Recently me and Ronan decided to take a 12 hour road trip to Ohio with my mom! The last time I traveled longer than 45 minutes with Ro was when he was 6 weeks old (which is also documented HERE) and considering his hatred for the car seat, I was DREADING this trip.
We had a few challenges to prepare for. As I’ve said in the past, Ronan has pretty much hated his car seat since birth. I even bought him a new seat thinking he was just uncomfortable, but putting him in any car seat has proven to be more of a wrestling match than a simple task. Ro is also a very light sleeper and doesn’t like to go down in case he misses anything. He is very active right now as he is learning to stand and walk with support, so he doesn’t like to be restrained. He is also cutting 4 teeth and has a cold! So you can imagine why I was stressed about it. In reality, despite everything, he exceeded our expectations and did fantastic!
So what did we do to make our trip easy?
We left early! Most people say it is best to drive at night with babies so they will sleep the majority of the way, but that wasn’t an option for us, so we left at 5am instead. We packed the car the night before, slept in our travel clothes, and basically got up and left!
We made stops roughly every two hours (aside from that time that Ronan had a blowout 20 minutes after our previous stop -_-) We made sure to get him out at each stop and stretch him out and let him walk and crawl for about 15-20 minutes. He also surprisingly took three 2+ hour naps on the way and back so that definitely helped.
I sat in the back with him half the time. Now I know this isn’t an option for everyone, but it helped tremendously. Ronan is very attached to me these days and he doesn’t like for me to be out of his sight, especially if no one else is around or within his view. If he started getting a little antsy I would pop right back there and his mood instantly improved.
We brought the interactive toys and some teethers. Plain toys don’t seem to distract RoRo as well these days so I brought anything we had that lights up, plays music, or that he could chew on. I think I heard the “Hot Dog” song about a hundred times, but his happiness was worth it.
We brought plenty of dry snacks. Ronan loves snacking on the HappyBaby Organic Teethers, HappyBaby Organic Creamies, and Gerber Yogurt Melts. These helped a ton because it kept him full longer and distracted. Even though he is 8 months old, he is a little behind in the solids department so these have also helped him really learn to eat independently.
To me, traveling with an 8 month old was much easier than traveling with a newborn! You can easily distinguish their cries at this point, they are easily distracted, and at a fun stage. The only downfall of the trip is that Ronan hates his car seat even more now but he barely has to be in it anyways!
I hope this is helpful to anyone traveling with their sweet babes and I hope everyone is having a wonderful spring so far!