Parenting after 35

Tips for taking LO on roadtrip??

 We are going to be taking B on a 12 hour drive this summer.  She'll be 16 months at the time...and it will be first trip in the car that's longer than 1 hour or so. 

Should we leave the night before and drive through the night while she's sleeping...or leave at the crack of dawn and drive straight through??

 I am so excited for our first family vaca...but the drive is giving me a little anxiety..

Me-38, DH - 48 | DD born 3/17/10 | BFP 4/29/11 - M/C 5/31/11 Blighted Ovum | BFP 12/18/11 CP - 12/27/11 | Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

Re: Tips for taking LO on roadtrip??

  • Where are you going?  Me personally...I would do the 12 hours in two days; or drive during the night when she's a sleep. 
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  • I have a friend who lives in Eastern PA and her DH is from South Dakota and they make an annual Summer drive out there.  When her daughters (oldest is 13... youngest around 8?) were smaller, they drove overnight--taking turns.

    I wouldn't put Aaron in car for more than 2 hour stretches--6 hours travel max--while awake.  And I'd probably be in the back with him to entertain him. Also make sure you have a travel DVD player (if you don't already).


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  • I don't have a travel DVD player so we'll have to get one.

    Jung - we live in Cleveland and are going South Carolina for a week (Hilton Head).  I think maybe we will drive through the night.  

    My brother's been making the drive for years and years with his 4 kids so I'm hoping he'll give me some good tips....

    Me-38, DH - 48 | DD born 3/17/10 | BFP 4/29/11 - M/C 5/31/11 Blighted Ovum | BFP 12/18/11 CP - 12/27/11 | Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Simon is 16 months old and I just did a 4 hour in each direction road trip without DH and he watched Sesame Street on the DVD player the whole way and was perfect!  Since he's still rear facing I taped the DVD player to the back of the seat and it worked great!  I also keep him busy with lots of yummy snacks.  But when we drive to So Cal (9 hours) we always break up the drive into 2 days.  You're probably better off doing that, or drive overnight but I would NEVER try a 12 hour drive during the daytime with a 16 month old no matter how good Brenna is!
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  • No personal experience with this as a parent, Liz, but my folks SWORE by driving through the night when my brother and I were wee.  And that's probably what I would do.  Plus, Ellie still hates sun in her eyes, so driving during the day in the summer would be...unpleasant.  woohoo - vacation!  

    How much snow do you have on your side of town?  By the lake, ours has mostly blown south, but we still have 4-6 inches. 

  • I have packed kids into the car and driven to Grandma's house every summer for the past 15 years.  It's a 900 mile drive. 

    My first tip is to be very flexible.  I have traveled with and without a DVD player. I have found the listening to music or childrens books on CD hold my DDs attention longer. Try to have a variety of things for LOs to play with.  Make sure LO is wearing very comfortable clothes.  Being willing to stop frequently to let them run off some energy.  I have found that rest areas have become nicer over the years and many have a playground.  If I know I can rest once I get there, I prefer to drive at night because the traffic is better. 

    I guess my disclaimer would be that I live in a part of Texas where we drive 280 miles one way to play a district softball game so our kiddos get used to road trips.

    Your vacation sounds fun.  I am so ready for summer vacation.

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  • I agree with breaking it up. I'd leave at nap time several days in a row.
  • We went on FOUR long distance roadies last summer.  Granted, C was pretty little then.   But we have a couple more on the horizon this summer.

    Be flexible.  Don't force yourself to drive the whole 12 hours in one push.  We now stop after about 6 hours, stay in a motel and break it up.  Much better.

    Stop every 2 hours or so to let everybody out of the car to just stretch their legs.  I can't imagine it's good for a baby to sit for that long without moving around.

    If possible, one of you sit in the back seat with the baby so you can read and play.  Makes for a much happier kid.   I refuse to have a DVD player for him yet.. we are trying to avoid TV for as long as humanly possible.

    Haven't tried the driving-at-night thing, mostly because I hate to drive at night and get really, really sleepy.  So does DH.

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  • I do not have personal experience but one thing that my SIL has done on long trips is stop at a Wal-Mart or Super Target, let the kids run around there and then get food to eat in the car.  Stopping at a fast food anything is not good to burn off steam.

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  • We just drove from St. Louis to South Padre, TX when DS was 9 months old. We left around 6 am and he slept a lot. We made sure we stopped frequently and had two stops for lunch and dinner that were longer so he could get out and move around. He loves the car so it wasn't so bad. I used my iphone and played Baby Einstein off YouTube when it got too dark for him to play with the toys. We drove 12 hours to Austin the first day and then stayed with family in Austin with a day break inbetween the drive to the beach.

    On the way back we split the drive in half and stayed in a hotel.

    Good Luck!  

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  • We are leaving in the morning for the 14 hour trip to Orlando.  Our plan sounds a lot like BrideBuddies' recommendations.  We are going to split the drive into two days, we have car snacks and toys prepped for DD, and we plan on several stops, including a long lunch so she can run around some.  We won't start out with one of us riding in back, but we are open to doing so if needed.  It takes about five hours to get to my parents, so each day won't be too much longer than that.

    I will report back once we are home.

    DD1 is 3, DD2 is 1.
  • We traveled 13+ hours with three kids last summer (4,2,&10 months). We left early morning (4 am) & did it that day.  Honestly not a big deal.  We stopped bathroom breaks, & to stretch our legs (we packed a lot of snacks too, but did get some food).  Everyone did really well.. oh yeah, no DVD either. Part of the time I hung out in back with Keegan.
    Boy 1 2/06 - Boy 2 12/07 - Boy 3 9/09
  • If you can drive through the night, I would do that.

    We took C on a 11 trip this past summer. She was only 6 months old then but the best thing we learned, was to have someone sitting in back with her the whole time to attend to her needs, talk to her and entertain her. 

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