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How do I entertain a 12 mos old boy on an 8 hr car ride?

My DH & I decided we are going to take the kids on a mini vaca but our desination is 8 hrs away. We made this same trip when our DD was 11 mos old and the car ride was MISERABLE. I ended up doing the illegal & unsafe thing of taking her out of her car seat (mini van) and holding her in my lap. I did not like doing this but she would scream until she lost her breath (for longer than I could handle) and I don't want to do this with my DS. Yes he will have his big sister (now 5) to entertain him a little but even when we make the 20 minute trip to walmart, he is screaming all the way back home. I even moved my DD to the very back row and sit next to my DS myself and this still does not seem to comfort him most times. I plan on bringing snacks and movies and books and toys...but I know it will still not be enough. I'm needing entertainment suggestions as well as comforting suggestions. Thanks everyone in advance!!


Asked by MilMom04 at 10:59 AM on Feb. 12, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (8)
  • What I do for my girls is pretty much the same thing with the toys,movies snacks and so forth, but I also stopped at a rest area or somewhere where they can stretch their legs. it will break up the car ride alittle and let them use some of their energy. Good Luck with your trip, and be safe.

    Answer by TUSHERS at 11:37 AM on Feb. 12, 2010

  • Leave at bedtime? I wish I knew what to tell you, both of my daughters at 12 months hated the car. I did use a portable dvd player when we moved and our little one was 15 months -- at that point, we got an hour of happy time, an hour of fussy time, an hour of sleep, then we took an hour break, and started the cycle again. It was LONG, but we did it (12 hour trip, spread out over 2 days). Good luck.

    Answer by EmilySusan at 11:06 AM on Feb. 12, 2010

  • I guess leave during the night. I took my son to TN from OH (8 hours) and he didn't cry once the way down or way back.

    Answer by amy31308 at 11:15 AM on Feb. 12, 2010

  • he was 14 months at the time!

    Answer by amy31308 at 11:15 AM on Feb. 12, 2010

  • I just went on a 3 hr drive earlier this week and we left during nap time and when he woke up we stopped for some food but we sang songs like itsy bitsy spider, twinkle twinkle lil star, just think about what your kid really likes to do and bring it for them.

    Answer by vjoaquin at 1:58 PM on Feb. 12, 2010

  • your son might be better than you think. he might not be like your daughter. when my son was newborn to 20 months old, we lived 7 hours away from family. we made the trip down probably 10 times during those couple of years. he usually did great. when he was younger, he would sleep most of the time. and then a lot of the times he would just be in a daze. i would take books for him to look at.

    good luck! i hope things will go well

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:13 PM on Feb. 12, 2010

  • If you leave at 4, you can probably make it til 8 without stopping. Get out, have a stretch your legs breakfast. THen you can make it at least 2 hours more without a break and the final two hours. I drove to Philadelphia (8 hours for us) this past year with a nine month old and a 27 month old. I had no crying. They both rear face, so I didn't have a dvd option, either. I got lucky, yes, but havinng that 4 hours you know they'll sleep and be drowsy is helpful. Even if they get up at 6 normally, the car will lull them longer.

    Answer by whiteroses82 at 2:17 PM on Feb. 12, 2010

  • Thank you everyone for your advice. We have returned from our trip but it didn't go quite as well as I had hoped. It wasn't all that bad either and we are all back safe which is what matters I guess. Thanks again!

    Answer by MilMom04 at 4:22 PM on Feb. 24, 2010