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Old 06-04-2007, 11:43 AM   #11
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Re: Have you taken a road trip ALONE with DC?

I actually just did this this weekend.
My dh flew to CA for a wedding (best man) and since he was gone, I drove to my parents' for the weekend. It sure beat staying home alone all weekend! We all left Thrusday afternoon and the kids and I came home yesterday afternoon - J flies home today (gets in at 11pm.. he'll be taking a taxi from the airport). The drive to my parents' is 3.5hrs. With three kids who are potty trained (one just recently!), this is no small task. I was nervous, but we did just fine. I actually managed to make it both ways without stopping (even with a pregnant bladder!). The only thing that I was concerned about was having to stop for potty breaks and get all 4 kids out for that. Thank goodness we didn't have to. I just put my 3.5yo in a pull-up for the trip. Luckily, my kids all do very well in the car and all slept on and off during the ride. Honestly, my dh is usually the one that needs to stop on our road trips (go the bathroom, get a drink, get some caffiene, stretch his legs..).

We also had all four kids with us when we drove from CA to IA in January. Nothing like moving across country with four kids and two cats in a VERY crowded van!! THAT was a LOT of hours in the van!!!

Honestly, with one, I'd have NO problem at all. Just bring an umbrella stroller or a sling so you can go potty when you take breaks and be prepared to stop!

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Old 06-04-2007, 02:03 PM   #12
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Re: Have you taken a road trip ALONE with DC?

I don't think you're crazy. I've done it 3 times w/DS. The first time he was 6 weeks old, and the most recent he was 11 mos old.

The drive had always taken me 8 hrs before, but it takes more like 10 hrs w/DS. He's pretty good in the car, but I still had to stop to nurse him and/or eat, etc. And one or two unplanned stops just because he was getting too fussy.

My suggestions:
- If you can't see DC from where you're driving, get one of those mirrors so you can see her. It's reassuring just being able to see that your DC is OK or sleeping or looking out the window or whatever.
- Plan on the trip taking you all day. Don't think of it in terms of hours. Then, if it doesn't take much longer than usual, you're happy. But if it takes a lot longer than usual, it's not that big of a deal.
- Keep snacks on hand for both of you. It's terrible if *you're* hungry but doing OK otherwise & DC is asleep in the car! And if giving DC some snacks can give you an extra 15 minutes between stops, that helps to cut out at least one stop in the long run!

Good luck!
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Old 06-04-2007, 02:10 PM   #13
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Re: Have you taken a road trip ALONE with DC?

I've done numerous 12 hr trips alone. With 4 or more kids. It's really not that bad if you plan and just assume that at some point you'll have to adjust your schedule. I have to say that after having my mom come to help with my last road trip alone, it was so much easier doing it alone. If I had the last one to do over, I'd tell my mom to not even think about coming out to help because she wasmore of a hindrance. Just plan on leaving early in the morning when she's still sleeping to get a few hrs in before she wakes up.
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Old 06-04-2007, 02:41 PM   #14
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Re: Have you taken a road trip ALONE with DC?

I do 450 miles each way 3-4 times a year and almost always alone ... my trips are broken down into 150 mile mini trips ... after 150 miles or so we stop for 1/2 hr to play ... i usually leave around 5 or so so the first stop we go to mcd's for brekkie and use the play area ... this is also where we change dipes and put on clothes for the day ... the next stop is an early lunch stop ... same thing or if it is pretty outside we go through a drive thru and go to a park for a picnic ... and then they nap the last stretch ... i always packed lots of toys, books etc and put them in a basket that i seat belt to the seat between the boys in the backseat ... also i pack some snacks for them in case they get hungry ... thankfully my children have been making this trip since they were 2 mos old and have never had too many problems ... my problems are once i get there ... the youngest doesn't sleep well away from home and when he has a lack of sleep he has petit mal seizures
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Old 06-04-2007, 02:55 PM   #15
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Re: Have you taken a road trip ALONE with DC?

I do it all the time, anywhere from a 3-6hours away.

I found stopping made the trip worse because they kids(especially the older ones) don't want to get back in. On the 6hour trips we stop halfway for pee breaks & a meal. I usually would take the kids inside McD's to pee/diaper change & then back in the car to go through drive through. Going to McD's is easy, fast & the new crappy toy keeps them occupied since they're bored with the things they brought by then.lol

The girls are 5, 6 & 8 now & no longer sleep during trips. When they were younger they often slept for about 2 hours of the trip & then sometimes again after they ate.

the only bad parts of the trips we've done over the years was when we turned Asha forward facing & she decided she was going to become carsick every trip for almost 2 years after that unless we gave her gravol. The first time it happened it was milk with 90+ degrees, no A/C in the van & 30minutes into a 3hour trip. I made dh continue driving while I stood in the back cleaning her up as good as I could. The other time was when I'd spent 10days at my parents at christmas. I left on Dec 30th determined to get back to my place. It's a 6hour drive & I knew it was storming when I left. I got 1 1/2hours away & we stopped to eat & decide whether to continue on. When we pulled into that town there were cops on the road making everyone slow down because the roads were that bad. To continue on meant driving 40minutes on a hilly road with no shoulder to pull over if something were to happen. As we were eating an ambulance went by so I decided we should head back to my parents. It took me 2.5 hours to drive the normal 1.5hours back. I had to drive 40km/hr(normal speed is 100km/hr), couldn't see the sides of the highway & could barely make out 4 powerpoles ahead of me. I remember thinking I'd be in Quill Lake soon, as I knew I was then only 1 hour away & about 30minutes from Wadena. A few minutes later I could make out a couple of buildings & pulled into Wadena. I had completely gone through Quill Lake without even knowing it. It was another 2 days before I could leave my parents.
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Old 06-04-2007, 03:00 PM   #16
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Re: Have you taken a road trip ALONE with DC?

I have done this about 5 times with Whilder, starting at about 3 months old. My parents live 400 miles away, it's about a 7-8 hour drive from us to them. One time it took us about 12 hours because she was being horrrrrable and another time it took us 6 hours because she was sick and slept straight through.

My best advice to you is stop just BEFORE you think the baby is going to get cranky, and get out of the car for a while, let them walk around and feed them. If you wait until after they have started screaming, to stop, it's going to be really hard to get them back in the car without freaking out.

GL and it definatly can be done, just make sure you know your route well and have lots of places to stop along the way.

ETA:
Also, we did fly once, and it was worse than driving trying to deal with all the luggage on my own and the flight was delayed and we had a layover that was delayed then she got fussy on the plain, then the carseat my parents had was crap and etc etc...
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Old 06-04-2007, 03:58 PM   #17
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Re: Have you taken a road trip ALONE with DC?

I took a one year old and a 2yr old on a 13 hour trip in a mustang through the mountains. I took a 3yr old, 4 yr old and 4-5 month old on an 8 hour drive, stayed 30 hours, drove back. And when #4 was 3, 4, and 5 months old we went twice a week to a specialist 5-6 hours away, stayed for a 20 min appt and lunch, turned around and came home. I took the baby, a 2yr old, a 5yr old, and a 6yr old.
I don't miss those days though!
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Old 06-04-2007, 05:24 PM   #18
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Re: Have you taken a road trip ALONE with DC?

Thanks for all the responses. I think we're going to give it a try. We've flown twice, once at 3 months old and again last march when she 15 months old. She'll be 18 months when we go.

it was a pain this last time with two big carry-ons plus her, I used a leash in the airport! And I couldn't bring much b/c I had to check a carseat, luggage, and a bag just for diapers! This way I can bring all my dipes, a stroller, a baby pool, the outdoor swing, and all DD's favorite toys

She really likes music, which will be a big help in the car. And the tip about stopping before she gets cranky is a good one. It's about 400 miles, and we'd usually make it in just under 7, but I'll plan on it taking much longer! I'm thinking we're going to leave at naptime, and hopefully get in two hours on the road before she wakes up.
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Old 06-04-2007, 05:44 PM   #19
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Re: Have you taken a road trip ALONE with DC?

Your not crazy.

7hrs is NOTHING. I bet you will get there quicker than you think I bet you will only need one to two extra feeding stops.

We have taken 3 long trips (dh and I). When DS was 6 months old we went on a 3500 mile trip. We did it again when he was18 months. Then last summer we took DS (3.5) and DD (20months) on another 3600 mile trip. We made great time, and we all had a blast driving

I wouldnt think twice about a 7hr drive(by myself)
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Old 06-05-2007, 08:53 AM   #20
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Re: Have you taken a road trip ALONE with DC?

I am another "do it all the time". Our trip back to see family is 7-8 hours depending on stops. We have some regular stopping spots. I've tried packing a picnic to save money but have been foiled by the weather too many times and it went to waste so now we just plan on stopping at a certain restaurant that's about half way that has a nice wooden playground outside and a yard area for walking dogs (our dog is often with us too). We eat and then take some playtime.
My ds sleeps maybe an hour of the trip and is awake the rest of the time. I put a basket of toys on one side of his carseat and an empty basket on the other and he plays with things and then dumps them in the empty one. When he was younger they just went on the floor, LOL, and when we'd stop I would refill the toy basket.
We sing a lot of songs, play "I spy" type games....a Magna doodle or Aqua doodle type toy is great. Also if she likes books I really recommend big Richard Scary type books, books with lots of flaps to open or those "Look and Find" books because there is SO much to look at on every page you get more milage out of each book!
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