Robby isn't so sure about this travelling thing, but I've got to say? He's pretty good at it. Sorry bud. You haven't made us miserable enough to stop going places. We started out with a 2 hour trip to Chris's parents when Robby was a month old. The way there went PERFECTLY...because we left before his normal wake-up time. The way home, Chris decided that we should test out driving at one of his crankiest times of day... That did not go so well. It resulted in about an hour of the two hour drive being accompanied by screams that I could do nothing to calm down.
Since then, we've stuck with leaving somewhere between 3-5 am. That way, we at least get a couple good hours of driving in before he wakes up and would like to be entertained. We have done two trips that are 8-9 hour drives: New Hampshire and Columbus. New Hampshire couldn't have gone better in both directions. We leave him in his pajamas, hit the road early, and just GO. Columbus was rough on the way back, but we were only there for 3 days, so he didn't get to rest up before getting stuck back in his car seat. This has led to a terrible fear of the "baby trap" as Chris calls it, and he's been having meltdowns all week when we strap him in.
Tips and tricks we've learned along the way:
- Car sleep does not count as sleep. The baby will still want to nap or go to bed when you arrive at your destination.
- Bring lots of books. I suppose this depends on your child, but Robby LOVES to read, and I always bring his favorites (Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss's ABCs, and Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs) and read them 50 zillion times. I think I need a wider selection in the car.
- Make sure to have a blanket. My husband loves car air conditioning. We freeze if not prepared.
- Do not forget the favorite stuffed animal. (Mr. Bear is winning at our house.)
- Similarly, do not forget the pacifier.
- Try never to stop for your needs. The baby will need to stop enough as is. However, plan ahead if you will be on, say, the Bronx highway, or the dead zone of West Virginia.
- If he's melting down, there's not much that's going to save you. You're either going to pull over or listen to screaming. There is that breaking point around 8 hours that they just can't get past.
- Have more outfits than you imagine it would be possible to go through. See below: Robby had pooped through 3 outfits, so he is wearing his present from his grandparents (they had just returned from Ireland). It's unwashed, but he survived.
And, if you're lucky, all will go well and you'll start planning your next trip.
Don't worry, Robby, it's not for another month.