Travelling in the car with your toddler (and maintaining your sanity)

As every parent knows, toddlers can be very squirmy. They get bored easily and they want to be the boss. So it is no surprise that so many small children dislike staying in their car seats. It is extremely important that your child be securely fastened in the proper size car seat or booster seat each time you get into the car.

But you can make his ride (and yours) more pleasant by making a few changes keep your restless little ones safely belted in their seats and make everyone's trip more enjoyable:

  • Act out a practice run at home using their favourite toy or stuffed animal. You can belt them into their own car seat and take them off for a pretend drive. Children love make-believe games and talking about safety rules as you play, even with the youngest children, will reinforce the importance of buckling up.
  • Provide each child with a bag for some special items to be used only in the car. Things you might want to include are a tape player and tapes, a picture book and a special toy that is quiet and not annoying to the driver or other passengers.
  • Carry (non-messy) drinks and snacks, such as juice boxes, rice cakes, bagels, cereal and muesli bars.
  • Keep a supply of 'emergency' items in the car.
  • Stock up with wet wipes, nappies, plasters, bottled water, lightweight blanket, torch, etc.
  • Place a vinyl tablecloth or a large towel over the back seat to protect your car from spillages and crumbs. Then you will be able to relax and not worry about the mess the kids are making.
  • For long trips, travel late at night or very early in the morning to take advantage of the time your child is normally sleeping. However, late night or very early morning are the times when people suffer a natural slump in their alertness and it's advised not to drive then if it can be avoided. The driver should be fully rested before they undertake a long journey.
  • Stop every two hours or so and let your kids get out of the car and run around. Play areas are great for blowing off some steam.
  • Stop at family-friendly restaurants.
  • Give your children positive praise to help reinforce their good behaviour in the car.

Don't ever gamble with your child's life make it a hard and fast family rule that the vehicle doesn't move unless all occupants have their seat belts on.

This post is sponsored by Hyundai Genuine Parts. For more information please visit their website here

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