Dealing With Fussy Toddlers During a Road Trip

While flights are still largely out of the question due to the continuing health crisis, your travel-happy family can start planning a road trip for when the situation begins to calm down.

That said, if you’re reading this article chances are you’re planning a trip with a fussy toddler in tow. Travelling can be a stressful experience in itself, but as we pointed out in ‘20 Toddler Travel Essentials’, proper preparation is the key to making any trip with your family as meaningful and relaxed as possible.

Without further ado, read below for some top tips to help deal with your toddlers on a road trip!

Toddler road trip tip #1 Don’t be afraid to drive at night

Driving at night can give you and your partner some relaxing quiet time while the little ones are asleep! Driving through the night helps toddlers keep track of their sleep schedule; this is better than waking your toddler up super early and hoping they’ll get some shut-eye (often they won’t). The Pottery Barn Kids chamois blanket is perfect as it will help keep your baby warm and snuggled up in their car seat.

By taking the time beforehand to plan when you’ll be driving and resting, you’re able to take into consideration your toddler’s own sleep schedule and build around it.

Just make sure you’re not driving while drowsy: it’s best to break your trip up into manageable sections than to spend more time than necessary on the road.

Toddler road trip tip #2 Take walks often

Getting some fresh air is good for everyone, and might be the cure your toddlers need when they’re getting a bit antsy. Stopping at a nearby park or town to do a bit of exploring can do you a world of good.

Of course, if you are on the move you are going to want a versatile pushchair. iCandy’s in-depth guide to pushchairs explains how a travel system will often include compatible car seat adaptors. This allows the car seat to be taken out of the car and simply clipped into pushchair’s frame to form a stroller, saving time and more importantly space.

Travel-friendly pushchairs also need adequate sun protection and the ability to recline should your infant want to have a nap. While it’s important to invest in a slim, portable stroller, these additional features can help make your little one that much more comfortable (and potentially a lot less fussy)!

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A quick walk is a time to stretch your legs and give the whole family a quick energy boost. A pushchair designed for travelling will ensure that this short break is never a source of stress – especially if you can put your infant back in the car without taking them out of the seat!

Toddler road trip tip #3 Bring lots of entertainment

It’s better to be safe when it comes to packing enough entertainment for your trip. Aside from their favourite stuffed toys and puzzles, you should also bring along a show your toddlers can watch (if you have a DVD player in your car) and a fun music album to listen to.

And don’t forget your arsenal of low-budget activities that your family can do: having fun scavenger hunts, singing songs to pass the time, or just simple storytelling.


While the safest thing to do is to stay at home during this time, you can certainly start planning your next road trip. Indeed, all this extra planning time can help you prepare for the perfect road trip with fussy toddlers! It’ll be a challenge, to be sure, but the payoff is meaningful family time and lots of fun.

For more toddler travel tips head on over to our toddler travel home page


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