In case you missed it on my Instagram stories, this past weekend I took Andrew on his first road trip. We traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee, just the two of us, to see my family and a few of my best girlfriends. While going on his first road trip was a major milestone, I think the bigger milestone was the fact that I managed to do it solo! A small but exciting #momwin.
I am not going to lie I was definitely anxious about how Andrew would do in his car seat for more than his typical twenty minute ride. However, I assured myself that it couldn’t be too bad given the fact that Knoxville was only a three hour drive from Atlanta. I decided before I left that if I needed to stop every hour I would. In an effort to avoid this scenario, I tried to set us up for success by leaving after his first feeding (usually around 6:00 a.m.). Typically, he goes back to sleep after this feeding until around 8:30 a.m. So, if all went according to plan, he would sleep almost the entire trip.
Thursday night I had everything packed up and ready to go – Andrew’s bath tub, play mat, 24 diapers, six changes of clothes, his sleep sack, sound machine, stroller, and toys, plus my clothes for the weekend. Turns out the smallest humans do not travel light! So Friday morning after that first feeding all I would have to do was put Andrew in the car and go. Well, Andrew decided to move his first feeding up to 4:00 a.m. that morning. After he ate, he fell right back asleep and not wanting to miss the opportunity to drive while he was still sleeping, I loaded him up and we left at 5:00 a.m.!
I’m so glad I left when I did because he slept almost the entire drive! I had had two cups of coffee and really needed to go to the bathroom but I was much more afraid of stopping and waking him so I held it the whole way ha! He woke up at 7:45 a.m. at which point we were only fifteen minutes away from my parents’ house. I was exhausted the rest of the day, but at least we had an easy trip.
Since this was Andrew’s first road trip, it was also his first time out of his own environment. While he’s not sleeping through the night, I did wonder if it would throw off his schedule that we have established. Luckily, since we didn’t have any big plans for the weekend, I was able to maintain his routine of eat, play, sleep. He was a happy baby all weekend. The only hiccup was having a little bit of trouble falling asleep the first night. Other than that, it was as if we were still at home just with a few more sets of hands!
I wanted to do the exact same plan for our trip home. However, I knew I couldn’t wake up that early again. I still hadn’t caught up on my sleep, and I was just too tired to drive at 5 or 6 in the morning.
Instead I decided I would leave during his first morning nap around 9:00 a.m. Andrew woke up at 7:45 a.m. on Sunday morning. I spent the next hour getting us ready, packing the car, and talking to my parents. Right before we got in the car, I fed him. Although he started to fuss while I put him in his car seat, I crossed my fingers that he would nap once we got moving. Sure enough he fell asleep ten minutes into the car ride. Again, I told myself I would stop as many times as we may need to but he slept the entire trip!
I doubt it will always be this easy, but I am thankful that our first road trip together was a success. I’m no expert at traveling with a baby. However, from this experience I recommend timing your trip around their sleep schedules (if you can) and feeding them right before you leave! It definitely helped that our trip was only three hours total too.
What #momwin’s have you had recently?!