Solo Car Trip with an Infant

Solo Car Trip with an Infant

We’re going to depart from the standard “fandom” article today because I’m tired and this is relevant to my life.

Last week, I drove with Pegasus to Kitchener from Ottawa. Granted, there was another adult (my dad) with me on the way to Toronto, but we were by ourselves for the entire return trip.

Recommendations for travelling with a four month old:

  • hope that the infant sleeps well for long periods of time in a moving vehicle
  • feed baby and change baby right before you leave (in our case, Pegasus usually has 2-3 giant poops right after waking up in the morning. I didn’t leave the house until after these were done)
  • wait until baby is drowsy before leaving
  • bring more diapers than you think you’ll need
  • wipes, too
  • ask in advance if you have access to a washer and dryer at the other end of your trip; if not, bring 2x as many clothes for both of you than you think you’ll need (I did have access, thankfully!)
  • bring a change mat that wipes clean, not a cloth one

Things that I did that worked when driving solo:

  • got gas when arriving at the onroutes – baby was still sleeping and didn’t get upset at the prolonged wait for food/change/removal from car seat (if he’d been awake, I would have gotten it afterwards)
  • changed baby immediately after arriving – and used the toilet myself because I knew I’d forget otherwise
  • got food for myself right after that – meant that I didn’t have to spread stuff out to feed him, pack it all up to get food for myself, and then spread it all out again
  • found a comfy chair (thank you Port Hope onroute for having comfy chairs!!) and spread my stuff out, fed baby right away
  • changed baby on my lap because packing up stuff seemed like way too much work
  • fed myself while baby played with a toy (chairs are big enough to squeeze baby beside myself!)
  • fed baby again
  • changed baby again
  • baby was getting drowsy so I left right away
  • plan for multiple stops every 2/2.5 hours and hope you don’t need stops in between (I had to make an extra stop at the Mallorytown onroute because Pegasus had a nightmare and woke up – thankfully it was before the onroute; there is nowhere to stop after that other than on the side of the road, and I didn’t want to do that in the dark)
  • do not stop for yourself unless you absolutely have to – taking the baby out of the car means that you have to feed and change them and let them play for a bit before getting back in the car – it extends any trip by at least an hour for every stop you make

You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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