Some thoughts on long road trips with babies

On Sunday we got back from our summer “vacation” – a road trip down to North Carolina to visit friends there, and some more on the way back. Despite the zillion hours we spent in the car it was a fun and relaxing break. I will try hard to blog about our trip properly later this week (ha!) but in the meantime here are a few thoughts/tips on long road trips with babies.

1. Start as early as possible, and pack the car the night before

We got up at 4am, and we’re on the road by 4:40am. We actually started packing up the car two nights before we left. Not only did this mean we could leave quickly on the actual day but we also didn’t have an apartment full of luggage and boxes for us to fall over. We brought the car seats up the night before, and after we’d showered and our coffee had brewed we got the girls out of bed and popped them in their seats. As soon as we got into the car I gave them a bottle, and they fell back asleep.

Stuffed!

2. Work with your baby’s schedule

On any car trip there will be crying, and on long trips there will be plenty of crying. Thankfully the Cylonettes took turns at having melt downs so we didn’t have to listen to it in stereo. The girls day has a pretty regular flow to it so it was fairly easy to coincide the long stops with proper meal breaks, and then give them their bottles when we were on the move.

3. Long and short stops are key

With infants, small children, pets and adults with small bladders you’ll need to be flexible about stopping. We planned two long breaks (about two hours a piece) on the way down and were prepared to make umpteen short stops along the way. Some families might just power through the trip and only stop at road side rest stops we on the other hand wanted proper stops so that we could eat real food, and have a walk about. It broke up the long drive, we all felt more rested, and it tired the Cylonettes out so it made it easier to nap back in the car.

Short stop

 

Long stop

4. Pack smart

You don’t want to dig through all your luggage to get clean clothes, bottles and formula so make sure you have your diaper bag fully stocked for a day and night (just in case something happens) on the road. We had one mishap when Naomi had a poo explosion, and Alex pulled over to change her and discovered there wasn’t a spare outfit to hand. Instead of digging one out we put her back in her car sear in just the diaper and a furry blanket. Since I was sitting in the back the whole time, squished between two car seats, I had a cooler in one foot well stocked with bottles and drinks for the adults, and in the other a bag of toys to wave at the girls.

Ooops

5. Be nice

Be nice to the driver as they are not getting an easy ride for being upfront. Be nice to the parent in the back as it’s not their fault that the baby won’t stop crying. Be nice to the babies as they didn’t ask to be stuffed in a car for hours on end.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maya
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 11:48:24

    We just took our first road trip with our twins last week. I can definitely relate to the packing early, and I too was wedged between 2 car seats! I’m dreaming of a mini-van now.
    marriedwithtwins.org

    Like

    Reply

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