Driving with small children

Discussion in 'Canadian Trip Planning & Community Board' started by craz4dogs, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. craz4dogs

    craz4dogs Earning My Ears

    Jan 12, 2007
    My sister is contemplating possibly driving with us but is really hesitating because her son is only going to be 18 months and he is a busy boy.

    Has anyone done it with children between 12-24months and how bad is it? Any good tips?
  2. monkey30

    monkey30 Dreaming of my next vacation!

    Nov 1, 2009
    we have only gone as far as Spokane with our kids, and to be honest the younger one did better then the older ones! It was a 9hr trip, we tried to drive a lot int he early mornings while he would doze, get out play then back on the road. It took longer but with breaks and such it is doable.... Not sure how far it is for you, but I do know its a lot longer then that trip was for us!
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  4. rjan67

    rjan67 Mouseketeer

    Jun 24, 2007
    Yes, I have done it many times. :) When my youngest was 3 months, I needed to sit beside him. As they got older, having lots of activities, watching movies, singing songs, playing their favourite music and planning stops where they can run around (if they are able) - which means a lot of McDonald's playland stops. We have stopped at night and driven through the night.
  5. Reese

    Reese DIS Veteran

    Aug 24, 2005
    We've done it several times with kids of all ages. I love taking the I-75 since there are a lot of clean rest areas, with space to run around. I take a copy of the book with me so I can check for a stop when we need it. We drive straight, usually 23 hours. The one big problem we've found with the younger kids is their legs get sore from hanging. We make sure that we place luggage under them now so the have something to rest on. To make the time go quicker we have a DVD player and also a lot of kid music.
  6. Disney-Chick

    Disney-Chick A Canadian who loves Disney eh!

    Aug 24, 2010
    I have never driven with a infant or toddler for that long of a distance. My daughter is 14 now and was 9 when we started driving (our trip is 36 hours). My thought would be to test the children first. Take them on a 2 hour drive, then a 4 hour drive. That way you will see how they tolerate that. I know how my 2 year old nephew is always on the go and I don't know if he would sit in a car that long. I guess we will find out since my sister is taking him to NB this coming weekend and their destination is right by Main Border (7-8 hour drive). Good luck.
  7. dopeyluvsgrumpy

    dopeyluvsgrumpy Mouseketeer

    Apr 13, 2007
    We drove when our son was3. He did great though we had to make a lot of stops to stretch his little legs. We loaded the dvd player up and he watched movies the whole way down. Now we have a 2 year old and and 8 month old and I personally wouldn't be able to do the drive and keep my sanity. We just got back from a week at the cottage. It was a four hour drive.....going there was great, but the way back was horrible, both cried the whole way home. Basically you have to keep in mind that kids are unpredictable especially young ones and prepare for the worst but hope for the best.
  8. 3pletprincesses

    3pletprincesses DIS Veteran

    Aug 25, 2010
    we drove in May with out 4 yo triplets and it was alot of fun. We kept them busy with movies and toys but at that young age, I would have a good feeling they will me sleeping more then they will be awake. I think they best option is to tdirve as much as possible during night them.
  9. Josh Hendy

    Josh Hendy DIS Veteran

    Apr 12, 2007
    We found that it depends on the kid. One of ours was a bundle of energy when she was a toddler and she really couldn't handle more than an hour and a half sitting in the middle of the back seat. She loved going on the trip and had a great time, but we had to stop frequently to let her run and play and breathe some fresh air. It would have been a big hassle for us if we had really been trying to make time.

    How times change - we actually spent $500 on a portable VCR and mini TV so that the kids could watch movies on long trips. Ouch! But totally worth it circa 2000. Now the kids all have ipods (which they bought themselves) which are loaded up with whatever they want.
  10. iamadisneynut

    iamadisneynut Mouseketeer

    Apr 20, 2011
    I have done it twice with young ones, once when one of my DSD was 2 and once when my DS was 2. And the drive for us is 24 hours and we do a straight drive.

    A dvd player was very helpful, stops to get out and run around, lots of snacks.

    On the first trip I had little bags with different activities for each kid appropriate for their ages, so every so often they could pull out something new to do.

    They slept a lot, the overnight part was difficult with my DS as he had a hard time sleeping in the car for a long stretch, but I'd do it again (and we have but the kids got older!)
  11. MamaLema

    MamaLema DIS Veteran

    May 17, 2004
    We drove when the kids were:

    12 months, 5, and 7 - The baby was a NIGHTMARE the whole drive there and back, and didn't want to be in the car seat at all!

    3, 8, and 10 - amazing! What a difference! you can give them so much more to do and look at.
  12. Teresa Pitman

    Teresa Pitman Disney Grandma

    Aug 29, 2005
    We have done this many times and most of the time it has been fine. But we had two nightmare trips. A couple of years ago, one of the kids got the stomach flu just as we were leaving. We decided to press on. Well, naturally it ended up with all the kids getting sick, and we'd drive for a bit, stop at a gas station so someone could barf, drive a little further, have another kid barf in the car, stop at another gas station to clean up the barf, drive a little further, stop for another kid to barf. And on and on. Kind of a nightmare drive, and they were still a bit queasy for the beginning of the trip (fortunately we had booked twelve days so there was time for everyone to recover!).

    And then this past March we had another horrible drive, this time on the way home. The weather was bad (lots of freezing rain and sleet) so we could only make very slow progress, and when we stopped the kids couldn't play or run around outside because of the weather so they had a lot of pent-up energy. We ended up looking for Targets and Walmarts where they could run up and down the aisles. But they were very cranky and didn't want to be in the car.

    So, just to say - if all goes well, it's really not too bad a drive. But add in a flu virus or a bad patch of weather and it can turn into a nightmare.

  13. LdnCpl

    LdnCpl <font color=blue>We tell ourselves "one day closer

    Sep 15, 2004
    We did it when our son was 9 mths and also when he was 4 yo. I have friends that have done it as well when their kids were in the same age group. Concensus is to drive based on their sleep pattern. In our case it was night time driving. The more they sleep the more km's you can do:lmao:. We prefer to fly but driving down is a great experience. The only thing that sucks is the drive back up to Canada
  14. FrankWDW

    FrankWDW Earning My Ears

    Aug 13, 2011
    We have young children and we have driven through the night to make the drive easier since they sleep through a good portion of the drive. One tip we have is if they get cranky, we give them some Benadryl which pretty much knocks our DS out for a bit.
  15. craz4dogs

    craz4dogs Earning My Ears

    Jan 12, 2007
    Thanks everyone! My sister opted out but we will do it! We did it before when the kids were 5 and 7....this time they are 9 and 11!
  16. candygirlIRE

    candygirlIRE Mouseketeer

    May 8, 2011
    Last year when we drove DS was 4 and DD was turning 10. They were both pretty good. Plan for stops, even if it's just to get a drink not necessarily lunch or anything (we did ice cream). They watched the dvd in the car and it was brilliant... I also had zip bags with little things in for each child for when we made stops --- bag #1 for dd had 5 markers and a small kitty notepad / bag #1 for ds had some hockey cards and a bakugan toy. We had a total of 10 bags for each (5 for the way down - 5 for the way up) and we didn't even need to get through all the bags (we had 4 total left - may save for this trip). I think it does depend on the kid, but we are hoping since they were good last time, they will be the same this time (fingers crossed!!) - we are adding into the mix a nearly 1 year old this time! :rotfl: I must be crazy :rotfl:
    The big thing for our trip this time is rearranging the seating. Usually dd1 is in the back happy with her mp3 in tow, and ds and dd2 are in the middle van seats next to each other. This time we are going to put ds in the back and dd1 and dd2 sitting next to each other so dd1 can help with the baby - sounds like a plan :thumbsup2
  17. katiegirl

    katiegirl Earning My Ears

    May 14, 2010
    Last Nov. we drove and for us it's about 23hrs-ish. Oldest DS was 2 1/2 and the youngest DS 11 months. They were actually great! Lots of extra stops, really helped that oldest was still in diapers though!!!! Our youngest was still rearfacing in his car seat so we had him in one of our captain chairs and had the oldest on the back bench directly behind him, they kept each other entertained for the most part!!! The other thing we did that really helped was that since there were 3 adults (we brought my MOM, best.decision.ever.!!!) :worship:we rotated who would sit in the back with the kids and act as activites coordinator. Only other thing that really made it smooth was a cooler full of snacks, my kids are happy as long as the are eating!!!!!!
    Would definitely drive again!!!!

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