Parenting: in the Car with a Baby and a Toddler

I recently attempted my first journey in the car with Gavin and Gareth despite my concerns about being out with two kids.  Since it was our first time, I decided to take it easy.  I went to pick up Gavin from school with Gareth in tow and then went straight home afterward.  The car ride was pretty uneventful which prompted me to be braver on our second trip.

For our second journey together, I picked up Gavin from school again and added a little side detour to my SIL’s cafe for lunch.  This didn’t go quite as smoothly as the first trip but that was only because Gareth did an explosive poop in his diaper which leaked out the sides and I had to clean it up in the car and was drenched in sweat by the time I was done.  When we finally left the cafe, both kids were tired and cranky and I was feeling rather apprehensive about the drive home.  To my surprise, we got home without any meltdowns.  The ride home was surprisingly pleasant.

Based on my recent experience being out alone with two kids, it hasn’t been quite as bad as I had feared.  That said, to date I have only made three trips so it is perhaps a tad early to be celebrating success.  Additionally, although Gareth sits pretty well in the capsule with minimal fussing, that is probably due to the fact that he is only two months and still sleeps a lot.  We will have to see how things fare when he is older and more awake.

So far, this is what I have learned from experience:

  • Gareth generally doesn’t fuss in the car unless he needs to nurse or his diaper is soiled, therefore, always nurse before the car ride and check his diaper.
  • If the car is in motion, Gareth will usually settle on his own – even if he’s hungry or if his diaper is soiled, however, he will start fussing again when the car is stationary.
  • Gavin likes to sit next to Gareth and I think the presence of his brother next to him is also calming to Gareth.
  • Any fussiness from Gavin can be overcome with an easy bribe like a 100Plus bottle to keep his hands occupied and his bottom firmly in the chair seat.

I have only dared to venture as far as my SIL’s cafe since the venue is familiar and I know I’ll have help if we run into an emergency.  Currently the only potential difficulty I can anticipate us running into if I decide to take them out somewhere else is if I need to take Gavin to the toilet.  I would definitely need to have the pram with us so I have somewhere to place Gareth while I help Gavin.  Secondly, we would be limited to shopping malls that have toilets that will accommodate the three of us plus a pram – namely Pavilion, and the Gardens.  Alternatively, we could just pay a visit to a friend’s house.  Looks like I don’t necessarily have to be under house arrest just because I have two kids.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

2 thoughts on “Parenting: in the Car with a Baby and a Toddler

  1. Good for you!
    As for me….I would prefer NOT to bring both kids out at the same time! I find it too taxing & demanding (even just picking up my son from kindy with the my girl in the carseat!)


  2. Well, Gareth is easy to handle right now – only two months. I’m sure it’ll be a different story when he’s more mobile and curious. I still feel a touch of apprehension when I have to be out with the two of them together but I’m hoping with a bit of experience under my belt, I can anticipate reactions a little better.


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