Last weekend, we took our 3 month old daughter on a road-trip to Hull – the 2017 city of culture don’t you know? Not that we had time to do anything cultural as it was a whistle-stop tour; driving 2 and a half hours both ways in one day to visit family.
It was the first long drive we’ve done with the baby, and although it went pretty darn smoothly, we learnt a few things that will come in handy next time we attempt a long-distance drive (which will be soon as we’re going visiting elsewhere next month).
So here are my DO’s and DON’Ts of road travel with a baby:
- DO have a wee before you set off. Standard right? Apparently not for my husband who didn’t go before we left, meaning he spent the last hour of the journey desperate for the loo but unwilling to stop. Since women aren’t generally so stupid, perhaps this bullet should actually be ‘make sure your husband/boyfriend/man friend pee’s before you go’.
- DON’T panic if you miss your deadline to hit the road. You have a baby, it takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears just to get them ready to go… and then they’ll inevitably throw up down their outfit as you put them in the car seat anyway (yes, it happened, thanks babe).
- DO however, plan to leave a little earlier than needed to build in time for the last minute puke, pee or poo explosion. You’ll thank me later when you’ve dodged rush hour traffic.
- DO share the driving if you can. I drove there and my husband drove back which made our lives much easier. The passenger each way sat in the back with the baby to make sure she only snuggled her toy and didn’t suffocate herself with it (her preferred method of inducing sleep). If you can, opt for the early shift as the last thing I fancied doing after a long day was to drive for miles and miles in the dark.
- DON’T forget to stay hydrated! I am a huge, walking contradiction to this rule as I can’t drink before or during long journeys as my bladder is the size of a peanut (no H2O before I go, as I like to say). However, I can really feel the lack of water by the time I arrive so I’d highly recommend not following suit.
- DO plan your drive around nap and feed time. You want that baby satisfied and sleeping or you will be in two hours of plain hell with burst eardrums to boot. We woke up early, fed her and then got going for her morning nap, leaving again at the start of her bedtime after changing into her jammies.
And there you have it – it absolutely can be done (although you probably never doubted it, but I did). Babies are actually pretty portable, so a road-trip with a very littley one is probably the best scenario. Maybe when she’s older I’ll revisit this list with the addition of ‘DO tape her mouth shut’.
In the meantime, if you have any other helpful suggestions for our next road-trip, please share them below! Thanks Mummies 🙂