Planning on driving 1250 miles with 2 year old

Amanda - posted on 11/16/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My husband and I are planning to drive about 1250 miles from Colorado to Indiana for a wedding and was wondering if anyone has any advice about a good time to travel (night, day), how many stops to make, what to bring, how to deal with potty traing while traveling etc. Thank you!!

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In February my husband, our 2 year old son and I moved from Florida to upstate NY. I can totally offer you some advice :) My son wasn't potty training at the time so I can't help you there.



We stopped about every 2 or 3 hours and let him out so he could stretch (and us too).



Snacks are essential. Pack things like carrots or pretzels (or whatever you give as snacks) into baggies. Don't mess with plastic containers. I know it's bad for the environment to use a ton of baggies, but it's also a lot easier on the road to just toss them when they're empty than to have a dirty plastic container floating around the car. I also brought things I could just hand to him like apple wedges and granola bars. I allowed him to eat more cookies than I normally would, simply because it was hard on him being in the car that long and he was such a good boy I felt like he deserved a splurge lol



Have pre-made sippys of juice and milk. I color coded the lids so that when I would get one out of the cooler I knew yellow was juice, red was milk. That was really helpful for me because I was driving the car while my husband was driving the moving truck. When I would get down to only having one full sippy left, I would wash and refill them at one of our stops. I brought a quart of milk and bought a 6 pack of 12 oz bottles of juice and still had extra when we got to the end of our trip.



Get one of those soft sided coolers, the ones that hold 6 or 8 cans of soda. Keep the sippy's in it and drinks for you and your husband. Put it on the floor of the passenger side...easy access. You can have another larger cooler in the back seat or in the trunk but having the smaller one right there makes it easier. You don't have to stop or in your case, no one would have to unbuckle to turn around and reach into a big cooler every time someone gets thirsty.



Another huge thing...the BEST thing for that trip? A portable DVD player. I recommend one that has two monitors. We bought one from Target for around $150 but they have them with one monitor for around $70, even less I think. If you get the one with two monitors, one straps to the back of the headrest and the other (the one with the actual dvd player in it) I kept in the front seat. Made it easier to change dvd's for him. I didn't even have to pull over to do it. If you can change a cd in your car stereo then you can change a dvd in the player. I keep forgetting that you'll have another adult in the car with you to help you do things I was doing solo when we moved lol



I recommend leaving at night. The day we left I let our son go without a nap because I knew as soon as we put him in the car he'd fall asleep and we could drive through the night. We left Florida at 9pm and were able to drive pretty much straight through the night, only stopping once. During the day we had to stop a lot more frequently.



If your son / daughter is in a "throwing" stage, be careful what toys you allow in the car. Getting beamed in the back of the head with a Matchbox car hurts. I'd recommend keeping the size of the toys you allow in the car small, lightweight and with no sharp corners lol



Bring a pillow and blanket from home so that your child has something that smells familiar. We stayed overnight in a hotel at the halfway point and I think the only reason our son was able to sleep was because he had HIS pillow and HIS blanket. Keep your night time routine as close to normal as possible, the whole trip, or you'll get home and find it will take you days to get back on schedule.



Where in Indiana are you going? I was in Indianapolis in July for my best friend's wedding. That's a 10 hour + drive from where I live and I did that alone with my son too lol

Best of luck to you and if I think of anything else helpful I'll repost :)

Carris - posted on 11/16/2010

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You will need to stop about every 2 to 3 hours at the minimum. Also take a potty with you in the car. This way you can stop anywhere. Bring lots of snacks and drinks and lots of activities. We would do a trip like that in 2 days. Leave early and make sure you keep your bedtimes consistant. Good Luck!

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Allie - posted on 11/17/2010

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For potty training I got my son a Potette Plus 2-in-1 Portable Potty & Trainer from BabiesRUs. It is amazing!!!!!!! We do three hour trips probably 1-2 times a month and the potty is great because we can just pull over (on the interstate) set up the potty unbuckle him and let him go... We used plastic grocery bags instead of buying the replacements (which can get expensive just make sure the bags don't have holes). I definitely recommend picking one up especially if you have a problem with public restrooms like I do.... good luck and drive safe!



Best potty training product and its under 20$!!!!!

Amanda - posted on 11/16/2010

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Wow! Thank you for all the great advice! I was really worried about having my daughter in a car seat for so long but now I think we can make it more tolerable.
@ Joy, We will be going to Milan, a very small town south of Indianapolis.

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