Car Trip with Just 1 Year Old

Updated on April 22, 2008
S.E. asks from Cleveland, OH
8 answers

I am taking a 4 hour car trip with my two boys, ages almost 4 and just turned 1. The big boy is easy. He colors and has a little computer and can keep happy just fine. The one year old only wants to walk around carrying things and wants to dismantle all household items. Not very conducive to a car trip. I cant think of what to bring for him. I guess I have some ideas, but none that would last more than 5 minutes. Any ideas would be great.

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answers from South Bend on

Does the 1yr old like movies? On a 4hr drive I got one of those portable dvds that go up behind the passenger seat and he watched disney movies all the way there.

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answers from Dayton on

Can you leave really early? If you get him out of bed and put him directly into the car, maybe he will sleep most of the way. That way you won't have to entertain him for 4 hours, maybe only 2. Just an idea.


answers from Columbus on


Just about any toy that's NEW. Don't let him even see it until the trip so that he can spend his time trying to figure it out. I'd suggest a jigsaw puzzle - one of the wooden ones with the large pieces (Melissa & Doug make some great ones) that the little guy could set on his lap and work on. And if he can't get the pieces together to make the picture, he can always chew on the pieces! Hours of fun! =)

Good luck on your trip!



answers from Indianapolis on

I have a one year old daughter and we frequently have to travel 4 hours to see my in-laws. We take a portable dvd player with us and her favorite veggie tales and baby einstein dvd's, toys, and snacks. She also loves music so I take some of her kindermusik cd's to listen to. She can go the whole trip without stopping ususally. I hope that helps!



answers from Indianapolis on

HI S.,

I always got new things to put on the carseat, toys that hang and would switch them as soon as she got fussy or bored with one, different books, lots of snacks, music....

Basically you'll have to switch things around a lot to keep him entertained.... soft music for naptime etc....

One thing I have that's always been a big hit is a stuffed animal (there's a cow, sheep and dog) my mother in law gave her, it comes with a CD for the car, it sings along with the CD, laughs etc....
Gosh I wish I could remember the name of it let me look for a link....

K, found it ;)

It has been great for my kids since I have 2, a 20 month old and a 9 month old ;)



answers from Toledo on

S.: I love your name because I have a 7 year old that I homeschool that possesses that name. It means "princess." She's my little princess. Anyway, being that I"m a veteran in the kid department, I could say to you that this will be quite the learning process for that precious 1 year old, and you must bring ear plugs. Also, bring treats for when he's behaving (such as lollipops and maybe fruit - depending on what he likes) and play beautiful music. Oh yeah, please pray also, this is a very powerful tool to utilize. Also, last, but not least, take power breaks. Pull over, off the road at the rest stops and you take a break while he is running free. This is the best advise that I can give to you. Have a fantastic day!

M. G.



answers from Lafayette on

I understand your concerns, but it shouldn't be bad at all. We have 3 boys (with a 4th on the way) and have travelled by car with them from birth. When you start early (1 year is early) they just get used to it. We did start with new toys, snacks, books, etc. to help keep them occupied. No matter where we live, we have always needed to travel a minimum of 7 1/2 hours to see grandparents and have always done it by car, so we have done this hundreds of time now and my kids always do fine. One grandmother lives in FL and takes us 20 hours of driving, so we do that one in 2 days. We have found our kids do best leaving in the morning (as soon as we can get out the door) and driving no more than 10 hours a day. We stop about every 3-4 hours to potty, eat and gas up. Your older one can help change out the toys and keep the younger one occupied, too. Good luck. It can be lots of fun travelling by car with kids! We love it!



answers from Muncie on

Any small toys that make noise, Duplo building blocks (you stick them together and have him take them apart). Books for him to look at. Snacks and cold drinks. Also 10 min rest stops help a ton. Let him out and walk, get him changed, it really does wonders.

Those are the things we take and do, our girl is 1.5 and does well over a 10 hour drive.

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