5 tips for surviving a long car journey with a baby and a toddler

5 tips for surviving a long car journey with a baby and a toddler

In the past three days we have travelled over 750 miles in the car. We’ve arrived in France without killing each other! The boys have been really good at travelling all this way.

Here are my 5 tips for surviving a road trip with a baby and a toddler!

[dropcap type=”square or circle”] 1 [/dropcap] Timing is everything

To try to minimise the chance of having to stop within a fifty mile radius of home, I set off in the morning before Noah’s nap. Noah HATES his car seat. From day one he has objected every time he’s had to go in the car. Parenting forums will tell you that a good way to get a baby to sleep is to take them for a little drive, but that doesn’t work at all for Noah. But actually needing a nap allowed me just over an hour of driving without a screaming child in the back seat. At some point since he was born I figured out he was shouting because he was stuck, and I explained he was stuck because he was in a car seat and that’s the only way we know to keep him safe in the car. He seemed to calm down after that. Maybe it’s a coincidence, maybe he just didn’t understand before! 

[dropcap type=”square or circle”] 2 [/dropcap]Take a break
I took pretty regular breaks too. Some of the French service stations are fab for kids, and have really great playgrounds. Look for the sign that looks like a climbing frame when you spot the sign for the rest area.

We really enjoyed feeding the fish in the lake at the service station in Sailly-Flibeaucourt.

[dropcap type=”square or circle”] 3 [/dropcap]Snacks! Snacks! And more snacks!

Throwing the routine off completely by ‘allowing’ extra naps may as well be topped off by adding in extra snacks. Well, you are on holiday, after all!

We’ve been enjoying fruit crisps lately, and I’m slightly addicted to the Maple Barbecue Kettle Bites. Good old fruit purée pouches are popular during road trips, as there’s a hint of healthiness as well as resealable convenience!

[dropcap type=”square or circle”] 4 [/dropcap]Keep the travelling troops amused

Entertainment for James included a Bumper Sticker book, a colouring book, and, occasionally, an episode of Maisie from Amazon Prime on the iPad. He has also played a few apps, including Toca Doctor, and Sago Road Trip.

We had one crying episode when James became very, very upset that we couldn’t go home because he’d forgotten to pack a ball in his toy bag. It turns out James associates his Uncle Mike with playing ball, so to have suddenly realised we don’t have one was devastating. Uncle Mike and Aunty Verity are on holiday with us.

[dropcap type=”square or circle”] 5 [/dropcap]Forget about routines
The boys have also napped much more than they usually do, and a major mind shift has been needed from me, to relax about getting them in bed on time! We can sort that out during the week since, of course, they will be excited to be on holiday, too!

 Overall, we’ve managed well! Now we can relax and enjoy our holiday in Normandy. Sadly it’s raining, and not forecast to improve much any time soon. Tips for enjoying holidays in the rain, anyone?!


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  1. August 13, 2015 / 2:45 pm

    Wow hat’s off to you travelling all that way with two little ones. Long car journeys with my boys can be a total nightmare… it makes me shiver at some of the memories… pulling into the hard shoulder of the M25 so our 2 YO could have a wee and then the police stopping behind us…

    • August 13, 2015 / 5:20 pm

      Oh no!
      Actually, with Noah, short car journeys are also a nightmare so it’s just about holding your breath and going for it!

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