When baby H was 3 months old, we decided that we needed to head to my hometown in BC, a 7 or 8 hour drive away. We were nervous, but knew that we had to get there to show her off to my baba (her great-grandma) in particular!
What we learned:
- We quickly realized that we simply had to pace ourselves. Every 3 hours (no matter what) we had to stop, feed, change and walk around with baby H. The one time we tried to push it (“oh she is sleeping, we can go an extra half an hour”)… massive poop explosion followed by crying and two stressed-out parents. We also decided rather than do the trip in one day (as we usually would) to stay a few nights along the way so we were in no rush! Once we got to our destination we stayed for about 5 days.
- Hotel rooms/apartments… those Pack and Play portable cribs are great, but you need to make sure you actually have enough space for one in the hotel room! We managed to squeeze one into our room in the first location but it was tight! I personally found it very challenging, sleeping that close to baby H. In a perfect world we would have a suite so that, in addition to some space, you don’t have to go to bed at 6 pm with baby! At our second location we rented an apartment… awesome! We had a bedroom, so with her in there we could actually hang out in the living room (we ended up ordering pizza and N had a few beers while we watched a hockey game!).
- Diaper changing space in the car… When packing we didn’t know what to bring so we brought EVERYTHING but we made sure to have a suitcase that we could easily pull out and gave us a nice space we could use as a diaper changing area! We had a box of wipes and diapers ready to go. We tried to change her on the seat… and in a pinch that’s fine, but the incline does add a challenging element!
- Once you actually get to where you’re going it was so nice to have a place to set up a changing station that was there for the entire time! Loved this! It was interesting to me that at such a young age she was still so disrupted by a change in her routine. We did our best to calm her down but that first night with Grandparents and Great-Baba were a bit too much for baby H and she had an epic meltdown. We learned very quickly that overstimulation is a real thing!
Gear that we brought that we actually used:
- Mirror that attaches to the backseat headrest so that the driver can see baby (seriously great, even for those reach-around pacifier-insert moments!)
- Pack n’ Play: often hotels have cribs, but it was nice to have our own that we knew was clean and safe… and had a higher level for such a tiny baby!
- Car seat and cover: sometimes it was nice to have the ability to block the sun from her little face.
- Baby carrier: for when we stretched our legs and hers!
- Sound machine: we use one in her room and on the road it was one more familiar thing (also helped me out in the tiny hotel room to not hear every possible movement she made!)
- Adorable outfits to show her off in, diapers, wipes, stroller, and baby shampoo