On The Road Again With Babies and Toddlers
June 28, 2018
Summer is here, and for many families, it is time to hit the road! Summer is the time that we visit family, plan trips to the mountains or the beach, or to National Parks. The road trip is the quintessential American summer time family experience. So, how do you do it with a baby or toddler? Planning is everything. Here are some tips for easing travel with little ones. Bon Voyage!
1) Take It Easy – This is probably the biggest one! I cannot tell you how many times I have seen an otherwise reasonable family break down because the parents forget to take a baby/toddler’s eye view of things, literally! Little ones cannot spend long hours in a car with any sort of enjoyment. That is just a fact of life. You can use this to your advantage by turning the drive into part of the vacation. Cut a full days’ drive into 2 days and choose a fun stop over point. Plan on many breaks, so start earlier if you need to. Schedule the drive to start an hour or two before nap time, if your little one will nap in the car, you get bonus time!
2) Parent Playtime in the Backseat – Take turns driving so that one of you, or another adult caregiver can ride in the back. Play age-appropriate games, read favorite stories, pull out a new surprise item that you had saved just for this trip. Be silly and have fun enjoying the ride with your little. You are making memories 🙂
3) Pack the Snacks! – Some parents refuse to allow eating in the car. However, many parents find that saving sanity is more important than needing to use the vacuum on the car when we get home! Snacking on the go prevents the hangries from sneaking up on everyone. First Spoons meals travel well in a cooler, and are perfect for little ones on the go. No more worries about upset tummies from odd roadside food, or where to stop in the middle of nowhere. This is another good activity for adult in the back time. Unfortunately, parents are on your own!
4) Listen to Something – Listening to music in the car really does soothe the savage beast! Bring your child’s favorites, soothing ones for naptime, silly songs for active time. Sing alongs are great for family bonding!
5) Pass the Bucket – This may seem yucky, but the reality is that sometimes little ones get car sick quickly. It is a good idea to be prepared. Plastic beach pails work great for this.