Travelling to family with your young kids

For those of us who live away from where we grew up, visiting family back “home” with your children is a wonderful thing. All of you get to experience new things, while your extended family get to see a sneak peak into your daily life. It can be crazy tiring though, because often your partner isn’t making the trip with you.

Help at hand?

Your family will want to help out though, but you’ll find yourself the go to person for everything from lunches to toddler milk teddybath-time schedules. For those who live quite a distance from family,  you have all the packing and organising to do beforehand and generally can’t rest during the trip because you may be sleeping with one eye open or catering to various needs.

On the other hand, you may have to completely relinquish all control over your little ones to someone who “knows best” and thinks you need a break. In all these scenarios, just be honest. You have the right to let people know how you wish your children to be tended to – especially when you are a new mum with your first children.

Getting to know the extended family

old grandma and cameraI love this blog post, it has some great ideas. I love the ‘family book’ idea – a book with pictures of the people you are taking your children to visit – worth a read For toddlers, it could be lots of fun to have a little photo album to look at while they are travelling. Maybe use a little masking tape below each picture and write the name of the family member.

Recently, my whole extended family got together and my children got to be part of their group of 13 cousins for the first time ever. (It made for an absolutely beautiful photo to see all the ‘kids’ aged from 6 to 34). Even though we spend a lot of time talking about Aunty’s and Uncles etc, one of the cousins wrote down all the names for my kids and who was part of who’s family. They were amazed. A partner thought it was quite cute when our youngest asked him “are you a cousin too?” They were able to check their list.

Making the journey

For me, travelling with babies was fun. I saw it as a great chance just to sit and cuddle – before they need solids its fairly simple. It can be difficult to comfort them sometimes though, that seatbelt sign can come on when you and your child dont want it. I found humming their favourite tune in their ear or busily turing pages of a favourite book is a good distraction. It is always a good idea to take any medications with you though, in case of any illness or discomfort. (Certainly have them in your suitcase – you don’t want to get to your destination sick and needing to hit the shops – ‘normal’ people don’t keep Children’s Panadol in their medicine cabinet)!

Toddlers are a different kettle of fish, as they are happy to let you and everyone else know when they aren’t happy. I try and stick to a program of food and various activities from drawing, to cards, to viewing movies.

Older than this they are happy to find an activity for themselves and will often assist if you have younger ones with you.

At all ages I would suggest letting them pick a favourite thing to carry, generally teddies travel with us on car and plane trips. Longer trips you may like to swap for something smaller or something with a toggle you can attach to a backpack. Have you seen our kimochis range)?

Once you are there

I generally arrive at my destination quite tired. Luckily we are generally picked up from the airport. Enthusiastic Aunty’s normally have various snacks and suprises ready in the car. After collecting our bags we normally head for the toilets. I try and pick a ‘family’ room, something like a changing room etc is ideal. I like this as I can keep track on each of the kids and while a nappy is being changed, someone can be on the toilet or washing hands etc. If you have to go into a cubicle, I have in the past made the kids stand right in front of the door and insist that I have to be able to see their their feet. I insist they not move from there. I have also learnt that with some kids, even if they say they don’t need to go, THEY DO and if you leave the toilets you’ll have to go back (no doubt you already know if you have one of these always busy types).

plaane and cloud

Routine suits the littlies

We try and stick to routine when we’re away and make the first one an early night if we can. Normally my kids have a bit of trouble getting to bed the first night or 2. They also share rooms when we’re away, so the older they get the more exciting this is. At toddler age (our 3 kids were born within 2.5 years) one liked a night light, while another didn’t, so sharing a room was a tad problematic (hence Little Gulliver stock the swivel night light ;).

And remember

Giant Freddos for babies?

I think the main thing is to just enjoy yourself and try to keep it about your family. I remember being appalled (when my kids were barely on solids), a well meaning distant relo presented them with a Giant Freddo each! ‘Thanks’, as you quickly put it away for years and years later. Also, you may want to really catch up with your loved ones, but once the kids are on the scene it may be a little different. While you may have found you could never finish a sentence at mothers group, it will be the same when you catch up with your mum and dad. Always try and cover the important issues when you can, particularly when you get to catch up with older family members. Photos…photos…photos…

The warm and fuzzy bit

Most of all, no-one will know much effort and how hard it is for you to make the visit – so just enjoy and be pleased that you are there. It will pay off for your children, as they grow, with regular visits. They will form some beautiful relationships and have precious memories. I’ve done this for my children and if you are like me, you will enjoy this post; 16 things only people who live away from their families will understand.

Make the effort when they are young, believe me – it does get easier. Happy travels!


‘Should babies and toddlers be required to fly in child safety seats?’

During a difficult first pregnancy I got to thinking about child safety when travelling. I spent a lot of time thinking about car seats and strollers and cots and child carriers and…. Then I started to think about the inevitable plane flights to visit relatives with bub. What about babies and toddlers on planes?

Fortunately I discovered the CARES harness and always travelled with these, finding them a simple alternative to travelling with a car seat.CARES harness in action Like so many families I found myself with a baby and toddler in quick succession. Travelling on my own with them and a car seat + assorted baby paraphernalia as ‘carry on’ was not desirable for me. I got to thinking and after some more thinking during a flight to FNQ, Little Gulliver was born.

Although our children are now over the weight limits for the CARES, it still interests me how difficult it is to come across information for those parents who asked the same questions I did. While as a mum and a business owner I certainly do not want to alarm anyone, I’ll give some links below of an interesting article I have just read. Carrying a CARES or even a car seat on board is an option worth considering.

Please contact us with an questions or comments. We are always happy to hear from our customers!


Go Go Kidz TravelMate

Its been redesigned and re-badged for our local market…welcome Aussie Kidz Travel Mate!

Anyone who has ever travelled with kids has had to consider – will I need the car seat? At Little Gulliver, we’ve been asked about the Go Go Kidz TravelMate many times over the years and we are thrilled that the product is now available in Australia. Redesigned and approved for Australian / New Zealand carseats and renamed the ‘Aussie Kidz Travel Mate’, its the same quality and style of product that has been popular in the US and Europe for many years.

When travelling, either being picked up from your destination or hiring a car you will need a car seat for your child. The Aussie Kidz Travel Mate makes your car seat easy to transport and acts as a travel stroller to boot!

And you can accessorise it…the handle pouch makes the Aussie Kidz Travel Mate even more convenient, its attaches easily with velcro and had 3 large compartments to store anything from spare nappies to spare change. It also fits on most extendable luggage handles.

Previously, buying a Go Go Kidz TravelMate meant buying a product from overseas, which was designed to fit overseas car seats. A US mum, after moving to QLD, loved her Go Go Kidz so much she bought the license and had the product redesigned to fit our car seats. Thanks Abby!

Kids love them…

Mum and Dads love them too! Check out this this testimonial, from the Go Go Babyz Website;

“I recently purchased 2 of your gogobabyz travelmates for a trip we took to San Diego from Chicago.  I have two sons, 3 years old and 9 months old.  We hemmed and hawed over whether or not to lug the car seats with us on the trip or to rent them from the car rental place.  I had seen your product in a few different catalogs and thought, why not give it a shot.  The cost of checking the car seats or renting them from Hertz for the week was pretty close to the cost of the actual travelmate plus I could use it over and over again so it would be less expensive in the long run.  I found the travelmate very easy to use (although I did struggle with unlatching it at the first couple of time but I got better at it).   I used them to tote both of them through the airport and then unlatched my 3 year olds car seat to put it on the plane and checked the other one at the gate.  During the trip it was a space saver because we didn’t have to bring a stroller and when we went to the zoo and other places we just attached the car seats again and away we went!  I wanted to tell you how much I loved this product!  I got so many complements and inquiries from people throughout our trip that I wouldn’t be surprised if you get a rush of orders coming in!!  Thank you so much for inventing such a great product!!” 

Wendy Cimino, Chicago, IL, USA

Please contact us at Little Gulliver for any information about this great product.

Dad’s Malaysian trip with his 16 month old daughter

I am stressing out mainly over checking in, going through customs and boarding the aircraft.  As I figure it, I will be trying to man handle an active child (who only knows how to run and not walk), large suitcase and carry on luggage. I am not sure whether my daughter should be sedated or me? I am flying from Brisbane with Malaysian airlines.

I have read your top ten tips and, although helpful I was hoping for something a little more specific to my circumstances.

Donna @ Little Gulliver said: June 8 2011 5:33 PM

Hi Gavin,

fluffy dog backpack2

thanks for your question. It is understandable that travelling with the little one can seem a bit daunting, especially doing it on your own for the first time. There are a few things that you can think about which may help make things easier. Check out our business we may have some products of interest to you…travelling with our first born is how the business came about.

Check in

Try to think of it as a holiday, even the airport! If you’re checking in on your own, consider hiring a trolley from outside the airport. That way you can have all your gear on it and a spare hand for the little one prior to check in. If you have some close friend or family who’s happy to help – bring them along to the airport. They could be an extra hand, up to the International Gate at least (and probably wouldn’t mind at all)!


  • Consider use of a harness. For a 16 month old a 2-in-1 Harness Buddy could be a good option – as it’s cute, cuddly and has a harness for a tail!
  • Also look at a popular backpack stroller called a ‘quicksmart’ it folds up small enough to go in the overhead locker on planes, so may help  you move the child through the airport and allow for a nap etc if neccessary. It might be handy too at your destination.
  • Another option could be a baby carrier, this keeps the baby close while you have your hands free. Only thought here is, that your daughter may be starting to be a bit heavy and you’ve mentioned she’s really active…


Look at things you will both be enthusiastic about during the trip. Would you like to do some colouring together or reading? For this age group, maybe consider things to chew and feel and maybe a board book. A favourite story book? A teddy? A Car? I really like the ‘chubbies’ range for smaller kids as they’re big and robust. Some might like a new cuddly toy with different textures they can touch. Don’t forget the simple things, singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ (you don’t have to belt it out –

maybe just sing it quietly in her ear), playing peek a boo, tickling – things you know she enjoys. Doodle Pro’s are really popular. And I think I’ve mentioned (in an earlier post) one time where my daughter and I spent a long time taking her shoes and socs on and off!


Consider if your child has any food requirements. It can be good to take more snacks than you think you might need. I have had experiences where we have been stuck on the tarmac or unable to land and had run out of food! At 16 months, those squeezIe fruit and vegetable packs are great (such as Rafferty’s Garden). Bananas and rusks are great. Does she have a favourite bakery item? Will you need bottles? Also, look at our Drop Buddy, Groovy Gripper and Disposable Bibs. See our mealtime category.



diaper buds_close upOur range of ‘Diaper Buds’ have been hugely popular. Each nappy is vacuum sealed so it takes up less space – great for travel (you can fit 3 Diaper Buds in the space of 1 normal nappy).


Think about something cute like a Zoobie, its a soft cuddly toy which opens up to reveal a pillow and a blanket – all in one. Think about a neck roll (the monkey animal neck rolls are really cute). Also, do you have bedding organised at the other end? Can you hire a cot?


At this age your child is likely to be over 10 kilos. You could consider a CARES harness if you have booked or are allocated your own seat. While the CARES is great for safety, (protecting the child’s upper torso, much like a car seat does in cars) – it does add the bonus of being difficult for a child to undo. Airline seat belts are, as you know, childs play to unbuckle! Also, I like to sit near the aisle, its easier to get in and out for the inevitable nappy changes. If you get 2 seats, I prefer the child in the middle, as on the aisle their heads, hands and feet are prone to hanging out and getting knocked by other passengers and trolleys.

On board

Don’t hesitate to contact your airline if you have any questions about onboard facilities. (Don’t expect great answers though, sometimes it pays to ring a few times). If you haven’t already looked the Malaysian Airlines flying with children section (kids corner) it’s here. If you know which aircraft you will be flying on check, you may like to be near toilets with change tables or located in a particular part of the aircraft.

Other blogs say…


Anyway, these are just a few ideas. I think its good that you are thinking about it now, but once you leave, just relax and enjoy. Ask for and accept help when you are comfortable doing so, watch a movie, cuddle and do some people watching. Most of all I hope the 2 of you enjoy some great daughter and dad time!

Also, let me know if you have any other thoughts and enjoy the trip!



Diaper Buds; space saving, full sized nappies!

All sizes of Diaper Buds now available at Little Gulliver.

Diaper Buds
Diaper Buds are tiny!
Diaper Buds are tiny!

Always looking to make travelling with kids easier, we were thrilled to welcome ‘Diaper Buds‘ into our range.

They are an individually wrapped nappy that has been vacuum-packed to make them more compact! In fact, the overall size is decreased by 70%, making them perfect for long haul flights – more room in your carry on luggage and less chance of running out. Three Buds fit in the place of one nappy and are kept clean and fresh until you open the package. Then they ‘bloom’ into a full size super absorbent nappy!


About Diaper Buds

  1. comparable to any leading nappy on the market today
  2. easy to open, don’t leak, have a wide, soft-stretch waist, secure-grip stretch tabs and ultra-soft cover.
  3. dermatologist tested for sensitive skin, fragrance and chemical free and that the packaging is recyclable.

diaper buds_close up

“Fits in your purse, bag or pocket”

Available now at Little Gulliver.

Use of the Infant Lap Belt

Check this great post on Amelia Kelly’s blog, Tray Table. She does a great explanation of the “supplementary loop belt” in her post “Babies on the Plane”. This is the lap belt which fixes onto the adults seat belt, it is for infants to age 2 without their own seat, on planes in Australia. 

Babies on the Plane

Amelia is an Australian flight attendant for an international airline and wrote this great post in January 2010. If you’ve never flown with a baby before or are uncertain of the regulations relating to restraints for children on board Australian aircraft, this post is certainly worth a look.

Child safety on board light aircraft

Phone query from Doug: March 1st 2011

Little Gulliver had a lovely phone call from Doug, who pilots his own light aircraft. He is looking into safety on board when he takes his grandchildren on a trip. The CARES will be used for the older children, but what are the best options for the baby (then aged approximately 3 months old)? The aircraft does not have bassinets installed.

Ben @ Little Gulliver said: March 3 2011 1:18 PM

Hello Doug,

Thanks for visiting Little Gulliver and your query on Tuesday.  I spoke to Donna, our chief researcher, and your findings are in line with our understanding.

CARES with packagingFor children over 1, the only two child restraint options for use in all phases of flight are an Australian standard car seat (AS 1754) or CARES restraint.  Although, for an Aust. car seat to comply, the airline must be willing to provide the 3rd overhead tether belt which may then restrict the use of any tray table directly behind the child’s seat and also limit feet rest area for the passenger behind.  Each car seat will carry a different height and width dimension and this is why the airlines still have a policy of needing the exact make and model of the seat to cross check with the type of airline seat the child will most likely use.

We do not have access to any lists of which carseat is suitable for which airline seat unfortunately.  For your particular aircraft, any Australian approved car seat that fits your seat configuration should provide a compliant seat for your baby passengers who are too young for a CARES.  It will need to be setup in the window seat or bulkhead seat so it does not impede other passenger’s ability to move about.  One brand we’ve seen mentioned is the Britax Safe N Sound Compaq car seat.  The other brands I’d seen mentioned are US standard only so not available for use out here.

Britax Safe and Sound CompaqAdditionally, airlines traditionally only recognise the car seat safety standard requirements of the country they are registered in, so US airlines will be OK with US standard car seats but not allow Aust standard ones on board.  This makes it very difficult if travelling across multiple airlines for any overseas travel.

For a baby flyer, the options are even more limited.  The infant lap belt is common on Australian airlines but banned in other parts of the world.  Evidence appears to show them as relatively ineffective in certain circumstances too.  A baby can be in a bassinet arrangement if under 3 months old, but you indicated this isn’t relevant for your charter craft.  A suitable car seat or the infant lap belt are the only approved item for such young flyers.

Here’s a couple of articles that may be of interest, apologies if you’ve come across them already. Flying with babies – this is an article Donna published on our blog.  This article also links to a Flight Safety Australia Fly Baby Fly discussing babies on board (it was published in 2004, but there appears to have been little progress on the issue since).  We also list the links to the latest child restraint policies for most local airlines here.

I hope this helps, please let me know if I can assist with any other queries.

Kind regards


As seen in Mother & Baby magazine

If you’re flicking through the *Dec/Jan2011 ‘Mother & Baby’ you might notice our great travel bed…

“Travelling with your bub is challenging enough without the added worry of transporting baby paraphernalia from one location to another! Lightweight and easy to asssemble, a travel cot is a sanity-saving essential, especially for parents constantly on the go.”


Goldbug Pea Pod Travel Bed, 4kg, $74.95

The brightly coloured Pea Pod fits into a suitcase or the back of a car. Lightweight and compact, the collapsed Pod pops into a bed in seconds, Suitable from birth until bub can sit up unassisted.

*See page 145 for a ‘5 Minute Guide to Travel Cots’

Available now at Little Gulliver.

The Breastfeeding Blanket – UV

I love the Breastfeeding Blanket!

While I absolutely support breastfeeding anytime, anyplace – sometimes you may want to be a little discreet (speaking from experience). This may be because of what you are wearing or where you are. The Breastfeeding Blanket can give you peace of mind, so you only need think about your baby and yourself.

Little Gulliver stocks the UV version, as it is such a versatile option, making breastfeeding in a sunny spot less of a concern and making an ideal pram cover to boot (its nice to be prepared for anything when you’re travelling). The video shows below how easy it is to use.