5 answers

10 Hour Drive with a 6 Month Old

Next weekend my husband, 6 month old daughter, and I will be driving 10 hours to go to a wedding in Ohio. I am not worried about the trip out there, we will be leaving Thursday evening and driving through the night, so I anticipate my daughter sleeping just fine. It is the trip home that worries me! We will leave early Sunday morning and drive all day Sunday to get home. Has anyone taken a 6 month in the car for 10 hours before? How did you survive? Any suggestions as to what I can do to make the trip easier on her? We are currently using an infant carrier but I am wondering if she would be more comfortable in a convertible car seat for such a long trip. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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Hi A., we used to live in Memphis and commuted back and forth frequently on a 10 hour drive back to Kansas City. Actually, at that age, we found the drive to be quite easy. She slept most of the time even during the day. The lull of the car ride usually put her to sleep anyway! Just make sure to stop when your baby wakes up, let her stretch out, eat, change diapers, etc. Otherwise, don't stress out too much. It's when they are older and hit around 1 that it becomes a little more hectic to travel. Good luck and safe travels for you and your family!

Hi A.,

I recently did two six-hour drives with a six-month old by myself. I can tell you that it will not be as hard as you think if one of you is able to sit in the backseat and play with the baby and feed her. I really think you'll be okay.

It was difficult to do it by myself because I couldn't reach her. If she was crying I had to stop the car somewhere. Of course, you can't take her out of the carseat, but at least you can dangle toys in front of her and put the bottle in her mouth.

Good luck! I don't think it will be as bad as you think.

A.

I've done that many times, as we live ten hours from the nearest grandparents. Here are the things that I found helped, which are fine even if you are making the trip alone with the baby. First, memorize your daughter's favorite story that you read to her often. With mine, it was "The Foot Book", easy to memorize and recite while driving. Singing to her also worked well, so if you have any songs that you use to comfort her, remember them while on the road. Last resort for when she got too fussy...I kept a small bottle of bubbles (like what they have at weddings instead of rice sometimes) in the cupholder of the car. I could hold the bubble-wand in front of the air conditioning vent to quickly fill the backseat with bubbles, which invariably stopped the fussing and caused much giggling and such:)

Of course, you also have to plan on the trip taking longer than you expect...you'll have to be stopping frequently to change her at least. Take extra time at the rest stops to walk around holding her, and it will go a long way toward breaking up the monotony and reassuring her. If she feels that the car is a place where she is set aside and ignored for long periods, she may develop an aversion to the car.

Hope this helps:)

I totally agree with the stopping several times. I've driven to Denver from KC with an 18 month old and a newborn. We stopped every couple of hours, got drinks, and kept plenty of snacks...We left during the day and drove home at night, and really, they were good each way. With all that driving, they slept. I also found it helpful to take lots of books or things that they can hold on to. It takes a little longer to get there with all the stops, but it's worth it. There were a couple of times when we went for more than 2 hours in one leg, and the screaming was unbearable. So make the extra time, its definatly worth it. Have a safe trip!!

My husband and I did this several times with two...the best thing to do is stop often. If she is normally in an infant seat but is big enough for the weight requirement for the up right and she is not bottle fed anymore then go ahead and get an upright. If she is still taking a bottle then leave her in the infant seat or plan to stop to give her the bottle. We had one in an infant seat and one in a car seat. When it was time to eat she got her bottle with no problem...I slipped in the back seat. When we traveled with just one (while pregnant with the other) I sat in the backseat the whole time. That way I could entertain her and feed her and not have to climb over the seat often. Do plan to stop so she can be changed and stretch. Just like you she'll, get tired of sitting. So every couple of hours plan to stop for 15-30 minutes. Make sure you have her favorite toys to play with and a favorite blanket. If you have a travel DVD player, take it and pop in some Baby Einstein or cartoon movies. I wish those were around when mine were little. The colors and movement will keep her occupied for a while, since she doesn't have much to look at. Don't stress so much, she'll sense it and the ride won't be fun. Good Luck and God Bless.

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