Once upon a time a restless Little H, a 33 weeks pregnant mummy, a car sick Jack Russell and peacemaker daddy were invited to a weekend in Scotland. As Little H was becoming more and more mobile and less inclined to sit still, mummy and daddy weren’t sure how to ensure a stress-free car journey. However after agreeing to undertake the epic six hour journey, mummy and daddy put their heads together and came up with a plan for the journey. Here are our top tips for getting to your destination in one piece!
1. Be Prepared
I tried to provide solutions for all eventualities – toys, food, snacks, drinks, blankets, dummies, a teddy. When Little H got peckish I had something to offer her, a drink usually subsides her screaming for a time and when she needed a sleep I wanted her to be as comfortable as possible, so a dummy, blanket and her silkie blankie were vital. These things definitely helped to get through the time and prevent a tantrum when the little lady felt she had been strapped down for too long!
2. Provide Entertainment
During car journeys, toys tend to get discarded throughout the vehicle, and once Little H is strapped in her car seat said toys cannot then be retrieved. Mr H had recently been given a DVD player for Christmas and we had happily discovered it had an attachment to fix it to be back of a car headrest. This meant we could strap it up in front of Little H and she would be able to watch a DVD during our travels. This was by far the best thing we could have done, especially on the return journey when we got stuck in heavy traffic and our journey was extended by two hours. Although listening to various Disney theme tunes on repeat drove Mr H and I slightly insane, it kept the little lady quiet as she became engrossed in Mickey Mouse.
3. Choose Your Moments
As Little H has a regular nap time we decided the best time to travel would be to coincide with this. We debated getting up extra early or travelling at night so she would sleep most of the journey, but I couldn’t face this myself, so instead we set off at midday. This meant that we travelled during lunchtime, which provided a distraction and killed time whilst she ate her dinner, and she could then have her two hour nap as we drove. We ended up having three hours of the journey taken up which worked out really well.
4. Take A Break
With all the will in the world, expecting a fifteen month old to sit still for five to six hours just isn’t going to happen. After H had her dinner and nap, we let her watch a DVD for an hour and then set out to find somewhere to stop. Unfortunately in the remote Scottish roads the only thing we came across for miles was a McDonald’s, however it gave us chance to all have a toilet break and for Little H to stretch her legs. After experiencing her first chicken nuggets, we let her have a toddle around outside, which seemed to placate her for the remainder of our journey. A kicking, screaming toddler is no fun when you’re winding through the Scottish Highlands and trying not to bring up your lunch yourself!
So there are my tips for getting through your long car journeys. Please add your own below and good luck with your own trips, wherever they may be!