Need tips for long drive with baby

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Last seen: 9 years 4 months ago
Joined: 07/16/2007 - 22:15
Need tips for long drive with baby

We are planning a car trip to my husband's parents for the holidays and it
be a seven-hour drive. We've taken our baby on shorter drives before --
about 2 hours --
and it's not been particularly easy. Does anyone have any tips on making
long drives
easy with babies? How to amuse them, when to leave, etc. Thanks!

gregstewart's picture
Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
Joined: 11/03/2011 - 00:59
I think you should tak care

I think you should tak care of the following :-

Never leaveyour baby  unsupervised in the car.

f you are breastfeeding and are not comfortable doing so in public you may wish to feed your baby in the car.

Napping Changing facilities are practically non-existent.

Bigger rest stops may have a fast food restaurant with a kids' menu

Last seen: 5 years 3 months ago
Joined: 01/12/2012 - 02:01
I just stumbled upon your

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Last seen: 4 years 11 months ago
Joined: 05/02/2012 - 04:24
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Last seen: 5 years 4 months ago
Joined: 10/13/2011 - 03:11
Get rid of the kid

Get rid of the kid clutter!

  • Is traveling with your baby (& baby gear) a nightmare?
  • Tired of struggling with heavy strollers, carseats, & bulky baby items every time you leave the house?
  • Can't get anything done because your baby constantly needs to be picked up and held?
  • House full of products that only get a few months of use?
  • Ever feel like it's just too much trouble to take your baby anywhere?
  • When was the last time you went for a walk on the beach with your stroller?
  • How long did your baby actually *use* that expensive Exersaucer before it became an eyesore cluttering up your house
Last seen: 5 years 5 months ago
Joined: 05/19/2007 - 02:49
Re Las Vegas August

I went to Vegas a couple years back on the month of August. Definitelly HOT! It may as well have been "clothes optional". It was tolerable at night but I think during the winter would be more pleasant.

Last seen: 5 years 7 months ago
Joined: 01/31/2011 - 18:39

we did a 9 hour trip with my 2 year old from san francisco to palm springs and it was not fun.
here are some of the things we did:

- planned long stretches of driving around his nap time
- planned tons of breaks to stretch and run around
- games, songs, snacks

there is a whole list at momboard. com but i am unable to post the link.

Last seen: 5 years 12 months ago
Joined: 12/28/2010 - 14:45

Our daughter is one and we often travel at least 5-6 hours to see grandma. We usually play music that interests her in our CD player and also one of us usually sits in back with her about half way through the drive . It seems like the last half of the drive is when she gets the most annoyed. I usually pack snacks such as puffs or crackers to put in the cup holders and a sippy cup to put in the cup holders in her carseat, but only do this while we are in back with her. Some good toys are those that make noise, books that make noises when you turn the pages and stuffed animals.

Last seen: 6 years 4 months ago
Joined: 09/22/2010 - 11:48

With a drive that long you would want to sit in the back with the baby if at all possible. That way if they throw a toy or need something then you can get it for them without having to stop the car. I don't envy your trip though, I never enjoyed traveling a long distance with my baby. Only once they got a little older did it start to be somewhat enjoyable. Good luck!

Last seen: 6 years 10 months ago
Joined: 05/31/2010 - 05:20

[QUOTE=mungnil;16242]We are planning a car trip to my husband's parents for the holidays and it
be a seven-hour drive. We've taken our baby on shorter drives before --
about 2 hours --
and it's not been particularly easy. Does anyone have any tips on making
long drives
easy with babies? How to amuse them, when to leave, etc. Thanks![/QUOTE]

How old is your baby?
Our baby is 3 years old. We bought PSP specially for such occasions. So our baby is watching cartoons on PSP when travelling with us by car.

Last seen: 6 years 5 months ago
Joined: 06/05/2010 - 14:05

I agree- toys that can be linked to the car seat are great! If you child is still rear facing, a mirror that can help you see them also lets them admire themselves - very fun!

Last seen: 7 years 3 months ago
Joined: 04/11/2008 - 11:58

It is tedious! I use books too - board books and our baby could hold them luckily and would look through them for quite a while. I also tied toys to the carseat so they wouldn't end up on the floor and threaded cheerios on a string of red licorice but that turned out to be a great big mess so i wouldn't recommend it.

Last seen: 7 years 5 months ago
Joined: 10/21/2009 - 04:08

Things we found helpful:

- DD only lasted about 1 hour in the car while awake ... before getting bored/impatient. Try driving during sleep time - the best thing we found was to leave really early and she slept til breakfast time in the car.

- Have some favourite snacks you can use when she gets a bit antsy. We managed to keep DD quiet for half an hour just be feeding her one grape at a time.

- Have a big bag of toys at your feet and pass them one by one over the back. Books worked best for us, but anything she likes. Perhaps even a couple of new things she hasn't played with already.

- If all else fails, songs with actions work a treat!

In all, we found she'd sleep fro mayb 2 hours max, and so we could really only drive in 3 hour bursts. We'd usually do a leg stretch, meal and then let her sleep .... then an hour awake ... then a leg stratch, snack ... another hour ... and so on.

It's very tedious I must say! We stopped overnight on the way (so managed about 6 hours each day) - you can get family motel rooms for under $100. We could NEVER have done it in 1 day. We're moving up there in May and I'm dreading it again!

ParadiseHunter's picture
Last seen: 5 years 4 months ago
Joined: 09/14/2009 - 00:06

My suggestion is to keep some music on at a reasonable volume, but nothing with heavy Bass. You may also want to push the majority of the sound to the back speakers. This will help keep your baby from startling if they hear your voice (which can start them back up when they're almost asleep). It'll also have the benefit of allowing you to keep talking with your spouse on the journey so that the driver doesn't get too sleepy. We used to try to have the car be super quiet, but then if one of our other kids coughed or called for a snack, it created a problem. It also made it tougher for me to stay alert.

For us, the music helped allow the rest of us to travel decently, and it didn't really seem to affect the length of our baby daughter's naps... and in some cases she would even sit there awake and "seem" to be listening to the music.

Good Luck,


todobigo's picture
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 04/19/2008 - 18:33
Tips for Long Drive with Babies

This is a question we are asked a lot, so we put together the staff's favorite tips, then asked everyone's mom to contribute her tips, and somehow got about 4 generations worth of ideas.

here's a link to the story --

please feel free to add your tips in the comment field. thanks!

lauras's picture
Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
Joined: 09/27/2006 - 08:00

It's tricky to find somewhere to stop where your baby can crawl around when you're on the road in bad weather conditions and you can't find a park and put a blanket down on the grass. That's a novel idea to put a blanket down in a corner of a shopping mall I guess. Some fast food joints have play spaces designated for really young children. We used to stop the car and pull over and let the baby crawl around the seat of the car. Kind of a pain because we had to take the car seat out to give her any wiggle room, but at least it let her work off some energy before being a carseat captive again.

Last seen: 7 years 3 months ago
Joined: 04/11/2008 - 11:42

We leave about an hour before naptime and have found that the baby can be amused for an hour and then falls asleep for a couple of hours. When she wakes up we usually stop somewhere for a break and a stretch and to change her diapers. It's easy when the weather is good but when it isn't that gets harder. My sister looks for shopping malls and brings a special blanket to put down on the carpet to let her baby wiggle around. Not sure about that one, but she swears by it. We just figure that our car trip will take longer than if we would drive straight through. But I agree, never ever take the baby out of the carseat. There was a family in our town driving with their baby and they took it out of the carseat to nurse when it got fussy. A drunk driver ran into the and the baby was thrown into the windshield and died! So if your baby is crying, pull off the road and then take him or her out of the carseat!

My daughter was not a very happy traveler on road trips so don't ask me why we decided to drive over 1000 miles on a trip when she was still young and teething! Amazingly, it worked out well. There was a stretch where she was screaming, and the toys, mirror, snacks, and blankie would not work. As an act of desparation, I handed her my aeromatherapy eye mask that was filled with lavender scent. She held it up to her face, and instantly calmed down! So I wonder if it was the lavender or simply that she was tired of crying. Regardless, it made the drive much more enjoyable. If I had to do it all over again, I would carry a little bag with different scents (especially lavender) to rely on as a last resort.

She's now 7, so we have a dvd player which works great. Also, try a cd of relaxing sounds for your baby. Good luck!

Last seen: 9 years 6 months ago
Joined: 10/24/2007 - 16:24
Keeping baby entertained

I spent the last year traveling with my son, who is now 14 months old, both by car and plane. What was key in keeping him occupied and not prone to yelling or wiggling around was the right distractions. Granted, they are only good for so long, so I recommend not pulling out all the toys at once. Pace yourself, so you always have a new toy to introduce when the current one gets old.

I tested a few age-appropriate toys for infants and toddlers, and have posted them on my site, [url][/url]. There are suggestions under infant and toddler toys and games that might be useful; also try accessories.

Have a wonderful trip and I agree with leaving just before naptime and see how long you can go. That might take up a couple of hours right there!

Enjoy the journey!

Last seen: 9 years 1 month ago
Joined: 10/02/2007 - 08:00
Long drive with baby

You'll definitely have to stop more often now that you're traveling with a baby. But you're lucky that there will be two adults, as one of you will be free to hand the baby new toys to play with or things to look at.

Some parents swear by leaving a couple of hours before bedtime and driving into the night so the baby sleeps most of the way. But other parents find themselves so tired when they arrive that they never catch up on their sleep and don't enjoy their destination that much. They swear by leaving a couple of hours before naptime and hoping that baby will take a long nap with the rhythm of the car.

Either way it's a good idea to bring plenty of distractions -- new toys, rattles, and books; music tapes if your baby likes to listen to music; and healthy food to nibble on if your baby eats solid food. Some families put vinyl stickers on the car window to give the baby something to look at in the hopes that it will by them a few more miles. I'll never forget a long car trip we took with our seven month old and the only thing that made her stop crying was my singing. Needless to say I was hoarse by the end of the trip and my husband's nerves were completely shot!

Stop the car to give the baby a break from the monotony of the car and move his or her little body around and to change his diapers so he's not's uncomfortable. If the weather is decent, bring a blanket and go to a park for some outdoor time.

But no matter how much your baby cries, resist the temptation to take her out of the carseat, even for a minute. Wait til you get off the road and are safely stopped.

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