Saturday, May 9, 2009

Requests From Our Readers: Week 5

This week we are talking about keeping kids entertained in the car. Check out what our reader said:

"We will be moving across the country in the next month or so and will have to drive at least 26 hours to get to our new place. Our baby turns one about a week before we go. I have no idea how I am going to keep him happy and entertained during that long of a road trip. I realize that he will not travel well the whole time and that we will just have to deal with it at least to some degree, but I would love to get some ideas and suggestions about things we can do to help him enjoy the time."

So, help her out!
What do you do to keep toddlers/babies entertained in the car?
What do you do to keep older children entertained in the car?
Has traveling during bedtime or nap time worked for you or not?
How often do you stop on a long road trip when you have a toddler?

Please answer - our reader NEEDS your help!! The success of the blog depends on how much we comment and help each other out. Also - check out the post below on scheduling and entropy... we haven't gotten many comments yet and we can't wait to hear from you.


Kaylyn said...

I just went on a trip with a 20 month old. I was driving 9 hours by myself one way. Because I know she doesn't do well traveling so I left in the middle of the night. It wasn't easy but she slept most of the time. I stopped every 2 hours or so. The worst part of the stops was getting her out of the car and back in. She did well going back to sleep after I stoped. When she was awake during stops we spent more time walking around and played a little outside the car. It wasn't just for her but for me to stay awake and alert.
As for keeping her busy when she was awake. I used fun cds that she likes. Books, treats and a few small toys. When she didn't want it she would throw it on the floor, so she didn't get it any more. So I kept a lot more things at hand for giving her. It was really nice. I hope you find that helpful.

Kelly A. said...

I have never tried traveling at night, but like Kaylyn said I know that has worked for other people. My friends moved across the country last summer with their son and they left at his bed time. The wife let the husband sleep during the day so that he would be rested to drive through the night. She slept in the car while the baby slept too so that if he needed to switch she would be able to help, though I think he drove until early the next morning and then she took over for the last little bit.

We haven't traveled nearly as far as you will, but here are some things that have worked for us. My little one loves to color so we take some things to entertain her along those lines. I don't know if your baby that is younger than one is into that yet. But have you seen those "color wonder" markers and books? They only color on the special paper, so even if he is just starting to get the hang of it, he wouldn't get it on anything but the paper. We also take fun CD's with music our daughter likes and we have family who often take a DVD player with a movie or too (we don't have one and our little girl isn't that into TV yet but I know it works for others). Another thing that we have done is have mom or dad sit in the back with the baby for part of the trip. While it is nice to sit up by your spouse and talk and visit, we have found that baby travels better when she has someone to interact with and play with/talk to for a little bit too. Hope that helps! Good luck! Utah will really miss you guys!! :)

Jared and Delia said...

Driving through the night works awesome! We like to do that the best. Since that will only get you through less than half of your trip, there are some other things that can help. I had a friend tell me to buy some new toys (can just be dollar store ones) to give them, just before our first long car trip with our oldest and it worked well. They will be excited about the novelty of it and might be entertained longer than with a toy they are familiar with. You can also hijack some toys a month in advance and hide them until the trip so they will seem new to them.

Fun, new, and different treats help make the trip go by easier...hey it makes it more exciting for me too!

Also...I like to think of traveling with a kid like a band-aid. It hurts the least if you just rip it off or go REALLY slow. If you rip it off just go and try not to stop while your baby is sleeping and just get it done. If you can afford to go slow. Drive a few hours a day and stay at a hotel...make a vacation out of it. That is my take anyway.

For my older boy we finally got around to getting a portable DVD player. Once he hit about 2 1/2 or 3 he started traveling much better. He just watches movies and it is kind of fun with him, rather than super stressful.

Traveling with a one year old is an adventure. If your child is crying for the last two hours of the trip...non stop, you can think of me and know you are not alone!:) I wish you luck!

Megan said...

Traveling through the night is what I've found works best. This is how my family always did trips and how we do trips now. Also, the new toy thing works wonders!

Megan said...

You also may want to check out the website It's a sit all about traveling with kids and could give you a couple of good places to stop that would entertain the kiddo for a little bit and activities to do in the car.

Janet said...

Traveling at night makes it easier for young children, but really hard on you. As our kids got older we ditched traveling at night. Puppets can be a fun thing for younger children. Special snacks always help, no matter what the age. As our children have gotten older we've discovered that books on cd and musical soundtracks have really kept their attention (and kept them really quiet) even more so than movies. Good luck with your move!

Jes said...

My baby (10 months old currently) has always traveled really well, so Im not much help here, ... however, we have noticed that if it gets dark and shes still awake she gets REALLY mad. I started clipping a booklight to the 'umbrella-part' of her carrier (so it shines down on her but from behind so its not in her eyes). That way she can see to play still an stays happy.