When Sienna was 3 months old, we took a trip to Liverpool which takes us around 3-4 hours. I was very nervous about travelling with a baby all that way but we made it with no problems, she slept most of the way and I thought we'd cracked it. Surely as she got older, travelling would get easier.
How wrong I was! Toddlers are harder to occupy than babies and need more stimulation, plus they don't sleep as much as a newborn either!
With Aria now being a toddler who loves to be active and struggles to stay in her carseat for more than half an hour, I always fear long car journeys with her. We do put some tips in place to help keep it as smooth a journey as possible so I thought this post may be helpful to some of you dealing with an energetic toddler too!
These tips are written for if you are travelling in a car but some can be used for plane/bus journeys.
Don't over dress
Being hot and bothered in the car will just add to them fidgeting around and if they start to get grumpy will just make them worse. I always put them in just a t-shirt no matter the weather and then use the car heating/air con to control the temperature instead of sticking them in cardigans they can't remove and are uncomfortable in.
Stop the boredom!
Toys and books keep them occupied for a little bit as does the iPad but don't forget the power of things like iSpy and spotting different coloured cars. The girls love these as we can all join in. We also sing and dance, play 'guess the song' by just humming the tune, watch the rain and follow the drops down the window with our fingers etc. You also want to make sure you have a good Car insurance, kids aren't the best at waiting around so if you do happen to breakdown or have a car emergency, you want a trusted brand that are going to help you get to your destination as quick as possible.
Sit in the back
Sometimes if the journey is super long or we know Aria is just in a really bad mood that day, I will sit in the back with her which is what saved us many times! I'm able to play with her, give her attention, feed her, cuddle her, just attend to her every need better than I could have done if I was in the front. This is probably my number one tip, especially if they are a bit younger as well.
Try and keep it in time with naps
We always try to set off after lunch if we can to coincide with nap time or when she'd normally be a bit tired and want quiet time. This generally gets us at least half the journey of her asleep or at least content!
Pack lots of snacks
I make sure to chuck in a whole load of snacks and drinks for the car. We stop at meal times but the snacks definitely come in handy. Also, cup holders on their carseats or in the middle seat if you're not sitting there are super handy too!
If you are planning a long journey, I hope these tips help you out, let me know which one helped you the most!