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What are some tips for taking car trips with my toddler?

My husband and I have taken our toddler on short car trips, but in a few weeks, we're driving down to my parents’ house -- 12 hours away! We’ll stay overnight at the halfway point, which will help, but do you have any other toddler car trip tips? That’s a really long time to keep a little girl entertained in a confined space.

Re: My husband and I have taken our toddler on short car trips, but in a few weeks, we're driving down to my parents’ house -- 12 hours away! We’ll stay overnight at the halfway point, which will help, but do you have any other toddler car trip tips? That’s a really long time to keep a little girl entertained in a confined space.

The Bump Expert

The overnight stay is smart, but you’re still going to need a lot of little breaks along the way. Plan on stopping every hour and a half for twenty minutes or so to let her run around.

When you leave is also important. Taking off first thing each morning may work better for you, but the best time for baby will be right at the start of her first nap of the day. That way, she’ll sleep through as much of the trip as possible.

Don’t forget your window shade so she has some protection from the heat and light of the sun. And, for the time when she’s awake, be prepared with toys, her favorite songs and stories, and lots of healthy-but-yummy snacks. Need a more specific packing list for traveling with tots? Find one here.

Going for an airplane trip, not a car trip? Get some tips here.

The Bump Editors

What are some tips for taking car trips with my toddler?

I have found that a great way to travel with a baby or toddler is to leave at bedtime in the evening. That way they can sleep the majority of the way and you don't have to necessarily stop for an overnight along the way.

tdallenbach |

What are some tips for taking car trips with my toddler?

Sorry but, stopping every 1.5 hours for 20 minutes is an INSANE idea! We do a 13 hour trip twice a year. We will be doing her 3rd trip over Christmas. We usually stop 3 or 4 times coordinating with meals, gas stops and diaper changes. She takes her naps and eats her meals right in the car. We arrive by 10PM - she's already in her jammies and asleep.

hljsc |

What are some tips for taking car trips with my toddler?

I have a now 14-month old and we make a 9 hour trip every few months and try to leave close to bedtime. In our last trip, I took a cookie sheet and her fridge toys along with some other magnets and that seemed to keep her entertained for awhile. She could also color on a picture that was stuck to the cookie sheet. Also, snacks in the container they hold and have to kind of work to get the food out passed a lot of time. If we drive during the day, we usually just stop 1-2 times to play at the park for awhile then hop in the car again. Lots of songs, lots of snacks, and lots of tickling games!

ariekenberg@gmail.com |

What are some tips for taking car trips with my toddler?

I have a dvd player with some old school dr seuss. make sure you have a in car bag packed with snacks drinks etc.. and books and toys. whatever your child likes the most. I like to leave a hour or so before naps . I've taken really long trips as well. and sitting in the back helps.

hippielette |

What are some tips for taking car trips with my toddler?

Leaving at the very beginning of the morning nap, then stopping for lunch at the midway point, we were able to drive through both naps yesterday and only had to entertain for about two hours of a six-hour drive. We sang songs, make funny sounds, play with toys and I read some books.

RaggedyAnne |

What are some tips for taking car trips with my toddler?

I drive 13 hours away every 6-8 weeks to see family. My little girl is 14 months old and I have been doing this since she was 8 weeks. I stop when I need gas, she needs a diaper, and she needs to eat. I do all that in one stop. If you stop every hour and a half your trip is going to take forever! I do the 13 hours in one day and I stop usually three times. I have a bag in the front seat, with favorite toys that I give her as she needs, I have sippy cups and snacks ready for when she needs. You may find leaving early the morning and driving it all in one day, may be better than two days.

wags8888 |