Driving 1200mi. w/22mo. old and 3mo old - how many days

juliegJanuary 27, 2007

Hi, in October my family will be driving from S. WI to Houston with a 22mo. old and a 3mo. old. Mapquest says this is an 18hour trip but obviously it will be much longer w/2 kids. I know that the stops will be determined mostly by the kids, but should we plan on making it a 2 or 3 day drive down?


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I would definitely break it up as much as possible. The longest we've driven with DS (4 yo) is 5 hours and we have to make a stop halfway through to go to a mall for a couple of hours and let him burn off some energy. Next month we're leaving on an 11 hour trip and we're breaking it into two days. He'll need that break at night in the hotel. Things that have helped us is a DVD player, and a new toy, just for the trip...something with lots of buttons/sounds/activities. I've travelled with my nieces who are 8 and 10 and even they needed frequent breaks to stretch their legs / burn off steam. Sometimes we just stop in a rest area and have a picnic lunch, kick a ball around or play tag, etc....anything to get them moving and laughing....a long car trip can make even the happiest kid cranky.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2007 at 8:43AM
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I've driven to Orlando from Maryland 3 times, it's about 16 hours. We stop in Charleston (family there) overnight. My kid was about 4 months the first time, 10 months the second time, and 13 months the third time. We found that leaving really early in the morning helped. I'm talking 3 AM. It's 9 hours to Charleston, and 7 hours from Charleston to Orlando, so by the time she woke up around 8 o'clock, we were almost there. We had the second half of the day to rest. Good luck!! Christy :)

    Bookmark   January 27, 2007 at 12:19PM
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I can't tell you how many times we made a 1200 mile trip with 2 kids at varying ages. Never as young as 3 months...but 8 months.
We broke the trip up into 3 legs. The first was 300 miles to a relative's house...and then a 600 mile day and ending with a 300 mile day.
The trick is to go to the dollar store and buy a bag of goodies for each day for the older one. I remember my daughter when she was 18 months....would quiet right down when I brought out "The bag"..LOL! Anxious to see what wonderful, fabulous toy I had bought!
Figure out how many miles you will be travelling, then figure 50 MPH...stops included...add a couple of hours.
I come up with 26 hours...best make it a 3 day drive....2 over nights...unless you want to sleep in shiufts and do a lot of driving in the dark.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 11:15AM
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I would make it a three day drive. I doubt that it only takes 18 hours driving straight through.

We made a 750 mile trip when my youngest was 2 mo and the others 21 mo and 3 1/2 yo. We left at night so the kids would sleep most of the way. I don't recommend this for a 1200 mile trip unless getting up really early is your usual routine. I don't sleep well in a vehicle and I was exhausted when we got to our destination. The two older kids had slept all night and were ready to get active. My baby slept except for when she needed a diaper change or to be fed.

We've found it easier to travel if one parent is able to sit in the back with the kids. The kids stay better entertained that way. Also, invest in an inexpensive vcr or dvd player that plugs into the cigarette lighter. It is a lot easier to listen to the same Barney dvd over and over again than it is to hear a screaming child.

Like the others have said, plan for some stops on the trip. McDonalds may not be your favorite resturant, but a half hour at those playlands can sure be a great attitude adjuster. If your child is big enough to run around the playland while you eat, let him. It's extra excerise for him. Take his food to go in the car. This trip doesn't have to be just business. Find some sights on the trip. Someone's world record hunk of cheese or ball of twine could be that 20 minute diversion you need.

I'd also recommend staying at hotels with indoor pools. Even if you don't swim, it will give your child someplace to walk and wind down at the end of the day. If you're not up to the pool bring some tub toys and bubbles. A warm bath can be great entertainment and it allows your child to relax and play without much exertion on your part.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 5:59PM
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