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Road Tripping with Toddlers

Man-cub J plus daddy and I just finished moving to the midwest. We spent 17 hours total stuck seat belted in a car. Let me tell you…it’s no party. We decided to leave early in the morning (4:40 a.m. to be exact) to beat the morning traffic. I thought that man-cub J would sleep for a few hours but he didn’t. He did really well just eating some cereal in the back seat for the first hour. After that I moved to sit in the back with him and that’s when things went downhill. I had purchased some cheap but super cool toys from a local thrift store. Man-cub J was excited about them for about an hour and then lost interest. We still had 16 hours to go. Somehow we made it through.

Here are some tips I learned along the way.
1. Thrift store toys are the way to go
My mom is really sweet and bought some toys from the dollar store for man-cub J. They were simple things like a flash light and some animal books but man were they effective. Man-cub J had never held a flashlight before and he was in awe of it. He also loved me reading the books over and over again and still likes them today.
I also purchased some used toys at a local thrift store. His favorite was a toy cash register. It had a calculator and a money drawer that opened when you pushed a button. Super cool. I also found this toy steering wheel that had buttons to stop and go and turn and also turn on the radio. That toy was a little bit too big for him, but he still enjoyed it. 
2. Get them snacks that will stop them up
At first I wanted to bring snacks that would keep them from getting constipated like fruit cups, but on that particular week man-cub J had diarrhea. I didn’t want to stop to change his diaper 8 times a day so I bought snacks that would stop him up a little like cheese sticks, apple sauce, and crackers. 
3. Get them out of the car-seat every time you stop
The saddest part of the trip was when man-cub J had just HAD it and he would put his little arms up for us to take him out. Of course we didn’t because we were driving but I felt so bad for him. It would be hard not knowing whats going on or how long the trip is going to take. I would take him out of his car seat every time we stopped even just so he could have a little stretch break. 
4. Switch off
By the time we hit 14 hours I was so done trying to entertain man-cub J. It is draining. Daddy was sick of driving too, so we switched off. After about two hours he wanted to switch back. He said that driving was easier than trying to entertain man-cub J. He was right. The break was nice though and I was able to stay calm for the last couple hours. 
5. Fly…Just do it
If flying is faster then do it. Save yourself hours of pain.

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