July 3, 2013
How To Take a Road Trip with a Baby
Recently, my little family took our first very long road trip. It was about 17 hours each way. We drove for a total of 4 full days...with a baby...in our smallish vehicle...filled to the top with suitcases and supplies.
I was so nervous about the trip.
I prepared myself mentally that we would be stopping every hour.
I prepared myself to listen to a lot of crying/whining.
I was not exactly looking forward to the drive.
I got some advice from other, more experienced moms. This has proven to be my best source of information and help when it comes to "tricks of the trade".
They suggested occupying Baby Boy's time with three main things:
3. New, never before seen toys
I also brought along all of his favorite books and a few favorite toys.
We took a special trip to Target just find some new toys in the dollar bins and we also got some with lights and buttons and noise (my least favorite type) and packed them in the car with easy access for the trip.
These methods worked wonders. I kept a stash of cheddar Goldfish and a sippy cup for whiny moments. I introduced new toys when we could not stop to get out. We took nice, long breaks at state parks or local attractions along the way (shopping!). We ate picnic lunches where Baby Boy could run around instead of being made to sit in a highchair at a restaurant. And he actually did take long naps, which was wonderful!
Actually, the last hour of the trip home was the longest for this mom and dad...but Baby Boy was perfectly content playing with a cell phone.
All said and done, we'll do it again. I think it's easier than flying because when my baby is crying, nobody is there to give a nasty look, you know, the shut-your-kid-up-and-give-us-all-some-peace look. I hate that look. It stresses me out. And we didn't have to worry about carrying all that extra baby stuff through the airport, in and out of security, on and off different connecting flights, etc.
A longer trip, yes.
A more stressful trip, no.
It was much better than I had anticipated.
We're already planning our next road trip! :-)