19 answers

Long Car Ride - Pittsburgh,PA

Does anyone have any ideas and tips on how to keep my 2 year old entertained for an 8 hour car ride. I plan to do a few stops because I also have an 8 month old that I have to feed, but she gets very antsy in the car even for short trips. Thanks for the info!

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We took a trip to Disney (from PA) with our almost 3 year old and it was a long 3 day car ride. Surprising to me he did pretty good. We did cheat a bit and have a small DVD player that did help pass the time but we also sang a lot of songs, looked for cows and horses when going through farm land. Counted trucks and busses when going through the city's. If you have two adults traveling it does help. I brought his mini etch-a -sketch (not sure on that spelling) but we would draw simple things like cars, boats, flowers, ladybugs, turtles ect. I did read some books and tell stories. We did a fair amount of talking about the trip to Disney itself to prepare him for what he was going to see and do on his vacation.

One very important thing I learned was the the car seats cause your child to have a fair amount of flextion at the hips which caused my son's legs to go to sleep over time. He complained about his legs hurting him and it seemed that he just had some numbness due to lack of circulation. Once I learned this I just took a small childs blanket and folded it under his hips to raise him up some. This made his upper legs more level and gave him some relief. You figure they can't move around and adjust like we can with those safety seats. I still felt he was safe because of the 5 point harness. He just looked a lot more comfortable with his hips raised up a L.. This of course with getting out to run around on breaks was great for us. Even just 10 or 15 min. of moving outside the car. Having snacks and napping "of course normal toddler routine" helped pass time also. Good luck, 8 hours will go by pretty fast if you can make it fun :)

1 mom found this helpful

Here are some ideas to keep them entertained. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

i took my now 10 month old on a 4 hour car trip 2wice . once when she was 4 months once when she was 8 1/2 months . she slept both ways the whole time. give them bottles. there are travel games . sing together. count cars

We have a bag of car toys for each of our boys. They are small L. toys like planes, maraccas, etc. from the dollar store, plus some puzzles, books and doodle games. We have a book with removal magnetic pieces that they love. While I add something new every once in a while, what makes this special is that they never see these things unless we're on a long trip -- the joy of novelty! We pop in silly sing-along CDs, play "I spy" and other funny rhymes, etc. Drinks and finger snacks are interspersed when needed (these are usually something different/special, too). We also have a DVD player for the car, but we hold that off until we've run out of everything else. Finally, we bring their security objects, maybe pillows, blankies - depending on how sunny it is - for snuggle down to nap time ;) As long as you can keep yourself relaxed (easier than it sounds, I know), you can help her to enjoy the trip too... Hope you're going somewhere fun~

Keep your expectations low - remember how YOU feel during an 8 hour car ride! Let your husband take you 2yo for a walk during the breaks. We've used a DVD player for our boys from about 2yo for car rides longer than 2 hours and that buys us some peace and quite. They'll still get tired of watching movies at some point, but you do get at least 2 two-hour periods of peace during a long drive like that. We have an 8 hour drive coming up in 6 weeks and I'm dreading it even with the DVD player! My boys are older and can use a Leapster, which helps, too. Not sure if 2 yo is old enough to understand a Leapster?

DVD player and Leapster (or Leap Pad, if your child isn't old enough to use the Leapster). You can get DVDs from the library to save some $, just test them before you go to make sure they work, sometimes library DVDs have scratches and dont' work. I wouldn't want to find that out on the road.

I have to give a big YES to the DVD player for the car ride!!! Last September my husband and I drove to North Carolina for vacation 11 hours straight through with our 16 month old. We packed lots of snacks and even though I felt horribly guilty because our daughter was watching non stop Elmo we got there without a hitch. She did not make a peep the entire trip. We stopped every 2 hours or so for a few minutes to stretch our legs or grab a quick bite and diaper change then back in the car. We had planned to do it in two days but things were going so good we just kept on driving.
Good luck and have fun!

The First Years makes a great, soft collapsible tray for writing/coloring on. It has pockets on the sides that can hold crayons, snacks, etc. It's great! We use ours on long car trips and they save the day.

I also second/third/fourth the DVD player idea. A real must for long car trips.

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