School is off for my son and we are planning to have a holiday in a nearby province. It is a 6-hour trip via an automobile. This is our first out-of-town family trip with our 4-month old baby. Is it already safe for my baby to travel for a long period of time? What if the roads are bumpy/rocky? Will it have a bad effect on her?
Your 4 month old will likely be in a semi-reclined position in her car seat, so a 6 hour trip would be fine for her (structurally). You'll want to plan on making frequent stops so everyone can get out and stretch their legs, use the bathroom, and you can feed your baby.
Also know that she may do great on the trip, or she may not like it. Just be prepared that you may have to stop very often along the way if she doesn't like it.
If you breastfeed her, you may want to take a dummy/pacifier just in case you find that she's fussy and sucking helps to settle her.
My guess is that a bumpy road, that won't bother her, but you may want to be sure her head is supported well on each side. If you don't have a good head support, you can roll up a cloth nappy or a receiving blanket and place those on either side of her head to help support the neck in case of any big bumps.
The jostling from the bumpy ride may actually sooth her, but you'll want to be careful about supporting that head if you come across an area that has larger rocks.
Hope this helps,
We took our son on a trip a similar length to this when he was also 4 months old. I think your baby will be quite safe in their car seat. If I remember rightly, my son slept for most of our journey! The motion in the car tends to make him nod off. I did have to stop half way to feed him though as he was breastfeeding around every 3 hours at that age.
Does your daughter seem to enjoy listening to nursery rhymes or children's songs? You might want to have a cd ready. We also brought some special little toys for him to play with on long journeys. Nowadays, we keep one toy especially for playing with in the car.
Let us know how you get on.
Though I have four little ones, I can only clearly remember traveling during early infancy with the youngest and the oldest, so I will tell you how that went for me.
With my youngest daughter, we moved when she was a little over a month old, which involved multiple two hour drives back and forth. I also took her alone to visit a friend five hours away when she was around three months old. With my oldest daughter, we had to take a five hour trip when she was around six weeks old. So, I definitely have some experience with this.
First of all, I would not worry about the rocky road too much. Your child should be safely protected from too much jarring by their child seat, just as the others have said.
As Kate said, you should be prepared for the trip to go either way. With my oldest, traveling long distances was a breeze. She slept most of the ride, I think we stopped maybe once on a five hour trip for eating and diaper changes.
With my youngest, she was a little more restless. We had to stop three-four times on a five hour trip for feeding, diaper change, etc. There is really no way to tell how things are going to work out. I have found that traveling during times when baby would normally sleep, such as early in the morning or during night, can help to ensure they rest most of the journey. However, be prepared to make plenty of stops along the way.
Good luck and have fun!
Though my baby was fast asleep for the entire trip, I just made sure that her head was protected from the bumps. Like what you've said, I rolled a blanket and placed it beside her head for support. Indeed we enjoyed our short vacation.
My baby slept almost the entire travel. I had no difficulties with her since she only wakes up whenever its time for her to breastfeed. I think she enjoyed the trip considering that the weather is very warm.
Thanks for the insight mom2many!
Yes we did have a couple of stopovers for us to eat, stretch our legs, and to go to the restroom. My baby was fast asleep for the entire travel. I just made sure that her head is safe and protected from the bumps in the road. I placed a rolled blanket on her head to support it from moving.
I think she did enjoy our trip!
That's excellent news charibelle_925: well done! I hope you enjoyed your trip too!