Last weekend my husband and I set off on an 8-hour road trip to Cincinnati, OH to visit one of my closest friends with Lydia in tow. This was the first time we were attempting to take a long road trip with her. When she was 6 months old we flew on a direct flight to Las Vegas to visit my sister, that was about 5 hours. Back then she slept a lot. Now that she is a year old, I was concerned about how we would keep her entertained while facing backward in her infant car seat.
The night before the trip I decided to do some research and find something quick and easy that I could prepare for her before we set off. With working full time, I tend to figure things out on the fly. Lydia knows that Mommy and Daddy’s phones are off limits. Of course, this doesn’t stop her from trying to steal them and crawl away as fast as possible! Luckily, I kept my iPhone 4 and after doing a little research, I stumbled upon the Laugh & Learn Apptivity Case by Fisher Price.
The case itself has fun toys on it and the back of it has a mirror that she can look at herself in. You have the option to put the iPhone inside blocking the home button or not (depending on how well your child knows how to use the phone). Imagine Lydia’s surprise when she found out she had a phone of her own that she could use and not have it taken away!
I think I would consider myself a lucky mom because Lydia is extremely easy to please and 90% of the time is a very happy child. There are 3 keys we found that allowed us to only make 2 short stops on both legs of our trip:
- Find a new toy that your child has never seen or used before that is interactive. This will keep them occupied for at least an hour.
- Sit in the back to keep the baby company for part of the trip. My husband spent about 2 hours of each leg in the back with her (he does not like driving).
- Feed on the go. While my husband sat in the back seat he gave Lydia squeeze packs and bottles.
We had a great time on our trip and were so happy Lydia made both trips only one day apart without much fuss! Unfortunately, I was out of character and did not take a lot of pictures. I think my exhaustion from the last few weeks caught up with me and I didn’t feel motivated enough to bother. Rob did manage to snap this picture of her smiling as we drove with her new toy!
What tips do you have?
Note… Lydia did get my phone about 10 minutes after we arrived at our hotel room. And she cracked the screen crawling in the bathroom with it within 10 minutes of that. So make sure you give your kid an old phone.
I sit in the back with my son too when we travel. 5 hours has been our max so far. The new toy thing is a great idea! I may have to try that for our next trip!
Road trips! We did Minneapolis, MN to Columbus, OH summer of ’11 when Xander was 3, Ava was 11mo and newly pregnant with Elsie. Thankfully I have never had morning sickness or this trip would have truly bad 🙂 Xander kept himself occupied for the most part with big-kids toys, but Ava was another story. Still being rear-facing was a challenge indeed, but at least the kids could see each other. My hubby sat in the back with her quite a bit to help with feedings and such. I get motion sick, so I avoided it as much as possible. The key for us was stopping every 2 hours for either food or at a rest stop to just let them run!
The next big trip was Minneapolis to Branson, MO last summer when Xander was 5, Ava just turned 2 and Elsie was 5 1/2 months. This one was a lot tougher since Elsie was nursing and we had 3 vehicles caravanning. This was a 2 day drive so we stayed overnight in KC to keep our sanities! Again, stopping every 2 hours to let them run (and play with cousins) was huge. Unfortunately, I did have to sit in the back of our Suburban to tend to Elsie – hubby couldn’t help with that :p I usually don’t keep the kid-meal toys, however in this case, they were a must. On the way back, we drove straight through and timed it so the kids slept the last 4 hour leg. Also made sure the DVD player was functioning in the ‘burb and had a good stash of movies! I do NOT want to do the roads near Branson again anytime soon…
I remember taking a four-hour road trip when my son was 2 1/2 and my daughter was 6 months old. It was a tough trip because I had to go to the bathroom twice then the kids needed to be changed – it felt like all we did was relieve ourselves. I think my husband was relieved to get to my uncle’s house and get out of that car.
I think you’re brave! No way would I attempt a long trip like that with my kids at their current ages (3.5yo and 17mo). It was hard enough flying with them two months ago. Props to you! http://payettestork.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/california-the-trip-out/
Such a brave woman! My son is 14 months and his car limit is around one hour! I don’t dare try for longer because I’ve seen what could happen 🙂 Definitely lots of snacks and entertainment. My son rarely watches TV so I sometimes let him watch in the car and that keeps him entertained for a bit! Stopping by from Mommy Monday 🙂
I am impressed! My husband and I are flying with our 10 month old in December from PA to TX and I am a little worried about that. I may look into that fisher price toy! Do you think an iPod would fit well too?
On the box it tells you which generation iPod it fits, I am sure if it is a touch it would fit as well 🙂 good luck! My daughter ended up being pretty awesome on our trip from NY to Vegas, I wish the same for you too!
I can’t think of anything extra! You hit the nail on the head. My son is 19 months and he knows how to get to PBS on the iPhone and iPad lol! Pinning this one for you, love. Thanks so much for sharing with Mommy Monday 🙂