do you toilet train when you are spending a few hours in a car, train, bus or plane? The toddler tells you they need to go to the toilet — you have a minute or two to get them to that toilet. If you are in the car, this means finding somewhere safe to pull over almost straight away, getting out a potty, getting the child to the toilet, and back in the car again — only to do the same thing 20 or 30 minutes later, sometimes more if your kid decides this is a great way to get Mum or Dad’s attention. Not to mention the mess if they fall asleep in the car, which they often do!
Kids of this age want and need a lot of attention. This isn’t any different if you are travelling or living in a house. This is where a huge advantage of travel comes in for the child. The parents often get to spend a lot more time with the kids. For our family, it also means that their Dad gets to spend a lot more time with them. My husband has commented many times on how much he enjoys seeing our youngest grow as a toddler.
Think how dirty kids get after camping for a few days — my son has been camping for a year and a half. With limited access to water. In other words, he is a dusty child who is in need of a good bath. He loves playing in the mud, and will quite happily build with sticks and stones. He loves being in a baby sling or backpack when we go for hikes, or on a baby seat on the back of his dad’s bike. This closeness to his parents is something that he takes for granted. He thrives on having two parents and his siblings around all the time, and seems to learn things very quickly from his brother and sisters, as well as his parents.