S.W. asks from Portland, OR on May 04, 2009
Seeking Car Travel Advice
my husband and i are planning a road trip and wondering what time of day would be the best time to drive for our, then, 14 mo. old son. we will be driving a 10hr. stretch, a few days later a 6 hr. stretch, a few days later 7 hr., and then the final stretch home will be another 10 hr. our son still naps twice/day at 9 am and then again at 1:30 and goes to sleep for the night at about 6:30 pm, not waking again till 2:30 or 3 am. he has been known to fall asleep in the car during nap time on shorter trips, but begins his nao late and doesn't sleep as long as usual. one idea we had was to drive during the night (hard on us, easy on him?) hoping that he would sleep the whole time. we just want to set our son up for as good a visit as possible given the long car trip. oh yeah, he generally likes the car.
1 mom found this helpful
J.C. answers from Seattle on May 04, 2009
Great question, S.--- I'm sure you'll find a good balance between doing ALL the driving at night ( which means you'd be in really poor shape to let him run and wiggle during HIS up time- as you'd be ready to crash) - and making all the drive-time during time that he is usually able to run and wiggle. The greatest problem you'll have is that it is NOT natural for a child so young to be still so long- my strong recommendation is build into your plans that you will stop every 2 or 3 hours and let him play in a park, an open area - or even a McDonalds' play-place --- somewhere where he can run, and climb, and use his muscles and stretch and be a natural little boy( arent they the coolest thing ever?????????) Be sure and pack some toys that will help you to help HIM to really take advantage of his play opportunities- balls, other toys to throw and run with ---
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E.J. answers from Seattle on May 05, 2009
I had asked this same question a while ago and went with the "start out early in the morning" advice and it went great. I would say to avoid driving during the night - it is just too exhausting and you want to be awake for your visits as well! Also if he didn't sleep well in the car and you are driving overnight you just end up with on very tired baby on your hands. Just enjoy it and you all will do fine! Oh also if your son likes music I would suggest getting kids CDs from the library so he has some new fun things to listen to!
1 mom found this helpful
K.P. answers from Seattle on May 05, 2009
My husband and I have taken many long trips with our young kids. I make up an activity pack. In the pack I have a cookie sheet with magnets, coloring books with crayons/pencils and books. My kids like sticker books as well. We also go over their colors by bring a book that has a lot of colors. Then I have the kids point out something outside that is that color.
The biggest thing is that we stop every two to three hours so that everyone can get some fresh air and strecth their legs. We try to stop at a place where their is at least a little grass so that the kids can run around.
Have a fun and safe trip!
H.C. answers from Seattle on May 05, 2009
Last year my family took a 14 hour drive, stayed a week, then 14 hours back home. We agonized over when to drive...We woke up super early, maybe 3 am. she woke up wanting to know what the heck was going on, she fell asleep in about an hour down the road. This disruppted her sleep just enough that she slept for several more hours. By the time she woke it was almost time for lunch!! Weather was terrible, so we had a very LONG stop at McDonalds play place! It was amazing! Back in the car after a nice long play...it was all good. She knew we were headed somewhere fun. Even though she was only on one nap, she fell asleep again...boredom! My point is...don't stress as much as we did. It will all work out! We brought along a laptop for a movie...she only watched one the whole trip! she usually hates the car, but was such a trooper!
G.H. answers from Portland on May 05, 2009
We always have traveled with our children during the night. We usually leave around 7 pm to make it easier. Also, bring along a portable dvd player if you have one. This will help. Pack a surprise backpack with coloring books, books, stickers to help keep your son busy.
L.C. answers from Seattle on May 05, 2009
To travel with a young child can be trying at times. However, here are some tips to make your trip successful. Car rides can comfort the little adventures. I found this to be true for my child when I made a 13 hrs. non-stop drive. Bring your child's favorite toys and books. Do look into purchasing a portable movie player. I played Baby Einstein for my son. Leave for your road trip early in the morning. Possibly 5am. Your child will soon fall fast asleep. Stop for potty breaks. Run with your child to the bathroom and than run back to the car. This stretches everyone's legs. Hope this helps.
C.M. answers from Seattle on May 05, 2009
Surprisingly, my daughter who is kind of the same way with her sleep schedule, sleeps beautifully in the car, especially when her tummy is full. You might take a rest at a rest stop or something and let him run around and wear himself out at some point and then feed him. That helps too. Hope it goes well! :)Have fun!
N.W. answers from Eugene on May 05, 2009
We have taken many roads trips. When my kids were little, driving through the night made sense only if it was one long drive to a destination where we planned to stay awhile. It takes at least a day for the drivers to recover from driving all night. Plus, when you arrive,the parents are exhausted, but the kids are well-rested and ready for action! It's better if everyone is on the same schedule.
We enjoy a trip more if we can find a place to stop mid-way for lunch and an activity. It could be a park, museum, shopping mall, a stream, or nature trail. It turns a driving day into a fun day. Sometimes, our fun stop turned out to be one of the most memorable parts of the trip.