Six things to make your road trip with toddler fun
We covered 3681 kilometers in our Honda Jazz with Ovee in this Pune-Rajasthan-Pune road trip. She is 1.9 years old -an age when they are fidgety and constantly want to be on their toes. We had our apprehensions, but they gradually faded away.
1. First things first...the baby ought to have a car seat to itself.
We placed the car seat at the back in the centre. I used to sit next to her on the left, while the seat behind the driver was reserved for her toys and food.We kept Ovee's favourite toys and books handy near the car seat so that she could be easily entertained. It was like her play area in the car. First couple of days of the journey, we let her decide where she wanted to sit, giving her subtle hints that car seat would be fun with the toys around. On day 1, she must have sat in it for 40 per cent of the time. After three-four days she realised it was more fun in the car seat and she preferred it to my lap.
2. Take frequent halts...once every 2.5 - 3 hours
We stopped the car that frequently for chai and loo break. She ran around the hotel for a while, shared chai with us. I used that time to change her diapers and we were fresh and ready to be in the car again.
3. Keep a favourite snack handy, a healthy snack.
We kept fresh fruits and wheat puffs -Ovee's favourite snack with us all the time. Halfway through the trip, the wheat puffs were getting over and we saw it would be tough time to complete the remaining trip without them. So we got them couriered from Pune to our next destination.
4. Brushing teeth on a highway and changing nappies on the roadside.
Since we began our journeys early morning, we used to bathe Ovee the previous evening and then carry her from the bed directly in the car the next morning. Since it was cold, it saved her the ordeal of taking a bath in the morning and allowed her more sleep. We brushed her teeth on the highways and changed her nappies anywhere -from our car, restaurant loos, roadside open areas to plush hotel rooms. In our case, she adjusted to all of it very well.
Tip: Carry a chatai and a swaddler with you for nappy changing.
5. Maintain hygiene
Although it sounds difficult to maintain cleanliness in all this fuss, it is not really difficult, We carried a crate of 12 bottles of mineral water from Pune and used only that water for Ovee -to brush her teeth, to drink and sometimes even to wash hands. I kept a bottle of hand sanitizer and wet tissues in the car, in my purse, in Ovee's diaper bag and made sure to use them before feeding her, before and after changing diapers and so on. Remember, only a a healthy kid is a happy kid!
6. Site seeing for you and the kid
Most places we chose to visit were such that they would be fun for us as well as Ovee. In an exceptional case, if one was fun for us, the next would be fun for her. For instance, Ovee got frustrated at the Vintage car museum in Udaipur, so our next place of visit was the Udaipur zoo where she calmed a bit.
Next: Rajasthan without Jain temples and forts