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5 Must-have products for traveling with toddlers

Jessica Watson is a mom to five, four in her arms and one in her heart. She lives in Michigan where her life is as unpredictable as the weather. After the loss of her infant daughter in 2007, Jessica left the corporate world behind, vowe...

Perfect products for toddler travel

Does the thought of that four-hour car ride to your family reunion this summer have you quivering? Toddlers can be a unique bunch to travel with, from potty training fears to the first time they learn to say "are we there yet," you need to be prepared for anything. These five products will save your sanity and reduce your roadside stops.

Remember the days when an adventurous road trip was driving cross-country with nothing more than a good friend, a map and a massive bag of junk food? Now that you have a toddler in tow, you pack more for a two-hour trip to the beach than you do for a week-long vacation. The car ride alone is leaving you with thoughts of swapping your trip for a short walk to the local park. Try these products we love for traveling with toddlers to save your sanity and keep your little one content in the car.

Travel potty seat

Travel potty seat

Are you in the middle of potty training and don't want to lose the progress you've made by putting your little one in a diaper for the long ride? Do you have nightmares over public restrooms, stopping every five seconds and holding a wiggling toddler 10 inches above a germy toilet seat? We absolutely love the Potette Plus from Kalencom. It is portable and comes with disposable, absorbent liners that you just slip over the potty then slip off, tie closed and throw away after your toddler has gone potty.

Snack table

Snack table

If your toddler loves to launch, dump or twirl in the air anything you place in his or her sweet little hands, then this Travel Tray from Munchkin is just the thing you need to prevent flying crackers and crumbs in every nook and cranny of your brand new minivan. The tray is covered with cute characters, has a built-in snack container holder with a no-spill top and, our favorite part, is strapped around your little travelers lap. No more surprise attacks by a soaring bag of cereal!

Do you have a special little traveler? These travel tips for kids with Sensory Processing Disorder might help >>

All-in-one activity

All-in-one activity

Most toddlers love the chance to draw, scribble and doodle on just about anything. Putting crayons or markers in the hands of any little one, regardless of "washable" promises, is a dangerous task. If you are worried about what your little Picasso could do to any surface within reach or just don't want to reach back every five seconds and pick up the latest tool they've dropped, opt for something like this Doodle Pro from Fisher Price. Modeled after the Magna Doodle, it's perfect for little hands. You can satisfy your toddler's urge to create without having to pick up a single crayon or wipe off marker streaks from your window.

Toddler-friendly snack

Toddler-friendly snack

Remember that "no eating in the new car" rule you created before reality set in? We all know it is long gone, and you are roaming the aisles of your grocery store trying to find something that doesn't contain a pound of sugar or a choking hazard to keep your toddler's mouth occupied during those not-so-quiet moments of travel. Toddler Mum-Mums are an ideal traveling snack. Made of natural ingredients and easy to hold for little hands, they are low maintenance for you and your little one. These tasty treats dissolve quickly in your little one's mouth so you don't have to turn your head every second to make sure they've chewed and swallowed safely.

Taking more than just a quick trip, this guide to international travel with babies and toddlers will make planning easier >>

Educational movie

OK, so we all reach that point where we are out of songs, games and stories. Don't feel guilty about turning on a movie, when you reach for something educational like a DVD from the Baby Signing Time collection. You will probably find yourself singing along to the songs in this video series as your little one picks up sign language faster than most adults. Learning sign language the fun way will help your toddler's speech and communication along and leave you with a peaceful ride to any destination.

More on travel

Armchair travel: Top 10 travel blogs we love
Booking your travel: past, present and future
Ready for takeoff: Find a last-minute travel deal

Educational movie

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