Wednesday, September 28, 2016

How To (not) Road Trip with Babies

 "Mommy? Racoon. Buckle."

When we got the minivan Chris pointed out that we would see our family so much more because we could just pick up and drive home. It was a comforting albeit amorphous concept to think about road-tripping with our children to see grandparents and cousins more frequently and theoretically whenever we wanted. 

Those amorphous, theoretical road trips became a reality two weeks ago when we decided to go to Idaho and then 24 hours later we left. We drove to Idaho Falls, a drive that took a little over fourteen hours from our house. Then I drove from Idaho Falls to Salt Lake, that drive took four hours. Then Salt Lake to Southern California, which took ten hours. Then back to Redwood City, seven hours.

Thirty-five hours, five states, and eighty zillion miles.

After two weeks on the road I felt like we had tried most of the road trip options you read about: a whole day of driving, a half day, mornings, afternoons. By our last trip (Apple Valley to Redwood City - omg that sounds like such a charming journey. It was not.), we were all desperate to be home, so we decided we would drive through the night when both kids were sleeping.

An hour into the night I thought I had everything figured out. I told Chris this was the way of the future! We were only driving through the night from now on! It’s so easy! Zoe is happy! Jack isn’t whining! Why did we ever try anything else?!

I’ll tell you why. After two hours behind the wheel I was delirious with drowsiness. By 10:00 Chris was driving and I was out cold in the passenger seat. I don’t know what we’ll do when we drive home for Thanksgiving, but we won’t be driving through the night.

It turns out when you are a sleep-deprived mother of two with a penchant for narcolepsy, driving through the night is not your safest option. Also? Road trip tips welcome.

b perry


  1. you drove!? AT NIGHT!? I'm so impressed, I barely like doing that. also, I am still over here cracking up that Jack's favorite toy is a raccoon.

  2. Ug. Road trips. We've done about a billion and they're still the worst. It helps when kids are old enough to be entertained by iPads all day long...

  3. Road trips are horrendous. We have done many in the past two years. I always think I've got it all figured out and it will be beautiful and simple....but it never is. As soon as you think you have your kids figured out, they will change, and you'll have to try everything over again. Oy!
    But as far as road trips with tiny babies go....I found a way to put the infant in a place where I could reach them while seated, and brought my Medela hand pump. I'd just chill in the passenger seat and pump a bottle (because Hunter ate EVERY TWO HOURS until he was like 10 months) and feed him while we drove. It worked until he decided he was sick of it and screamed bloody murder until removed from his carseat. This usually occurred 30-60mins from our destination. But anyway it was better than stopping every 2 hours!

    We've found that our kids have a 4-5 hour threshold for sitting. So I try to plan stops at those points. I look ahead of time for places that are close to parks, so we can eat/pee and they can run around and be free! Much nicer than a fast food place or grungy rest stop. Win-win!


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