How Do I Explain a Trip to My 2 Yr Old???

Updated on July 05, 2010
D.N. asks from Coram, NY
12 answers


My son is 2 and I have a 3 mth old as well. My grandfather was given 3 months to live and lives in Florida with my G-ma. I am very close to them and want to fly down to see him and help my g-ma for 3 days. I plan on going with my 3mth old (she is breastfed) and leaving my 2 yr old home with my husband. My question is I feel guilty that I am leaving him and wonder if he will feel confused as to why his sister is leaving with me and not him. I am a stay at home mom and he is attached to me. He does well if I go out, but I am wondering how I should explain it to him??

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answers from San Francisco on

Mommy and the baby are going away for 3 days (2 sleeps and wake ups) and you are going to stay alone with Daddy to do boy stuff. Then Mommy and the baby will come home again and we will all be together again.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Jacksonville on

I would tell him that you are going to visit your grandfather in Florida because he's very sick and you want to help Gma some. Show him where it is on the map and where you live... then tell him you and the baby are going to get on an airplane and fly there, you'll see Gfather and help Gma for 2 days and then on the 3rd day, the airplane will bring you back. You can have your hubby help him mark a calendar while you're gone, if you want.

Tell him that you are taking the baby with you, so that Daddy will be able to do more stuff with him.
He'll be fine. And as long as Daddy DOES do some special fun things with him, then he won't be jealous of the baby "getting" to fly on a plane. He'll be excited about fun "camp out in the living room" time with Dad (or whatever Dad can come up with... you might want to give him some ideas, lol). But Dad and he will figure things out their own way. No worries about that... Things won't be exactly like YOU would do them... but that's not always a bad thing. ;) Your son is old enough that he can TELL Dad if he needs something... dad doesn't have to have figure out his "cry"s like with a baby... your son can TELL him whatever it is. :)

It might be a nice eye opening experience for your hubby too! It never hurts for dads to see just how much work a 2 yr old little boy can be, when you are the 72 hours round the clock safety keeper/comforter/discipline enforcer/cook/maid/servant/nighttime care person and play pal. And possible nurse. Nobody really understands how much work it can be, unless they've done it. lol

Try to focus on your Gma and Gfather. Hubby and son will be just fine.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

The world we live in today, says you must explain everything to your
children. Give reasons why you are going, when you are coming back
and on and on.

Say you are going to visit your grandfather and you will be back in x amount
of days. That is it. Short and simple. He will be home with his Dad.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

I would tell him that you are going so he and daddy can have very special boy time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Great advice already. Don't tell him too early. The morning of worked for us. Also, I left some small gifts wrapped that her grandparents gave our daughter each day. Like coloring books, stickers, window clings, fun stuff that would keep them busy. she was so excited to open the gifts. Have a safe trip!



answers from New York on

Don't tell him until the night before or the morning of, he's too young to have a good sense of time and would just be confused about it. When you do tell him and when you leave, act like this is perfectly normal and don't let yourself be upset in front of him. He will be absolutely fine. You can show him on the calendar how many days it is and how many nights he will go to sleep before you get home (things that he can count and that have meaning). There may be jealousy issues because his sister is going but that's where telling him he gets to have special time with daddy fits in. I have had to travel lots of times for work since my daughter was 4 months old, it's harder on you than on them.



answers from Utica on

Hi D.
My way to handle him staying home is to make it a "staycation" with plans made by his dad and anyone else watching him as a party, outing, or fun things. Teaching him to say that big word which of course means "fun"
Just a thought. Of course you will miss him, but instead of saying remind him of all the fun he is going to have.
God bless you and give you comfort and peace with your family



answers from New York on

Hi D., i didn't take a trip but when my son was 2 years old I had an emergency and had to go to the hospital and stay 3 days, he wasn't allowed in the hosp, as I was in ICU. My hubs and mom just told him I'd be back in a few days and kept his routine normal. He was fine and he was fine with NO warning. So tell him just before you go that mommy is going to help G-ma with G-Pa and I am taking your sister because she is too little to understand and you are a big boy and get to have some "big boy time" with daddy. Plus don't make your departure too emotional he'll feel the vibe and get upset even if he wasn't upset at first. Sorry to hear about your grandfather, I'm sure he will be happy to see you.



answers from Jamestown on

Consider it a game. Make it as though you are having a "Mommy and sister" day(s) out and that he and Daddy are having their time together. Make sure your husband takes him out and does "guy" stuff that "girls" wouldn't like.

Just a thought.



answers from Philadelphia on

I had the same situation. My youngest was 4 weeks old and my 2nd youngest was 2. My older two were about 7 and 8. (i am a sahm also and they are very attatched) My aunt was dying and she lived in florida too. I called the airlines and the pediatrician and they did not want my 4 week old to fly. It was such a horrible situation to be in. I went for one night and had to pump every 3 hrs. I had a family friend spend the night and help my scared hubby! I told my kids that she was going to heaven and i needed to say goodbye. They understood, it was harder on me than them :( I cried the entire night in the hotel. I am so sorry for what you are going through. I hope that everything workd out for you. I know that you are very worried right now. Just know that they won't remember... mine have no clue anymore.



answers from Columbus on

You have good suggestions already, but all I would add is to not tell him too long before you leave. By not making a big deal about it, he won't notice it much, and if Dad does special things with him, he will go with the flow. If you tell him that you are leaving next week, he will have too long to wonder about it, make it a bigger deal than it is, and 2 year olds just dont have a sense of time. They are in the here and now.




answers from New York on

He's too young to understand any real explanation so just tell him the basic facts, that you are going to visit your grandparents to help them out for a few days. If you know exactly when you are coming home, give him a calendar, highlight the days you'll be gone and have him and dad cross off each day at the end of the day. Do not tell him til maybe the day before since he has no idea of time and it will make him anxious or wonder when it is going to happen. Leave him notes and little gifts, call as often as you can and then don't worry or feel any guilt. It is good for kids to learn to have some separation and it is good for them to learn that you have other responsibilities as well

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