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Preparing for a RoadTrip with a Young Toddler

Parent’s Checklist for RoadTripping with Infants and Toddlers

It’s no secret that vacations are a little more work when you have kids. You need more stuff, more money, more space, and more patience. But even the most extravagant of vacations with kids can go seamlessly with a little bit of preparation. Here are our 13 secrets for a successful road trip with infants and toddlers.

Secrets for a Great Road Trip with Toddlers!

  1. Road Trip Schedule: You need a good schedule before you hit the road. One that fits your family well. Consider things like: 
    1. How long is your drive?
    2. Where are ideal stops?
    3. When would kids be likely to nap?
    4. Should you do an early morning departure, leave at nap time, or shoot for a red-eye?

Planning around the littles from the beginning can save you some pain.

  1. Itinerary of fun: Have a play-by-play plan. It's ideal to break your activity blocks down to 30 minutes. If you have a 5-hour drive, that's only 10 different activities. 
  2. Pack Smart: Packing activity kits in to-go containers is a game-changer. They have snap-lock lids so they won't spill, they stack for easy packing and organizing, they give the kids a little play center in their lap to keep tiny toys from rolling around the floorboard of the vehicle, and the kids are excited to see what's inside. 
  3. Activity Ideas: Keep the containers down to just a few small things at a time. Including an edible treat is a good call too. 
    1. pipe cleaner creative kits
    2. favorite character action figure kits 
    3. fidget toy kits
    4. Devices: tablets, smartphones, game systems (keep them in their time blocks to maximize their effectiveness) 
    5. Snack kits
  4. Media Saves: If you want to use screens to ease the drive, don't depend on streaming platforms! Sometimes coverage can be spotty in rural areas so make sure you download shows/movies/games to your device.
  5. Tools: As is true with any task the right tools make the job go smoother. If you plan on traveling through nap time make sure to have their favorite sleep buddies, neck pillows, blankets, etc. If you plan on handing them your tablet, make sure to get a protective case and pack the charger.
  6. Mind your itinerary! It can be easy to let a little one keep the device a little longer if they're content, or wait to swap activities if they're distracted. But you can't undo boredom. Once a little one is tired of an activity you would be hard-pressed to change their mind. If you pull the activity before they completely lose interest then you can offer that activity again later. (Like in the lobby when you're waiting to check into your hotel.)

Secrets for a Great Road Trip with an Infant

  1. Pack well. Whatever you need at home, have it packed and accessible in the car. A well-packed diaper bag is always your best friend. 
  2. Double up. If your infant takes a pacifier and you keep 2 on hand, then take 4. An over-packed vehicle tends to hide tiny objects that have fallen to the floor.
  3. Be flexible. Infants may fall asleep for the whole 4 hours, or you may have chosen to drive through the night only to be joined by a baby that doesn't sleep at all. Be patient and willing to change your plans or make extra stops if necessary.
  4. Don't waste unbuckle ops. Stopping for gas? Get that baby out. An older child needs a bathroom break? Get that baby out. Waiting in a fast-food drive-through? They can pick you up on the other side, get that baby out. Infants will be less likely to fight the car seat if they aren't afraid they will never get out again.
  5. Sit in the back. Have an adult or older sibling sit next to the infant. They can help entertain them and meet their needs, this can go a long way.
  6. Snacks for baby. 
    1. Feeding an infant in a car seat is a pretty big no-no, but this can be done more safely with a parent in the back with them. 
    2. More important than snacks are drinks, make sure to have plenty of room temperature water for mixing formula.
    3. You may have a breastfed child, if you do, you may want to consider bringing bottles so they can drink without exiting the car seat.

With a little bit of planning, you can definitely survive your road trip with the kids, you may even find that they learn to love that part of the vacation! In all your upcoming travels, let us give you peace of mind with your precious cargo! Swing on into North Hills Auto for our 120 point vehicle inspection.

Call North Hills Auto at Augusta St (864) 233-9002 or Butler Rd (864) 234-1002.

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