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9 hour car journey with 2 year old - tips!

(12 Posts)
ParsleyCake Sun 26-Mar-17 19:24:32

We'll be making a 9 hour car journey between Scotland and England TWICE next year (there and back), and I really need some tips on how to survive.

Firstly, yes we have to drive there (no plane or train for reasons too long and boring to get into), secondly - it could be at night, but ideally we'd drive during the day.

The main problem is that DS WILL NOT sleep or nap in a car or pram. He will only sleep in his bed with curtains closed. He currently has at least a 2-3 hour nap during the afternoon. We are reluctant to make the trip overnight as I'd rather we have him overtired from missing his day time nap than over tired from because it's 2am and he should have been asleep since 7pm.

We are arriving a few days early before the event we are attending so he'll have some time to recover from the journey before it.

We don't drive at all, and have no access at all to a car usually (a friend is driving us) so there is no way to practice this, or even get him used to napping in a car.

So basically it's me, my fiancé, DS, my friend and her other half in a car for 9 hours. My friend is more than happy to make multiple stops and breaks, and accepts that there will be a certain amount of whining...but that said she has no children and almost no experience with them and I have witnessed the look on her face when DS is being even slightly difficult and I have to admit I'm worried.

DS will be 2 in June and this trip is in August, so he'll be two years and two months old.

Any tips at all!??

Fuzzipeg Sun 26-Mar-17 19:52:06

I have always packed a bag for each child with stuff for the car e.g. Library books, music CDs, snacks, small, cheap toys, magazine etc that can be brought out at intervals and are a novelty? If you aren't driving yourself then hopefully you can chat, read, play along etc. You never know he may sleep at some point with the sheer length of the journey. Good luck 🙂

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 26-Mar-17 19:54:20

The only good thing is that he probably won't be in nappies so you shouldn't have to stop every 2 minutes when he wants a wee.

Is it 9 hours solid driving or does that include breaks?

everythingsgoingsouth Sun 26-Mar-17 20:04:10

i go for the over night journey. he'll drop off in the car, its dark, boring, soothing sound/movement etc
doing it during the day his whole routine will be up the shoot-mealtimes, toileting, play,nap etc

chocolatespiders Sun 26-Mar-17 20:06:26

Portable dvd player or tablet with programmes downloaded.

Duckyneedsaclean Sun 26-Mar-17 20:08:46

Presumably if you don't drive he hasn't been in cars very often? He will sleep some if you drive at night, no doubt.

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Sun 26-Mar-17 20:12:50

Drove to Mull in October when ds was 2.1. Left at 6 am. . Dozed a bit. . Bottle at 830. A yogurt and a pastry from asda at 930. Music he liked playing. . Spotted sheep etc.Toielt stop and leg stretch . Lunch break at Oban before the ferry.

Doje Sun 26-Mar-17 20:16:13

We have a nursery rhymes CD that keeps DS happy, and how about stories too? There's a Julia Donaldson set that you could buy? I usually have a bag of toys that I distribute at intervals when he throws current toy on the floor and then whines and lastly, the big guns - a tablet. The cbeebies app is a good one, but I'd download as many as you can! I've never done it, but you could download some Peppa / Twirlywoos etc episodes for him too.

SavoyCabbage Sun 26-Mar-17 20:17:58

I'd want the driver to decide the time of the journey. I'd hate to drive overnight but my dh prefers it.

I've flown to Australia a fair few times with my two dds and let them sleep or not sleep. They watch a LOT of TV. No sweets or rubbish to eat in case they are sick.

I'd try to wear him out with swimming or something before you set off. You just have to get on with it.

Doje Sun 26-Mar-17 20:19:18

He probably will sleep, but I personally wouldn't risk the overnight journey. We do a 6 hour journey regularly and when the bedtime flit goes badly, it goes REALLY badly.

Redyellowpinkblue Sun 26-Mar-17 20:24:09

We did Cornwall to Scotland there and back when DD1 was just over 2. We decided to do it overnight? Rear faced her as less head lights (also hung blanket over headrest at the back and used sun shades on her window to black out the lights) and we wore her out during the day. I wasn't convinced she'd sleep as she is a really light sleeper but lo and behold she did! It was pretty silent and she had a bottle of warm milk to help her drop off and I stroked her head.
However..... if she'd decided not to sleep then we had a tablet loaded with lots of films and tv and we would have stopped of as many times as necessary if it was unbearable. We even went so far as to say if things got really bad we would just pull over half way and get a travelodge for the rest of the night and pick up the next day.
In other words, have a plan A, plan B and C!

Lindtnotlint Mon 27-Mar-17 17:01:38

Tablet. Seriously. Break out the tablet grin

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