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1 Day, 18 hours, 2 Parents & 2 Kids Traveling by Car

by Amanda on July 27, 2009
category: 0 – 1 year (baby),1 – 3 year (toddler),Travel

acereading I am late getting my post up today, because I spent 18 hours traveling by car with my husband, 2 year old daughter, and 4 month old boy. We came home to San Antonio after visiting Dawn and her family in Hunstville, AL last night. I hadn’t seen her in person in 11 eleven years. Our families had a great couple of days hanging out together.  On the drive there we drove to Memphis from San Antonio and spent the night. Then continued the last 4 hours after a visit to the Memphis Zoo the next day. My kids were champs throughout the entire trip.

Here is how we handled traveling with 2 kids under the age of two.

Both of my kids are still in diapers and I think this helped the potty situation. It was easy to pull over and change diapers or just do it whenever we stopped for food.

Driving most of the way in one day, spending the night, and traveling a short distance the next day worked for us.  The morning after a day of driving we went to the zoo to wear out my daughter. We got back in the car, ate lunch, and she slept most of the 4 hour drive.  On the way back we didn’t spend the night, but we spent an hour and a half in New Orleans to give us a break from the road and the car seats. While the New Orleans stop added to our overall traveling time, it was worth it to eat some yummy beignets and stretch our legs before the last haul home.

I brought plenty off of snacks and toys for Annabelle. One of my favorite traveling toys are the Crayola Color Wonder No Mess Markers and coloring pad. My daughter can color to her heart’s delight without coloring the car or herself.

We borrowed a DVD player from friends and had plenty of Dora DVDs. We waited as long as we could on both trips before we even let her see the player in the car. Once the player is on no other toy will do. Also, for my daughter she doesn’t fall asleep watching TV. Both times she watched about 4 hours of Dora straight and never fell asleep once even though she was incredibly tired.

To get my daughter to nap I wouldn’t give her anything else to eat or play with. She would sit there bored until she finally decided to close her eyes and sleep.

As we were traveling we didn’t stick to a lot of rules with Annabelle. We did try to get to her to nap, but other than that we did whatever that would keep her comfortable and happy.  Although, after the first day I think I let her eat too many sweets on the drive while watching Dora. She was incredibly hyper our first evening in Memphis running up and down the hotel hallway and jumping on the bed.

My 4 Month Old Boy

romaninstroller My baby boy, Roman, is 4 months old and he had a harder time dealing with car than my 2 year old. He is still breastfed so I would have to get him out to feed him, but there wasn’t anywhere to lay him down and really let him stretch. Sometimes we would have to get him out of the car seat and just hold him for a while to calm him down. He did sleep a lot on the trip and didn’t cry a lot until the last leg home, when he was just done with being in a car seat.  Even though he was with us, we both missed each other.

Overall, my kids are champs and did great being in their carseats for extended periods of time. We drove a rented Tahoe and I think this also made the drove more comfortable for them as well. I hope my story will help you if you are planning to do a road trip with your kids!

Have you done a long road trip with your kids this summer? How did it go for you? What did you do?

3 Responses to 1 Day, 18 hours, 2 Parents & 2 Kids Traveling by Car

  • Gravatar
    Comment by mom2amara
    July 27, 2009 @ 10:41 am

    The picture of your daughter is priceless! That expression on her face shows how “intensely” she’s reading that book. I love it!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Um Tulip
    July 27, 2009 @ 1:57 pm

    Just arrived home after visiting family in the states. We left Saturday 11 am for our connection in New York. Finally arrived home Monday morning at 8 am. What was supposed to be a 5 hour layover turned into a total of 19 hours before take-off. We were scheduled to leave at 10 pm but sat on the plane for 2 hours before the maintenance crew decided the mechanical problem was more than they could fix quickly. At 3 am they announced we’d fly at noon the next day. So our kids slept on the floor of the JFK terminal from around midnight until 8 am. We have three boys, ages 5 months, 3 and, 6. I am so glad I packed extra of everything in our carry-ons. Yeah, a lot to haul around, but this time we needed it. The mini-DVD player, Leapster, markers, pencils, activity books, fruit snacks, and toy cars kept our kids happy for hours. I almost ran out of diapers, and am very thankful our youngest is breast-fed. We needed the extra changes of clothes and blankets. We also have a backpack with a leash for our 3 year-old because he will wander in the airport if not restrained. He loves his monkey-backpack. It keeps him safe and gives him more freedom than holding his hand. Regarding flights, I’ve found it useful to bring empty sippy cups and have the flight attendant fill them up with water right away. Otherwise the kids spill their water. Also, we were able to get the bassinet carrier on the long flight (11 hours non-stop) which was a life-saver. I also brought some thin-strips dissolvable benadryl (don’t have to worry about liquid restrictions) for the kids to help them sleep. It’s currently midnight in our time-zone and the kids have just fallen asleep. Let’s hope the adjustment (7 hours) doesn’t take too many days! Happy traveling. ~ Um Tulip

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Stephanie Guinn
    July 28, 2009 @ 9:04 pm

    We have taken a couple of long car trips with kids in tow. They are always very memorable, and we ask ourselves why we are doing it again each time! One year we decided to drive to Northern California for my brother’s wedding. My husband couldn’t come, so my sister came and helped me drive. It was a looong and miserable trip. (We had 2 toddlers and a teenager, and I was pregnant with my 4th baby- although I didn’t know it yet) My son, Liam, was 12 months at the time and he did not like being in his carseat. I spent most of the time I wasn’t driving leaning over him in his seat trying to nurse him to sleep while my sister drove. (I don’t recommend this for comfort or safety, but it was the only way he wouldn’t scream for hours and hours). We did discover hours into the trip that Liam loved the song “B-I-N-G-O”, so we sang that over and over and over again. It always worked to calm him down for a few minutes. We also brought lots of books and the DVD player. Like Amanda, we found it too difficult to try to stick to rules when our kiddos were trapped in the car. They got to watch lots of movies and have snacks not usually allowed at home.
    There is one tip we learned with our public restroom loving daughter though- you will take many fewer potty breaks if you only give your kids water to drink. They won’t drink as much water as they will juice, so they don’t have to potty as often. :) Good to know once they are out of diapers.

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