traveling with infant

Beth - posted on 12/15/2010 ( 31 moms have responded )

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Does anyone have advice on taking long car trips with a 3 mo old? Should we drive through the night or leave first thing in the morning? I'll be traveling 5 hours with a dog too. I haven't stressed too much about doing new things with the baby, I'm just afraid to start the holidays sleep deprived. Any help is appreciated!

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Laura - posted on 12/17/2010

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i did a 13 hour trip from maine to maryland when my daughter was 8 weeks. at that age they sleep alot and the way we did it was, the car was packed and ready to go the night before. as soon as she woke up i nursed and we got right on the road. she happily played till she feel asleep, when she woke up we pulled off and nursed, we walked around for a bit and then got back on our way and the same thing repeated. we didnt get into trouble till around hour 9, when she was uncomfortable, i was tired and stressed and we still had 4 hours to go. i think a five hour would be just right.
i wouldnt do the night thing unless you are going through a major city and expect workday traffic. you want a good nights rest just in case things go wrong.

Kirstin - posted on 12/15/2010

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My 3 month old traveled better than I did. We traveled mostly at night from Texas to Cali and made it in 24 hours stopping for short breaks and to nurse. Its truley not that bad. Everyone scared me into thinking it would be horrible but we have gone on to make several cross country trips...

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Jenny - posted on 12/31/2010

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Yes, I do. We travel a lot! Travel when your baby normally takes a nap. You can buy a mirror and strap it to your seat so your baby can see himself. They sell them at Target. Play soothing music in the car. Hope this helps.

Tracey - posted on 12/29/2010

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Hi, you have probably been there and done that by now, but i travelled with my little boy and husband last christmas, LO was 2 months old, he slept most of the way and i was lucky that he would go 3 hours between feeds, draw back was that he was a long feeder would be on the boob for about 1 hour so had to factor that into a normally 12hour trip. we did it though, ended up stopping for the night in a motel to get some rest before we hit the husbands family, had to show the LO off to his great grandmother and stayed the night there before we travelled on again to the husbands mothers home (LO's grandma). Best suggestion is feed on LO's normal schedule and take your time, and good luck, don't rush the journey.

Melissa - posted on 12/26/2010

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Yep, 3 months is a breeze compared to the future months. I took my daughter at 2 months to Tx, 8 months to San Francisco, 14 months to FL, and 19 months back to TX. 19 months has definitely been the hardest! I wish you the best!

Ruth - posted on 12/23/2010

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it all depends on how your baby travels at different times of the day, my little girl doesnt like to travel in the car at night so we always go first thing in the morning,we find that for most of the trip she will sleep but will wake up when we stop for a break so she can have a feed and a cuddle

Melanie - posted on 12/22/2010

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if your baby sleeps thru the night, by all means, drive thru the night. if they dont, i think the day is easier. but if you do it that way make frequent stops, stretch your legs take your time and hold him/her. it takes longer but it will be far less stressful. same holds true for toddlers and small children.

Heidi - posted on 12/22/2010

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We did a ten day driving/camping holiday with our bub when he was 6 months and only drove during the day and bub was more than happy looking out the windows, playing with toys or sleeping. Only time we had any probs was once when it got dark an hour before we arrived at the destination and bub was getting grumpy cause it was dinner time but a light up musical toy played over and over and over saved the day.

[deleted account]

No worries for now. At 3 months old they sleep all the time anyways. I would travel during the day during the typical nap times. And make sure when you do stop try to do it when the baby is awake....or it will wake up the baby and that may not turn out so well. We travel 6 hrs about every 3 months.....and have never had any problems. Good luck!

Heather - posted on 12/21/2010

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we drove 4 hours to my boyfriend aunts house. my son slept most of the way.. stopped twice to change him but that was it. he did great there and back. he was 3 months then too. but it was different cause we drove with his parents so me and my boyfriend stayed in the back with our son the whole time. good luck.

Tanya - posted on 12/19/2010

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Traveling with a young infant was easier than I thought as they still sleep a lot. Just figure extra time for nursing breaks and your baby will probably sleep most of the time you drive.

Just a personal opinion, you probably want to sit in the front unless you don't mind having to ride in the back forever because your baby will get used to it.

Don't forget to pack your baby's warm PJ's and sleepsack, along with whatever he/she will sleep in and any favorite dolls or blankies. A toy bar for the carseat may also be helpful.

Heather - posted on 12/19/2010

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Stop every 2.5 to 3 hours to feed them, change them, hold them. That's really about it. Make sure to take a pack and play with you so that no matter where you are, your baby has a safe place to sleep. Oh, and warm clothes and a few baby blankets for your baby. You never know when you might need to get out of the car and it will be raining or snowing.

It sounds like you would only need to stop once! Everything should be fine, but I wouldn't be taking the dog unless they area cage while you drive, because that's not safe.

Rachel - posted on 12/18/2010

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Long car rides are NOT fun! Before my husband was deployed, he would always drive, while I was in the back seat with our babe. Early mornings work best for us no matter the length of the trip. I worked on nursing while driving down the road... kind of an interesting adventure... for when we really needed to get somewhere by a certain time. Otherwise, whenever she needs to eat, it was nice to stop for a break for us too.

[deleted account]

I have to drive for 1 1/2 hrs with my daughter and have the best thing is to travel after she has had her mini nap in the morning has been fed and then set off. That way she'll be in the car for the play and sleep section of the "feed play sleep" cycle. Then when she wakes and is hungry, stop the car, feed and entertain for a bit, then set off again. Also playing repetitive house music has helped (honestly), not loudly just sets her off to sleep every time.

Shannon - posted on 12/18/2010

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We drove from Boston to Wisconsin when my son was about 3 months. I only breast fed so we needed to make a stop about every two hours or so. I found it super helpful to swaddle him in the car seat. A friend of mine swears by it and it made a HUGE difference in his comfort level and ability to tolerate that long drive. He mostly slept but when he was awake his just looked around. The times that he did get fussy, and wasn't hungry or wet, we turned the radio up loud on a static channel for the white noise. It was annoying to us but helped him drift off to sleep pretty well.

[deleted account]

Stop often at least every hour. We tried to do a 3 hour trip and found that it was almost impossible to do it non stop. If possible sit the back with the baby. I found that often helped get us to the hour mark and made is easier to start on the road again without too much hassle.

Hayley - posted on 12/18/2010

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Hi there :) A car seat isn't a good place for a baby to be for too long, so the advice is that you should stop and have baby out of the car seat for at least 30 minutes every 2 hours. This should be often enough for baby to have a stretch and a good feed before continuing. xx

Laura - posted on 12/17/2010

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We just moved with the military from NY state to washington state... My kidos where 3, 2 and 5 months... Oh and we had a dog. LOL It wasn't fun but we did it. We did stops every 2-3 hrs so i could pull the truck over and breastfeed. Let the kidos play, pee and doggie out. Then back in teh uhaul and truck on to the motel that night. It was hard, but we did it. We left first thing in the monring, as i needed my sleep at night so i could drive during the day. The stops help a ton, and we made sure to play or run run while we where out of the cars. we did early monring getting up and getting out! we stayed at best westerns cus they all serve breastfast and tahts another meal that didn't come out of our pockets... LOL plus most of there motels where really nice. U can get a points card (( check it out on line.... )) anyone hope that helps honey

Katy - posted on 12/17/2010

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With a 3 month old it's pretty easy whether you drive daytime or night time. Luckily at that age they sleep most of the time anyway so you should have a pretty uneventful trip. It's when they get to about a year old and they HATE being stuck in that damn car seat that the road trips begin to get a little crazy and you have to make more stops. I would say you will probably only need to stop once, if that. If he wants to drive at night but you aren't to sure about it then why don't you negotiate and either leave very early in the evening or VER yearly in the morning that way you will still all be able to sleep in an actual bed for part of the night but also still get to where you are going by morning. Good luck!

Dora - posted on 12/16/2010

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Whenever my husband and I planned a car trip we did it around our son's nap/sleeping times the first couple of times. The last trip we took we drove 10hrs. We left approx. 3:00am in the morning. He woke up for about 1/2hr and then fell asleep until 8:00am. Then when he woke up we made 2 stops so we can take him out of his car seat and stretch his legs. He did great. We were going to drive through the night but decided against it because we didn't want to take any chances with getting sleepy. It just was not worth the risk.

Jessica - posted on 12/16/2010

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I traveled from TX to OH when my twins were 4 months old. I also had my cousin and her 9 month old. It took me 36 hours (I stopped overnight at her house when I picked them up). We stopped every four hours to feed the girls and let them stretch. I pumped and bottle fed so she was able to help me out. her daughter hates being in the car so she screamed a lot but I have done several trips since then with my daughters and they love the car. hardly ever cry and sleep most of the time. I always leave right after breakfast before nap time.

Brittany - posted on 12/16/2010

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my son was 3 months old when we took a drive out of state 12 hours away. i dont drive on highways lol so it was up to hubby to get us there and back. we took advantage of having to stop at rest stops to feed our son and take a break. we loved it! it didnt bother us one bit and was more relaxing than anything. as we would stop hubby would use the bathroom or walk around and i would get a blanket and find the quietest and secluded spot mostly under a tree and it worked out great. the funniest part of the trip was when we had to stop infront of a office building closed for the night and a police officer came up to the car flashlight and all asking if we were ok and what we were doing. poor exhausted husbands resonse: "oh everything is ok. we are ON THE RUN and had to stop to feed the baby!" hahahaa great choice of words huh? I know he meant we are in a hurry/ we are on the road but the officer's look was priceless. best of luck and really it is nothing to worry about! have fun!

Sarah - posted on 12/15/2010

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Stop to nurse or pump and feed on the go. You'll have to stop a few times to change diapers. We leave for trips right after a feeding, that way there's less of a chance we have to stop for her to eat. Good luck!

[deleted account]

No, we left in the morning when she was really young. We've done the trip recently and we're able to leave after my husband works a half-day and we still get there the next evening. My daughter was not the best sleeper so going all night wouldn't work for us.

Briana - posted on 12/15/2010

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We moved from Texas to Arizona when my son was 5 months (a 14 hour drive). We drove during the day and stopped about half way. When he needed to nurse, we just pulled over off the nearest exit and we were off again in less than half an hour.

Tammy - posted on 12/15/2010

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We drove for two days when our son was 7mo. We made sure we took a bucket load of toys with us, and when he was awake, one of us would sit in the back with him and play with toys and read books etc. We actually found that he just slept quite a bit for the entire journey- and still slept properly during the night as well. I would start off in the morning, because there is nothing worse than starting off a trip tired. If your baby is sleeping, just drive, drive, drive (within reason of course!) I was a bit worried about the long drive myself but it turned out great!

Carolyn - posted on 12/15/2010

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i suggest leaving in the morning, that way everyone is well rested with fresh eyes for the road.



we did a 7 hour drive each way when my son was 3 months and it was easy breazy !!! before you get in the car. breastfeed and make sure hes got a clean butt ! if you have any toys that can be attached to the carseat slap those puppies on for the all of like hour your baby will be awake . car rides are notorious for putting babies to sleep !



also they tend to watch the windows for shadows and things moving by and atleast in my experience keep themselves pretty amused.



ive changed poopy diapers in the back of our explorer , breast fed pullover on the highway and double pumped the girls travelling through major cities with people walking passed while stopped at intersections haha !!



dont worry about it, so long as you are not in a rush and stop when needed it can be a very stress free ride !

Amy - posted on 12/15/2010

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My parents live 4 hours away and we've made the trip numerous times with our 8 month old daughter and our 4 year old son, and the dog! We only have a 4 door car so it looks like a clown car when we stop at rest stops. We would usually leave mid-morning so around her nap time, I bf so we'd feed right before we got in the car. When I drive I try to only stop once because I just want to get there if my husband is driving we usually stop twice. My daughter also goes back and forthe with a bottle so one of us can climb into the backseat of necessary to give her a bottle. My daughter travels really well in the car for the most part and just sleeps. Usually she just sleeps in the car but be warned the last hour may result in screaming but there isn't much you can do. It's really not that bad with just the baby when you add a 4 year old it adds a whole other element of fun, enjoy this age when you don't have to answer the question "how much longer", lol and you've only been on the rd for an hour!

Beth - posted on 12/15/2010

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Thanks so much Sara! I couldn't imagine doing 20 hours - wow! I'll be driving with my husband, so thanks for the advice about bottle feeds. That seems like a good idea. Did you guys drive through the night at all? My husband wants to, but I'm a little reluctant. Thanks!

[deleted account]

Are you driving alone? We drove to Ohio from Texas when my daughter was 2 months old (and again at 5 months). When she was that little it took us about 20 hours with one overnight stay on the way. My daughter would easily switch between breast and bottle at that age so I pumped and fed her in the seat. Then we stopped when she finished so I could clean the pump and bottle and change her. If you baby doesn't take a bottle then just pull over to nurse (had to do that too sometimes). Bring lots of toys that make noise/light up. Expect it to take longer than normal. If you need to stop at a store and walk around for a few minutes. 5 hours would be a breeze for us lol! I wish our family was that close.

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