Improving the Discussion: Working Mom’s Guide to Car Travel

Recently, I realized in the midst of the stay at home (SAH) mom and working mom (WM) debate, that we really should learn from each other.  With that, I am starting a new series on travelling with tips from my SAH friends and the working mom tips.  Using what we are both experts at, for us to all be better. I have mastered cranky baby car travel, because little miss and I have a minimum 40 minute commute home each day at 5:30 when she is both hungry and tired.  In addition, our family doesn’t live nearby and I have made the 4.5 hour drive home by myself in rush hour traffic, making it a 6+ hour drive.  And, I did it without breaking a sweat. I have all the items mentioned on my Pinterest page.

#1: Stock Food/Snacks/Drinks in the Car – I pack a cooler with drinks, and then I give toddlers milk in the Thermos Funtainer (these are the best – they keep beverages cold for 8 hours) I like the ones with the straw.  I buy the Organic Horizons milk that doesn’t have to be refrigerated and store in the cooler.  I keep bottled water in the cooler and then fill up the First Years Take and Toss Spill Proof cups for the Baby.  For snacks I bring boxes of what they like and for the older child I put them in one of the spill proof cups sans lid and the baby I use the Munchkin snack catcher.  I keep pouches of vegetable and fruit blends for the older one and for the baby when we stop.  (If flying – same concept smaller size and leave everything unopened and empty before security). Invest in rubber mats for your car.  You can just dump crumbs off them, and if there is a milk spill, wet wipes work. J

#2: The Tunes – I have the iPod loaded with what my mother now calls the “Magic” music – you know the songs you put on and your kids start singing and dancing no matter how ill, tired, etc.. they are.  For us , this is Friday Night by Eric Paslay and Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy by Big and Rich.   Nursery Rhymes and Disney Soundtracks also work, but Mr. Southern and I like to include music we like, too.  Include nap inducing music (for us this is classical music)

#3: The Shows – While the baby naps, I give my 4-year-old my Kindle with headphones to watch a downloaded movie.  I recommend teaching them how to troubleshoot the application.  And also reminding them, to remove headphones before talking – otherwise they will wake the baby.

#4 The Games – Yes, even the baby can play a game (or feel like they are playing the game).  I like to play “I Spy” with things in the car, looking for a colored car, etc… To include the baby, we spy her and on her turn we ask her to find things she knows (like her hair or her nose)

#5 The Stories – I am sure, you have books that you have read so many times – you can recite … we do that in the car (Ex: Brown Bear What Do You See? By Eric Carle)  And we make up stories.  Each taking a turn and for the baby – we just make her a character.

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