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Tuesday Travels: 5 Tips for Road Trip Solace with Toddlers

tuesday travelsWelcome to Tuesday Travels, a weekly series at Traveling with Baby.  This season, my son and I are excited about sharing some local day trips and field trip ideas for families with little ones.  This weekly series will also feature travel tips for families with kids-in-tow and related product reviews and giveaways.  I enjoy hearing about your traveling adventures, too.

Don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing’s gonna be alright!

After going on several road trips with my son from the time he was two months old to twenty-two months old, I learned a few things that  help keep my toddler content on long journeys.

1. Traveling at night is conducive to keeping a baby happy–before he was a year old, our son would sleep while we drove.  Only problem, when we arrive at our destination er-lie in the morning, baby would wake up at his normal wake time while my husband and I were only 4 hours in to our rest.  Thus, our sleep-wake schedules were completely wasted for the next 48 hours.  I recommend, instead, driving by day, and stopping at a decent hour.

2. Pack plenty of healthy snacks to keep a baby content, especially those with high metabolism, like my son! We like to pack cheese sticks, yogurt, apples, bananas, or gorp.

3. Pack a few books or toys, and pass them out sparingly to decrease boredom. Our son loves Dr. Seuss, or books with lots of pictures.  Every few hours, I hand him a different toy car or book to help him pass the time.

4. Play games. Our son’s really into cars and trucks.  He won’t cease to point out every. single. one. that passes us on the highway.  Sometimes, when he just can’t take being in the car seat anymore, we’ll point out trucks, or red cars.  He’ll join in with eager excitement.  Sometimes we’ll point out trees, bridges, buildings, mountains, or other cool sights along the way.

5. Play tunes to set the mood, whether it’s playtime or sleepy time. We’ll play calm and soothing music around his standard nap time. As another way to encourage playtime while he’s strapped to a car seat, we play fun and upbeat music that keeps Calvin’s hands clapping and toes tapping.

trampolineDriving rhythms set the tone for the album from the first track “Imagination” with bright brass band embellishes and a nod to Fiddler on the Roof.  An album laced with novel lyrics and meditative prose celebrating children’s curiosity and innocence.  “Lory Loves Flowers” hearkens Acadiana-influence with a rousing beat and happens to be my son’s favorite track on the album.  My Trampoline is available for $15.50 on Minivan Productions or $16.98 on Amazon.

asheba4Rich calypso rhythms and a tapestry of stories intertwined in song. Check out Asheba’s version of some kids classics interlaced in original island-inspired tunes.  Venture to the Carribean on your next road trip with In the Kid Zone.  It’s available for $13 on CDBaby.

hot peas n' butterLet language immersion begin with a bilingual CD full of spicy guitar and buttery smooth vocals in Best of the Bowl, Volume 5 by Hot Peas n’ Butter.   Check out this yummy album and download all the lyrics for free on www.hotpeasnbutter.com for $12.95, or on Amazon.

CaribbeanPlaygroound Unique flavors of the Caribbean beckon you to play in the sun.  “Three Little Birds” sets a cheery and relaxing tone.  The strong vocals and harmonies of tunes like “All Aboard” and others round out another fabulous compilation from Putumayo Kids available also on Amazon.

labor day giveawayAs part of the Labor Day Giveaway on Traveling with Baby, you can achieve road trip contentment by grooving with your kids to the catchy tunes on some amazing albums.


Two winners will take home acopy of Putumayo Kids Carribean Playground CD (retail value $14.98).

Two of you could win your own copy of Peter Himmelman’s My Trampoline CD (retail value $13).

Two winners will enjoy jamming to Asheba’s In the Kid Zone CD (retail value $13).

Two winners will groove to the latest album by Hot Peas n’ Butter, Best of the Bowl, Volume 5 (retail value $15.98).

(Primary entry method, this must be completed first!) Leave a comment describing your best tip for entertaining or calming kids on a road trip.  Also, tell me your CD preference.


  • Earn two additional entries by blogging about the giveaway and linking to Traveling with Baby using “Road Trip Music Giveaway” as the title in your blog’s post.  Then, leave two comments here with a link to your post.
  • Earn two additional entries by subscribing to Traveling with Baby’s RSS feed.  Leave (two) comments stating that you’re subscribed.
  • Earn another entry by following me (drdolly) on Twitter and tweeting this contest with the following RT @drdolly Win award-winning children’s albums on Traveling with Baby! http://wp.me/p4s6M-Mr Leave a comment with the weblink to your tweet.
  • Earn another entry by adding Traveling with Baby’s button to your website/blog.

Leave a valid e-mail address, so I can contact you to claim your prize, or it’ll go to another amazing person.  The contest is open to U.S. shipping addresses only.

This contest runs until 11:59PM (EST) on September 14th, 2009.

Two winners will be randomly selected (via random.org) and announced on this post and e-mailed sometime shortly after September 14th. If a winner doesn’t respond within 72 hours, a new winner will be selected.


Congrats to the winners:

Peter Himmelman // My Trampoline: #6 Carlita, #8 Amy P

Hot Peas n Butter // Best of the Bowl, Vol. 5: #20 Julie, #1 Leslie

Asheba // In the Kid Zone: #13 – Shawn, #41 dianad

Putumayo Kids // Carribean Playground: #6 Carlita, #10 Jessica

–By Dr. Dolly
Subscribe // Twitter me: drdolly

47 Responses

  1. Best travel tip to calm kids on a road trip: Benadryl? JUST KIDDING! We actually desperately need some help in that area because our little ball of energy hates to be confined in his car seat and will cry for the duration of the trip and never sleep! We bring a portable DVD player and buy a new DVD with music, such as The Wiggles, to entertain him. Maybe when he’s older he can watch an entire movie? Something he never does any other time.

  2. My tip is to buy cheapo dollar store toys to play with. Novel and cheap! I would love this: Putumayo Kids Carribean Playground

  3. subscribe #1

  4. subscribe #2

  5. My traveling with kids tip is leave early in the morning or semi-late at night if you have a long ways to drive. That way the kids can sleep in the car! Bring lots of pillows!

  6. my best tip is to play my daughter’s favorite cds and sing along. i think it amuses her, and keeps us moving along the road 😉

    i think i would like the putamayo cd if i win, but i’m not super preferential.

  7. my daughter always relaxes when we sing or i read her a book. also i would like the jamming to Asheba’s In the Kid Zone CD

  8. subscribe to your feed 1

  9. subscribe to your feed 2.

  10. My best defense against a fussy baby on the road is 1) her light up/song singing toy that hangs on the back of the front seat chair, and 2) her other Putumayo CDs! Especially the Bongo Bong song. She lovvvves that one! 🙂 I would love to have another Putumayo CD!

  11. We would love to try Asheba’s In the Kid Zone CD. When I am traveling alone with my little guy I keep a supply of toys in the front seat so when he loses a toy I have one close at hand instead of fishing around in the back seat. Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. For a long car ride, I make sure we have lots of toys and snacks to keep her occupied! We play games when she’s bored, and sing songs that she loves…over and over again. Sometimes I have her look for trucks, we have lots of huge trucks driving through on our interstates! I’d love to try the Putumayo CD!!!

  13. I subscribe. 1

    mainlandmama at gmail dot com

  14. I subscribe. 2

    mainlandmama at gmail dot com

  15. tweet

  16. i like to make grab bags full of surprises to entertain them on trips and i choose the Carribean Playground

  17. Music works pretty well…especially if the whole family sings along. Our favorite cd is one called lullaby island by julia norton.

  18. It’s not brilliant, but when I’m really desperate, I give the toddler my keys to play with. We also play his Music Together CDs and he loves them. I”d love to win the Caribbean Playground CD (European Playground is another of his faves).

  19. I like Hot Peas and Butter

    We entertained our kids by bringing along books,music,snacks and getting out of the car for time to run around 🙂

  20. # 1 feed subscriber through Google Reader

  21. # 2 feed subscriber through Google Reader

  22. I would say a DVD player..LOL,(I have 5 kids all younger than 10, so a DVD player in the car is a bit of sanity in the craziness that is a road trip) but if you want to go non video, crayons and books are great for entertaining kids. Also small toys that they can play with on their laps (matchbox cars, small barbie type dolls, etc)

  23. I subscribe to your feed

    (and I forgot to list my CD preference above, so I will list it here, I would LOVE Hot Peas and BUtter)

  24. Subscribed through google

  25. Daddy’s cell phone. Although, I have been hearing that it isn’t safe for children to play with them…so we also bring small toy cars and trucks, snacks, drinks, and we sing!

  26. I subscribe via rss feed
    entry 1

  27. I subscribe via rss feed
    entry 2

  28. Last year we drove to Florida for 18 hours with my 8 months old daughter! I brought a lot of small toys, books and snacks for her, which really helped a lot when she gets fussy. Music and singing helped a lot too. She loves barney songs!

    I think my daughter would like the Putumayo Kids CD. She loves music that sung by kids.

  29. subscriber #1

  30. subscriber #2

  31. twitter follower and tweeted

  32. On a road trip, I bring LOTS and LOTS of new snacks for our daughter.

    Putamayo would be my choice.

  33. I’m subscribed via RSS 1

  34. Subscribed via RSS 2

  35. Stickers are my best friend on road trips! I let my older daughter have a couple of sheets and she amuses herself decorating the car and herself (of course!). They’re easy to clean up and very funny to see the end result when you’ve reached your destination. Just be sure the stickers are easy for kids to peel. It defeats the purpose if you have to peel them for your kids!
    I’d love to have the Putumayo Kids Carribean Playground or the Hot Peas & Butter CD.

  36. For kids past the toddler, the best thing is to play games, like the alphabet game. You have to find a word starting with each letter of the alphabet, in order. This takes forever because of letters like J and Y, and keeps them completely occupied.

  37. I pack little trinkets for my daughter to unwrap, small things that will keep her busy like post-its, model magic, or stickers. We’d love to win the Putumayo Caribbean Playground CD.
    Thanks! foxsquirrelrabbit at gmail dot com

  38. I subscribe with Google Reader #1
    Thanks! foxsquirrelrabbit at gmail dot com

  39. I subscribe with Google Reader #2
    Thanks! foxsquirrelrabbit at gmail dot com

  40. My daughter-in-law seems to calm them by letting them watch or play a video game. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.

  41. My daughter is a toddler so usually all it takes on a road trip is toddler music and her binky! Since my daughter is half jamaican, i would have to chose the Putumayo Kids Carribean Playground CD

    sweetbabycakesnmore @ yahoo

  42. Subscribe to feed entry 1

    sweetbabycakesnmore @ yahoo

  43. Subscribe to feed entry 2

    sweetbabycakesnmore @ yahoo

  44. We never forget his favorite blankie (in addition to cuddling, it’s good as a sunshade if Mommy forgets to reposition the window shade!)

  45. My tip is to take familiar items from their room whether it is a favorite stuffed animal or a blanket. I would love to win the Hot Peas and Butter cd. Thank you.

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