Traveling with toddlers deserves some sort of award. Toddlers always have their own mindset and it can be difficult to convince them to do things your way. If you are heading on a road trip and have a stubborn toddler in tow, here are some tips for you.
Bring lots of snacks
Don’t even think you will get very far without lots of snacks for your toddler. I prefer to bring Gerber snacks with us. They are portable and I can stick them in the diaper bag. I pull them out when my toddler is hungry and she is instantly less sassy. It’s amazing what hunger can do to us.
Something else I have discovered while taking road trips with toddlers is that I need lots of activities. Activity bags make an excellent choice for traveling. You use Ziploc baggies and put various activities in the bags. When the toddlers get bored, we simply pull out a new activity and keep the toddler as happy as can be!
Books on audio
You wouldn’t think a toddler would enjoy listening to books on audio, but it is the perfect road tripping tool for us. Pop in an audio book and listen to it on your way to your destination. It keeps the toddler entertained and the car quiet. Give it a try. You can usually rent audio books for free from the library.
Prepare for breaks
Listen, no toddler can go an extended period in a car without taking some sort of break. This is especially true if you are potty training a toddler. At least prepare to take a break every couple of hours. If you’re being honest, you know that a break is good for everyone in the vehicle. It helps keep the crankiness at a minimum.
Toddlers feed off the attitude of parents. Keep your attitude good and your toddler should be good to go as well. If you think you’re going to be a little cranky, you should still put on a smile for your toddler, it’s amazing how much it helps them to stay positive.
Keep rotating activities
My final thought for traveling with toddlers on a road trip is to keep rotating activities. Toddlers have short attention span, so you need to keep the activities ever-changing. Electronics, toys, snacks, singing, listening to books, you get the idea.
Get a good car seat
Having the right car seat can make or break a road trip with toddlers. That’s why we love the Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 Car Seat! It’s a seat that truly grows with your child and is so comfortable for road trips whether they are rear-facing or forward-facing.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ride rear-facing until at least 2 years of age. With my son, we forward-faced him when he turned one but with my girls, they stayed rear-facing until past 2 years of age. The Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 Car Seat features a 3-position extension panel that provides 5” of extra legroom allowing your child to ride safely rear-facing longer. The seat can be used rear-facing from 4-50 lbs. and forward-facing from 22-65 lbs. The seat features the Simply Safe™ Adjust which allows you to adjust the height of the harness and headrest as your child grows, InRight™ LATCH for a one-second LATCH attachment and Fuss Free harness storage which holds the buckle out of the way, so it’s easy to get your baby or toddler in and out.
The Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 Car Seat is full of so many great features for both convenience and safety. The seat pad is plush, comfortable and it’s also machine washable which is a huge win for me! I know after every road trip, we usually need to clean the car seats. There’s also 2 cup holders that easily slide on to the car seat so you don’t have to constantly be turning around to give your toddler their drink. I love that Graco not only has the best safety features but also the best comfort features and conveniences too.
I had the chance to visit the Graco Headquarters a few months ago and I was so impressed with how much time (2 years!) is put into creating a quality car seat for us. Their #1 priority is safety and you can expect the very best quality from Graco Baby.
Not only can you rear-face longer with the Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 Car Seat (I love the panel that provides extra leg room!) it also turns into a booster seat for your older child! So that means the Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 Car Seat is the ONLY car seat that you need!
We do road trips ALL the time and trust me when I tell you that you want a comfortable car seat for your kids otherwise it’s going to be a looooong drive. You’ll love the Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 Car Seat!
Need more car seat info? Check out the Kokopax’s Car Seat Info page!
Do you have any tips for parents who are traveling with toddlers?
Disclosure: I am a part of the Generation Graco team but all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.