We are being very adventurous and bringing our 1 year old on our trip to Orlando in October. The trip is all about our 8 year old enjoying the parks but we plan to tailor our days to allow naps and downtime as well. Any advise would be greatly appreciated in making this vacation as enjoyable as possible. Thanks!
If the trip is truly about your 8 year old enjoying the parks, then is it possible for the 1 year old to not go on the trip and stay with the grandparents? I know, it is a horrifying thought to some people, but it would allow you to focus on the 8 year old and would probably give the grandparents some one-on-one time with the baby that they have been craving.
Plus, no stroller, no diaper bag, no rider swap = much better WDW experience!
I completely agree that would have been our first choice but unfortunately it is rather no WDW for 8 year old or we bring his little brother. We did not want to penalize him that we had another child that he would have to wait until 12 years old and his brother 4 to get to go. We therefore would appreciate any tips. Thanks!
Bring a baby carrier. We just took DD1 and DD3. The baby carrier was a lifesaver. DD1 felt safe because she was close to me. We also found that she would nap in it, which allowed us to avoid leaving the parks for nap time. I highly suggest the Tula Coast Mesh. It's pricey, but was worth every penny.
I brought my dd4 when she was turning 2. I suggest you build in breaks to use the baby stations around each parks, even if it's split up where 1 parent is with the baby and 1 parent riding the rides with the 8 year old. Also having a good stroller will go a long way, make sure to have a rain cover, and some type of cooling item, such as a misting fan or a cool towel. As make use of ride swaps if either parents have there own must dos. Also a baby carrier like the Ergo goes a long way to provide an enjoyable experience when waiting in queues where a stroller or carrier aren't allowed on. .
I had not thought of bringing our carrier just the stroller so thank you so much. We have a lillebaby all season carrier which we use now.
Oh well, so much for the dreams of a baby-free experience.
As others have mentioned, a baby carrier is very useful. Also, I would recommend going with an umbrella-style stroller rather than one of the Maclaren monstrosities - it is much easier to maneuver and folds much smaller for bus/tram rides. If you don't have one I would suggest getting a cheap and cheerful one just for the trip.
I've heard great things about Lilliebaby too! You won't regret having it. It's so nice to have while in lines. Sometimes we would park the stroller and ditch it for a while while I carried DD1 in the carrier. The sunshade has really helpful too. I would cover her head with it and she'd be asleep in a nap. There is so much stimulation at Disney.
I also gave up trying to bring milk into the park after the first day. It's just too hot. It was easier to buy it.
That was another question I had. He is still bf with one formula feed for the mid-morning. Do the baby centers have boiled water? I read somewhere bottled water is a no no. We have a suite at AofA so my plan was to boil water to take in a flask to mix later. Is that a good plan?
Taking a 1 year old doesn't need to be a chore. My biggest suggestion is being flexible. We plan as much time together as a family as possible in WDW (we ARE going to have fun as a FAMILY so help me if it KILLS us!!!!!) However have found that everyone is best served if we are flexible and split up a bit. So be willing to split up and one parent take each kid. If the 1 year old is DONE - someone take him/her back to the room while the other two stay out and do things - switch off as necessary.
Yes taking a 1 year old can be a bit of a challenge - however we never looked at it that way and now our kids are great travelers. They have NO travel anxiety at all and really like trying new adventures as we didn't "make a big deal" out of things. For your 8 year old - we always had our kids "get us to WHATEVER" when we traveled so they would be comfortable with it. They now "fight" to be the one that leads us through all the obstacles at the airport and have even had them plan how we get to various places using the tube, train, whatever.
So just make it as normal as possible and everyone will be better off
I sort of disagree with the umbrella stroller suggestion, with a child that small the "regular" stroller works best. one that reclines is even more important for the naps, plus bigger strollers have much more storage which honestly makes life a lot easier. I'd trade maneuverability for storage any day in a park. For us having our normal stroller was a godsent and made everything that much enjoyable than carrying a diaper bag/pack around all day. As for heating a bottle they do have microwaves at the baby centers so you can heat water separately and then give the bottle a warm bath to heat it up.
I have been twice with babies/ toddlers- once with a 17mo and once with a 1 yo (he had just turned one a week before). We had amazing times each time, so don't fret about not having a good time! The carrier and stroller are musts. I also agree with a real stroller- we have brought both a bob and our city select- so big heavy strollers; and I did not regret either. I didn't find it too difficult to move around and we rarely had to fold them- only on buses- not boats or the monorail.
Also- if they are a year old when you travel, you may consider dropping that AM formula feed before going (only if you guys are ready obviously). It might make things easier for you to not stress about when/ where to get water. However, bottled water is okay too- it's what we use in the hospital.
The best advice is to go with the flow. Both my children did amazing at that young age, melt downs and all. They both also would fall asleep in dark rides if it was close to nap- so if they are getting tired- strap them in the carrier and do the haunted mansion! Good luck! I think it's completely worth it!
We took our 11 month old and had a fantastic time. I imagine some of the schedule will depend on the tolerance of your 8 year old and how much he wants to do his own thing. I can see both of the boys enjoying things like the Casey Jr's splash pad or the Boneyard at AK (our personal fave!). You can bring the baby on lots of other rides. My son liked all of the boat rides, Living with the Land, Pirates of the Caribbean, Small World, etc.
I also recommend taking whatever stroller your son is already comfortable with and has the most features. This could also come in handy at the airport. We took our Vista and Ergo and the combo was perfect. My son napped in the stroller most days and it was great. I may be in the minority, but I loved having the big stroller to carry the diaper bag and snacks. The baby care centers have a regular sink where you could get lukewarm water to mix with formula and they also have the "spring water" dispenser with a hot/cold tap. I definitely wouldn't avoid bottled water for formula!
Are you staying on site? The one piece of advice I try to give is that the "crib" that you can request is a pack n play. Ours was in fine condition, but they fold up a regular sheet which I wasn't a fan of. So bring your own sheets! (I was glad we did.) The baby will probably like the smell of home best anyway.
I agree with a lot of the above - however we used a NICE Umbrella (not a cheap one) and it was great. We generally don't take much - not even when we had very small children. It did have nice storage and laid back the whole way. I don't feel you need to be able to pack EVERYTHING - just the necessities. Having a smaller stroller did make getting on / off the transports easier.
However as previously mentioned - don't sweat it - it will all be good - kids are much more adaptable than we give them credit for.
We were there when my son was about to turn 4 and my daughter was about to turn 1. One parent stayed with the girl while the other went with the boy. My daughter took naps in the stroller when she was tired.
You'll have a great time. Some close friends of our just returned from a trip with their 12 month old. Of course, they are slightly obsessed. This was her 5th trip and her first birthday isn't until Monday. If they were local, it wouldn't be so surprising, but we all live in upstate NY. As someone mentioned above......flexibility is the key. Maybe take some time for one parent to stay at the resort with the baby while the other one tours with DS8.
We went when my DS had just turned 1 and had a great time. We used the strollers for naps in the parks and took advantage of rider swap. Your older son will probably like being able to ride some rides twice.
I remember my one year old really liking Small World and being in the pool. It was very funny - he would cry as soon as we got to our hotel room door (every time) - he didn't want to stop having fun.
If you will still be using formula I would suggest those single-serve bottles of ready-made formula. They may be a little pricey but are very convenient for park days and don't need refrigerated.
As far as a stroller, my suggestion would be the smallest one that still reclines and has good sun shade. Also if he does fall asleep in the stroller and you have an ADR - you can ask to bring your stroller into a restaurant. Don't wake a sleeping baby! The staff let us into BOG and at least one other restaurant when this happened.
It will be fun!