View Full Version : 10 hr drive with 2 1/2 yr old and baby?
09-03-2008, 01:00 PM
My husband always thinks that his 2 1/2 yr old (my stepdaughter) will be fine with doing things that I think will really tax the limits of her attention span, energy, age, etc. It's hard for me know whether I'm being pessimistic on these things because we've been married less than a year and I'm the first one to admit that I haven't been around a lot of kids, or if he's just being a typical guy and not thinking things through. Now he has asked her mom if we can take her with us to visit my family for Thanksgiving vacation (we normally get her every weekend) who live a 10 hr drive away normally, which is now going to take much longer because we have a 3 month old baby who we will have to stop a lot for to feed, change, etc. We both hate flying so that won't work. I think that it isn't a good idea because she is so young and won't really be able to understand why she has to be in the car for so long, why she hasn't seen Mommy for a week, and why she is staying at a house that she doesn't know, with people she has only met once. And if she really starts to miss mommy, we won't be able to bring her home. I haven't talked to my husband about any of this because I don't want it to seem like I don't want her to be part of the family or that I don't love her. I get the feeling that her mother isn't sure about her going, either, because she hasn't given us an answer on whether she can go. So am I being too much of a worrywart?? Or does anyone else who has had a 21/2 year old agree that this would be too much for her?
09-03-2008, 09:58 PM
That does sound like a recipe for disaster! Of course, I don't like traveling at all with our twins. I'm waiting until they are older. Until then, the family can come visit us here. It's less stress for everyone involved. I wouldn't worry about asserting your opinion. You have totally valid reasons for balking at this trip.
09-06-2008, 01:54 PM
My sister lives in Great Bend Kansas, and we live in a suburb of Detroit Michigan, with the rest of our family. She has twin boys who are now 19 months old. She makes the drive from Kansas to Michigan 3 times a year with her twins and her 14 year old daughter. She also drives back with my niece who is now 4, on one of her trips and my niece stays with her for 3 weeks in the summer. I think the drive is approximately 24 hours. She has few problems with the boys, or my niece on this drive and has been doing it since they were just 2 months old.
My sister in law and her family live in Georgia. Her husband doesnt fly, so when they come up to Michigan, they drive. They have a 2 year old and an 8 year old. The kids do great in the car, but she says the key is to leave at about 4am and already have the car packed. The kids sleep for a portion of the drive, and then they offer books, and DVD's for the remainder of the trip. They make no extended stops, but do stop to allow the kids to stretch at every gas stop and an other breaks they take.
I drove with my 3 year old from lower michigan to the upper peninsula (13 hours) when my father passed away. She did great on the drive, for the most part. We gave her plenty of activities and did engage in play and conversations along the way.
I think she will be ok. Just be prepared to entertain and dont offer all toys at once. It will require a little patience, but I imagine that allowing your step daughter to spend the holidays with her extended family will be a great deal of fun.
09-09-2008, 05:27 PM
Now, I have never tried this one, but what I would probably do, if I absolutely had to take the trip with both children, is wait until later in the afternoon to leave. I would make sure the 2.5 year old got her nap in first for sure and then I would make sure that we really tried to wear down her energy at the park or something like that before we left. If you left at say, 5 or 6 pm, then you could probably count on her being asleep for AT LEAST half of the trip. It would be less stress on you and your husband, and even though you would be getting in later, it may be a lot less tiring than trying to do all day with a 2 year old stuck in a car seat while she was super conscious for it. :P
Also, maybe consider a hotel in between and see if your family might help out for that.
09-09-2008, 07:03 PM
Yeah, it's kind of a big deal, but it can be done. Get her excited about it, first of all. And all the stopping for the baby will work in your favor because you'll be able to give her lots of opportunities for running around. Try to keep things fresh in the car to help time pass. Kid music, special new toys (inexpensive, but new), special snacks. Let it all be a surprise. When the timer goes off, a new surprise appears. It's something to look forward to. Singing, coloring, portable DVD player, Mr. Potato Head. Just plan ahead and model a good attitude. It might go WAY better than you're thinking.
09-11-2008, 12:39 PM
Bring a picture of her mom so she can look at it if she gets homesick. And yes if you drive at night the little ones will sleep more. Bring a few new toys or little surprises she's never seen so they will capture her attention longer. And make plenty of stops!! I recently did a long plane ride with my 2 1/2 year old. I hate to admit it but I brought along a thing of mini mnm's to bribe him with for when he got really restless!! Whatever works. Don't get too anxious over it, it will be fine.
Happy family trip!!!
09-18-2008, 12:32 PM
Personally, I wouldn't do it. It is a long time in the car for even an adult.
If you do, you'd def. need to budget in some stops and activity for your toddler. Maybe bring along a DVD player/movie, as well as some "new activities" for the car. Crayons/paper, stickers, etc. We've done a 5 hour trip, and it is exhausting, but I believe it can be done if you really want to get there. :)
09-19-2008, 04:14 PM
I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 1 1/2 year old and we have driven 9 hours to visit my inlaws and I was actually surprised at how well they were in the car (my husband on the other hand...). I brought a portable dvd player (normally I hate having one in the car, but I made an exception this time) and plenty of toys and snacks. We left about an hour before nap time so they wouldn't be too bored right away and would sleep for a couple hours. Then when they woke up we just tried to make it as fun as possible. Once it got dark they got sleepy again. I also traveled a lot with my first son when he was only a few months old and it wasn't bad because at that age he was still sleeping a lot.
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