Friday, August 12, 2016

Road Trips With A Toddler

Road trips are not easy for most adults, imagine how daunting they are for a toddler. It takes planning on the parents part to make sure everything goes smoothly. We have taken a couple of big trips and many 3-4-5 hour each way trips. The first long trip we took H on was from Fort Worth, Texas to Red River New Mexico. It is 627 miles each way. I was terrified of how it would go. I made some DIY car toys from Pinterest and bought a bunch of new toys from the store in hopes of keeping her busy 100% of the time. It wasn't really necessary, at least not to the extent that I went. We also drove from Fort Worth, Texas to Warner Robins, Georgia. That is 871 miles one way. We broke it into 2 days because we also had 2 dogs with us. I ended up doing the same thing, buying a bunch of new toys so that she wouldn't get bored as quickly. Since we have been in Georgia, we have made several small trips across the state, one to Tennessee, and a couple down to Florida. I estimate that just in road trips, H has been over 5,564 miles so far. H is a trooper, that's for sure.

1. Take a media device, something that plays movies - We have the Kindle and I believe it worked even before H really paid any attention to movies. It just provided something for her listen to and watch at. We have a Kindle because we purchase and stream all our movies from Amazon. It is easy to keep updated movies ready for our road trips with the Kindle.

2. A doll or Barbie - It really isn't necessary to pack a ton of different toys. It makes the car a mess, They drop them 50 million times and then get upset because they rolled under a seat or what not and you can't reach them. I just believe it causes more of a pain then a distraction. I also like those "magic" coloring books that have the pens that don't color on anything but the paper.

3. Pack water -  I always fill up a sippy cup as we are leaving the house and bring a bottle or 2 with us. I don't give her juice or anything sugary that will make her all wired as I strap her to a seat and tell her she isn't allowed to get up and move around.

4. Gas station stops - H loves to shop, any kind of shopping. She loves to go into gas stations and pick her own snacks, so I don't usually pack a ton of snacks because I know she will want something every time we stop at a gas station. It is also a chance to stretch her legs and see something besides the inside of the car.

5. Towel, wipes, and extra clothes - Learned the hard way after a stomach bug incident, that it is always a good idea to pack what every you may thing you will need in case of projectile vomiting or blow outs (and I don't mean a tire).

6. Start with a full tank and fill up while the toddler is awake - H usually sleeps a lot in the car, so we don't want to have to wake her because we need to stop for gas. It is best to always top the tank off and pee when the kids are awake so that you can make some distance while they sleep.

7. Talk, communicate, and play with them - communication with you is what is going to keep them most calm and happy. The small toddler may not get the license plate game but you can always make up your own. We have the pop pop game, where we point our (stop reading here if you're a crunchy mom) finger guns as each other and yell pop pop. She loves it and will play the game for what seems like forever. We also take turns telling each other short stories. They are super cute and  go something like this:
H: Let me tell you a story.
Me: ok.
H: God made all the animals
Me: Ok, let me tell you a story
H: ok.
Me: God made the trees

and so on and so on.

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