My little boy gets car sick if we drive for too long, especially on windy roads. He probably takes after me. Growing up before car seats, I would sit on brother’s lap and by the end of the car ride, his clothing would be drenched. I think I might even ruined his suit on the day of Bar Mitzvah. He might still resent me for that!
I mainly avoid long car rides with our little boy, but there are times were we just have no choice but to get in the car for an hour plus drive. For example, over the summer we went to Long Beach Island which was about two hours away. We were golden most the way. Then at the last five minutes of our drive, our boy started crying and it was all over. Before we could stop the car, his breakfast…Well, I’ll spare you the details.
If I keep my boy distracted and happy though, we usually have better luck. Here are some of the best ways to keep your toddler’s happy and puke free on your drives together:
I might be taking the activity of singing a bit too far. My boy sings “Old McDonald” and “Do You Know the Muffin Man” all day and night. When I picked him up from preschool yesterday he started singing and another boy clocked him in the face with a toy phone and told him to stop. Oh boy! Still, singing together through long car rides is a great way to enjoy your ride together and kill time. Here is a great list of Top 10 Favorite Adults Friendly Albums for Kids. Or just blue tooth some toddler radio on Pandora.
There’s nothing like a nice sheet of colorful stickers to keep a little one occupied. Help him or her peel off the stickers and place them on clothing, car seats or faces. You might have to sit next next to him the back seat and end up with stickers in your hair too, but that’s a small price to pay for an easy drive with your toddler. For added fun, bring a sticker-book so you have somewhere to place them.
My little boy just started getting into the I Spy game. We call out all the things we see on the road. I’ll say, “I Spy a red truck” or “I Spy a bridge”. Sometimes he’ll respond “I Spy a cocky” and then we might need to change him. But mostly, we have fun with this game for a good 20 minutes!
If all else fails, I break out the iPhone and let him watch his favorite YouTube videos. I know..I know, this is probably a no no for many of you. Yesterday, our pediatrician told us she removed all TV and computer devices from her home and they’re basically living like the Amish. She recommended I do the same. I’m not sure we can be that pure! We limit TV every day and if our boy is getting fussy in the car, I will break out the iPhone.
Pick Time Wisely
Drive during nap time so your little can rest at least part of the way. Our boy won’t sleep for more than an hour or so in the car, but that’s a decent chunk of time! You might also considering darkening or covering windows so the sun isn’t shining directly in his face and he can rest better.
If your child gets car sick like mine, avoid eating at least half hour before getting into a vehicle. Try not to snack while on the road either! This is a tough one if your kid is a snackaholic like mine. I did learn my lesson after giving him cherries and granola while riding through the hills of Los Angeles. That was not fun!
The road with toddlers might be tough, but there are always a few tricks and techniques to get you through it. With a little planning and instinct, you’ll reach your destination with a happy and sweet smelling toddler.