An increasing number of countries are imposing a 14-day quarantine rule upon entry to curb the spread of Covid-19. Many of you may be considering taking this step to be with your loved ones, and possibly feeling anxious about how to get through 14 days without your children’s favorite activities and meals. We have compiled a list of strategies to help you successfully complete a 14-day quarantine with children and limited resources at your disposal.
- If you are quarantining in a hotel without a high chair, consider bringing along a travel high chair. I have personally used the TotSeat and love that it’s compact and easily washable!
- Pack/purchase some high-protein and high-energy snacks to tie your children over between meals without feeling the need to rely on junk food.
- Do your kids have a favorite snack item that is small and non-perishable? Make 14 packets of the snack to share with them each day of quarantine.
- For hotel quarantines, pack some portable bowls, cutlery and glasses so easy hotel-room meals like milk and cereal or PB&J sandwiches are possible.
- Shop strategically for items that will fit into a mini hotel fridge or outside. Some ideas – milk, fruits, easy cut veggies, nut butters, bread, jam, cheese, nuts, crackers.
- Buy fresh fruits and veggies that can be eaten raw to compensate for the lack of freshness in take out, and encourage your child to eat one raw fruit/veggie per meal.
- Take a look at our previous article on how to eat healthy while traveling.
- If you have to bring a travel crib, check out this post for advice on which travel crib is right for you.
- If you are quarantining in a small hotel room and your child requires darkness and silence for sleep, consider putting the crib in the closet or bathroom. Yes, this is totally weird but many of our community members swear by this trick!
- Another option is purchasing a SlumberPod for your child to use. This product is a great option when you are short on space, but need a darker area for your kids. Bonus: it can double as a fun tent during the day! Use this link for a special discount!
- Try a slumber noise app to lull your child into a blissful sleep.
- In addition to your child’s favorite comfort item, consider also bringing a small blanket that they are familiar with so that the transition to a hotel crib is more smooth.
- Consider a bath or shower before sleep to get kids cozy and ready for bed.
- Play ‘spa day’ and make a massage as part of the bedtime routine! The gentle back rub might just put them to sleep more easily than you expect!
- Establish a bedtime routine that is familiar so that your child gets into sleep mode – a book, bath, some warm milk, brushing teeth, or anything else he or she associates with pre-bedtime activity.
- If jet lag is an issue, get plenty of sunlight during the day. Open the blinds and let the daylight come in or take a stroll mid day (if permissible) to get as much time in the sun as possible. This is a sure fire way to beat jet lag. Find more baby jet lag tips here.
- A really popular strategy in our community of avid travelers is to wrap small toys and present them as gifts. You can have 14 small items ready for each day to keep the excitement going through the two weeks of quarantine.
- Pack open ended toys (toys which can be used in many ways) so that your kids can create new and exciting things each day. Some examples are blocks, magnet tiles, or Squigz. Simple craft supplies work well too and are small enough to stuff into a suitcase – colored popsicle sticks, Washi tape, painters tape, pipe cleaners, glow sticks… the possibilities are endless!
- Establish a schedule to limit TV time. Let’s face it – TV is one of the most accessible ‘babysitters’ out there, but the screen time adds up quickly. Set limits by establishing a schedule. For example, if your children know they will get to watch their favorite show before lunch and again before dinner, it makes the time pass more quickly.
- Bath play isn’t just part of a pre-bedtime routine! Painting in the bathtub or playing with some bath toys can be a fun mid-day activity.
- If you are stuck inside and want your kids to expend some energy, consider doing some kids’ yoga and exercise videos. You will find many options on YouTube which are easy to follow along for kids of any age.
- If local quarantine rules allow, some fresh air and a daily walk can really help break up the mundane quarantine day and do wonders for everyone’s general mood.
While it may seem incredibly daunting to think about a quarantine with children for two weeks, we hope these simple tips help curb some of the anxiety. If you have recently completed a 14-day quarantine with children, we would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!