Road trip! Tips anyone?
Alison - posted on 08/10/2009
We do frequent road trips to visit my parents. We are generally not find of electronic, noise making toys, but in the car, they are great! I also pack a lot of snacks, including milk and water, fruit and crackers. We never plan stops ahead, as long as the children are content, we do not stop the car. Stopping every 90 minutes is the exact opposite of our strategy. We want to get to our location as soon as we can without complete meltdown. If we need a one-hour stop, we take a one hour stop. We try to drive stretches of 2-3 hours, whenever possible.
I find that generally it is best when I sit in the back seat with the girls, but when it is naptime, it is best for me to be in the front.
I have noticed that a lot of my strategies go out the window as the kids change. So ultimately it comes down to being creative and being flexible.
Good luck to you.
Rebekah - posted on 08/08/2009
I recommend the homeopathic remedy Cina. For restlessness and irratibility. Having driven to my mom's at 7 months old, I was amazed at how much better he did on the trip home after trying it. Can be purchased at most health food stores. Also pack snacks, sippies of water and milk, and some kids CDs. A few toys like a small magna doodle board, a favorite book, teether, and noise maker also help. Take all his sleep routine items: blankets, stuffed animal, music, buble bath etc. to help him feel at home in the new place... do NOT freshly launder it first tho, so it still smells like home! Visit rest stops at least every 90 minutes during his/her awake times to let him/her stretch and get some energy out. :) Enjoy yourself :)
Renee - posted on 08/07/2009
I started to travel with my son when he was only a few weeks old. Most of our trips are no longer than 300 miles. He used to sleep in the car all the time when his car seat was backwards, but now not so much. He is one that gets really cranky if he doesn't get his sleep when he needs it. Normally on the car trip we pack snacks and some "car toys". We have a rack in our truck that we have some toys attached to with the links. We also have his favorite CDs that get played over and over and over again. We also make at least 1 stop and let him out and run around for about 15 min or so. Its just enough to make him happy again in the car.
I always bring his crib blanket as well when he sleeps in his pack n' play. He sleeps so much better with his own blanket he sleeps with every night at home. I also put an extra blanket down in the pack n' play to make it feel a little more like his crib. Normally I will bring bottled tap water from my house to where ever we are going. We live out in the county and have well water, and he doesn't like the taste of city water.
Cathralynn - posted on 08/06/2009
I've gone on two trips this past month. The first one we left in the morning. I packed tons of toys in a bucket and my daughter would just unload and then we would reload and give it back. Especially pack a fav stuffed toy and blanket for naps and books. I'm pretty scheduled but I let the napping go. My daughter slept when she needed and it worked fine. We stopped every two to three hours and snacked or ate and let her run around, I don't allow eating in the car, but offer plenty of water. We packed a blanket and put it out on grassy areas at stops and had a lil picnic. We borrowed a crib from a hotel but I packed her own sheets and blankets and crib toys so the bed was as close to home as possible. Once we got to our destination we went right back to routine and had no troubles. I think babies love to be with both parents for 24hrs a day, it was really good.
The second trip was also good but a little rougher. We went with friends and left in the evening with the hopes that babies would sleep at night and then we'd just transfer them to their beds. My lil one fell asleep late, guess it was all so exciting and woke at once when we reached our destination. We put her in a pack n play, borrowed, and really not like a crib as in mattress, different sides etc. She woke every hour after that. Eventually we put her in bed with us, NEVER have done that before. She slept fitfully and wanted back in her bed after a few hours. I think it helps for the baby to see where their new place is and that you are still here. To become familiar with the newness before making them sleep in it. But after that first night again back into routine and she did wonderful for the next days of the trip. I'm very much a routine person and so my daughter does so much better if we stick to it. We returned during the day and the trip home was as good as the first.
You know your daughter's vague schedule even if you don't have a routine. Just make sure you pay attention to eating times and give her time to get out of the car and run around. The trip may take a little longer but you will enjoy it in the end. Have fun!
Kelly - posted on 08/05/2009
Don't be nervous, it can really be a lot of fun! I am 40 now, but my kids started traveling since they were about 2 months old, at first I'll admit I was a little nervous, but being prepared was my best weapon. As my children grew older it bacame so much easier because I knew what to bring. Now they're teenagers and they absolutley love to travel! And I don't have to pack for them anymore..LOL
I took a full bag of diapers and full containers of wipes, I took just about all of the clothing for my baby that we owned...my husband thought I was crazy but actually about 5 days into the trip admitted that it was a great idea. Whenever the my baby got dirty, soiled her pants etc. it wasn't a big deal. Lots of hotels have washers/dryers now, so if the dirty clothes become overwelming you can wash them there.
I brought plenty of snacks, favorite ammusing toys, and the lifesaver...the portable playpen! We took it everywhere, especially hotels, but even if we were going to a friends house or family's house for a cookout out, etc., it was great that my baby had his place to sleep, in familiar surroundings/smells, with his own blanket.
I never had my babies on schedules, so I am sure that made traveling so much easier, they slept when they were tired, so we would try to stop a little bit after the baby woke (after the "just woke up grumpies" had passed...LOL) up to change them, let them walk around and explore, feed them etc. then hit the road again. That's probably the most important thing, get them out of the seat whenever you stop so they can stretch out and burn off some energy. Really as much as possible when they're awake.
You can use the DVD player if you have one, but actually, I am glad those weren't readily available when my kids were little, because now, they bring it and rarely watch it. They want to see all of the new places, the rivers, the bridges, the countryside...and yes...even cool little antique shops...believe it or not.
Well, I hope you have a safe and stress free trip, have lots of fun and remember getting them used to road trips now, will allow you to make some great memories in the future. My kids have traveled to all of the states in the southern half of the U.S. and even as teenagers the can't wait for us to start heading north...not in a motorhome either...boy they'd really love that though...LOL
For moms with babies still using formula...I always warmed my babies formula...I know that now a lot of moms don't do that anymore...but for those of you that do...I would always have about 20 bottles...Playtex bag ones...I'd fill most of them with really really hot water, then whatever I thought I'd use pretty quickly with almost hot and then one just perfect...that way I could just add the formula to the one that was just right. As the day would progress...the ones that were really hot would have the perfect temp. etc.
Happy traveling girls from a mom that's been there done that.
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