Updated: Oct 25, 2022
It’s family holiday travel season, and many of us with little ones will be opting for car travel this year. I’ve put together 10 must-haves for car trips with an infant/toddler (focusing on fine motor skill development and addressing digestion issues that seem to plague many kiddos with developmental delays). Here’s hoping these make your road trippin’ a little easier this year!
1. Prep with probiotics. Our munchkin always seems to get the “stress poos,” making car blow outs a regular occurrence. Start probiotics a day before your trip — especially if your kiddo is taking antibiotics (which tend to cause upset tummies).
2. Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes. This baby toy is a favorite of many! It helps teach cause and effect (push a button to play music) and helps with fine motor movements (pushing a button). Plus, there’s a low volume setting for a peaceful drive.
3. Secure-a-Toy Strap. Attach toys to the car seat so you don’t have to hunt for the toy every time it drops. (Don’t attach toys that could be harmful to you kiddo in a car crash).
4. PLENTY of baby wipes. Pack the large pack, not a travel size, in the backseat and in the truck. You can never have too many wipes on a car trip. We love Water Wipes. (Don't forget the diaper cream! Sitting in a car seat for a prolonged period can cause diaper rash.)
5. Wet Dry Bag. You can use plastic bags or a Wet Dry Bag to hold any soiled clothes from those inevitable car trip blow outs…that no one ever warned us about before having children. (Works great for swim suits after swim lessons too!)
6. (Actual) No Spill Bottles. We love Grosmimi Bottles (with nipples and straw options) and Contigo Tumblers. Give your child plenty of time to get used to a new bottle before relying on it for a car trip.
7. Back seat organizer. Keep everything together and organized with this awesome back seat organizer.
8. More toys! You’ll need more than just the Baby Einstein for car trips longer than an hour. Offering a new toy every 30 minutes to 1 hour will help keep you kiddo occupied and relaxed. Check out some of these (all tried and true). They even have the added bonus of promoting fine motor skills!
9. iPad holder. It’s inevitable that you‘ll be just 30 minutes from your destination, and your child will have a Stage 5 Meltdown. That’s when the iPad comes out. Add some preloaded songs, shows, or videos before you leave (don’t rely on YouTube unless your car has Wifi or connecting to a Hotspot won’t be problematic).
10. Car seat head strap. If you’re lucky, your munchkin will fall asleep at some point on the road. Keep their neck comfortable (and help prolong their nap) by adding this strap once they fall asleep.