Cross Country Traveling with a Toddler

After the last few days, I've decided that there are several things I'd rather do than travel with a toddler. Take going to the dentist to get cavities filled, for example. It's not that bad. Or cleaning up kitty barf off of the dining room rug. Yep. I'm sure.

The drive to Michigan is about 12 hours (not including traffic). With extra stops for food and gas it takes considerably longer and we decided about a year ago that we didn't want to do it all in one day anymore. On Christmas day we left our home at about 9am and made it up to Independance, Ohio, where stayed the night. We had Christmas dinner at Denny's (which my husband will tell you is about the most American thing you can do -- just like in the movies!) and we were all in bed by 8pm.

At 1:30am our daughter decided that the hotel was a scary place and that she didn't want to be there anymore. My husband and I took turns rocking, cuddling, watching TV, and soothing her but she wouldn't go back to sleep for anything. She wanted to leave or play... not sleep. At 5am I said let's just leave. We packed up the car, and our stinker little baby girl was asleep before we even hit the highway.

Needless to say, I'm still recovering. I am thankful though that we made the decision to purchase a car DVD system prior to this trip. I feel that it was a lifesaver. Yea, yea, go ahead and say I'm a bad parent for allowing my daughter to watch Disney movies all day -- I don't care. I'm happy that she didn't spend the day crying miserably trying to get out of her carseat. We only plan to use it on long trips anyways... and (I haven't told my husband this yet) once we move back to Michigan I don't think we'll be taking any car trips that are longer than 3-4 hours. I just can't handle it!

We purchases the Philips 7" Dual Screen DVD player (pictured below) for our car. I was super impressed with the high quality picture, sound, and accessibility of this product. When we first talked about buying one I was expecting to drop upwards of $300 on a DVD player, but this one is just over $100 - totally worth it. Besides DVDs, we also entertained AJ with little puzzles and books. For some reason though she didn't want to nap in the car during this trip (even though she falls asleep on most 5 minute drives to the grocery store!)


  1. Poor thing! My little one is three and although she is a pretty good traveler, we have never ventured more than 5 hours away! I can't imagine! I am following you back!

  2. You aren't a bad mommy. DVDs are a lifesaver. And Nintendo DS's when she gets older :)

    Saw you on Hop!


  3. Returning the follow!

    I LOVE our dvd players for long trips! A must with 6 kids!

    I hope you can fulfill your dream of having a large is WONDERFUL, even when you have a bad day you know there is so much love. :)

    Thanks for visiting Six in the Nest!

  4. Thanks for stopping by for a follow.
    Have a great day!

  5. I'm following from the blog hop.
    I'd love a follow back at


  6. Great site!! I am your newest follower via Monday blog hop. I would love if you could follow me back at

  7. if i had a car i would definitely make sure it had those just to save sanity :D

    new follower

  8. Holly, I would do just about ANYTHING to ease the pain of traveling in a car for long distances with a toddler. I am totally getting one of those for the next trip to visit my parents. SESAME STREET DVDs for 5 hours here we come! Merry Christmas :)

  9. My hubby, our at the time 1 year old and myself all moved from our home town of Houston TX to Phoenix AZ. We moved in a U haul towing our car. It was DREADFUL!!! We also bought a portable DVD player for Alie. We ALSO stopped just out side of ElPaso TX when I had a nervous breakdown over sleep and Alie didn't sleep well either. OH did I mention we brought out 22 pound cat who was wedge in a carrier behind my seat in the U haul! OH and did I mention he POOPED in his carrier not 20 minutes into the road trip! I totally feel ya! I would be perfectly fine if we never took that trip again!

  10. thanks for the follow, now following you back!

    using a DVD player for long rides is NOT bad parenting! Its a LIFESAVER! and kudos to you for getting through that trip and retaining your sanity!

  11. That's tooooo.... funny! Sounds just like one of our "road" trips! Ugh... But hey, I'm so with you on the DVD thing. We use ours on trips too and I just don't think we'd make it if we didn't! :)

    Cute blog... Thanks for stopping by.... I'm a new follower!

  12. Thanks for stopping by! Now following you as well!

  13. Returning the follow! We have 3 teenagers but I remember those days... we had 3 kids under 2 1/2 years old... ~ Ellen

  14. Thank you for visiting our blog. we are new followers and look forward to catching up on your posts

  15. Happy New Year!

    I found you while blog hopping! I'm your newest follower!


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