Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Road trip preparations

We're leaving on Friday morning for a big road trip to the Midwest. We'll drive 10 hours to Ohio on Friday, then 5+ more to western Michigan on Sunday. This is by far the longest time we've traveled with Charlotte in the car and I'm more than a little nervous about it.

We've done this trip in the past, without a baby, and by the end I'm completely exhausted and so darn tired of sitting in the car. I can only imagine that Charlotte will be fussy and really tired of sitting in her car seat. And, I have no idea how long it will actually take, once we add in diaper changes, nursing sessions, weekend traffic, coffee breaks, etc.

In addition to praying away my anxiety, here are a few things I'm planning to help make the trip go smoothly.

1. Have a blanket handy so Charlotte can get out and "play" whenever we stop. Most rest areas have grassy spots so if we're eating our picnic lunch, Charlotte can stretch, roll around and practice sitting up.

2. Bring small amounts of milk in a few different bottles. I read this idea recently. Not that we regularly encourage "snacking" but if Charlotte is fussy and needs to fall asleep but isn't hungry enough for a full feeding, I can sit in the back seat with her and give her a little milk to "top her off" without having to make an extra stop.

3. Change her clothes at every stop. She gets super warm in the car seat and I think she'll be far more comfortable if she isn't sitting in her own sweat the entire drive. On the same page: put her just in a onesie (lighter weight!)

4. Surrender our time line and any expectations about when we'll arrive.

5. Get a book on CD from the library. Joel and I don't always like reading the same books, but I'm going to try a book on CD to see if listening to a story will be good entertainment for both of us.

Have you driven a long distance with your baby? Any more road trip tips?


  1. Can you guys take the majority of the trip overnight? That's been the best option for us. We leave at around 5 and Miles is awake for the first few hours of the trip. At our first stop (usually around his bedtime, 7:30-8...but basically we just stop whenever he gets fussy) we change him into his PJ's (a lightweight onesie is a great idea!) nurse him and then get on the road again. He usually falls asleep and stays asleep until we get there. Driving at night works better for us because Miles is just too active to sit in the car (even with frequent stops) for a long car trip during the day. Good luck!

    Meg Sortore

    1. Thanks, Meg. We'll see how this next trip goes before we try your suggestion (though Lauren V. suggested the same thing!). Joel is pretty uncertain about driving at night, especially because he will have worked a full day painting on Thursday before we leave. He's also not as confident driving at night when tired and we're both nervous that Charlotte won't actually fall asleep, so then we'd be exhausted AND have a crying babe. :) I'll report back. We may change our minds completely if this 10+ hour drive goes badly.