S.T. asks from Meriden, CT on January 30, 2010
Long Car Trip with My 18 Month Old
Hi Moms, I heading from New England to the pan handle to spend a month in FL. The plan is to stop and visit family in NC for one night, so there are 2 days of traveling about 11 hours each day. We do not let our child watch any TV (at least until he is 2), so I am hesitant to get a DVD player for him, but I may break the rule if I MUST. I am looking for some advice on making the trip easier for him without the DVD player. Or some thoughts on breaking my rule.
So What Happened?™
Thank you all for the input. It really helped me think about how this will go and what to expect. We are traveling over a few days. We will travel during the day but stop every two hours. I went to a kiddy consignment shop and got a bunch of small toys to entertain him. I also got a couple of videos just in case. We are borrowing a dvd player, but My hope is that we won't need it. I really appreciate the advice. I will let you all know how it went once we are in FLA!
Ahhh..... We made it finally!!! The trip had it's adventures for sure and the advice did definitely pay off. We drove as far as possible on the first day. Stopped 3 hours from the first destination and spent the night. The whole following day was playing with cousins and then we hit the road the next morning. This day was tough. The GPS took us on a "short cut" through 3 hours of undeveloped farm roads. Needless to say the DVD player we borrowed was a saving grace. We made some mistakes along the way that we will not make on the way back. I will share just in case any other family needs the pointers.
1. Pack LOTS of PB&J or other items that can be considered "meals". (the long farm roads had nowhere to eat and we wound up having dinner closer to bed time... You know the little one was NOT happy.)
2. OR... Listen to your gut and eat early if you think you may be leaving civilization for a long farm stretch.
3. DO NOT follow the GPS to some random gas station... miles off the exit.... Chances are it does not exist and if it does... you may not want to get out of the car.
4. Print directions or check the route to know what route you are taking and what is available along the way (the GPS WILL take you through every Metropolitan traffic area and twisty back road it can LOL).
5. Overnite diapers leak if the child is not sleeping flat in a bed.
Thanks for the help ladies. I hope that the trip home is flawless, but the important thing is that we are here! :)
5. Bring a DVD player "just in case".
A.G. answers from New York on February 02, 2010
BREAK THE RULE!!!!! There are wonderful shows out there (( we love Little Einsteins for one) that are educational as well as entertaining. Shows are no longer mindless dribble! Make the trip easier on ALL of you!!! A.
K.H. answers from New York on January 31, 2010
Definitely get some new toys that he has never seen before. They will keep him occupied for some time. Not for the full 2 days, but at least some of the time. Thats what I do when I fly with my daughter and it keeps her attention longer than any of her toys she already has. Good Luck!
N.B. answers from New York on January 31, 2010
M.T. answers from New York on January 31, 2010
I'd make sure to add in extra time so that you can stop every couple of hours to give him a half hour to run around - find out where there are parks and such along your route. I'd also purchase some brand new toys and books, and not let him see them til the trip, make a new one appear every few hours.
A.H. answers from Phoenix on January 30, 2010
I second that about breaking down and getting a dvd. You can choose what your son watches, but it was the thing that saved me when travelling long hours in the car with my daughter and on the plane
K.L. answers from New York on January 31, 2010
I took a long car trip this summer when my twins were 15 months old and their big sister had just turned 4. We have one portable DVD player and I only used it for the four year old - one movie per traveling day - usually before or after we stopped for dinner. The key to success definitely is taking lots of breaks. For lunch it works great to find a fast food restaurant with a playground to get your child good and tired and guaranteed to take a nice afternoon nap. Also, whoever isn't driving should sit next to your child to play and read stories and just talk (except during those times that it is likely that your child will sleep, of course!) Good luck and have a great trip.
A.C. answers from New York on January 31, 2010
We recently drove down to Georgia from New York and the trip took two days. We had our two kids (3 and 1) and had no DVD player. Playing their music CDs in the car was a huge help as well as having little books and plenty of snacks. The biggest thing was to make sure to stop every few hours just to stretch their legs. Good luck!
A.B. answers from New York on January 31, 2010
You could get a travel desk. One Step Ahead has a soft lap desk that is safe for car seats. That way your little one can play and eat during the ride. As far as the DVD player, I think it will be very helpful. You can get DVD's like Elmo's World that are educational. Curious George is good too. My 21-month-old loves them and she has actually learned things from them. If you don't want to buy a lot of DVD's, your local library probably has them. Good luck!
M.M. answers from New York on January 31, 2010
If u do go with the DVD, u could get something educational to watch. My son always loved to watch the planet earth series. Or you could get March of the Penguins or something like that. That would probably be cheaper than planet earth.
A.B. answers from New York on January 31, 2010
I don't think you have to get a DVD player, but you may need to adjust your expectations about how long the trip will take. Can you change your schedule so that the driving stretches over three days? It takes us a day and half to go from NYC to North Carolina with our little kids, and depending on where you're leaving from and heading to, you're talking about almost twice that distance. There may be times when your son just has to get out of the car, and you will all be happier if you listen to him! Other than that, I would plan to do a lot of the driving in the early morning hours or late at night, when he'll be asleep.