September 2015 Moms

Driving 7+ hours with LO

Has anyone taken a long road trip with their LO in tow? I am planning to go home, which is about 7 and a half hours. That is me and my husband by ourselves and minimal stops. I am planning it for the fall, so LO will be a little over a year. Seems like so long for him to sit for. Their closest airport is 1.5 hours away and no direct flights. 

So so far I have thought about just flying even though it will take just as long with layovers and driving (at least he won't be stuck in a car seat all day), splitting the trip in half both up and back and staying in a hotel, just stopping multiple times and taking as long as it takes to get there in a day...  I just picture him being miserable and screaming the whole way or fussy and bored. Anyone take a long trip and find out it is not so bad??

Re: Driving 7+ hours with LO

  • I do a 6 hour road trip with LO about once a month by myself to go visit my husbands family. I'll be 100% honest, I only tried it during the day 1 time. LO Was about a month old at the time and I figured he'd sleep pretty much the whole time. Long story short- I was wrong and the 6 hour trip turned into a very miserable 11 hour trip.

    since then I only travel long distances with him at night. He sleeps the entire way, even when I stop for gas. I'm sure at some point I'll try it during the day again. I need to try it but he gets sick of his car seat in town at times after only 30 minutes so I'm apprehensive.
  • When LO was 3 months we drove from west coast to east coast. My best advice is to travel at night. We started our trip in the daytime with intentions to stop at hotels at night but ended up having to push through a solid 24 hour drive in order to switch to night driving and stay on time. LO was very bored during the day stuck in her car seat and I'd imagine 7 hours at 9 months would be even worse. As soon as LO goes to sleep or right at bedtime head out, you can drive halfway while DH sleeps and then switch. By the time LO wakes up you guys will be at your destination!
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  • katythelady22katythelady22 member
    edited June 2016
    I've done several 8+ hour trips with LO. Just got back from one two weeks ago and going on another tomorrow. I usually leave very early in the morning or at a nap time so a good chunk can be spent sleeping. And usually if she wakes up already in her car seat she is happy for a while playing. It helps a lot of someone can be in the backseat with her for at least part of her wake time to keep her  entertained. Hope all goes well for you- safe travels!
  • I think it just depends on your LO. The first time i took the boys to Mexico they were 2 months old. That was a 10 hour drive during the day. They did perfect, the only hard thing was that they were drinking  BM, which i pumped. Keeping the BM that i wasnt using @ the moment frozen & unfrezzing the milk was a pain!

    We went to Mexico again the weekend of May 26th & they did good as well. When we would stop to pump gas is when i changed their diapers & give them time to stretch. They didnt get fussy until we were 15 minutes away from home on our way back.

    I started taking them on long trips very young only because we go to mexico 1-3 times a year. Sometimes vacation in California. Or take a drive up to Aspen. So ive exposed my boys @ a young age & they've gotten used to it. As long as the car is moving. They are happy campers. Plus they have big sis to sing & play with them. Keeping them entertained just like PP said.

    Just be very well prepared. Lunch, snacks, juices, waters, milk. Take toys, a pillow, a blanky. Just anything to comfort LO. Plus by the time hes 1, he should be able to tolerate a little more. 

    Good luck!
  • Thanks all. I am not a night owl by any means so the thought of leaving at 7pm like I have heard of others doing just sounded miserable. But getting up early is not so bad for me. He does take a nap around 9 / 10 am so mornings would be best to travel. Success stories are helpful! Snacks, toys, and blankies...all good tips!
  • At 3mo we drove with her and my 3yo 16 hours in one day! We'd intended on stopping halfway, but we made great time and the girls were happy so we kept going. We started at 5am so they'd go back to sleep in the car. When they woke we ate, got gas, played or walked around, then changed LO and kept going. They slept a ton!! But when we finally got to my Dad's, at midnight, they were wired, and my stepmom stayed up til 2am playing with them (I had driven the last 4h, so I crashed). For a 12mo, plan to have some new toys (stimulating ones, like busy books) to occupy him while awake.
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  • I am on a cross adventure trip right now. We have traveled from Alabama to Minnesota to South Dakota and will be leaving the end of next week for Ohio then back home to Alabama. 

    Few tips: 

    time me your leaving with nap time first thing in the morning. Ansley has a set schedule and is up for 2 hours then takes a 2 hours nap twice a day then a 45 minute nap at 5 and bedtime is at 730. So I left after she was fed breakfast and knew her belly was full. So she rode for about 30 minutes then slept for 2 hours. Then we pulled over when it was time to nurse. We stopped 6 hours into it and did supper at normal time and she ate her baby food. Then she was changed into her pajamas and diaper. Then back in the car with her white noise going for her to know it was nap time or bedtime. 

    It it is just me and my 3 girls on the trip. I have an almost 11 year old a 3.5 year old and an almost 10 month old. 

    I planned this trip out for months and each person had their own bags for entertainment and snacks. 

    She he also has her own Dvd player that she watches her movies on while her sisters watch their movie. 

    Keep your schedule the same as if you were home

    or if you can drive all night long but know once you drive getting baby out might wake them and they will want to adjust to their environment before going back to bed. 

    Good luck 
  • We just took a 10-hour car ride during the day. It's definitely harder to drive during the day with the baby than it is at night. We drove there during the night and it was wonderful. If there's any way you could manage a night drive I'd do it! Coffee, naps the day before you drive, and a good audio book can do wonders. 

    If you must do a day drive, bring lots of toys and books to keep them occupied. And have one of you sit in the back with them the whole time. We stopped every 3-4 hours to feed him (he's breastfed), so that provides a nice break. Music also helps! I played his favorite cd about a hundred times lol. Good luck!
  • I just finished a 5 hour drive. We left right before his first nap of the day and it went great, he was awake for 30 minutes looking out of the window and then slept two hours. Then we stopped at a rest area for food, he ate and got changed and we hung out for about an hour. After that, it was a disaster. Screaming and crying. I had to stop and let my husband drive and I squeezed in the backseat in between a suitcase, stroller, and car seat. We played for a little but then when he was tired he kept wanting me to pick him up and couldn't understand why I wasn't, so cue more screaming and crying. Then he fell asleep 20 minutes before we got here. I'm exhausted!
  • We took a road trip with LO and our 4 year old that was about 8 hours. We stopped for a few minutes about every 2 and 1/2 hours and got out, changed her diaper and stretched our legs. There were a couple times DH had to jump in the backseat to feed her, but it went pretty well. Oh, and at each stop I switched out a toy for her so she didn't get bored. It will go better than you think!
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