My in-laws live about 4 states over, which amounts to about a 10 hour drive, sans infant. Being a new parent, I have noticed myself walking through a new event to understand how we would deal with possible issues as they arise, and then plan ahead accordingly. The biggest challenge I could see for a long roadtrip was Bugga’s feeding schedule. How does she get the meals she needs without us completely doubling our travel time?
My daughter is exclusively breastfed, though she does take a bottle like a champion. The problem is I have recently determined I am crap at pumping in the car. I’m not sure if it is the stress of the overall situation, or just the stress of manipulating the pump and all the annoying parts, but I have trouble producing much more than 3 oz and that does not a full meal make. So we compromised for this one once we got on the road. I pumped for two meals’ worth in between nursings, and I’d nurse while my husband would go in and sit down at a restaurant to enjoy food I typically detest (Waffle House, anyone?). Then I get to pick anything with a drive-thru and we make the most of our travel time. Not bad – but next time we should definitely check flights.
The other challenge with extended road travel is how much time my daughter needs to spend in her car seat. And she was great! In fact, as I had actually hoped, her daytime napping improved because, well basically she had no choice. Well, I guess she did have a choice – she could have screamed the whole way and she didn’t, so for that I am greatly proud of her. I’m typing this with about 5 hours left of the return trip so we’ll see how this affects her nap schedule when we’re back to normal tomorrow.