Guest Author - Megan Faulkner
This is the time of year that many families gather together with friends and extended relatives. While it can be a very fun and exciting time for families with young children, it can also be very stressful. In order to reduce stress, there are several things to keep in mind as you plan your trip. Here are some helpful tips to surviving long holiday road trips with your children.
When taking long car trips with young children, be sure to give yourself plenty of time. The more time you can give yourself the better. When traveling with kids, it is not uncommon to have to make many, many stops. Sometimes these stops can be planned for, but other times they will catch you off guard, like a sudden bout of car sickness. It will be easier on you and your child if you can take your time and try to enjoy the ride, regardless of the number of stops required.
Speaking of making stops on your trip, as much as possible, plan for stops along your route. It can be hard for people of any age to sit in a car for hours and children are no exception. Don�t just plan stops to make a quick run to the restroom and grab a bite to eat. Slow things down and give your kids time to stretch and have a change of pace. Some of our favorite stops are restaurants with playgrounds or coffee shops with over sized comfy chairs. These make a great place to cuddle with baby and to reconnect during long trips. These are also handy places to stop if you are a nursing mother.
Not all mothers are comfortable nursing in the middle of the coffee shop. If you find you would like more privacy, you may want to pack your car in a way that leaves a comfy seat open just for you and baby. Nursing in the driver�s seat can result in feeling cramped and having a distracted baby (the front seat can be pretty interesting for little ones!). If you have a more comfortable spot set up, you can nurse in the car without having to get all of the children out of the car. This can also come in handy when the baby makes an �unscheduled� demand to nurse or cuddle.
The most important thing to remember as you are traveling this season is to try to relax and enjoy the ride. This time of year can be stressful on everyone, but a calm parent can keep the kids from bearing the brunt of any road-trip stress that may arise. Make sure you keep the focus on the joy that surrounds you this holiday season.