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Long car journey with 14m old next week - tips??

(14 Posts)
u32ng Sun 13-Apr-14 08:55:00

Next week we've got an 8hr journey to visit a relative, and although we're breaking it up by having an overnight stay, DS is still going to be in the car for 4-5hours. Obviously we'll have regular stops too but what else can we do do make this go smoothly?

He's a bit young for the whole headrest-DVD player thing, and aside from giving him some toys to play with, I'm not really sure what else to do confused.

We're going down the M6 so any tips of good stops for families too would be gratefully received!

ikeaismylocal Sun 13-Apr-14 09:02:43

Will the travel be over ds's nap time?

Ds is 15 months old and he really likes looking at his favorite books in the car, he also watches in the night garden on my phone.

Good luck!

JuniperTisane Sun 13-Apr-14 09:05:08

We used audiobooks on the ipod connected to the stereo a fair bit. Julia Donaldson etc. Stop about every 2 hours regardless for a stretch and it should be fine. Expect meltdown to occur twenty minutes before your destination and grit your teeth.

JugglingChaotically Sun 13-Apr-14 09:06:24

At that age, we'd leave at 6 or 7pm with DC in pjs. Arrive when ever if ok yo those we landed on or stop at premier inn around midnight 1am then up early and arrive nice and early!
DCs sleep in large comfy reclining car seats with teddies and warm blankets.
And amazingly went straight back to sleep if we stopped too!

JugglingChaotically Sun 13-Apr-14 09:07:35

Agree with juniper. Audio books great till they fall asleep. Nursery rhymes /songs too.

JugglingChaotically Sun 13-Apr-14 09:11:41

Fwiw now youngest a little older, we leave at 5am, miss traffic and arrive for lunch.
On particularly long ones, we leave earlier. One breakfast/loo/fuel stop and that's it. (Though sometimes we do a couple of extra 30 second driver swap stops!)
As you might have guessed, we do it lots. Friends and family scattered across uk/France.
Good luck!

Beachfarmandzootoo Sun 13-Apr-14 09:17:11

One of us sits in the back with dd, she just likes company and it means you can reach whatever toy she has dropped easily!

melliebobs Sun 13-Apr-14 09:24:43

We went to cornwall from the north west ( took 9 hours or so ) when dd was 17 months. Tbh she slept most of it anyway, when we stopped we stopped long enough to have a good crawl (she didn't walk) and we just had some books n small toys to keep her occupied and I sat in the back n just chatted to her, but on the whole she slept

crispyporkbelly Sun 13-Apr-14 09:38:48

I think it really depends on the child. My ds (15months) would lose his mind being restrained for so long as he's always on the go and hates being strapped down and runs around all day, so we go by train until he's a little older as he would just scream which would probably be dangerous while driving.

If your dc is more chilled and will watch the odd show (download Pocoyo app and download all the mini movies and you can watch them without Internet) take books and snacks and stop after 2 hours for a stretch. Hope it goes well.

Time2beme Sun 13-Apr-14 10:16:50

I've just filled an old handbag with pockets, zips n buttons with exciting bits and pieces for our little one, so a homemade rattle, chunky bead necklace, nail brush, toy car, ball, Sophie giraffe, mini lift the flap book, gold shiny box with lid that some things fit in, mini mirror and a wallet with old cards n laminated photos. Basically she's spends time fiddling with zips and buckles taking things in and out, and generally exploring them. Fills quite a bit of time then hopefully a
sleep n a stop for a crawl/run around.

ineedsomeinspiration Sun 13-Apr-14 10:21:14

Time2beme that is a brilliant idea, wish I'd thought of that. Ds used to generally sleep at that age but snacks always helped, anything that could be drawn out. Books are good. Used to sit in the back with him but don't need to now. He's 2.5 and likes looking out the window at all the other vehicles.

shortarm Sun 13-Apr-14 20:46:11

use lots of velcro straps to attach toys to the headrest/seatbelt so they don't get lost on the floor! Try simple nursery rhyme cd's of buy some on itunes for an ipod. With 3 children (now 17, 16 and 12) we have had years of nursery rhyme singing all the way from York to Swansea to visit the grandparents. The grandparents moved into our village when our youngest was 2 - oh how I wish they did it earlier! For the biggest piece of advice have plenty of drinks, non messy eating bits (minstrels, jelly babies etc) and keep the toys in the car different to what they will play with when they get there. Mine never wanted the toys in the car when we got to Swansea. Oh and lots of wipes, spare clothes etc. We learnt to put a towel under the car seat and on the back of the front seat as two of ours got car sick. Thankfully one (the 17 year old) learned to sleep whenever she felt sick so one of the shoulder/neck pillows was great to stop her getting a pain in the neck. Hope all the info helps and remember they grow up so quickly you will soon be wishing back to these days when you talk to your teenager and they don't answer because they are plugged into their ipods!

MillionPramMiles Mon 14-Apr-14 08:36:48

We've been regularly doing a 5 hours car journey with dd since she was around 4 months old and she has never slept more than an hour.

Nursery rhymes, singing and sticker books will only keep her occupied for so long (and as long as one of us is in the back with her). The iPad has been a life saver. We've downloaded various CBeebies programmes and it straps to the headrest. We can also play painting games using the CBeebies app.

It's obviously ideal if your ds sleeps most of the way but suggest have a back up in case he screams instead...

u32ng Tue 15-Apr-14 11:01:25

Thanks for all the advice! Loving the old handbag idea as DS loves zippers. We're hoping he'll get a good 2hr morning sleep in & are planning on leaving around then so we can hopefully get a good stint under our belt first.

Will look into getting a couple of new little toys for him too, and look out the nursery rhymes CDs!!

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