In a couple of weeks we're driving to Austin for Dh's brother's graduation. It looks like it will be a 14 hour drive, which we plan to do over two days. There is absolutely nothing of interest on the road between here and there.
I'm dreading having Rowan in the car for that long. I know she'll nap some, but other than that, what do I do with her? And how often should I stop and let her run around? I know some of you have done this kind of thing - any suggestions?
DD1 Rowan, 9/26/10
Expecting #2 in August 2013
I've driven to Miami twice now, which is about a 12 hr drive. Once when my DD was 10 mo, and again when Lucas was 6 mo and my DD was 2 1/2. Both times we drove overnight so that they would sleep the majority of the trip, and I can't imagine trying to do it during the day when they are awake the whole time. Even at night we stopped about 3 or 4 times for snacks/bottles/bathroom/changing breaks and to just get them out of the car for a few min. Make sure you bring LOTS of snacks, pack a cooler w/ drinks, etc. and bring some car-friendly toys. Mine like books and things that have lights and/or make noise. GL!!
Aiden has done 14 hour plus trips 6 times now. lol. Every time we stop for gas, he gets out of his seat. I give him a quick rub down to keep limbs happy, change his diaper, and play for a few minutes. If it's near a meal time for him we'll stop someplace to eat, change his diaper, and let him just stretch out. When he's awake we change out toys. He sleeps some. If DH and I are both on the trip, one of us will go back there if he gets restless to play games with him. He likes watching movies on our iPhone for 5-10 minutes at a time. And in the end if he cries, we just crank up the music! lol.
I have a 14 hour minimum car trip next week by myself with Aiden to go home. It took me 16 hour last time. Not looking forward to this because I always do these trips in one day. lol
My advice? When she's sleeping, DRIVE like a bat of out hell. Choose your driving hours wisely. Shoot for a time when she'll be asleep if you can or a time when she's at least likely to be happy if you can't. We can do a maximum of about 6-7 hours per day. We start early and get off the road by 4pm. Any later than that and its screamfest. That depends on Rowan though. Perhaps you guys should drive at night since she's a night owl. Bring food so you can eat in the car if she's asleep and you're hungry because under no circumstances should you stop. Bring extra awesome "toys" she's never seen before ... like spatulas and old cell phones.
I wish we could just do the drive at night. Unfortunately, I have terrible night vision, and I don't feel safe driving long distances in the dark. Dh can do it, but not for 14 hours straight. Maybe we can leave really early in the morning.
DD1 Rowan, 9/26/10
Expecting #2 in August 2013
I've done the 10 hour dirve (now 14 ish) to come home 5 times so far with Juliet.
I've breaken the trip up into two. I leave about 1/2 before Juliet's first nap. Then stop for 1:30 to 2hours for lunch at a big McDonalds that has an indoor playground. Then, we leave in time for Juliet's nap again. We stop in between for bathroom breaks and a stetch.
I also agre that it is good to work with your DD's schedule and moods.
I agree that having new toys helps alot. This time around, I pulled out an Elmo phone that DS had. Juliet loves pressing the buttons.
Just be ready that you might gets sick of hearing the toy over and over and over and over again. Earphones with an music device is great.
Puff in small containers with covers that come off somewhat easy makes for a good toy.
God gave Joseph his sister Juliet on November 19th, 2010.
We do 8-9 hour trips pretty regularly. Mostly we leave in the late afternoon so there will be some night time sleeping. If that is an issue with your vision you could always drive in shifts. Like leave midafternoon and you drive while it is light, have DH drive during the dark hours, and then you drive again at dawn. Its horrible to drive during the hours as an adult but having your LO sleep a good portion of the drive is awesome. Books on tape (or iPod) totally keep DH and I going.
For the kids we've always had yummy snacks and fun/differnt toys to keep them interested. Once DS1 started walking we found that we had to pull over ever 3 hours or so for him to walk around. We tried to hit up exits with housing developments visable that would likely have a playground. Or just walk around the block. I hate having to stop so much as it adds on time but it helps the kids a lot. When DS2 was pretty little and still nursing a ton we had to stop every 2-3 hours to nurse and get out of the car.
~Joy~ DS1-8/5/05, DS2-10/18/10 (VBAC#1), DS3- 4/11/12 (VBAC#2!)