The horrors never really occurred. Several stops for lunch, bathroom breaks, baby playing, and leg stretching were needed. The endless shrieking I dreaded never occurred though.
One successful road trip hardly qualifies me as an expert on infant car travel. But I will tell you what worked for me. Perhaps, it will help you too?
- Bring someone you love and that loves your baby. My Mom hit the road with me and whenever baby boy just needed some attention we would pull over and she would jump in the backseat for playtime. With her in the backseat handing him new toys he seemed to do better when awake. Also, if you travel with someone who really, truly, loves your baby you wont be stressed about inconveniencing them.
- Pack enough drinks and snacks for the adults. This way if baby is sleeping you drive on. No unnecessary stops while baby is sleeping. Take advantage.
- Baby needs some toys. My personal favorite is a Bright Starts Toy Bar. My baby loves this thing! I can even tell when he wakes up because he immediately starts playing with it.
- Every body needs a little stress relief in the form of music. A little home made CD (Thanks to Aunt Lori for an awesome driving mix) or some Raffi always works wonders.
- Plan in stops!! No one likes being stuck in a car for 14 hours nonstop (baby included). For our trip we drove 5 hours to my Grandparents, 6 hours to Tallahassee, and then 3 hours to our destination.
- If spending the night in a hotel, try to book a suite. Having the bedroom separate from the living room/kitchen was a huge help, as we were able to put baby to sleep and then have a much needed in-room happy hour, dinner, and TV break without waking the babe. Town Place Suites was amazing for this purpose. Clean, budget friendly, suites.