Petrified of upcoming road trip - help! — The Bump
September 2015 Moms

Petrified of upcoming road trip - help!

 At this age our LO's have so much energy - I am getting SERIOUS anxiety about LO coming on a road trip with us in a week - it'll be 5 hours long. LO only makes it about 20 min in a car before getting seriously pissed off and screaming. Is my only hope to just wait till bedtime and hope and pray she sleeps?! I just picture her not sleeping well at all that way... but traveling during the day with her will be out of the question. I'm so nervous about this - I feel like it'll fry my nerves and just not even be worth the trip. Any suggestions?

Re: Petrified of upcoming road trip - help!

  • An iPad and Netflix? Lol

    we don't watch much tv but there are a few shows we allow like Sesame Street, Word Party, Baby Einstein. I'm pretty sure we would totally have a hard core baby meltdown on a road trip like that. I'm actually anxious FOR you just thinking about it! Good luck!
  • I agree with pp.  We dont do alot of tv at home. But that goes out the window for road trips. Everyother weekend we make a two hour drive to pick up my stepson then another 2 hours to take him home. We bought one of those dvd players that attaches to the headrest with velcro straps and play mickeymouse for her.   She loves it. Only downfall is we hear the hotdog dance about thirty times but better than her screaming the entire time.  
    dmbfan46835
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  • We live in the middle of nowhere so we have to travel at least 3 hours round trip just to go to the pediatrician. For longer trips, we try to leave early in the morning (4 am). One of you sit in the back with baby. Bring new toys,books, snacks and definitely movies.
  • ABombard12ABombard12 member
    edited November 2016

    We did a 5 hour trip with LO in August. He wasn't walking yet but crawling all over the place with SO much energy. I was also petrified. But I read everything I could find to maybe find the answer to keeping it a calm ride. My girlfriend always leaves at bedtime and her LO's sleep the whole way...that works for her. But after knowing my LO and that he HATES the car in the dark we realized that was not going to work for us.  We ended up changing him into his toddler seat the week before so that helped. We mentally prepared to take the travel day as an adventure with multiple little stops. We left around noon, right after lunch (when he normally takes his first nap) and I sat in the front to start.  He fell asleep for his "nap" (not as long as his crib nap) and we stopped when he woke up to nurse and let him stretch. I brought a blanket easy to reach in the back and at the rest area found grass under a tree (away from the pet pee area) and we set it up like a picnic and had a snack and let him crawl around for about 20 mins. Then got back in and did it again until he was losing interest in the car. I got in the back seat halfway through -- helped with putting him back to sleep by rubbing his head when he did fall asleep - got us maybe another 15 min nap), brought new toys (dollar store) and would pull them one by one out of the bag over time to keep his interest, snacks one by by, played with him and it wasn't until right before we got there did I turn on Mickey Mouse on the ipad.  The toys were VERY helpful, they were new and exciting to pass the time for him.  Hope this helps! But mainly--choose a time to leave that coordinates with your LOs schedule/preferences to help ease the drive AND keep the mindset that you will be stopping more than normal and its a process but you will get there :)

    OH and I also found it helpful to have a separate little bag packed with the Toys, change of clothes, diapers, wipes, Tylenol, etc. and snacks in the backseat at my feet.  Each stop when we had a diaper change it was nice to have such easy access to it.

  • We always leave right before nap time, so he'll be awake for about 30 minutes and happy in the car then immediately fall asleep. He'll usually sleep a good 1.5-2 hours then. On longer trips we break for lunch so he can get out of his car seat and have a change of scenery at a restaurant (and do a diaper change). Then I pack a bag of new toys he's never seen before (the kinds with buttons to push that light up and/or make noise) and those seem to keep him entertained for quite awhile. Once he gets bored with one, I hand him the next.

    You can do it! :)
  • We just did a five hour road trip with my son at the beginning of October. We left before his first nap and stopped for lunch when he woke up. He's really good in the car so we had no issues after he woke up. The part we did have an issue with was going through the mountains and his ears popping. I wasn't sure how to prevent that with him. Also, once we got to our vacation spot we went inside and unloaded everything and ate dinner. We then wanted to go for a short drive around the area. He pitched a major fit about getting back into the vehicle. So, be prepared for them to resent the car after the initial long trip 
  • We did 7 hours couple weeks ago and it was easier than expected! Napped for half the time stopped for lunch once and she was fine! When she was awake I sat in back to entertain so that helped. 
    jen83mn
  • We just drove to Florida from new York with ds. 21 hrs down 18 back he slept at night we played with him in the day he doesn't watch tablets or anything just needed our interaction 
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