Long car journey with 4 month old and 2 year old - help!!(19 Posts)
The title says it all really. Any tips for 7 hour ish car journey stint with a baby and a toddler?!! We can stop fairly regularly and I was thinking of a little bag of toys for the 2 year old. We will drive over a nap time but won't be overnight as such so a lot of journey time will be toddlers 'awake' time. Any other tips / specifics?
Have you got an iphone? My 2yo would actively choose a long car journey if he got to play with an iphone during it
Nursery rhyme CD's have kept us going on long car journeys.
We survived with a huge amount of snacks and drinks. Healthy eating went out the window. giving her a tiny chocolate every few mins kept my 2yo happy for ages ( bag of magic stars)
4 month old , feed. Dummy. Rotate interesting toys. If needs be sit in the back between car seats and hold hands.
If they're both quiet keep driving! ( take a packed lunch for you and Dh as well so you don't need to stop when you're hungry)
Nursery rhyme and story CDs for them
and earplugs for you
We still use those lap trays with beanbag attached in the car so they can do colouring/ fiddling with duplo / looking at books or whatever on it.
Good supply of suitably healthy drinks and snacks for bribery. What my lot wouldn't do for a box of raisins and some celery sticks
We tied a couple of toys on bungee straps so we didn't get huge complaints when stuff fell on the floor.
Nooo, not nursery rhyme cds, they'll send you mad! Play whatever music you like - as long as it's quite lively your DCs should enjoy it too.
For the baby, attach lots of toys or colourful things to the headrest of the seat he is facing, so he has plenty to look at and play with.
i would think really seriously about if it could be possible to travel overnight and book a travel lodge / premier inn etc etc
you could do 3 hour of the journey by 10pm if you set off at 7pm, then only 4 hours left the following day
i regularly ish do a 4hr 15min (driving time) journey with DD (now 11m) and i dread it every time... it takes us nearly 6 hours and i couldnt imagine doing another 3 hours of driving in the same day
we did a <6 hour journey (plymouth / huddersfield) last month... we set off at 7am and arrived at 4pm and i really wish we could have broken the journey more
In-car DVD player for the 2 year old. Baby will be much trickier and require frequent stops for feeding - I don't think it's good for them to be in a car seat for long stretches?
I traveled from England to Switzerland with a 2.5 and a 6 month old, did it in two stages but each day was about 6-7 hours driving.
I made up party bags for the 2.5 hr old with small packet of raisins/ buttons etc, carton of juice and a cheap toy and gave them to her about every hour. She slept for approx 3 hours too. The 6 month old seemed to just enjoy the changing scenery and so long as I could reach the toys he hurled out of the car seat he was fine.
Use an iPad strapped to back of seat as a tv for two year old. Download tv series eg peppa pig from iTunes. You can set them going and they just play the whole series in one go. Keeps my dd (2.7y) quiet for nearly 2 hours. she's even getting to grips with earphones.
DVD player for the eldest, snacks and if they're doing ok then I'd just keep driving! Also some new toys if you can, I used to get a bunch of new things from the charity shop as they might buy me a bit more time. Sitting in the back with them is a good idea, I did 4hr journeys quite a bit and trying to hear what they were saying and straining to reach the endless dropped toys were not fun at all. Mine always had longer naps in the car so that let us eat up some of the road...good luck!
Can you plan your journey so you have a stop for lunch and a runaround to break the journey up a bit? There are a few forestry commission parks that are free entry but you need to pay for parking.
Or would agree with breaking the journey overnight and getting the bulk done in the evening/ driving through the night. It's much easier if the dc are asleep and you can just crack on with the driving.
if at all possible, do it at night. Do dinner, bath and PJs, then put them in the car about 6pm. Hit the road and have a flask of coffee so you don't have to make long stops. If where you are going has the beds all ready, you should be able to transfer them without too much difficulty, if not, then consider a travellodge for about 10ish maybe?
Thanks everyone for your great ideas. We won't be able to do most of journey there at night . I love the party bag idea and finding places to stop for a run around.
My 2 year old isn't that fussed with TV as we've never had it on that much so don't think the DVD thing would be that useful (wishing now we had?!)
He'd rather have books and often brings books to me if the TV is on, (now we've resorted to it more with DD2 around!
Believe me, must because your 2 year old hasn't seen much TV doesn't mean she wouldn't enjoy it on a long boring car journey. DS only watches about 15 minutes of TV cartoons a day, but on long journeys (and we have grandparents 10 hours in one direction and 8 in the other) he loves to wach cartoons on the iPad - Thomas, Peppa, Postman Pat, Charlie and Lola, etc. i'm notan advocate of TV for young kids, but I challenge an child not to get bored during an 8 hour car journey even with a bag of toys....
Didn't mean it to sound judgmental about 2 yo watching TV - just know my DS just seems to ignore it in the house (at times to my dismay!)
we drove to France when DC4 was just turned 1 - he is 19 now so this was pre DVDs etc
the 3 older kids helped entertain him but they each had their own small box of amusements (including him) plus walkmans, & story tapes with headphones were an amazing distraction for him
could you use whatever the current equivalent is?
otherwise, if you sit in the back with him you can read stories & play games with him
My kids (4 & 2) usually fall asleep for ages in the car on long drives. I did a 5 hr drive when I just had the eldest (5 months old at the time) and he slept for most of it. We usually have nursery rhyme CDs - they adore any songs about Winnie the Pooh/Tigger - and a couple of those little magnetic drawing boards that can be erased & drawn on again - they love them! And some snacks/drinks. Toys aren't a great idea because they always drop them (usually only 1 of us in the car with them so can't safely stop/turn round to pick stuff up). They love looking at the cars/lorries on motorways - your 2 yr old might do this for a while.
DVD players and colouring books were a lifesaver for us. Make sure to take breaks so the children can stretch their legs.
I got each of my children to choose a new backpack and I put a personalised colouring book, a lunchbox and their favourite stuffed toy in each of them.
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