Guest Post: A military family, traveling with baby, and why road trips suck.

This guest post comes from Olivia who writes at Me And Baby E and who you can find on Twitter MeAndBabyE. A few other posts to check out is 10 Reasons To Stop Comparing You And Your Little Ones To Everyone ElseRespect The Play: Validating Play And Self Esteem, and Breastfeeding… One Mom’s Journey. Make sure to go on over and say hello to Olivia!

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meandbabye

meandbabye1

We are a military family, and as such very rarely live close to our extended families. This means lots, and lots, or road trips, anywhere from 2 to 7 hours at the moment.

Our daughter is 10 months old, and the first long (7 hour) road trip we took was when she was 3 months old. Yup, we’re completely crazy.

So here’s my advice on a long road trip with a three month old breastfed baby, or formula fed for that matter: Don’t Do It. A 7 hour road trip will turn into a 9 hour road trip between diaper changes, melt downs (both theirs and yours) and feeding sessions. Whoever you’re going to see, barring they have their own baby, can come see you.

My husband and I both had a serious case of PTSD after that fun journey both there and back.

Now that Eloise is more scheduled, although road trips still suck big time with a baby,  they are far more manageable. And by manageable I mean you have a general idea why they are having a complete meltdown in the carseat for, oh, the fifth time that hour, and it’s probably because they are bored to tears and Baby Einstein won’t cut it.

My advice for this situation: Ear plugs for you and your spouse or partner and a really, really good reason to justify once again traveling long distance with a baby.

I imagine that when Eloise is older and we can reason with her as to why she has to stay in her carseat for crazy long amounts of time things might get easier. “Mommy will go to jail and you’ll never see her again if I let you out of your carseat while we’re driving” doesn’t quite cut it at 10 months as a way to explain the whole sitting backwards in a five point harness with a smelly English bulldog breathing on you.

Oh, did I mention we travel with our smelly English bulldog, Meatball? Ya, add that one into the fun mix.

In light of our experiences thus far with road trips and babies, this Summer we will be practicing the short distance trips to nearby family and avoiding the longer, more painful trips that will most likely result in therapy later in life for both Eloise and ourselves.

If you’ve got older kids, or babies, and have mastered the road trip, preferably without the heavy meds, I’d love to hear from you!

*The Proclaimers ~ I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)

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One Response to Guest Post: A military family, traveling with baby, and why road trips suck.

  1. Kate July 1, 2013 at 14:08 #

    Great post, Olivia. We definitely have NOT mastered the road trip and avoid them whenever possible with our babe. But like you said, sometimes you find yourself agreeing to a road trip. The only thing that has come close to working is having a giant bag of stuff that my daughter hasn’t ever seen before, and hand them back one by one. A good friend suggested taking a $20 bill, going to a thrift store, and buying a bunch of books and toys, preferably the loud annoying ones. It’s a great place to get a bunch of little coin purses or zippered pouches. I’ve stuffed all sorts of things in change purses, including feather boas, stickers, little cards with pictures, keys, treats, etc. She loves opening them and then fiddling with the contents for a few minutes. These keep her busy for awhile, but nothing really satisfies a little one who is sick of being strapped down. Can’t wait to see other people’s tricks 🙂
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