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Preventing Travel Sickness in Toddlers

Long summer nights and warm weather weekends are always something to look forward to but there’s one part of it all that we’re not so keen on -  travel sickness.

With long car journeys an inevitable part of the summer for most families, we’ve outlined the top ways for you to prevent travel sickness in toddlers and make the journey more pleasant for everyone.

Reduce the Risk

There are a few basics you can utilise to minimise the risk of symptoms appearing in the first place. Try to time the journey to take place shortly after your child’s naptime, then transfer them to the car seat without waking them up. The motion of the car will often help a drowsy child fall right back to sleep.

You should also avoid any large meals or heavy, greasy food before setting off on your journey. If the journey is long and your toddler gets peckish, keep bland snacks on hand.

Open the car windows (where possible) and dress your child in breathable, loose clothing to make sure they’re comfortable.

Play the Right Notes

Many people mistakenly believe that distracting children with books or puzzle toys will prevent or cure travel sickness, but these can actually make symptoms worse as it confuses the eyes and send the brain conflicting signals.

This is why we would advise to reduce sensory input. Instead, play imagination and “talking” games such as I Spy. You can also tell stories or play a fun CD of well-loved and familiar nursery rhymes for really little ones to keep them entertained. There’s nothing like a singalong to make the time fly!

A sunshade can help to keep them from overheating or squinting and you should also make sure that your toddler’s head is well-supported to enhance the sense of stability. If you have it, utilise the air-conditioning in your car to keep a constant temperature.

Dealing with Symptoms

If symptoms do appear, stay calm and take a short break as soon as possible to give your child the chance to get out the car. Have a gentle walk around or let them sit down with a cool cloth on their forehead until symptoms start to ease. 

You can also give them small sips of water and a handful of dry crackers to snack on. Always keep a spare set of clean clothes and lots of baby wipes to hand to freshen up before getting back in the car.

Many of us will also be travelling with potty-training toddlers this summer. Don’t forget to check out our post on using public toilets with your child to position your trip for the best possible outcome. Happy travels!


The Family Seat is built with an ergonomic, solid construction resulting in a strong, stable seat to give your child confidence during the potty-training process. For advice on any aspect of potty training and for any help purchasing a Family Seat, email our team at .

Family Seat supports the children’s communication charity I CAN, who are experts in helping children to develop the language, speech and communication skills that they need to thrive in our 21st-century world.  We donate 50p to I CAN on each and every seat purchased through the official Family Seat website.


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