Road trips with newborns and toddlers can be very long. Our last family Christmas 2017 was in Southland. Our son was 4 weeks, our daughter 18 months and we took our dog.
The original plan was to leave 10am but by the time we were organised, plus turning back once as we realised we had forgotten our daughter’s favourite cuddly toy, it was more like midday when we finally left Christchurch.
Be prepared to stop often
We knew we were up for a few stops with both babies, but not as many as we ended up taking!
There were a few toilet stops for the dog, the nappy changing and of course when we needed comfort stops as well.
Our son was pretty unsettled with colic and suffered from some discomfort at various times, he was also breastfed.
To be honest, it felt like forever and took twice as long but luckily by the time we made it to Dunedin we were able to stop in at my brothers for an hour or so, thank goodness for having family spread all over the country!
Would I do it again? Well NO because that would mean I would have to have another baby,! However, as the kids grow there will be a lot more family road trips and I will most definitely be prepared for that!
If you’ve never traveled long distance with toddlers or young babies, here are 10 handy tips to survive the ride.
1. As a rule, stop often even just for short breaks, over summer it gets very hot in the car and baby can over heat really quickly.
2. Pack heaps of healthy snacks for your toddler, having a variety of snacks was a life-saver, limit sugary foods.
3. Pack a rug or blanket for baby to lie down on when you do stop. It’s always good to let them stretch out and get some fresh air.
4. Stop for lunch at a park that has a playground and let the little ones run around.
5. Leave around nap times if possible, that being said it is harder with a newborn, but if you can plan it around the older child at least you get some reprieve.
6. If you have friends or family you can stop in and see en route definitely do it!! It will recharge everyone’s batteries and make the remainder of the trip more tolerable.
7. Keep everything you know you will need in an easy to reach place, this includes, food, drink bottles and shoes
8. Use a car seat mirror, this is handy for rearward facing car seats and makes checking on bubs so much easier.
9. Put sunshades over the windows to avoid the kids overheating or getting sun burnt.
10. If you’re arriving late, put a bag together that has PJ’s, tooth brushes and the essentials for that night, un-pack the car the next day.
Lastly, don’t forget the favourite blankets and cuddly toys – I call these life savers!