Roadtripping with a baby

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

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Last Thursday we headed off for our annual trip to Apollo Bay. We had decided to drive, mainly because Apollo Bay is a 2.5hr trip from Melbourne & if we flew we'd have to hire a car to get here from the airport anyway. However, Apollo Bay happens to be a 3 day car trip from Alice Springs and I think Lulu must have sensed that she'd be trapped in a car for 3 days, so she threw up before we even left the house and then 3 more times before we reached the Finke Start/Finish line, which is about 15km from Alice Springs. 

Since we were still in mobile phone range I looked at the cost of a flight to Adelaide for Lulu & I. Fights were less than $250 and with the possibility that Lulu would continue to be sick during the day when we're 300km from no where (not an exaggeration), we turned back and took the flight. Nick, the hero, met us in Adelaide the next day with the car. We spent two nights with my parents before continuing the journey to Apollo Bay. Lulu wasn't sick over the weekend & only threw up twice during what became an over 10hr car trip. 

It's normally about a 7hr trip to the Bay, but when you're travelling with a baby you need to make a lot of stops and the stops aren't just running to use the loo or buy a drink. You've got the nappy change, a feed (and yes, she'll suck that bottle down as slowly as possible), stretching her little legs, playing on the swings. The old 'she'll just fall asleep because it's so boring' did not apply. She slept for maybe three hours in total! My tips for roadtripping with an 11 month old? 

  • ensure you can reach from the front to give the baby a bottle in the back - my arms are way too short for this to be comfortable
  • Interactive book/s - Lulu loves books where she can feel different elements ie sandpaper, fluffy, bumpy. One of these books can keep her entertained for ages.
  • Hanging toys - hang different toys from the handle above the door.
  • Snacks - I lost count of how many rice crackers Lulu ate. Many ended up on the floor but they all kept her occupied for a while
  • Sesame Street - At some point it's all just going to get to be too much. This is when you crack out the sesame street on the ipad. Yes, I was someone who said my kid wouldn't watch tv in the car but when confronted with a crying 11 month old who just wants out though we stopped 10 mins ago? TV wins. 

Have you done a big road trip with your baby? Any tips for our trip back? We are contemplating another flight!

2 comments :

  1. The longest we've done with Alice was 4 hours to NY. I ended up riding in the back with her most of the way just to make it a tiny bit easier. No tips from me but I will totally be using the iPad distraction when I fly all the way back to Boston from western Canada in March all by myself with an almost 1-year old!

    Nick rocks! What a good daddy. : )

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  2. These are always so exciting to me! I plan to do lots of roadtripping with my little one, but probably not until they're older than a year because of my husband's school schedule!

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