Road Tripping with a Baby

Monday, August 19, 2013

It's no secret around here-- we're road tripping people... We'll drive just about anywhere.  It started as newlyweds when we were broke. And then it was because we were cheap. And now it's just kinda our thing...

{There may be something about severe anxiety regarding flying with a baby mixed in there somewhere but we'll just stick with "I love to drive" for now.}
As with everything else, everyone told us our days of traveling would be over with a baby and babies would add a bajillion hours to our trips and all babies die of crying if they spend more than an hour in a car seat and blah blah blah.  So of course, we were determined to prove them wrong. Plus, spending $600 on plane tickets every time we want to see family just ain’t an option!  So buckle up Charlotte!

{Sound asleep like a boss. One leg straight up in the air...}

We still enjoy our long drives to Savannah and fun little trips like our day trip to Charleston last week.  We passed this adorable store on Highway 17 and just couldn't resist the signs for fresh peach pie and boiled peanuts... Luckily, Charlotte fits right in and is a total champ on these road trips.  I have no idea if it's pure luck, has something to do with sleeping in a car seat her first four weeks, or simply because her name is Grassmeyer.  Either way, she rocks a seat belt and I'm not complaining.
We throw some toys her way, strap a paci to her shirt, and we're set!  She plays with her toys until she has accidentally dropped each toy beyond the confines of her carseat.  At which point, she tells herself stories, so we turn down the radio and listen to her garble on and on and on until she catches us watching her in the rear view mirror and she breaks out into the world's biggest grin. It's pretty much the cutest thing you've ever seen...
I have learned a few tricks along the way to optimize our travel time though... Three of my road trip tricks that work for Charlotte: Don't take them out of their car seat.  At all.  Don't sit in the back with them. And make sure you have one of these CDs.
I know it seems like child abuse to not take them out of their car seats but it is SO, SO much worse for us when we take her out for 15 or 20 minutes and then put her back in for another four hours. She's all "I'm freeee!!" and I'm all, "Psyyy-eech!"  So I climb in the backseat {this trip I managed to do it all from the front}, we do bottles, baby food {those pouches + disposable bib}, diaper changes {unbuckle the part between their legs but keep the chest buckled...takes some skill but it can be done. Poopy diapers and all... You need to be in the back for this}.  I have also learned that she is much fussier when a grown up is back there with her—I’m guessing she knows in theory you can rescue her, so WHY ARE YOU JUST SITTING THERE SMILING AT ME??  We wave and smile and talk from the front seat and there's no wigging out.  We drove from DC to Savannah in 8.5 hours last week and stopped twice-- once for gas, once for food.
When she does get fussy-- which she does, don't let me mislead you-- we pop in this Rock-A-Bye Baby cd and she instantly goes into a little baby trance.  It is insane how fast it works every single time. Like there's some Pied Piper crack snuck in there... But I don't question it, I just turn it up.  {Tiny, random world-- my cousin's husband, who is big on the Nashville music scene, is one of the producers for these...what?! I swore by this CD before I knew that but now I'm an even bigger supporter.  You can find these all over-- I see them by the register in a lot of baby boutiques...}
I do think some kids just hate their car seats and I don't really know what you do about that. But I'm also a big believer in starting early what you want your kids to be able to do- they're blank slates!  So we strap her in and take her with us...boat, car, Baby Bjorn-- whatever.  I'm still always waiting for her new found mobility to take over her willingness to sit in a car seat but she is still pretty awesome!
Today, my view matches my mood as we cruise I-95 and head back to work tomorrow.  But we are listening to some Metallica ala xylophone as our child goes into a trance behind me... We’re due to arrive in eight hours with only one stop.  Yeehaw!
Safe, happy driving y'all!

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