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Screaming up the motorway - how to help toddler tolerate car journey?

(10 Posts)
Sarimillie Sat 10-Oct-09 18:33:43

My dd (nearly 2) is unused to car travel and, when she's had enough, wails to get up. We tend to go by public transport (not because of this; just easier in the city).
When we do travel by car we try to time it to coincide with naps for long stretches of the trip, stop for snacks/ leg stretching etc, and offer snacks en route. We also have a DVD player in the car, but she's not really interested in this.
So I'd welcome top tips and strategies! Are there any products/toys you can recommend for this age group in cars? She is especially fond of dolls and animals.
Really keen to have a plan in place before we embark on a long drive north in a few weeks time...

bamboobutton Sat 10-Oct-09 18:38:42

could you plan your journey so you leave just before bed-time so she will sleep in the car?

thats what we do when driving more than a few hours, if we are staying over night that is.

bran Sat 10-Oct-09 18:45:18

Mini Jammy Dodgers worked wonders with DD, but she she's a sucker for a biscuit. She also liked little picture books, especially the type that have touchy-feely bits or that make noises.

We did a 6 hour drive from London to Holyhead, stopping at a friend's house for lunch half-way. That gave the kids a chance to run around and tire themselves out.

bran Sat 10-Oct-09 18:47:34

It's probably stating the obvious but if you have an adult passenger then put your DD's seat behind the driver's seat so that the adult passenger will find it easier to pass back food/drink/amusements.

sazlocks Sat 10-Oct-09 18:52:56

My Ds similar age and we have similar issues if we do a reasonable length journey. Have found a few things help
- a bag of objects kept in the glove compartment for him to play with one by one til he gets bored - ie sunglasses, comb, headtorch, disposable camera, water bottle etc
- plain oatcakes work wonders - he eats some and crumbles lots as well - so a toy and food in one !
- def agree with books but also junk mail and leaflets with pictures on - he also likes looking at photos
- def try and make stops and time with naps if you can
Good luck

BornToFolk Sat 10-Oct-09 19:01:09

A box of raisins is my secret weapon on car journeys. It takes DS approx half an hour to dig them all out and eat them as opposed to about 5 mins if he had them in a tupperware.

Also good are a pad and pencil, and along the same lines, My First Scribbler from ELC.

Sarimillie Sat 10-Oct-09 19:26:17

Wow - thank you! The moving the car seat thing, in particular, is genius. Also really appreciate the suggestions of little toys and objects to deploy one-by-one, and the raisin box/ oat cake plan. Will also her get some new books and something to scribble on for the trip...

amberflower Sat 10-Oct-09 19:57:44

I would also make sure you have a stack of toddler friendly music CDs in the car - mine used to love certain nursery rhyme CDs and we found playing his favourite songs would promptly stop any whingeing!

Sarimillie Sun 11-Oct-09 00:07:39

Good tip, Amberflower - thank you.

DevilsEnticeMadness Sun 11-Oct-09 00:32:20

Ds has a big box of toys next to him that he can fish out, play with and chuck all over the car. At 2 finger puppets was fun. Also the box of toys is specific to the car so that it keeps its novalty value. I would recommend a cheap object for toy that can be kept for the purpose -it keeps the attention longer. Thankfully ds is now used to long journeys and is pretty well behaved if i remember the box and books. although am bored of are we nearly at X's house/home. which gets uttered far to much.

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