Traveling 2000miles with a 5 month old? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 08-14-2010, 04:35 AM - Thread Starter
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DD is 4 months now but we are trying to visit home, Ohio, from Texas in September. We have a dog and a cat and want to take them along so the plane is out of the question because it is so expensive for that. We thought AmTrak until we realized they don't stop to let them pee! So it looks like we are driving. We will rent a van so we have room for everyone but I am concerned about DD. She doesn't hate her carseat but after about an hour in it she is ready to burst.

So my questions are
Anyone ever done this?
What is a reasonable expectation for how long it will take to drive there? - The normal drive is about 24 hours straight through with stopping for gas and food.
Anything I can do to make it easier on her?


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#2 of 5 Old 08-14-2010, 08:44 AM
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The longest trip I've taken in the car with my little guy was 5 hours when he was 6 months old, so I can't really speak to a trip as long as the one you're planning. But I will say that you should definitely consider spreading the trip out, with a stay in a motel to give everyone some non-car time. You can find a critter-friendly hotel at or other sites like that.
Also, take advantage of sleepy time... when the baby zonks out, get driving!
You will probably need to stop a lot more frequently than you're used to doing, though babies are so unpredictable. For our long trip, he slept the whole way there, but on the way back slept only 2 hours and screamed bloody murder the rest of the way. We stopped 8 or 9 times total I think -- it's a blur! I'd nurse him, change him, snuggle him, and then get him back in the seat and the screaming would begin again after a few minutes of driving. I was alone, so there was no option to have one person driving and the other riding back by the baby to distract him. It was a loooong day! Keep your sense of humor, stop as needed to care for the little one, and have a good trip!

Spiralshell -- Mama to David Nathaniel, born October 2009. And so you see I have come to doubt all that I once held as true. I stand alone without belief, the only truth I know is you.
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#3 of 5 Old 08-14-2010, 11:12 PM
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Oh boy. We just got back from a 2000 mile trip with the 10 month old (and the five year old). It was okay, but there's no way we could have gone that far when she was five months old. She has always been a child who wants to be upright, hates being buckled into anything and doesn't take a pacifier so we kind of had our troubles set for us. The only way we could make this trip is by getting a convertible carseat and Baby Einstein dvds for the car. We also split the trip up into 8 hour days, stopping usually every four hours or so and leaving each time around naptime so that she'd sleep for a little while at least. We were really flexible and tried to be patient. There were times when I had to breastfeed her while we were driving down the road. NOT FUN. But we made it and she did too and it wasn't too traumatizing. I think it would have been hard when she was five months old though because she was much less distractible - didn't care about toys so much and wasn't eating any solids.

FWIW, my other dd is a traveling champion. She rode with me cross-country monthly from when she was 6 weeks old and was awesome. I had to be patient of course and not try to drive for too long at a time, but she really just hung in there. She took a binky though and is generally not as intense of a child. I really think it has to do with the kid and their temperament.

Good luck!

Mama to Maia (12/04), Nora (9/09), Sam (8/12) and Step-mama to Aidan (3/02) and Luci (10/04).

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#4 of 5 Old 08-15-2010, 12:49 AM
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Honestly, I would get a petsitter or kennel your pets and fly. A trip like that is going to be extremely stressful, not just for the baby and yourselves, but also for the animals, especially the cat (it is a rare cat the enjoys travel). One of the biggest problems I see would be trying to take long breaks (like for meals) with the baby without leaving the animals in a hot car. I don't know how you'd get around that one, especially with the cat....At the very least I'd talk to your vet first about getting some meds for the cat in case he/she has a hard time with the car ride.

Mom to Morgan 4-3-06 and announcing Baby Kelsey 4-11-10
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#5 of 5 Old 08-15-2010, 08:32 AM
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every three hours you will need a break to breastfeed, let the baby move around (it's not good to be in the same position for very long especially for babies). So that will tack on another 4 hours minimium to the 24 hour driving. Plus, I would DEFINITELY start driving late at night, you might be able to get a 6 hour stretch in there with her sleeping if you are luckily. In all honesty though, I would find a petsitter and fly. This trip sounds like my worst nightmare. We drove with dd to venice (about 6 hours) and it took us 9.

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