Traveling with a 4-month-old
March 21, 2014 5:03 AM Subscribe
We're planning to take our son to visit his grandparents for 4-5 days. He will be 4 months old. It's a 6 hour drive away. He's never spent the night away from home and the longest he's ever been in the car is 1 hour. What steps can we take to maximize our chances of a fun (and not especially sleepless) visit?
posted by Cygnet to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
He is currently 3 months old and sleeps in a co-sleeper. The co-sleeper might technically be "portable" but it certainly is not convenient to move or pack it. We're thinking of getting a Rock 'n' Play Sleeper because he has a bouncer seat that is the same shape, and he loves to nap in it. It would be really nice to have an easy portable sleeping solution especially because we hope to be making some more trips to visit family this summer. Does this strike you as a nutty idea? Should we do everything possible to keep his sleeping situation exactly like it is at home, even if it means dragging the whole co-sleeper with us? (Cosleeping at his grandparents' home is not possible - believe me when I say the bed is too small for it to be safe.)
We expect rockier sleep than usual, but we're hoping we can cobble together enough sleep to actually enjoy our trip.
He has a very consistent bedtime and bedtime routine which can be done easily anywhere, so hopefully that will help - 95% of the time he goes straight to sleep at the end of his routine with no fuss. He is exclusively breastfed, but will take expressed milk in a bottle. He is a cheerful, extremely active baby at home who tends to become quiet, fascinated and observant for long periods in new places. (He will sit on our laps and stare at his surroundings for 45 minutes + in a restaurant, or when we have guests visiting.) He is not easily overwhelmed or scared; he seems to really like excitement.
He's never been in the car longer than 1 hour, and he only takes car trips once every 2 weeks or so since we currently live in a city. So far he doesn't hate the car or anything, but when he's awake and active he doesn't like being confined. Picture books and singing keep him happy for a little while, but I expect we'll have to stop frequently if he's awake. Should we drive at night? If we arrive at our destination in the middle of the night, any best practices for helping him get back to sleep and have a good night's rest? (His carseat does not come out of the car, so he will probably wake up when we take him inside.)
He is used to being transported in an Ergo or occasionally a jogging stroller.
We've never traveled with an infant before. Is there anything we definitely need to bring, prepare or know?
In general, is there anything we can do to help prepare him to be handle the changes in his surroundings?