I’m only going to talk about car travel. Our plane travel experience with young babies has always been easy. Well, I often wondered how my second child would be different from my first. It turns out (he’s only three months old) that how they travel in the car is one big difference so far. We took a trip from Eastern Washington to the Oregon Coast (southern) when Princess was four months old. 8+ hours on the road one way. She mostly slept.
Little Prince – cries in the car. Hates the car. I can’t imagine an 8 or more hour trip in the car. For the new year we took a trip to Thomasville. 3.5 hours. We traveled at night on the way down. Good call, he slept most of it. On the way back we traveled mid day. He cried for half of it. I considered us lucky.
So far we’ve tried putting up a mirror so he has something to look at. I don’t think it seems to matter much. The mirror plays music though, which seems to help. Except Princess seems to think he doesn’t like music and will tell me for 10 minutes – “No! Stop! Babies don’t like music!” If it’s not one it’s the other!
So my thoughts are: travel at night or during naps when possible. Give yourself plenty of time for several stops. And anyone that has tips for infants that hate the car… please! Leave me a comment!
We recently traveled to Iowa for my side of the families Christmas celebration. That equals 900+ miles and 16ish hours in the car. Our little guy doesn’t seem to mind riding in his car seat so I hoped that trend would continue on our trip. We survived the trip there and back and lived to tell the story. Here are my recomendations.
1. Travel straight through if possible– Yes, you read that correctly. We toyed with the idea of stopping along the way to sleep in a hotel but when we got on the road, we decided to keep on driving. It worked very well. We stopped often enough for me to nurse little guy and let him spend some time not in his car seat, so his day wasn’t all that different than a regular day at home.
2. Stop at well lit truck stops– Truck stops have everything you could possibly need. In most cases they even had fairly clean bathrooms with a nice place to change the baby. And if you happen to want a Mt Dew Code Red at 3am, they probably have that too.
3. Leave early in the day– On the way to Iowa we were supposed to leave around lunch time. Well, hubby got caught up at work so we didn’t leave until after 5:00pm. Needless to say he (since he did most of the driving) was beat when we got to our destination. He was able to sleep for a good 3-4 hours when we got there, so it all worked out.
4. The passenger should sleep!–This was a big mistake I made on trip to Iowa. I thought I would stay awake to keep Hubby company, and enjoy some time together while Eli slept….but ended up being of little help when it came time for me to drive. I only drove a little over an hour on the way there, and couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer!
5. Cat nap in the car– Hubby took a couple naps while I nursed Eli, and once we all snoozed for about a half hour. I reclined my seat and Eli found a comfy spot on my chest.
Even though we had a good trip, we would like to avoid having to drive that far in the future. Since Hubby is a private pilot, and has access to a small plane, we are used to getting to our destination much more quickly, we just weren’t ready to take Eli up in the airplane yet.
I realize that this plan wouldn’t work very well if your child does not like to ride in the car, or if you have more than one kid. I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get there!!