Travel Hints and tips

How to survive a long road trip with a toddler

First long trip with a toddler

First road trip

Next week (11th September to 15th September) we are going to Cornwall for the first time. Also, it will be the longest road trip we’ve ever taken with our son. Almost 6 hours in a car with a very active toddler. That sounds a little bit scary 😉 But we want to make that trip enjoyable for us and our baby. That’s why we’ve already prepared. We have a nice plan, checklist and we feel very organized. We believe that trip will be fun and unforgettable.

Prepare your car

First road trip with a toddler

  • First of all, we want to pack our car night before. I’m sure it will help everything move along swiftly and reduce the chance I’d forget something. Also, it will make me less stress during departure time. And we will be more willing to leave a house on time 🙂
  • We are planning to stop every two hours for breaks. I know that the longer my baby will be sitting in the car seat, the more likely he’ll become unhappy.
  • We planned what we need to keep in a boot and what to keep within arm’s reach.
  • Window shades are a must. Obviously, we need it to protect him from the sun but also to create a nice atmosphere for a nap.

What do you need to take with you?

First road trip with a toddler

Based on our notes I can tell you it will be quite a long list. You need to prepare a lot of things to entertain your baby and some stuff to be prepared for unexpected surprises (diaper explosion, food explosion (?), vomiting).

  • extra clothes
  • muslin squares
  • wet wipes
  • diapers
  • changing mat
  • baby’s blanket and cuddly toy
  • dummy (if your baby is using)
  • food pouches, snacks, juice
  • sipper cup
  • plastic bags (for dirty nappies, trash, etc)
  • lots of toys- favorite ones and one new
  • books
  • phone or tablet with a full battery- with baby’s music, cartoons
  • family first aid kit
  • back seat organiser- best thing to keep everything that you need close to your hands

Don’t forget about yourself

To keep everyone safe in a car you need to remember about yourself. That’s why you need to prepare drinks and snacks for adults. Don’t forget any medications if you need to take any. Do breaks whenever you need to. Especially when your baby will be crying and you will become more stressed and nervous.

Remember that when you are driving with a baby you’ll not always able to stick to your plan. It’s better to be late than unsafe. No matter what keep your baby in car seat. Even if you want to breastfeed. Best thing to do is to pull over. What’s really important do not leave your baby alone in the car. It’s really dangerous especially when it’s hot outside.

Be aware that road trip before having a baby and with baby are two completely different things. So try to stay relaxed as much as you can. Enjoy your trip and write down what’s working for you and your baby and what’s not. And definitely, your next road trip will be easier and you will feel more comfortable than now.

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  • Reply Morgan

    Great list! We are gearing up for a 22 hour trip to Florida for NYE. Lord help us! Let me know how it goes and if you have any pointers afterward! Good luck!

    6 September 2017 at 20:18
    • Reply ohmummymia

      22 hours? you are so brave:D

      6 September 2017 at 20:23
  • Reply Sheri Kaye Hoff

    Excellent points. Our kiddos are grown, but we have a grand daughter who is 8 months old. It’s time to look at how everything changes. Being prepared makes everything easier. Thank you for the great list.

    6 September 2017 at 20:58
  • Reply Patricia

    Good tips for parents of toddlers! I like that you included breaks in your tips. I know (even though I am not a parent myself)that parents, as well as children, need breaks to de-stress and recoup from a long trip. Even single people like myself need that time when traveling. How much more a parent and a child!
    Patricia recently posted…Why YOU are preciousMy Profile

    6 September 2017 at 21:02
  • Reply Jamie

    Driving with toddlers is so much fun. But, with all these tips at least you’ll be prepared ❤️ Thanks for sharing. I’m driving this weekend with a 1 and 3 year old and I’m going to use a few of these- wish me luck!

    6 September 2017 at 21:44

    Great post! It’s definitely hard bringing your toddler to the store much less on a road trip, so these tips are really helpful! Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

    6 September 2017 at 23:49
  • Reply Christina | From Under a Palm Tree

    I love that at first you have everything planned out but you also remember that it’s very easy for things to go awry! We recently wrote a post about surviving a long road trip with a toddler and it really is crazy how much extra planning goes into it just to make sure the baby is happy. But that’s the most important thing right?

    Good luck 🙂

    7 September 2017 at 18:14
  • Reply Angie

    Great tips and list. We are thinking of planning a road trip to Canada and this will come in handy. Have a fun trip!

    7 September 2017 at 22:19
  • Reply Luci

    Agree with all this list. Its better to be overly prepared then not prepared at all. I’ve been on several car trips with little kids and they would have a mini melt down halfway through the trip.

    8 September 2017 at 20:12
  • Reply Ashley Roberts

    Oh we love love love to travel but have a new baby on the way! Needless to say I’m a little nervous for our first trip with lil man….. Thanks for the tips!

    15 March 2018 at 16:05
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