Anyone thinking of (or have experience with) long car trip with baby? — The Bump
June 2017 Moms

Anyone thinking of (or have experience with) long car trip with baby?

DH and I have always planned to visit his family over the holidays- not sure if it will be Thanksgiving or Christmas. Today he brought up some concerns about her comfort and how she will do on the drive. We usually make the drive in about 7 hours, so I expect it would take a while longer with a baby and we'd probably have to stop at least 3 times (every 2 hours or so). She does like the car but has never been in it for longer than half an hour. She is a very active baby and likes to stretch out and roll around which does make me think she will get restless. DH's whole family is in KY so it makes more sense for us to go to them than for them to come to us (they did visit after DD was born). His grandfather (who pretty much raised him) has had a slow decline with cancer over the last 2 years, so a big motivating factor to make the trip with a little one is to have the family all together at least one more time for the holidays. I'm also in the process of transitioning to a new career so we don't have many other options as far as timing to see them- only long weekends when the office is closed because I'll be very limited in my ability to take PTO. 

I'm thinking the drive will be rough but I guess I'm just reaching out to make sure we wouldn't be completely crazy to attempt this? I wonder if anyone else has or plans to and what advice you might have?

Thanks :) 
Me (28) & DH (35)
Met 4/2010+Married 8/2014 
TTC #1 August 2016BFP 10/2016= DD Born 6.23.17
NTNP April 2018. BFP 5/2018 EDD 1.29.19 *Team Green*

Re: Anyone thinking of (or have experience with) long car trip with baby?

  • The best piece of advice I can give you is to leave right around bedtime. That way she will hopefully sleep most of the trip. I would also pack a few new toys and bring them out one at a time if she gets really fussy.
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  • We took a 5.5-hour (one way) trip when she was 2.5 weeks old. She slept the whole time. About halfway through (both ways), we stopped for gas and I fed and changed her. 

    I don't think it's necessary to wake her every two hours. Does your baby ever sleep that long? My daughter now sleeps 8-9 hours, sometimes as much as 11, at night and I never wake her up to change or feed her. 
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  • We took DS1 to visit my dad a few times (8hr drive) first time he was a bit over 6 weeks, the second, about 6-8m (can’t remember exactly) we left early in the morning, after his last wake up, so I fed him, changed him, then we jumped in the car and made it a bit over halfway before he woke up. We then stopped, for breakfast for us, fed him, changed again and wandered around for half an hour or so to stretch out and let him be out of the car seat. I think we had to stop once more after that at about the 7hr total mark, and he was really fussy for the last hour.

    the only advice I would really give is if you only have a cheap car seat, if you can buy or borrow a better quality one, it will make all the difference. We did the trip once with my car and car seat, it was much better than the time we used my aunts car seat ($150 seat vs $500 seat) 

    the second stretch will be the hardest, if you can get everyone in the car and drive as far as you can in one hit, that will help.
    Me - 22  |   DH - 32   |  Married - 24 May 2014
    DS - January 2014 
    TTC#2 - December 2015
    BFP - 6 March 2016  |  MC Confirmed - 21 March 2016
    TTCAL  |  April 2016
    CP  |  June 2016
    CP  |  July 2016
    BFP - 25 August 2016  |  Due Date - 11 May 2017
  • Thanks!
     
     DD goes to bed between 8:30 and 9:00. We could leave around 4:30-5:00 & arrive around midnight. She usually goes down for her last nap of the day around 5:00 so that would minimize awake time in the car without keeping us up til the wee hours of the morning. 

    We still use the graco click connect infant car seat. We have a Graco 4Ever that we plan to use when she outgrows it, but we could definitely utilize that for the trip :) 
    Me (28) & DH (35)
    Met 4/2010+Married 8/2014 
    TTC #1 August 2016BFP 10/2016= DD Born 6.23.17
    NTNP April 2018. BFP 5/2018 EDD 1.29.19 *Team Green*

  • Thanks!
     
     DD goes to bed between 8:30 and 9:00. We could leave around 4:30-5:00 & arrive around midnight. She usually goes down for her last nap of the day around 5:00 so that would minimize awake time in the car without keeping us up til the wee hours of the morning. 

    We still use the graco click connect infant car seat. We have a Graco 4Ever that we plan to use when she outgrows it, but we could definitely utilize that for the trip :) 

    We have the Graco click connect and took DD1 on a 12 hour drive at 4.5 months. She made us stop almost every 2 hours to nurse, but did great until the last hour. That last hour was so awful, we decided to split up the trip on the way back and drove a bit out of our way to see an uncle. So we were in the car for about 4 hours, visited with family for about 2, and then had another 9 hours to drive. That long break made all the difference, and she was a trooper for the rest of the ride. We left early morning both times. 
    Married 8/29/09
    MC: 9/14
    Goober #1 born: 8/17/15
    MC: 9/16
    Goober # 2 EDD: 6/27/17
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