Thursday, October 8, 2015
Roadtrip with a toddler
Saturday we leave for Gaspe, Quebec which is about 10 hours away. It usually takes us longer, because we stop more often with Caleb. 10 hours in a car is not easy for a toddler. This will be Caleb's 4th trip , and I hope it goes smoothly. We like to leave REALLY early, like 3-4am so that we can get a good chuck of the driving done with Caleb sleeping. Once he's awake, I usually keep a bag of toys and books upfront with me, and hand him one toy at a time. I'm not comfortable letting him snack in the car, if he were to choke it's too hard to get access to him. We stop and allow plenty of time to eat. I do allow Caleb to watch shows on the tablet, but I put the tablet in a transparent hard plastic file folder. This allows him to watch a movie and we don't have to worry about him exiting the movie and getting frustrated. Once the tablet is closed inside, he can hold it and watch. I plan on downloading a new to him movie, so that will make it more interesting.
Caleb is still rear-facing, and after this trip I'll think about turning him around. He doesn't complain, and I planned to rear-face until he was 2. He'll be 2 in December. Our basset hound will be in the back with him, belted in. If anything happened, the dog would be secured. I'll also bring my Tula Toddler carrier, if I need to hold Caleb and have my arms free when we're stopped. It's easy to put him in the carrier. I actually don't bring a stroller when we travel, the carrier is all I need.
Another tip, is to pack a diaper bag that's small, easy to throw on your back and has what you need. At rest stops, you'll want to be in and out quickly and having a smaller bag will allow you to find everything you're looking for. I bring disposable changing pads to put on the diaper changing table and throw it out once we're done. Don't forget an extra pair of clothes, as well as wipes and antibacterial soap for hands. Since Caleb still uses his pacifier, I make sure to pack extra and keep those with me. If he manages to throw one out, I can give him another. Even those tethers don't always work well.
These are some of my tips and tricks. Remember road trips are long for everyone, and sitting in a car seat can be boring. Have patience, and don't rush. If you have any additional tips for me, please comment!