Any road trip with a toddler may seem like a daunting task to parents. You have to think of ways on how to keep them satisfied and comfortable during the drive.
When you have a toddler in tow for your road trip, you have to figure out how to make the journey as sane and smooth as possible to everyone. And most importantly, you need to ensure that the whole family will arrive in your destination safe and sound.
There’s no need to wince at the thought of driving miles and miles with your little one. The whole experience doesn’t have to be a nightmare. By following these tips for road trip with a toddler, you can be assured the long drive with your kid will be painless and fun.
Prepare Your Vehicle For The Long Drive Ahead
One of the most necessary things you need to do before you hit the road is to make sure your vehicle is ready for the journey ahead. Schedule a maintenance check up with your mechanic or a garage so that you can test and see if everything is working the way they’re supposed to. You don’t want to see yourself having car issues in the middle of nowhere with your toddler in tow.
The things you need to have checked are the following:
- Tires and their PSI.
- Oil. Have an oil change if necessary.
- Make sure the brakes of your car are working properly.
- Heating or air conditioning systems.
Do not forget to fill up your tank before your trip. Also, bring the manual of your vehicle, a spare tire, hazard sign, and jump-start cables in case your car battery dies.
Remember To Pack Smart
It’s imperative to bring along all the supplies you and your child needs for the trip which will depend on how long and where you’re driving. They should all be organized and accessible for you but hidden from the sight of your toddler of course.
Consider bringing the following items in a bag conveniently placed in the car with you on your travel:
- Toys and books to keep your little one busy. Bring along some of his favorite books and toys and mixed it up with new ones. Avoid giving everything to your baby all at the same time though. When he gets bored with a toy or book, simply hand him something else.
- Snacks and bottled water. Consider packing in healthy eas to eat snacks like fruits and vegetables for everyone to prevent unplanned stops. Make sure to bring along enough water as well especially during hot months.
- First aid kit. No matter how careful and prepared you are, there are still things that can get out of your control that may need immediate attention.
- Your child’s favorite blanket. This will keep him warm and cozy if you’re driving at night.
- Extra clothes. Kids are messy. No matter how much we remind them not to wipe their dirty hands on their clothes, they still will.
- Plastic and ziplock bags. You don’t want trash to accumulate inside your vehicle. You can also store half-eaten snacks in ziplock bags.
- Wipes. For cleaning messes easily and wiping your and your toddler’s hand and face.
Importance Of Car Safety Seats When Traveling With Your Toddler
From the moment you step out of your hospital room to bring your child home, you’ll need a car seat. It’s one of the most valuable items you can purchase to ensure the safety and protection of your child. Choosing the best car safety seat suitable for your kid’s age, weight, and height is extremely important so check here before buying.
Securing your baby safely for a road trip once he’s a fidgeting toddler can be quite challenging. Also, not properly installing it can leave your toddler at risk in the event of a crash. According to research, more than 40% of toddler safety seats and boosters are not installed correctly, which is very alarming.
Keep in mind that a high price tag does not always equal quality. There are fairly priced seats that perform better than costly ones. Also, not every seat is created equally, so no matter what cost of a certain seat is, there’s a chance that it may not fit your car properly.
Safety is the main basis when on the market for a car seat. All types of child car safety seats are required to meet the safety standards of the state and federal in a crash test of 30mph. Here are the three seat options with a five-point harness you can consider for your toddler:
- Rear-facing position only. These car seats can accommodate children with a weight ranging from 22 to 35 pounds and a height of up to 35 inches. Kids should remain at rear-face until they have reached the recommended maximum height and weight restrictions of the seat’s manufacturer.
- Convertible car seat. You can transition these types from rear-face to forward-face position for older kids. These seats do not have the convenient separate base and carrying handle of infant seats though, but your child can use it longer. They are also great for bigger babies since they can hold kids for up to 50 pounds depending on the model.
- All-In-One. Also called 3-in-1 seats, this model is similar to convertible seats, the main difference is that they can be also be used as a booster seat. They are the biggest among the three so make sure it fits your vehicle by checking its manual.