Aaahhhh, it’s finally under our belt. We survived our first weekend roadtrip. My husband had a high school alumni sporting event this weekend out of the city which meant packing up our family, getting in the car and spending 3 days somewhere other than in the comfort of our house.
Getting ready for this short 3-day weekend took me about 1.5 weeks of mental, emotional and physical preparation. I haven’t been an anxious person for a while, but as soon as we were one week away from the departure date, I began The Lists: the clothes list, the toy list, the necessities list, the food list, the “buy there” list, the car distraction list.
Thankfully I have quite the experience as a roadtripper; my father was an exchange officer in the military when I was growing up, so I was quite used to being holed up in the backseat of the car trying to occupy myself for several hours, fighting for space with Vee on the backseat or complaining about one form of discomfort for another. But insuring a 5-month old’s comfort during a 2.5 hour drive was new territory for me. Yes, I know it was only a 2.5 hour drive to get to our destination, but when your baby only tends to nap for 45 minutes to an hour, tends to dislike being stuck in her carseat (for which she’s already getting to be a little big for) and it’s your husband’s first time driving his family from one city to another another, you have a lot on your mind.
Will she fuss the whole car ride? Will one pit stop be enough? Am I ready to handle a blow out in the car seat? A throw-up? Once we get there, will she sleep through her nights? Will she freak out about not being home? Will she get enough naps? Will I forget anything? My mind was a whirlwind of questions and the hunt for answers and options.
Well, all went really well. She happily confirmed to me that she could sleep through the majority of the car ride and, when awake, could be entertained (I had made sure to put my secret weapon, or what we now call DefCon 1, on my iPad just in case she had a meltdown). And once we were unpacked, sticking to our routines made our lives extremely easy and she slept through her nights without a hitch, never once had an exhaustion meltdown when we were out (walks in her stroller helped a lot when naps were impossible) or a difficult situation. Phew!
This weekend gave us a boost of confidence for the next big challenge: a two-week summer vacation which involves airports, flights and flight changes, road trips and two different overnight locations with a bunch of new faces for Miss Z.
We can totally do this.
Do you have any tips or tricks you learned about traveling with infants?