Monday, August 2, 2010

Some Survival Tips for Traveling with a Toddler & Infant 22 hours in the Car

We recently took a road trip with our two kiddos (6 mos & 2 yr, 8 mos)up to Indiana to visit both sides of our family. Since I'm currently still recouping from it, I'm not sure I'm going to do it again. Then again, I said that after Rita Clare's birth and somehow got back into the idea :o)

Gone are the days when we could make it in a long day for 12-14 hrs. Now, we break it up into 2 nights and 3 days, in order for it to be bearable. I know, that's a huge difference! Last summer, we purchased a pop-up camper so we could make our trips into little family holidays rather than pure torture.

This post is just going to be some tricks we used on during our car time. Rita Clare, our 2 yr old, was the hardest to please but we anticipated this.

1. Bag of surprise gifts wrapped in tin foil- I purchased little items from the dollar store that she could use either in the car or some time on our trip. (Silly Putty, gel pens, capsules that grow in water, jump rope, sunglasses, stickers, candy, cd)
2. Pipe Cleaners- great fun to manipulate and doesn't make a mess!
3. Colored pencils and a note pad (blank)-don't dare bring crayons in the car, risking a lost one to melt somewhere.
4. Water coloring pad
5. New markers that only show colors in a specific coloring book-it's quite amazing!
6. Borrowed DVDs and a new one.
7. LOTS of cds.-I included kids sing a longs, some calming ones, and some of mine I haven't heard in a while. If I'm happy, then the car is a lot more pleasant!
8. Activity book with dry erase markers. Actually, I wise up early on and we only used these during some down time on our trip when I was with her. She really liked them those.
9. LOTS of books. She's really into the seek and find books.
10. A doll to play with.
11. FAVORITE snacks-string cheese, pretzels, graham crackers were the biggest hit.
12. Finger puppets and songs with finger gestures- RC now knows what each finger is called and can sing "Two Little Blackbirds" all by herself.
13. Talking about things outside of the car.-Great distraction, especially when she wanted to wake Tyler up by screaming or when stuck in traffic.

1. We packed about 8 different toys. It was nice when RC would fall asleep and he started to fuss.
2. Mesh food eater. This was great when we tried stalling him from nursing. It always seemed to happen that we'd be less than 30 minutes from our destination and he'd have a meltdown. Then we'd all kinda start to melt down too. He liked the cheerios and bananas but boy he was a mess after the nanners! We also put ice in there a couple times.
3. Butt and Back Massages! Every time I took him out of his car seat, I'd nurse him and change him. Then I'd let him play on his belly while I gave him a good rub down. I'm sure his little tush was aching during some of those long hours.

All in all, they we both champs! We were lucky when they'd both fall asleep at the same time. That was basically our break during our traveling days (no fun). On the bright side, I almost finished my sweater I'm knitting for myself-woohoo!

Do you have any good travel tips I didn't mention? I'd love to hear them!

Jen Starks, Owner 850.284.5887


Tanashia said...

We recently took a very SHORT trip (2 1/2 hrs). Maggie LOVES the mesh food eater. It was a life saver!

Lisa said...

We had the same "meltdown 20 minutes from destination" on our 6 hour trip a few months ago. B and I had just congratulated ourselves on how amazing the kids did in the car, and then not 15 minutes later -- total mayhem! ;D It's funny now but it was not funny then. :D

Anonymous said...

I'm sure I'll have a lot to say when our 4wk rd trip is this pt all I can say is it's a lot of work to get everyone packed!