Since we live in the Mountains, driving anywhere outside of town is a production. Think long, windy roads with lots of twists and turns. It’s enough to make my stomach turn if I’m not driving, and both Zoë and Kaylee get carsick nearly every time we drive up or down the mountain.
We have been trying one thing after another to prevent them from getting car sick, and trying to perfect how we can make them feel better when they do get sick. I want to share some of the tips that have helped us get through carsickness – let’s just hope they outgrow this phase!
Timing is Everything
I have learned that we have to plan our departure based upon the girls’ natural cycles. Waking them up early and putting them in their seats still in their PJs works great since they often fall back asleep. Leaving the house right at quiet time often has the same effect.
It’s never a good idea to leave after they’ve had a big meal. Yes, I have made that mistake more than once. Even if the timing that works for them doesn’t coincide with our needs to be somewhere, we still try to follow their natural rhythms. We can always leave early and stop somewhere along the way for family fun.
Plan Distractions and Diversions
While I do have to focus very carefully on the road when I’m driving, I find that talking with the girls and playing silly games during the drive helps distract them. Most of the time Zoë does not like when I sing, so if I start singing in the car she either thinks it’s great and hilarious, or she’s busy telling me to stop. Either way, it takes her attention away from potentially getting sick.
Ginger Really Helps
You’ve probably heard that Ginger settles bellies, but it also seems to deter the girls from getting really sick. Lucky for me, both girls love ginger. I had a couple tins of Newman’s Own Organics Ginger Mints, so I started bringing them with us on road trips. If I slowly hand them out to the girls during the drive, we can usually make it up or down the mountain without any significant incidents. Small sips of ginger ale are another great option.
Keep the Air on or Windows Down.
It’s amazing what fresh air can do. I’ve noticed if I keep the windows rolled down or the air conditioner on, it tends to ward off the carsickness to some degree. If it’s cold out and the heater is on, the carsickness tends to creep up much more often, and more quickly.
Just Pull Over
If one of the girls starts acting funny, gets really quiet or says their belly hurts, we pull over. Like as soon as there is a turn out. If we wait too long, we’re sure to have a sick girl. If we can pull over fast enough and let her get out of the truck for some fresh air, it’s usually enough to avert the actual physical car sickness.
Pack Extra Clothes
It’s inevitable. At least one of them will get sick at least half of the time. I have learned to pack at least 3 outfits for each girl when we go off the mountain so they can feel fresh. I also pack plenty of our favorite baby wipes and plastic bags to store any soiled clothes in.
Guard the Special Blankies
If Kaylee doesn’t have her red blankie, well, you don’t even want to see how that goes. So, if I feel like she’s going to get car sick I have to take it away immediately. If she does get sick and the blankie gets dirty, it’s not good for anyone. Protecting the lovies is key.
Give Accupressure a Try
I have never tried acupressure bracelets before as a friend just told me about them. But they’re on my list of things to try.
Carsickness isn’t fun for anyone. But if you can take a step back and realize that it’s much harder on the person who’s getting carsick than it is on you, you can show some compassion and help them get through it. Working together as a family to meet everyone’s needs is key.