3 Tips To Survive Driving With A Toddler
Every mom has her own set of rules when it comes to riding in the car. There’s the mom who has slippers for their little(s) so dirty shoes don’t trek all their accompanying germs around the backseat. Or, the mom who doesn’t want to be bothered unless someone is bleeding, PROFUSELY. Myself? I’m somewhere in the middle. I let Malachi eat, drink, color, whatever in the backseat as long as at the end of the ride he puts all his toys back into his toy case that we keep in the car. And if he can’t handle the responsibility of not coloring on my windows and seats then he doesn’t get to have colors, the end. I know, I know #meanmama *shrugs*
As I’ve gone through my time as a mother I have found what works for me and my little so that’s what I stick with. Whatever you’ve found that works for you, DO IT! So if that means making sure your kid has their iPad so they’ll be quiet, keep doing it! If plastic wrapping your kids from their chins to their ankles helps keep you out of jail, DO IT. (don’t really do this, and if you do, don’t say I told you so). Bascially, this is not a right vs wrong post, I’m simply sharing some things I have learned that helped me and my little survive many long road trips.
Tip #1 – BRING SNACKS
The hanger is real in my family y’all, Mal does NOT do well with being hungry at all. For one, he’s my child and if you add in the fact that he’s HUGE and grows at an crazy rate, it’s really clear why he becomes the hulk when he’s hungry. I try to keep things healthy and simple as a whole but especially when it comes to car rides. I know better than to bring yogurt or anything milk based because..Texas heat. Usually, I will take at least one snack per 30 minutes of travel. So if I’m just running us to Walmart he’s getting a granola bar and a water and that’s it. If we’re going to visit family a few hours away I let him have more time to pick out what he feels like eating. Some of my go-tos are:
- Granola Bars
- Fruit snacks
One of the brands we really like is Annie’s. Malachi likes the flavors of their snacks and I like that it’s one of the brands that doesn’t use a ton of crap I can not pronounce in their food. They are normally on sale too at Kroger and Walmart so you can often get 2/$4 deals on their fruit snacks and other treats, woohoo!
Tip #2 – Entertainment
- Drawing/Coloring supplies
- Portable DVD player
I personally like playing games with Mal on car rides. He LOVES to play “I-Spy” and the look of accomplishment when he finds it makes us both want to continue to play. The car is a great time to try and bond with your kids no matter what age they are. I remember taking long trips with my mom in the car and those moments are when we had our best conversations and funniest times. There are always opportunities to build memories with our children and it is our job as their parents to take advantage of each of those moments. *hops off soap box*
Tip #3 – Drive Smart
Drive at night or during nap times so the little(s) can sleep most/all of the ride. When I was younger it was a long running joke that I would be passed out before we got out of the driveway. I don’t know what it is about the motion of a car that literally put me STRAIGHT to sleep, like I cannot stay awake even if I wanted too. Malachi on the other hand can stay alert and chatty throughout a whole 4 hour drive so this is a life saver. Your little(s) won’t have to deviate from their sleep schedule and you can enjoy a tantrum free drive, win win!
Overall the best plan to ensure making traveling a breeze is preparation beforehand. Don’t procrastinate and don’t over-complicate. You know your little, what they do and don’t like so utilize that knowledge and as always, K.I.S.S.