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We’ve recently hit the toddler stage with Carter.  He’s loving his new freedom with walking and he seems to becoming more and more of a daredevil each day as he gains more confidence in himself.  As much as we love that he’s walking, he’s really starting to slow us down.  We’ve said from the beginning that when traveling with kid(s) you have to take it slow, but this is a whole new slow.  We’re learning to have a lot more patience with him as he explores his surroundings and soaks in all the new sights, sounds, and textures of all the new places we go.  And let’s face it, there’s a lot for this little guy to take in.

Here are a few things we’ve learned in the last two weeks from traveling with a toddler:

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1. Take it Slow

Like REALLY slow.  And that’s okay!  Since being in Florence, Italy, we’ve learned that as we plan out our days, we just need to add an extra hour (or two) into our outings.  We make sure to let Carter get out of the Ergobaby carrier for 15-20 minutes at a time and we don’t keep him in it for much longer than that before taking him out again.

In the above picture, Carter is actually screaming and Scott and I are helplessly laughing.  Carter was walking around at the Palazzo Pitti doing his thing, then he started trying to walk downhill, which turned into an accidental run, which was going to end up in him biffing it, so I picked him up.  And he didn’t like it.

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2. Keep His Attention

Once we’ve let him explore for a while, we always try to guide his walking in the direction that we need to be going.  He’s not one for wanting to be told what to do while walking, so we’ve found that if we can keep his attention on something in our path then he’ll walk productively for a few minutes.  We point out dogs for him to walk towards or we find a line in the sidewalk he can watch pass as he steps on it.

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3. Distract Him

He still enjoys being in the Ergobaby carrier, but once he’s been out of it and we’ve let him walk around for a bit, it’s hard to get him back in without him screaming.  This leads to us just carrying him in our arms as we distract him from his inevitable tantrum.  We sing to him or point out birds and dogs to try to distract him from wanting to get down to walk and to calm his cries.  Once he’s calm we attempt to put him in the carrier again and we’re usually singing with him most of the time that he’s in the carrier to keep him entertained.

4. Food!

Carter loves food so this is a life saver for us.  If he’s back in the Ergobaby carrier after walking, we can keep him content by feeding him a croissant or gelato.  And lucky for us, there are bakeries and gelaterias on pretty much every corner here in Florence!

What are some things you’ve learned from going on outings with your toddler?  We’re new to having a toddler, so we’d love any insight!