Thursday, February 25, 2016

Road Trip with 10 Month Old

As I write this post, I can officially say that we survived our first road trip from Atlanta, GA to Naples, FL- approximately 9 hours each way!!!! If you want to skip the whole story and just check out our favorite travel accesories click here

First and foremost, let me just say that a long trip like this requires a few breaks. I would say comfortably, if timed right, Waylon was able to sit for a maximum of 3.5 hours (more if driving in the evening). When I say "timed right" I mean during day nap time or evening sleep cycle. This of course meant having mostly everything packed and ready to go so that at the first sight of a yawn or sleepy eye we could scatter to get the diaper bag, waters, bottles, etc in order to hit the road and maximize drive time.
We set out from Atlanta on a Friday evening which was somewhat chaotic. First, it was Valentines/Presidents Day & Mardis Gras- so traffic of course was heinous. Waylon had actually fallen asleep prematurely (in the jumper, might I add) so I scrambled to get everything thrown together and we eventually hit the road at 7:45, when traffic was less dirty.

Lucky for us, we have several free stops at our families homes along the way but if this is not the case for you I would recommend either getting a hotel or stopping at a rest stop for an extended break to wear your little one down and get them out of the carseat for a bit. If you are one of those brave folks that can drive the distance, props to ya!!!! Truthfully, we probably could have knocked the drive out in one night but we didn't feel like rolling in at 4:00am to my parent's house in Florida. The next day would likely be a waste and us trying to play catch up on sleep. Besides, we love seeing our family along the way!

First stop: Valdosta, Georgia. Jason's mom lives here and let me tell you, talk about peaceful. They have so much land and Waylon was able to see chickens, ride around in a golf cart through the farm land and even touch his first fish! We stayed here all day Saturday and half of Sunday so Waylon could get some quality time with his Nanny and Papa.

Sunday afternoon, after a wonderful lasagne and 7-layer salad dinner, Waylon was full and ready to hit the road again. We drove straight through to Naples, about 5.5 hours. It was a breeze. Waylon slept the whole time and I think the full belly might have helped.

The week in Naples was wonderful. Waylon had a lot of firsts this week: first dip in the pool, trip to the zoo, boat ride/trip to the beach, and he even fed a giraffe!

We left Naples after a week of festivities, on a Saturday late afternoon (just when Waylon started getting tired and ready for his 2nd nap of the day). We decided to stay at my grandparents house, Waylon's Greats, so he could spend time with them and Jason and I could get some R&R. The trip was another 3.5 hours to Ocala, FL and Waylon slept most of the time as well. I'd say the big key is to make sure your child has a full belly! It also didn't hurt that Gigi and Poppy kept him busy in Naples :)

After staying Saturday night at The Greats, we hit the road for the final route back home, with of course another pit stop in Valdosta for some good family time & good food! We made it back to Atlanta around 11:00pm after getting some dinner in Valdosta and hitting the road. Waylon slept the whole time, yet again.

All in all, I would do this route twice a month if we could. It really was a breeze- no stress. There were a couples times where Waylon fussed. Usually it was 10 minutes before arriving at our destination so it wasn't a big deal and no off the plan stops were necessary. Truthfully, in a lot of ways I found this road trip to be easier than taking a 2 hour plane ride. We had the space, time was on our side & Waylon was free to roam at our pit stops. Half of the hardship of flying with a baby is the wiggling! If you are able to time up all flights (impossible) with naps then I think I would change my mind :).

Some vacation favorites:

iPlay Hat: Simple, easy to pack & gets the job done. There is a great adjustable head & chin strap, which is great because no 2 babies have the same shaped head. I loved having the peace of mind while out in the sun that Waylon was protected. I also love the drop flap off the back of the hat for added neck protection.

Baby Banz Swimsuit: a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e - need I say more? It's also easy to put on- sometimes swim shorts can get caught on W's legs- and never got in the way of water play. This coupled with some Huggies Swim Diapers and Waylon was ready to go!

iPlay Breath Easy Sun Shirt: I brought this everywhere. It's light weight so your baby won't overheat and provides the extra sun protection your child needs in the hot Florida sun. This is probably the biggest MUST HAVE on my list. I would use it during the day after Waylon got out of the pool (or if your child needs extra protection you can use it IN the pool). We also got drinks on the water one evening and it was a little chilly so I threw it on W and it was perfect- all the adults wanted one by the end of the trip! Oh, and did I mention how packable it is too?

Baby Lifejacket: this was great to have for the boat trip. When we got there the place we rented from didn't really have life jackets that would have fit Waylon well since he was so small. I was really glad we purchased one and brought it for the trip. Something you don't really think about.

Peg Perego Rialto- I would say this was the best splurge Jason and I did and I really wish I would have had the chance to put this on my baby shower registry. Its compact yet sturdy and can literally go anywhere- trips, restaurants, you name it. There literally isn't a restaurant you can't go into with one of these bad boys, unless the place has all bar stools, lol. For travel it was perfect because it didn't take up much space in the car and it was great to have at each of our pit stops.

Pack n Play's. This is sort of a no-brainer. There's a variety of them out there depending on budget, style, use, etc. We had two at my parents in Naples which was nice to have. One stayed upstairs for bedtime and day naps and the other was downstairs so we didn't have to drag it up and down the stairs all day.


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