This is what we have been doing lately. Travelling with little people. We have two little girls two and nine months. We strapped them in the van and drove 12 hours. We realize this could have been further complicated if I was still nursing or if one was potty training, etc. But our longest trip yet recorded went down as a success. When we stopped we made sure that they both were able to get their wiggles out. Even the wee one needed a break so she climbed around in the van while I changed her big sister. Big sister got to "hop, hop," as she would say, while Daddy pumped gas. It worked out well. Here are some other things that I learned...
- Don't cramp your kids. Put what you need near them or what they will want. The rest needs to go in the back. They need to feel like they have room to breathe as well. If you wouldn't like sitting back there with all the stuff then I am pretty sure your kids won't either.
- Snack foods are a must. Miss L was into cheese sticks this trip so I need to make sure we have plenty for the next trip. Healthy and higher protein are a huge win.
- Plan on at least one parent in the back with "little" littles from time to time. There is no way they can go the WHOLE day without seeing you. They need to play, too!
- Try to keep their schedule in the car. This was a blessing for us. I was in the back and would feed Miss A (people have different opinions on how to do this, etc - we didn't break the laws FYI) and we would play with a ball or be silly with Miss L. Then around nap time I would have moved to the front and given Miss L something to do while Miss A took her morning nap. Same basic principle for afternoon nap but both of them would sleep. I just told Miss L it was time to rest and close her eyes and that was good enough for her. The schedule made for happier kids when we arrived at out destination.
- Naps will not be as long as they are at home. Be flexible and if they need a little extra sleep later, that's fine. Roll with it.
- Elmo on DVD is Miss L's best friend. When she was getting restless she would zone in with Elmo and interact with him and have a grand time. Portable DVD player we love you.