Masks with a 2 year old

Due to medical issues we are a very pro-mask, pro-distancing household. Not only for our own safety, but because of our experiences we also have a sincere concern for others health too. That being said, the idea of our DD2 having to wear a mask all day at WDW is making me think about postponing a trip from this year to next. I thought mask requirement was ages 3 and up, but it is 2 and up. Oops. DD2 has always been fine wearing a mask, but has never worn it for more than an hour or so. DS6 and DS4 are perfectly fine with masks all day at school, and come home wearing them not realizing they are still on. I am mostly concerned about DD2 throwing a tantrum or something at WDW and refusing to put her mask back on, and us getting kicked out. Surely this is a common occurrence with the 2-3 year olds.

As an extreme planner, I feel immense shame that I did not think about this sooner. I fear that my many hours of planning was for nothing. :frowning:

Anyone with a 2-year old that has some advice? Besides “don’t go”…

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My son is older, (5) but also autistic, which often mages him developmentally closer to younger kids.
We did it without a problem this November.
Start practicing now. Show them YouTube videos of the parks showing people wearing masks. Explain (repeatedly) that if they want to go, they have to wear it all day. See how the practicing goes.

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We went in September. My nearly 3yo DS REFUSED to wear a mask prior to the trip. We were panicking up until the day of. He would wear it for 3 minutes at a time as practice at home if bribed with a cookie. I did happen to mention to him once that Mickey has told us we must wear a mask to go see him. MIRACULOUSLY, he wore the mask starting at our hometown airport shuttle through the entire trip with not one single meltdown! He very often forgot he was wearing it and would try to drink or eat through the mask and we would laugh. We chose disposable kids masks, which we find to be lighter in the heat. We also used a mask lanyard (search on Amazon) to help keep the loops from bothering his ears and secure it on him better. Completely recommend the kind with the sliding ball to secure it to the head! My DNephew2 was also with us and may have put up a little persistence. But we just kept pulling it up for him. Cast members would very kindly mentioned to him to pull it up if we hadn’t noticed. We did also give the youngins short breaks at times by putting them in the stroller with the shade fully pulled down so they could snack or nap without a mask. Best of luck! I am sure she will be fine!

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Wait… you still have a trip planned? We need a Jordanrunner update!

2 is tough for a mask. I’ve heard some people do frequent drink snack breaks, for a mask break. Maybe if you break it up
More, then they will not mind as much?

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To be fair, it was originally 3 and up and they changed it. So you can forgive yourself that oversight.

This is not quite “don’t go…” and I won’t necessarily suggest anything, but we left my DS2 at home when we went. :sob: I think he was a much younger 2 than your daughter, but will only wear a mask for at most 10-15 minutes. I was more worried about the plane than WDW but he had a lot of fun with his grandparents. I do not think at all that Disney will kick her out over a tantrum however. You would just need to find somewhere physically distanced to calm her down, so perhaps leave a ride or a queue, but definitely not booted if you are making an effort. We also had luck with allowing my DS5 to snack in the stroller by just putting the canopy all the way down and the rain cover on. I also took it off of him when he was sleeping.

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Well, I mentioned it to DW recently and she did not shoot lasers out of her eyes this time. I am hoping for June, but also November as a backup (or solo trip if June works with the family). I’m registered for the Wine & Dine races in November with St Jude. I think that has a good chance of getting canceled again though. I’ll definitely update everyone when something is on the books. Oh wait, if you know me, you know I’ve already booked it all (shhhh, don’t tell DW).

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Hey! Sounds like progress to me!

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I teach special ed and have a class of 6 who are all wonderfully compliant about masks.

Things we advised parents to do in preparing them that have really helped…

1 - Select masks that have characaters/colors/etc. that your child likes. If possible, let them pick them out (or help do so).
2 - Be positive about it! Your child is going to pick up on your attitude and if you are saying stuff like “I know you’re probably not going to like this, but…” odds are high they won’t like it and will resist.
3 - Practice at home!! Start with very short stints in the mask and gradually increase the time - you do this as well to model it.
4 - Praise them when they do wear it. You might have to do stickers or something - help it be fun!!

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Our DD1 will be 2 by the time we go to WDW in late May. We are a little concerned because toddlers are unpredictable. I really do believe the age should be at least 3 and probably 5 would make the most sense. My kids don’t consistently obey until 5 years of age.

That said, DD1 has recently been happy to wear her Minnie mask and even requests it whenever we stop the car to get out at a store, etc. It’s kind of dystopian, to be honest. :joy:

My DD is young enough and small enough that I’m sure CMs may simply presume she is 1 if she for some reason refuses to wear a mask. But we will try to be as compliant as possible.

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I wholeheartedly agree with this. I think the WHO recommendation is age 5 for those exact reasons and the developmental ability to consistently wear it correctly. The rule in MA is that under 5 is recommended with parental discretion and I think that’s the way to go. My son just turned 5 and wore his very consistently as a 4 year old, but sometimes things happen. Plus why do the kids suck on the freaking mask!!??

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If I still had a little (my little is 5 now :sob:) I would do some test runs. Depending on weather, something like a long trail or park walk with masks on and see how it goes.

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I agree with you 100%!! At 2, you can’t reason with them to help them understand the why behind them wearing the masks. They can’t think “oh this is for everyone else, not me. Yay selflessness!!” It’s just developmentally most two year olds (especially just turned two year olds!) aren’t at a point to understand the directive.

To answer the original question, I think it depends on your kid. Maybe make some trail runs to the local zoos when the weather starts to heat up and test the masks there. Then you could have a better idea of how DD will handle it. My kids tolerated masks a lot better than I was anticipating last month so maybe she will be the same. My youngest is 4.5 though so big difference. Is DD2 an older 2 or younger 2? That’d play a bit part into how well she can understand the rule and how important it is that she keeps it.

It is pretty easy to plan mask breaks in the parks so maybe after the zoo trip or whatever test run you choose you can figure out her tolerance window. If it’s 1.5 hours then plan to take a snack break every hour and half in the parks. It’s probably not a lot more stopping than you’d be doing normally with a gaggle of small children - especially if she’s sitting out on rides due to RS with the older two.

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@JordanRunner, in case you are interested in more details on how it went for us before making your decision, here is our trip report: The Non-Disney-Regulars Trip During Covid - Sep 19-25 2020 Trip Report

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Oh! And I forgot to mention, temperature checks made my little guy freak out. He didn’t understand why strangers were pointing something so close to his head. By the end of the trip, we found the best technique was to carry him and have them scan the back of his neck below his ear. He did not even notice!

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Your lucky. We have the opposite problem. My DS will be 19 months when we go in a few weeks (if we don’t cancel) and he is very tall and looks like he is an older 2. I am worried I will have to bring his birth certificate around with me.

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I went in October with my (then) 4 year old and my (then) 23 month old. DD4 wore hers without problem but she wears hers at daycare often (though not as much as I’d like). I brought masks for DS but he was pretty adamant about not wearing them. However, he has worn them when I’ve told him he absolutely has to (like when we fed the giraffes at our local zoo). I did take several breaks with the kids. They want to snack pretty much nonstop anyhow. So long as you are not moving, kids (and adults) are free to pull down their masks to eat and drink. So we’d find a spot a little ways away from the crowds and have a bag of goldfish or drink a chocolate milk.

I also had some cast members just ask me how old DS was when they saw us and saw he didn’t have a mask. I’d tell them 23 months and they said okay. I didn’t have to lie, but since I am also in the camp of kids shouldn’t be mandated until 5, I wouldn’t tell on anyone who fudged their kid’s age a bit…

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No one ever asks the age of children. At least in my experience and observations. It would be poor PR to interrogate a guest :crazy_face:. I know when my children were younger they always looked older and I worried I’d be asked for a ticket for them, but 4 children over 20 years and never had a CM ask their age.

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Very much this. FWIW, our 2YO (also a girl) had zero issues. We thought she would, but I think once we got her a couple and she saw them as accessories, she was sold and liked wearing them…all day…

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My son was 2 years 8 months when we went in November (which I only mention because there is a ton of development that happens between 2 years 0 month and 2 years 11 month, right?)

Despite our best intentions to practice at home, we went from only wearing masks at the store for short trips to wearing all the time at Disney. He did phenomenally until about… day 7 or 8, I think? After that it went quickly downhill. He’d wear it for spurts, but frequently had “I don’t want to wear a mask!” meltdowns, both in the hotel room before we left and in the parks. Days 8-10 were particularly tough. We took lots of snack breaks. Including some in the stroller while we booked it out of the park with the stroller canopy over him, hoping to avoid reprimands. All the fight was out of us on the way home and he barely wore it all the whole flight home.

I’m SO glad we went when we did, especially with the announcement about DME, but I might have done a shorter trip if I had realized it would be so difficult at the end. After all, 7 days at Disney is still a great length for a trip.

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My 18 month old is huge - we went in November when she was 16 months and had several people ask if she was 2. They’re definitely asking but didn’t ask to see proof when we told them she was 1.

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