12 answers

18 Month Old on 10 Hour Car Ride

Hi,
We are going down to the Smoky Mountains in about a month. This is the first super long car ride with our daughter who will be 18 months old. Do you have any tips or suggestions to make our trip easier for her? I have already purchased a DVD player to go on the back of our seat so that she can watch "Melmo" as many times as she would like. If you can also think of any must haves for the ride!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I bought my daughter a magna doodle and some new books that she had never seen as well as a my little pony and a small baby doll. She did great. I think it wouldn't have gone so well if we didn't have the DVD player though. We left our house at 4:30 am and she didn't go back to sleep until about 10! So much for sleeping ~ She did the exact same thing on the way home. All in all it wasn't bad at all! We are planning another trip down for this spring! Thanks again!!!

More Answers

Hi K.~

We recently went on a 10 hour car trip this summer with our 20 month old & 4 yr old. My mom came up with this idea and it worked great....aside from all the snacks, movies etc. she bought 8 little presents (for each child), wrapped in tissue paper, for the kids and we passed them out throughout the ride. Nothing was expensive (crayons & paper, little toy car, etc) but the excitement of unwrapping & playing with the new "thing" worked at keeping the kids happy and occupied.

Have safe & fun time! :)

1 mom found this helpful

I travel a lot with my toddler and found headphones to be a great thing also... just got a cheap pair from walmart that go over the head and cover the ears... she thinks she is so special when she gets to wear them. Try a few small short trips since you have some time... just to get used ot them. Also, the magnetic drawing boards, where you move the eraser across teh board and the little 'stick' pen is attached... great since you can't loose the pieces.
Music is good and we pack a little lunchbox cooler for her all on her own for snacks or what not --makes her feel special for big girl treats when we are on the road. I tend to make sure when she is watching a video... every now and then I lean back and tell her what a great job she is doing.
Have a great time on your trip! Plan a little extra time so when you stop she can run around a bit.

All the advise are great, I agree with all of them. I took a 6 hours car trip a couple months ago with my 22mo and 3.5years old daughters. First try to leave around their nap time, and don't stop of course while their naping. Bring alot of snacks and drinks that she love(my girls love fish, fruit snack, and m&m). Don't forget activities: Color wonder, doodle pro, STICKERS. Wet nap and changing clothes a must. Check her diaper before leaving make sure it dry. Have fun.

We went to The smokey mountains 3 summers ago(kids were 9 and 2) and Virginia Beach last summer( kids were 11, 4, 2 and 15 months). We did it with out a dvd player. It wasn't bad. We had magnadoodles, viewmasters, the see n'say, coloring stuff(try the color wonder so the car doesn't get a new color too) and lots of small toys that fit in thier hands. Both trips went really well. Make sure you talk to her about it before. When you are in the car around town tell her in a few weeks she's going to sit in the car for a really long time, tell her about the fun stuff you're going to do and see when you get there. Also, I found with my kids the rule needed to be...we only stop every few hours. Other wise we were stopping all the time. Have a fun and safe trip! If you're near Dollywood in Gatlinburg, I highly recommend it. It was a great time for my family.

I suggest making sure you have plenty of wet wipes and snacks. Also have a plastic bag handy for that accidental leak through the diaper and clothes get all wet.

We drive to FL every winter, and go on long car rides quite often. We always drive through teh night and usually start the drive a couple of hours before the kids bedtimes. Or, we go extremely early (3 or 4 am) so that the kids will fall back to sleep in the car. Just don't forget to go to bed early the night before. Lots of toys and snacks are essential, beware that the car seat and car is going to get yucky, don't expect the kids to not get the car sticky and gooey and take whatever precautions you can to minimize this. My husband and I take turns driving so that neither of us are awake the entire time (middle of the night) and we both get enough sleep to make the next day fun. Other than that, we stop at every sight seeing opportunity we can to let the little one out and run around. We usually stop for about 30 min every 2 hours or so. Don't expect them to sit still in a restaurant after being strapped in the car seat for 2 hours... take sandwich stuff or do drive through and eat in a park so that they can run wild while you are eating. We made that mistake the first trip, boy that sure wasn't a relaxing meal. Try to make getting there as much of the fun as being there, rushing to "get there" will make it stressful on everyone. Good luck.

My advices is to not stop when she is sleeping. She will probably sleep alot in the car. You will need to stop every 3 or 4 hours (maybe more) when she is awake. Try to stop someplace where she can run around and you can stretch and play with her for 30-34 minutes.

Good luck!

I would bring lots of snacks for the ride. Toddlers love to snack don't they? I just got back from a month long trip to Europe with my hubby and 2 girls ages 4 and 17 months. We had books and coloring gear that helped on the long plane rides. I would also buy a new toy that she has never seen before, something that is really interactive and fun. And then surprise her with it on the journey! Sing lots of songs and even try sitting in the backseat with her if you can. Good luck and have fun!

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