Is it illegal for a FF carseat to go in the front seat? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 89 Old 11-20-2005, 04:23 PM
 
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I think the percentage/risk factor srain was talking about included the risk of being in an accident at all--thus making her numbers pretty darn correct. Just to play devil's advocate here, but do none of you ever think about accidents where the back seat is demolished?? In my days on the volunteer fire department, I saw many an accident where there was simply no backseat left--often there was a front seat remaining though--by the same token, I also saw plenty where there was no front seat and an intact backseat--but they were pretty much even. And as a pp posted, your risk of a head on colision on a divided highway is significantly lower (and a divided highway is where I saw the most accidents where the backseat had been obliterated)
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#62 of 89 Old 11-20-2005, 04:37 PM
 
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Another question--I'm really just trying to find out what people think about these things--but if a choice like this is blatently a mama making an unsafe choice, what about when a mama buys a car that doesn't have the SAFEST crash test ratings, how about when they buy a car seat that isn't the absolute top of the line--for instance--is the mama in a honda civic using an Eddie Bauer carseat really making choices that are as safe as the mama who buys a volvo and puts her child in a rear facing Britax Blvd. When we have a second child--are we automatically comprimising the safety of our children because now of course one of those children cannot sit in the middle seat (and often, neither can)
There are still countries, who have done their own research (who's government research I tend to trust more than the US) who actually advice the front seat rear facing as the safest possible option (of course with airbags disabled)
To the pp who said "who will disable this for you" it' had already been established early in the thread that the safest option for that was to have that done at the dealership. We actually had the bag removed completely as an additional measure of safety while dd was up front.
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#63 of 89 Old 11-20-2005, 05:07 PM
 
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Kirei....Um, I just took a look at your sig and see that your DD isn't a year old. At this point it would be irresponsible for me to recommend anything other than rearfacing, whether front or back seat. She is not physically developed enough to forward face. So if you HAVE to...put her REARFACING in the front seat with you and disable that airbag.
I am glad to read you appear to have some time to plan the trip. You have to weigh the pros and cons and being a single momma, I know you are probably very short on options. Good luck and let us know how you are doing and when you are leaving.
Here are two awesome links for you to look over to verify you have got her positioned correctly.
Infant carriers:
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/CPS/UsingIt...ear_facing.htm

Rearfacing Convertible seats:
http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/CPS/UsingIt...onvertible.htm

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#64 of 89 Old 11-20-2005, 05:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Hey, I'm AP all the way. We breastfed for years; we cosleep, we sling. I not only have sympathy for a crying baby and hate the notion of CIO, but I also have sympathy for the general rattle-your-cage teeth-on-edge delight of driving to the soundtrack symphony of sobbing.

That said, I have two words: Ear plugs.
Oh, great. In many states, this IS illegal becuase it's unsafe. Not to mention, abusive. If you're going to allow a baby to CIO, you should at least have the courage to listen to it. If you can't handle listening to it, then a child is even less able to cope with having to live through it.
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#65 of 89 Old 11-20-2005, 06:11 PM
 
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This is true, while in most places a carseat in the front seat is not a chargable offence, I don't know of anywhere that earplugs while driving isn't a chargable offence. If this is something you're advocating, I have to assume you've done it. A lot of police, ambulance and fire vehicle drivers had a collective headache at the thought of people driving with ear plugs so they won't have listen to their poor babes crying.
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#66 of 89 Old 11-20-2005, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yeah, i forgot to mention that.... ear plugs are illegal. not to mention the fact that i would not feel right about doing that at all.

and if i were to put her forward facing in the front, i was going to wait until she turns 1 year old. that was only because i thought she HAD to be forward facing in the front. now that i know rear facing is okay (pending disabling the airbag), i will do rear facing whether she is 1 year old or not.

btw, thank you for those links... i think dd's convertible carseat is installed incorrectly in the backseat. i have always thought that the seat seems too upright... when she sleeps, her head hangs forward onto her chest and she gets marks all over her face from the straps (sleeping on them, i mean). it looks so uncomfortable. i will try to see if we can fix it.
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#67 of 89 Old 11-20-2005, 09:21 PM
 
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Even if she's in the front seat, if she throws her toys, you still won't be able to bend down and reach for them if you're driving.

I've done really long (10+ hour) trips alone with DD several times, and my best advice is to put your DD in the backseat, and keep a huge pile of books and toys on the passenger seat next to you. If she tosses a toy, grab another one from the pile next to you and hand it back to her, and so on. When you stop to stretch or eat, collect all of the toys from the floor of the backseat and put them back on the passenger seat. I also keep lots of snacks and extra sippy cups next to me. If your DD is going to be upset in the car, she's going to be upset regardless of whether she's in the front or the backseat. Frequent stops, treats, and new toys will probably go a lot farther to keep her calm than riding in the front seat.
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#68 of 89 Old 11-20-2005, 09:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
Actually, the numbers are known - at least pretty closely. The link I provided before says that riding in the rear seat increases safety in a collision by up to 25%. That's a far cry from .00001 or .00002.

And yes, it's true that going anywhere is a risk. It's also not practical for the majority of the population. The point is that you should minimize risk where you can. The OP can't be sure that her daughter is going to be traumatized by riding in the back seat. She can be sure that her daughter will be statistically less safe in the front seat (even moreso if she's front-facing).
Thanks -- you said that way better than I could've.
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#69 of 89 Old 11-20-2005, 09:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirei

btw, thank you for those links... i think dd's convertible carseat is installed incorrectly in the backseat. i have always thought that the seat seems too upright... when she sleeps, her head hangs forward onto her chest and she gets marks all over her face from the straps (sleeping on them, i mean). it looks so uncomfortable. i will try to see if we can fix it.
The 45 degree angle mentioned in the link I posted, is optimum to prevent the head from flopping forward and possibly cutting off the child's airway. It is the rule of thumb for infants who do not have head or neck control yet. BUT, since in your situation, your babe is almost a year old and has good head and neck control, you can adjust it to a 50 degree angle but I wouldn't have it any more upright than that. So, 45 degrees if the babe has no head or neck control yet, and up to 50 degrees as they age (some older babies HATE sitting reclined and sometimes moving it that 5 degrees makes them happier).

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#70 of 89 Old 11-20-2005, 11:41 PM
 
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I would put her rear facing in the front with no airbag. When dd1 was a baby, she went in the front when she was with just one adult. Our risk assessment was that being able to make eye contact was better than not being able to.

Is it possible to put your car on a train and travel on the same train? I have no idea, but that might work.
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#71 of 89 Old 11-21-2005, 01:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Irishmommy
Is it possible to put your car on a train and travel on the same train? I have no idea, but that might work.
I would LOVE to if this were possible. When we came from NY to Portland, I looked into this.... Amtrak only offers that service somewhere between Washington DC and Florida, I think. It would be the IDEAL solution for me!!!
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#72 of 89 Old 11-21-2005, 11:48 AM
 
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Another thing I was thinking about last night....I believe someone already mentioned tying the items down. That's good...Also, what about contacting VW and asking if they have a cargo net that is compatible with your vehicle? I don't know...just trying to think of how you can travel the safest based on your limitations. You could stretch the cargo net over the whole kit and kaboodle. You may not have any hooks or attachment points for the net though....??????
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#73 of 89 Old 11-21-2005, 06:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly
Actually, the numbers are known - at least pretty closely. The link I provided before says that riding in the rear seat increases safety in a collision by up to 25%. That's a far cry from .00001 or .00002.
Um, the example I gave actually assumed a 100% increase in risk. What is unknown, at least to me, is the risk of being in an accident at all.
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#74 of 89 Old 11-21-2005, 06:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shannon0218
Another question--I'm really just trying to find out what people think about these things--but if a choice like this is blatently a mama making an unsafe choice, what about when a mama buys a car that doesn't have the SAFEST crash test ratings, how about when they buy a car seat that isn't the absolute top of the line--for instance--is the mama in a honda civic using an Eddie Bauer carseat really making choices that are as safe as the mama who buys a volvo and puts her child in a rear facing Britax Blvd. When we have a second child--are we automatically comprimising the safety of our children because now of course one of those children cannot sit in the middle seat (and often, neither can)
Thanks for pointing these things out- some folks need to be reminded that virtually no one can realistically always make the "best" choice (when a "best" choice is even possible to know).
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#75 of 89 Old 11-21-2005, 07:47 PM
 
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Unfortunately, noone seems to be answering it
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#76 of 89 Old 11-22-2005, 05:06 AM
 
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I have to second (third?) the idea of shipping your car and flying. My mil did this, from Washington state to Connecticut just a few months ago. It cost, I think, $800 to have the car shipped. It ended up being the same price as gas, if not less, and then you would get there quicker and be able to settle in and get a job sooner.
That said, I am so sad that you are leaving the west coast
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#77 of 89 Old 11-22-2005, 06:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by shannon0218
Unfortunately, noone seems to be answering it

I'll bite.

A new Volvo costs about $27,000 - and I'm talking bottom end, base model car. A new Civic costs about $15,000 on average. That's a huge difference. Not everyone is able to run out and spend the money on a Volvo. Not to mention that the NHTSA gives the 2005 Civic (with side air bag) the same safety rating as the Volvo S40 (the low end Volvo) in all categories except one -- the driver side, in which Honda scores higher than Volvo.

Sure there are cars and carseats that have higher safety ratings, but all new cars and all new carseats must all meet the same minimum safety requirements now, and the requirements are getting more and more stringent. The difference in safety ratings among products isn't as great now as it was 10 years ago when safety standards weren't as high. And sure, a Britax has higher safety ratings than an Eddie Bauer carseat, but the Eddie Bauer carseat still passes a pretty strict set of regulations, and is by no means unsafe. And again, there's a price difference between the Eddie Bauer and the Britax - a huge price difference, and most people can't afford the Britax - heck, most people probably can't afford the Eddie Bauer.

But regardless, the Britax seat isn't going to make a bit of difference over the Eddie Bauer seat if it isn't being used properly and in a safe manner.
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#78 of 89 Old 11-22-2005, 10:27 AM
 
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Ok, you're saying both meet minimum requirments....so does a rear facing carseat in the front seat PROVIDED the airbag has been disabled. What about having second and third children? That instantly drops a HUGE safety factor of keeping the seat in the middle.
I guess what I'm saying is that everything is a balancing act, I drive in fairly unsafe areas where a lot of nasty accidents happen due to weather and people who are unfamiliar with navigating rural roads--because of that, I choose to drive a truck, I want the visibility to see beyond the farm fence, I want the size--cause out here, if you crash into someone it's probably another farm truck or a deer. I feel comfortable with my child in the backseat because I know what has to happen to the box of my truck before anything gets to her in a rear end collision. Would it be cheaper for me to drive a Kia--yeah sure it would be but I choose to drive something *I* feel is safer for where I drive. I don't have an alarm system in my house, hell I don't even lock my doors--I do however have dogs who are trained to bite--that's my comprimise.
I may make choices regarding my family's safety that you would never dream of--and I'll be you any money that you make choices about safety for your family that I would never dream of. For instance--I would NEVER live in New York, or even Toronto--because I don't feel it's safe. For you or many others though, you probably think that's a perfectly acceptable risk to take.
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#79 of 89 Old 11-22-2005, 11:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by shannon0218
Ok, you're saying both meet minimum requirments....so does a rear facing carseat in the front seat PROVIDED the airbag has been disabled. What about having second and third children? That instantly drops a HUGE safety factor of keeping the seat in the middle.
Actually, if you have two or more kids, the rearfacing infant is much safer than say a forward facing child in a convertible, combo seat, or booster so the rearfacing child should be put in a rear passenger outboard position and the less protected child who is forward facing, should be put in the rear center seat.

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#80 of 89 Old 11-22-2005, 11:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by shannon0218
I may make choices regarding my family's safety that you would never dream of--and I'll be you any money that you make choices about safety for your family that I would never dream of. For instance--I would NEVER live in New York, or even Toronto--because I don't feel it's safe. For you or many others though, you probably think that's a perfectly acceptable risk to take.
You make a very good point, shannon. It's absolutely true that we all make different, often equally legitimate choices about safety and acceptable risk. I'm not sure that's a reason to dismiss any of the information being provided in this thread, though. As dallaschildren pointed out in response to the choice to have multiple children - while the choice to drive with more than one child at a time makes them both statistically less safe, there is a more safe and a less safe option for carseat placement with multiple children where one is in an infant seat and one is not. So there are levels of choice. You make the over-arching safety choice (to have one child, two children, etc.) then you make the subsequent safety choices within those parameters. Where all things are equal, though, a child is statistically safer rear-facing in the back seat than rear-facing in the front seat and, it would seem, safer rear-facing in the front seat than front-facing in the front seat.
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#81 of 89 Old 11-22-2005, 12:05 PM
 
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I agree with the idea of shipping the car and flying. In fact, I know that there are services that will drive your car for you. I think that could be even cheaper than shipping. They get someone who's a good driver and up for the trip to do it, you can probably have your stuff in the car (I'm thinking they pay for gas, but I'm not sure), you're there first, then your car arrives to meet you. I'd look into this, or even post a notice at a local university asking for a student to do the driving. Cross-country road trip for just the price of gas, or for splitting the gas or something like that can't be bad for a college student.....No matter the location of the carseat, that's a SUPER DUPER long drive for a little one. Heck, it was a long drive for me when I was 25, and I can't imagine doing it with a tiny. So, I'd go for the quick air travel option. Good luck figuring this out.

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#82 of 89 Old 11-22-2005, 03:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shannon0218
I choose to drive a truck, I want the visibility to see beyond the farm fence, I want the size--cause out here, if you crash into someone it's probably another farm truck or a deer. I feel comfortable with my child in the backseat because I know what has to happen to the box of my truck before anything gets to her in a rear end collision. Would it be cheaper for me to drive a Kia--yeah sure it would be but I choose to drive something *I* feel is safer for where I drive.
See, but you're assuming that it's a choice for everyone. For a good majority of the people, it isn't a *choice*. Some people can't afford to buy a bigger, more expensive car. To assume so is rather classist, don't you think?
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#83 of 89 Old 11-22-2005, 06:54 PM
 
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Not at all, you can buy a used Volvo or a used truck as cheaply if not cheaper than you can buy a smaller vehicle--how is that classist?? I'm far from rich, but I choose to spend money in certain ways that I feel are most important for my family. Some families with very little money choose to spend their money first and foremost on eating organic food. Some choose to spend their money on health care. Some choose to spend on a specific car. Some choose to spend on a specific carseat. Some feel if they've done the best the can on car and carseat, the have the wiggle room to make the choice to do a less safe, but still safe move on placement. I *personally* believe that a safe car and a safe carseat in a less safe placement (but still within the requirments) affords as much if not more safety than the car that passes safety tests with minimum safety requirments and a seat that passes with minimum safety requirments placed in the safest location in that less safe car.
I do however believe it is somewhat classist to assume that the OP can afford to ship her car, or ship all her stuff or do any number of other things that will cost her a lot of money to make a trip she's obviously trying to make on a bare bones budget.
I believe we all make the choices that are appropriate for OUR family. Your choices will be different than mine. Provided we are operating within the standards and law, there are factors that will make your choice better sometimes and mine better others.
As I said at the beginning of this thread--nobody knows what part of the vehicle will be destroyed in an accident. I've seen accidents where the backseat has been completely obliterated, sheared off and crushed, but the front seat was intact--I've seen the reverse. As a parent--I can guarentee you that if my child is in killed in an accident like the first one--I won't be free of guilt just because my child was in the "safest" spot for her--no I will wonder until I die if she'd still be alive had she been in the front. If she were killed in the front seat, I'd wonder until I died if she may still be alive if she had been in the back. All I'm trying to say is that just because the rear middle seat is the "safest" doesn't mean it will always be the safest. I think it's important to also consider things like a the fact that a stressed and distracted mama is more likely to be in an accident in the first place. I just think that when ALL the factors are taken into account ie; type of vehicle, type of seat, type of road beng driven on, placement of seat, mental status of driver, that you will always have one or two of those factors that could be better--placement is a factor, just as mental status of the driver--which plays a bigger role in which accident is impossible to know until the accident occurs.
I fear that sometimes people are lulled into a false sense of security--where they think that if the seat is good and the placement is good, they don't have to worry about other factors. Similar to the people in 4 wheel drive vehicles that I pull out of my ditch all winter long.
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#84 of 89 Old 11-23-2005, 08:37 PM
 
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I totally reccommend a mirror that hangs on the back of the backseat, in front of the baby. THis entertains DS sooo well. We drive 4 hours round-trip every other Friday, and this made a huge difference in the amount of driving I can do between stops. Plus, I can see him in the rear-view mirror this way.

Also, I keep all the toys but one or two in the front seat, and just hand them back as he drops one.

On the news just two nights ago, they said that a recent study found that children as old as 14 are not safe in the front seat.

Good luck. Maybe look into the car shipping idea. I know Jet Blue has super cheap flights from PDX to NY, like cheaper than gas. Add up the money saved on meals, car repair, etc, and you may be able to afford shipping it.
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#85 of 89 Old 11-27-2005, 12:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by boysrus
I have to second (third?) the idea of shipping your car and flying. My mil did this, from Washington state to Connecticut just a few months ago. It cost, I think, $800 to have the car shipped. It ended up being the same price as gas, if not less, and then you would get there quicker and be able to settle in and get a job sooner.
That said, I am so sad that you are leaving the west coast

Gas for this trip will cost me about $300 (and we have done it before, I know this is true). I get around 30+ MPG. I definitely cannot afford $800 to ship my car. I mean... I wish I could, but I know I can't.

I guess it needs to be said -- sure I would love to fly, and have someone else bring my car. Thats how I got from NY to Portland in the first place (ex brought the car). But this time, I'd be going back to NY alone.... so there is no one else to drive for me. I cannot afford car-shipping, and even if I hire someone to drive it for me -- I would at least be expected to pay for gas. Then there is also the fact that I would be trusting a stranger with my car AND all my stuff.... sorry, but thats really scary.
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#86 of 89 Old 11-27-2005, 01:29 AM
 
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OK, never mind then. I cant remember why it seemed so much more reasonable for my mil, but maybe it was because of hotels and eating out (mil is very much NOT frugal!)
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#87 of 89 Old 11-27-2005, 01:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, never mind then. I cant remember why it seemed so much more reasonable for my mil, but maybe it was because of hotels and eating out (mil is very much NOT frugal!)
Motels would easily cost an extra $300+ (depending on the cost of motels, and how long it actually takes me... it could be more).

So, yes, in that case.... it could be cheaper to fly and ship the car, I'm not sure. But I'll be staying with friends where I can.... hopefully, I won't have to stay in ANY motels.

By the way, I'm STILL not sure if I'm leaving or not. Its a really hard decision.
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#88 of 89 Old 11-27-2005, 02:02 AM
 
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#89 of 89 Old 11-27-2005, 05:23 PM
 
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kirei- There are a lot of hostels across the US. Many have private rooms with double beds for around $25. Look up US hostels online and if you can, try to make reservations with them. You can always change or cancel them. It is WAY cheaper than staying in a hotel and very, very often the hostels have a full kitchen to share and even free food in it. If you PM me with a route, with the major freeways you'll take and your approximate travel time, I can find you hostels along your way. I'll find ones with private rooms so you and dd feel safe.

I also recommend what littleaugustbaby recommended, with the pile of books and toys. That method came to me after being in a car with a barely a toddler for a long time. Chances are, if she hadn't suggested it, you'd have figured it out from necessity.

Since it's close to the holidays (or at elast the recent posts are, forgot to check the OP date), can you ask for gas giftcards? I know there are a lot of national chains, like flying J, Love's and others. You could do some reserach to see what companies are on your way and your friends and fmaily could buy gas cards for you that you could use for much needed gas or for snacks in gas stations when you and dd need a break.

When my dd was about 5 or 6 months, I took a long trip with her by myself in my car. The car didn't have airbags and about 3 hours into the trip she started cutting a tooth and feeling separation anxiety. I was in the middle of nowhere, so I nursed her and then switched her seat up to the front where I could reach my ahnd over to let her chew my finger, hand her teething toys etc. I would stop at gas stations and get fountain drinks for the ice so I could give it to her to chew/suck on. It was really helpful to me and I don't regret putting her up front one bit. It was less safe than in the back, but I had to make the trip and if she had been screaming I would have been so emotional I wouldn't have been able to drive safely. It was a trade off, in a sense.

Good luck!
Mamma Mia is offline  
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