We are Going on a Road Trip

by jessicaturner on July 29, 2009

This weekend Elias and I are going to Atlanta. One of my friends is having her bridal shower, 30th birthday party and bachlorette party all in one day, so I have to be there. :) Our friend, Jennifer Schuchmann, is going to take care of Elias for the afternoon/evening. Isn’t she sweet (and lucky)? We will then crash at her house before driving home Sunday morning.

I am a little nervous about driving more than four hours with Elias by myself. He doesn’t mind the car, and I plan to have some CDs that he likes and lots of little toys, rings, etc. that he can play with. I am hoping that since we are going to leave really early, he may sleep a lot. However, he doesn’t sleep as well in his new convertible car seat as he did in the smaller infant seat. His head always plops forward and no amount of pushing back, blankets under his chin, side pillows for his head, etc. seems to help.

Have you ever taken a road trip with a toddler by yourself? What worked for you?

Also, thanks for all the birthday wishes and great recipes earlier this week. I am so appreciative!
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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen July 29, 2009 at 12:09 pm

I saw a recipe on Kelly's Korner that I have tried and it has quickly become one of my family's favorites. Simple and easy.
Swiss Stuffing Chicken
4 large skinless boneless chicken breasts
6 oz. Mozerella or Swiss cheese slices
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1/4 cup white cooking wine
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup herb-flavored crushed up Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix
1/2 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place uncooked chicken in shallow buttered casserole dish. Layer cheese on top. Mix soup, wine, salt, pepper; pour over cheese. Sprinkle stuffing mix on top and drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 1 hour.


Anonymous July 29, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Sweetheart I will be praying for Elias to be his wonderful self during your car ride…I must say I'm alittle nervous too!!! Mom


Julia July 29, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Have fun in the ATL!!! I live in Suwanee, if you are up that way wave when you pass :)


Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect July 29, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Annalyn has been a good car rider off and on. During the “off” times, I have resorted to singing songs loudly – many times! Most recently (over the weekend), I found that singing Jesus Loves Me did the trick. Something about the simple tune – or the profound words – settled both of us down, so we could all get home in one piece.


Sharon July 29, 2009 at 3:34 pm

I would actually love to know if you, or anyone else finds a product that works in the car seat for propping up their child's head. I also just switched from the infant car seat and my son's head falls foward. We have adjusted the seat to recline back as far as possible and that did help some, but it still occurs. I was contemplating ordering from the One Step Ahead catalog. They have a few products for neck and head support, but the reviews are mixed.

Good Luck with the car ride. My son is usually very good in the car. For those times when he is upset then I just talk to him and if I an able to, pat him on his head.


Barby July 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Hey Jessica!
I have driven with Caden by myself to Toledo a few times, and the is about a 7-8 hour trip. What I found that worked really well is that I keep a bag of toys (including new ones) right next to me on the passenger seat. Every once in awhile I passed a new one back to him and snagged another one that he wasn't playing with. I did all of this without looking at him. Every time he got something new he was entertained for awhile. It helped me get there pretty smoothly.


Julia July 29, 2009 at 4:27 pm

my advice…

let him chill for as long as he seems content. different toys, cd's, etc. if he falls asleep, great. if he doesn't and gets fussy, then you can resort to singing songs, talking to him etc. if he gets really antsy, might need to get out to let him stretch his legs. but 4 hours is not bad at all. we travel 8 and that's rough.

good luck


Brooke July 29, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Carter and I have never been alone, but the three of us have been to Disneyland (3 times), centeral California and down Route 66 all in the car, spending hours in the car. Carter always does great, he gets in his groove and plays and sings along with his music, occasional snacks and does lots of sleeping. In a pinch I will get in the back with him and watch a short show on the portable DVD player (he's not old enough to watch it on his own yet, as it's hand held) and as a last resort we will play the music to The Enchanted Tiki Room (I know it's strange, but it's calmed him down since he was born, who am I to argue?). I always worry it will be bad, but it never is all melt downs seem to resolve themselves with just a few minutes of time spent out of his seat with us, I'd just make sure you have time to stop a time or two. He'll do great.


Andrea @ MommySnacks.net July 29, 2009 at 6:01 pm

Jess, I have traveled with many a toddler by myself. I think your strategy is great with CD's and hand toys. Maybe take a few stops to have a snack and stretch a little.

Have fun!!!


LauraP July 29, 2009 at 9:27 pm

I drove with my daughter myself over the 4th of July weekend to the family cabin – about 4 hrs away. I was nervous, but it went really good!
I actually prefer to drive with my daughter (10 mos) at night. Then, she's already in nighttime mood, and tends to sleep really good on the trip. If I can't drive at night, I make sure to fill up her tummy before we go. She's more likely to sleep on a full belly. I also have a few bottles handy and her fave toys that are easy for me to hand back to her.
It also helps for me to remember that I might have to stop, and that it's OKAY to take my time driving – the trip will be less stressful if we make stops instead of listening to her cry the whole way!
Good luck – I know you can do it!


Shea Geisbert July 29, 2009 at 9:37 pm

new toys that he has never played with before has always helped us and lots of snacks! Good luck!


junglewife July 29, 2009 at 10:21 pm

We use the portable DVD player. REally makes the time fly! Also, new toys or switching out toys like others mentioned works great. Lots of snacks! Also lots of breaks – stop at McD's and let him run around for 15-30 minutes. The trip will be that much longer, but is SO worth it!


Carrie B July 30, 2009 at 12:51 am

I haven't had to travel more than 2 hours with my little guy, so I don't have any advice. But, I did enjoy some of the suggestions…I am sure I will use them someday. You will have to let us know how it goes.


SandyL July 30, 2009 at 1:22 am

I traveled 8 hours away with a 3 year old and a 5 month old… I just went knowing that I might need to take a break. Which I practically stopped at every rest area. The hardest part was having to hold my 5 month old and go to the bathroom..


Simone July 30, 2009 at 2:51 am

People have already posted most of my tricks, but something else I do is give my little guy a "snack trap." (You can find them at One Step Ahead, or Toys R Us sells them in the baby feeding aisle.) Elias is old enough to use one, and it forces them to eat slowly because they can only get one piece out at a time. We used Cheerios and Gerber Puffs at first, and now that he's 2, we do raisins and such as well. *Most* kids can't spill them. :) Safe travels!


Marissa July 30, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Could you put one of those neck pillows on from the front so at least his head would have a soft thing to flop forward on?


Amelia & Aliza July 30, 2009 at 3:34 pm

Have fun on your road trip! I have traveled many times alone with Amelia and most recently with Aliza. They gave always been great on trips alone with mommy…maybe it is the one on one! I always have a childrens music CD (they both love) and we always stop mid way to walk (or crawl) around in the grass at a rest area.


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