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Toddlers and road trips! What to bring, tips welcome!

We will be driving for three days. We will make some stops in between. I just want to make sure my youngest is as happy as possible! So any thing you think I should add to my packing list, do tell!

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Musicmom80

Asked by Musicmom80 at 10:09 AM on Feb. 1, 2011 in Travel

Level 36 (80,428 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • The thing that keeps mine busy the longest is a magic erase drawing board. Movies are good too, but in my experience they work best if you don't use them constantly. We never start our trip with a movie running; we wait until we've been travelling for a while and the kids are getting antsy or tired. When the movie is over we turn it off and wait a while to start another one.
    TweenAndTwinMom

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 10:15 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Toddlers also love surprises too, so pick up a few new things and wrap them up to be openned periodically throughout your trip.

    If you have an older toddler you might also consider getting some pipe cleaners. My kids love making things with pipe cleaners, and I love that they are cheap, quiet, and don't make a mess.
    TweenAndTwinMom

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 10:19 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • i always liked my mini tv that plays videos in the car. i think you plug it into the cigarette lighter, but i could be wrong, it was always a convienence. The kids watched video's, the time went quick and i relaxed. The tv sits up on the ledge in the middle. good luck with your trip though, never had to be on the road for that long!
    americansugar80

    Answer by americansugar80 at 10:19 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • when we go on road trips, we bring a portable dvd player, lots of snacks, toys, etc. happy trails!
    tnm786

    Answer by tnm786 at 10:22 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Portable tv's, kids music cd's, mini games you can play on the road. Make sure you pach snacks and drinks. A few of their favorite toys to take with them. Have fun!!!
    arenad

    Answer by arenad at 10:48 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • What should be readily available during the drive.

    Snacks and drinks for you, the driver, and the toddler. This should be healthy snacks stocked with protien (especially for the driver) to help keep your moods and energy up. Don't buy a lot of sugary or fatty treats as that will bog you down and make you cranky on a long car trip.

    Portable DVD player and a stock of your child's favorite DVD's. This will help especially as bedtime/naptime comes around.

    Your child's favorite music if they have any. And don't forget your favorite music as well and even stories on tape for both you and the toddler.

    Learning Toys. Whether puzzles, electronic alphabet toys, or something of that nature. The best time to get them to concentrate is when they're strapped down and bored. That's how I taught my son (1 at the time) to count to five was on our road trip from Michigan to AZ.
    JazzlikeMraz

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 11:05 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Make sure toddlers pillow and blankets are right next to him incase he gets tired, so you're not having to dig through the back everytime he snoozes.

    The best thing that we found is to start out super early in the morning. (4 am was my prefered time, but anywhere from 4-6 will do.) And stop at night around toddlers bedtime. Even if you stretch it an hour, just make sure that he's getting to bed in a hotel room. That will help him keep a routine and help him from having meltdowns in the car.

    Make sure to keep meals at regular times as well, again this will help reduce meltdowns. And when you stop for meals get out of the car at a park, a reststop, or a restaraunt and have a sit down meal. Let him run around a little bit and get his energy out, so that when he goes back into the car you don't have a meltdown and/or restless child.
    JazzlikeMraz

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 11:10 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • I have lots more tips and ideas, but I don't want to flood your comments .. Since your profile is on private it won't let me message you, so if you want more then what I'll leave you with here just give me a shout. I'll be happy to share. We drove from Mid-Michigan to Phoenix, AZ with a one year old and a four month old. Successfully.

    I agree with wrapping up surprise gifts and treats for your toddler. Maybe a treat he doesn't often get or a toy he hasn't seen in a while, even something new from the dollar store. Give him one a day after he's woken up from the start of the trip nap. And it'll keep him entertained and happy for at least a while.

    Make sure to have a toddler cleanup kit with baby wipes, paper towels, hand sanitizer (if you prefer), extra diapers (just incase, so they're easily accessable), a change of clothes (so you're not digging through suitcases at a rest stop), and a couple of wash cloths.
    JazzlikeMraz

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 11:19 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • JazzlikeMraz

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 11:24 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

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