Friday, January 17, 2014

Travel with a a car...for 10 hours...WHAAAAAAAAT?!

When Andy and I decided to travel back to Andy's home town for Christmas, I tried my best to not freak out. I'd traveled with a toddler in a car before. My little brother was 13 years younger than me and my family went on vacation every year. As the oldest, I got "Bobby Duty" and sat next to an 18-month-old for 2 days on our trip out west. I don't remember much of it, which means I probably blocked the experience from my mind. (Okay, I remember a few things, like playing "Bunny foo foo" for hours on end).

We scoured Pinterest for ideas for traveling with a toddler (which ended in many debates - travel at night or during the day? Who sits in the back?)

1. Travel day or night? We traveled during the day. Bubby loves to scoot around his crib at night and I was pretty sure that he would wake up at least once an hour crying, which totally negated Andy's argument that one of us could sleep while the other person drove. It would also make the first day there no fun. We would either be cranky or sleeping. So I...ahem, daytime traveling, won.

2. Seating arrangements? Most of what we read recommended that someone sit in the back, which was a lifesaver unless we were on bumpy freeways and I got carsick. I could trade out Bubby's toys with new ones, rescue ones that fell outside his reach, give him food, water, etc.

3. Speaking We packed the pouches, which Bubby loves. We also packed some Gerber Graduates cheese puff things, Puffs, cheese chunks and a cheese, ham and tortilla rollup for lunch.

4. Stopping? Probably one of the biggest lifesavers was using night time diapers. Bubby stayed dry the whole trip, which was remarkable considering one of the things he liked to do was drink water because the sippy cup made a whistling noise. We took breaks whenever I felt Bubby needed one, which ended up being about every 3 hours.

5. Entertainment? We raided the dollar section at Target (Bubby picked out a few dog toys - no surprise there - and we got some stickers, an empty lotion bottle, and a few board books) and I put a bunch of his favorite toys in a tub with a lid. It took every ounce of self control to not get out all of his new fun toys right away, but I managed. I waited until he fussed about whatever toy he was playing with before I swapped it out. Hayden LOVES lids on containers, so the biggest entertainers were the lotion bottle and a water bottle I brought. Some other ideas from pinterest that didn't really interest Bubby were magnets on a small cookie sheet and a doodlepad. Kids can be entertained by the strangest things headbands.

6. Naptime? I pretty much broke into a cold sweat when I thought about interfering with Bubby's nap schedule. Nap time for toddlers=sanity time for parents. Luckily, I brought along painter's tape and a light blanket to hang up over the window to help him sleep better. The tape doubled as an entertainment source and the blanket doubled as a bib when Andy forgot to pack paper towels.

Considering Bubby made it 10.5 hours without crying, each way, I considered it a great success! No diaper rash. No frazzled momma. No cranky baby.

Safe travels!

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