After my big trip to Atlanta with L over the weekend, I’d like to share my advice for taking a road trip with a baby alone.
I’m kidding… kind of.
If my schedule had been more flexible, I would have made the trip at night, when L would sleep through. But, I only had a half day of vacation to spare, so I drove out Friday afternoon and drove home Sunday afternoon. I knew it was a risky move, but I was willing to try in order to see my sis.
The first thing I did was make sure the car was “set up” for the drive. I made sure the mirror on the back seat was angled so I could see her in the rearview, made sure diapers, wipes, and bottles were easily accessible, and armed the passenger seat with extra toys and pacifiers.
On the trips we took earlier this summer, JD and I always had each other as backups to dig for the pacifier, hand her a new toy, or sit in back and keep her company if she got fussy. If I had toys and pacifiers ready to hand back to her when she inevitably threw the one she had across the car, it would hopefully prevent me from stopping every 5 minutes.
She fell asleep about an hour into the trip and slept for a good three hours. When she woke up, we stopped for a bottle and a diaper change. She was good for a while, but slowly started to lose patience. We played the hand-you-a-toy-that-will-entertain-you-for-a-few-minutes-till-you-drop-it-and-start-to-cry-so-I-hand-you-a-new-one game for quite some time. And, by quite some time, I mean for what felt like eternity. We had barely crossed into Georgia before she become inconsolable. No toys, no pacis, and no blankets made her happy. She was done. I couldn’t really blame her, I was done myself.
100 miles to go and traffic was building. I suddenly felt like I was in purgatory, my destination forever out of my reach. I pulled over about 80,000 times and tried to console her (okay, more like 3, but when you just want to get there, it feels like 80,000). I listened to her cry. And cry. And cry some more. By the outskirts of Atlanta, she had worn herself out enough to fall sleep again, and I was extremely grateful for the silence. Slowly but surely, we inched closer to our destination.
Would I make the trip again? Probably, but I’m also slightly insane like that. I wouldn’t recommend it, if you can avoid it.