The younger the kid, the more items you need to bring along to make life a little bit easier. That being said, traveling with Alex and Abby was easier when he was younger than 1 year compared to his 1 to 2 year old self.
Car Seat: Alex travels in Abby in his car seat. Besides being legally required and the fact Abby is essentially a giant fiberglass box, what other reasons does one really need? Alex is a curious little boy and climbs around non-stop while we are camping, he would be thrilled to be able to be up front in a prime viewing seat. Just too much chance for serious injury. Alex’s car seat provides protection.
The car seat is stored in the driver’s seat when we stop and camp. This has two benefits. First, it is out of the way. Second, it keeps Alex from climbing into the driver’s seat and flashing Abby’s high beams at the poor folks camped across from us. Alex really likes the driver’s seat because of all the buttons and knobs to with which to fiddle.
Sleeping: Alex slept in this Fisher-Price Rock-‘n-Play Sleeper up to approximately 8 months in age. We LOVED this sleeper. Folded up compact and fit in the drop down bunk above the cab and had a very small foot print. This sleeper easily fit near the sleeper sofa and the dogs had the dinette benches to sleep on. Wins all around.
Then Alex got too big and too mobile to safely use the sleeper. So we changed to the Pack ‘n Play. More room for Alex means more room needed for the Pack ‘n Play. We actually fold down the dinette and place the Pack ‘n Play on top; it takes up 2/3 of the dinette sleeping space. Now only one dog can sleep on the available bench. It is also a pain to break down the dinette nightly and put it back up in the morning. Oh, and the TV has to be unplugged because Alex and reach up and turn it on. And the light bulbs need to be taken out of the kitchen light because he can reach the switch. Minor, nerve grating points.
Our troubles with the Pack ‘n Play will soon be a thing of the past since Alex is now getting too big for that. We will be investigating new sleeping arrangements – the current top contender is Dave sleeping on the top bunk and Alex sleeping with Jess on the fold out sofa. We are looking to add a barrier to the front of the top bunk so Alex can safely sleep up there by himself. This will require Dave’s tools, which happen to be in our storage trailer, which, at this time, is still located in upstate NY.
Clothes/Diapers: Little baby, small clothes, many more items that can be packed in the same space as the larger, bulkier, toddler clothes. Same for diapers. With diapers, we have a small shelf that can fit about 32 diapers and a package of wipes next to the TV. Extra diapers are stored under the sofa. A project is in the works to make this into a more accessible storage space. Found these organizers on Amazon for storing Alex’s clothes. Purchased three. They work very well and we are pleased with them. They take up the large cabinet above the dinette bench next to the fridge. Overall, the system works well.
Toys: This was one that was much easier when Alex was less mobile. A limited selection of toys was required since Alex slept a good portion of the day. As he has gotten older, a more diverse set of toys is required to hold his interest over his waking hours. We have blocks, puzzles, magnets, books, crayons, paper, trucks, trains, and stuffed animals. Our current storage system is less than ideal: center cabinet above dinette and the dinette bench while underway, cab when stopped. Include the fact that Alex is very mobile and likes to dump his blocks, poor Abby is brimming with chaos.