Spring means spring break and road trips with the kids. Whether you're headed to see grandma or catching some fun in a new place, we've talked to a few moms to get their road-tested tips for going the distance with a little one in tow.
1. Travel When Baby Sleeps
Kick-off your road trip when it's time for a nap or when baby goes to bed. Mom Marsha Wise says, "remember a baby's night starts at 7pm." You can get pretty far while they're sleeping. If two adults are traveling then you can drive in shifts so there's time to sleep for everyone while traveling through the night.
2. Plan for Stops
The days of making record time are over - for now anyway. If you can't travel at night then plan for a relaxed day on the road. Mom Amanda Woodin points out, "Little ones need more time to burn off energy and stretch their legs than adults." Mom Sandra Combs agrees, she packs outside toys for the rest area and a cooler for a picnic lunch. "We stop, eat, play, stretch, and then travel again. This always helps break up the trip a little bit. Plus the food I pack in the cooler is healthier and usually cheaper than some other options."
Pack a blanket for belly time with the baby and if you have older ones with you pack a ball or other active toys to get them ready for the next leg of the trip.
3. Put an Adult in the Back Seat
If there are two drivers for the trip, then trade between driving duties and baby duties. Mom Amy Sherman reminds us that babies love mom and dad's voice and face. Sitting with them not only helps in crisis mode - when baby loses a sock for example - but it also helps to keep them from feeling disconnected while staring at the back of the seat. Amy says, "Use your face. Make faces. Read a book. The sound of your voice is good all around."
4. Something New
This trick works every time. Purchase a new toy in advance. Save it for when your baby has lost all patience and has had enough. Then Bam! Bring out this really cool new thing. Mom Astra Groskaufmanis, says her secret weapon in the car was a hand-held mirror. "I don't know why," she says, "but it entertained all my kids for hours when they were young." When doing this make sure an adult is in the back seat of the car to monitor your baby with their new toy and make sure your baby is safe.
5. Dad's Advice (Bonus)
When I asked for tips on my Facebook Page in preparation for this blog I heard from dads too. The most common answer was the snarky "Don't go!" But my favorite answer came from Dad, Andrew Weinel. He says his greatest wish is for soundproof glass that divides the front and the back seats, like the have in a limousine. Why not? Parents sure do a lot of chauffeuring!Photo Credits:
Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is a writer and mother of two. If you liked this posting please follow her on Twitter @writerbonnie or like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WriterBonnie