Katherine - posted on 06/13/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )
1. A folding travel potty. Do I even need to explain why this one is an essential? Trust me, rest stops don't just materialize out of thin air! Roadside assistance, indeed.
2. Crackers. I never got carsick as a kid, so I wasn't sure what to do when my daughter turned out to be a queasy rider. I learned quickly, though -- crackers, nibbled slowly, one at a time. (Nothing fancy, either. Just plain old crackers.)
3. Baby wipes. Not just for those potty breaks -- baby wipes are essential for clean-ups on the go (sticky hands, runny noses, sweaty feet -- you name it, they make it less yucky).
4. Hand-held video games. Not that they have to be "games," per se -- basically, anything that lights up, makes sound, and holds your toddler's attention for a while will do. Just make sure you have a car charger or extra batteries or whatever you need to keep it going.
5. A metal cookie sheet. Confused? A cookie sheet (especially one with upturned edges) on a kid's lap makes a fabulous tabletop for coloring or playing with little toys.
6. Kids' ibuprofen. Because there's nothing worse than a rapid-onset earache or fever or whatever else when you're still hours away from your destination.
7. Audiobooks. Better than portable DVD players for carsick types!
8. Emergency clothes. I know, you've got a whole suitcase full of outfits in the trunk, but those don't help with spills/accidents that happen when you're barrelling down the highway. An extra change of clothing in the backseat can be a lifesaver.
9. Side window shades (or sunglasses). You'll understand the first time you get this backseat complaint: Mommeeeee! The sun in my eyes!!! Make it go away!!!
10. A forbidden fruit. This is different for every kid -- maybe it's a certain type of treat or maybe it's Mommy's charm bracelet. The point is to have something with you that your child isn't ordinarily allowed to play with or eat or whatever. So when all else fails, BAM! Look what I have!
Bon voyage!! (And good luck!!)
What are your road trip must-haves?