I am in the thick of being a toddler mom. Nicholas will be four in a couple weeks and Emilia just turned two; my goodness it is A LOT. Before having kids I was so nervous that the life my husband and I enjoyed would be lost forever, because everyone told us to “enjoy it while we can” whenever we would come back from a trip. Now I am determined to show other moms/parents that our lives don’t have to end or become boring just because we have kids, and how they actually ENHANCE our lives and make trips more fun and memorable. I’m going to start a series of “How to Enjoy *blank* with Toddlers series. Starting with just a generalization of how we make longer car rides more enjoyable and actually run smoothly.
- Snacks. Snacks are a MUST. I love these snack cups, and these no spill cups for beverages.
- iPads (or other tablet), basically our saving grace in the car anymore. We connect theirs to our personal hotspots so they have internet, but you can also download movies on Netflix or Disney+ ahead of your drive. We also use the app Kiddopia and it does not need internet in order for them to play the games and watch the videos through the app. Make sure to have charging cables if your car has usb-ports or have a portable battery.
- Planned stops for potty breaks, food, and a place for the kids to stretch their legs.
- Having absolutely zero expectations on how the day will go.
– This is probably the most important one. The moment we start to have expectations on how we think/want the day to go it’s like the kids can sense it and instantly throw a wrench in said plans.
- Potty training/trained parents. I’ve seen some parents will take their portable potty with them on road trips so their little can use what they’re comfortable with on the road. We haven’t potty trained Emilia yet, and Nicholas is a boy so when we pull over we just have him pee on the side of the road. He literally thinks it’s the coolest thing ever so that also helps with longer car rides and avoiding accidents. I also always pack TWO spare outfits, even with Nicholas loving the idea of peeing on the road we have needed to change his outfit twice on more than one occasion.
- Breastfeeding/bottle feeing mamas. Having a portable bottle warmer was a serious game changer for us. We were able to warm the bottle in the car and not need to pull over, which not only saved time but also cause little disruption.