Need more tips for long car trips - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 02-05-2003, 01:07 AM - Thread Starter
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We need to do a 6 hr car trip next weekend w/16 mos old ds and I'd love some tips for how to do this with as little pain as possible. I just did a search a found one thread suggesting driving at night, BFing in the car seat, and having lots of snacks and toys.

We will try to drive at night, but can't get in too late bc dh has to work once we arrive, so I anticipate ds may have to be awake for the first 3 hours. We know how to BF on the go, and I will have snacks.

What kinds of toys do people recommend? Should I try to find one of those trays that goes across the carseat? I want to be careful with what we put in the car, bc anything loose can be a projectile in an accident, so big, heavy things will make me very uncomfortable (no TV/VCR!).

Any hot tips about good stopping places with toddlers?

I need some tricks for my bag!
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#2 of 4 Old 02-05-2003, 01:55 AM
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we somehow survived an 8hr cartrip with my then 7mo with the loud, light-up ,obnoxious toys he got for christmas, then we gave them away to goodwill!!
maybe you can give your ds an ice cube tray filled with snacks - they love to pick things out of the different compartments. Tupperware makes an ice cube tray wih a lid - my dd LOVED to snack out of it. otherwise you could probably use a regular IC tray and cover tightly with foil. we put cheerios, dried fruit, etc- ya know, stuff you won't mind picking off the upholstry and carpet!!
of course, if you sit next to him and give him everything out of your purse that'll take up about 20 min - but I'd save that in case you hit traffic!
we also bought dd new books to read (library books would be great)
Good luck!!
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#3 of 4 Old 02-05-2003, 01:57 AM
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Kids music. I have a Barney tape in my casette player and I pop it inwhenever ds starts to get fussy. I don't care for the music too much but it keeps ds quiet so I can focus on driving.
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#4 of 4 Old 02-05-2003, 02:28 AM
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Since my ds wakes up every 1-2 hours at night, even in the car, we have actually found it easier now to drive during the day. When he wakes up from a nap, he is usually pretty content for a little while until we find a good place to pull over. When he wakes up during the night, he cries until I get back there and lean over to get a nipple in his mouth, and then I sit there with my neck kinked for 20 minutes. If he didn't wake up once asleep, I would drive at night.

As for places to stop, we have found quite a few areas that we keep an eye out for, since it is usually pretty hard to find a park or playground when you're on the freeway in an unfamiliar area:

Indoor malls - a relatively safe place to run around, and many have little play areas. Ds loves to ride the escalator up and down, up and down, up and down.

Fast food strips - even though we don't eat fast food, many of the places like Burger King and McDonalds have play structures.

College Campuses - any jr. college or university along the way will usually have good lawn areas to run around.

A big store like Target, Home Depot, etc., can be good too.

We have also sometimes just found a relatively deserted exit, pulled over, and played ball outside the car, and let him sit up front and play for awhile before getting back in his carseat.

As far as keeping him entertained while in the carseat, here are a few things we have done:

Electronic toys. We found one that just has a bunch of buttons and knobs that make different sounds that we keep in the car.

New books.


Empty water bottles - I will often put things in them for him to try to get out, and then put back in himself. The last car trip we did pretzel sticks and pine nuts.

Snacks, snacks and more snacks.

Envelopes full of folded up paper (junk mail is good for this). Ds loves to pull it out, unfold it, and check it out.

Playing peekaboo with him.

That's all I can think of for now. If I think of more I will post again.
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