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Driving to the south of France with a baby! Any tips!(6 Posts)
Apart from the obvious - fly - any tips on driving to Provence with an 8 month old? We are doing it over 2.5 days so driving time per day is about 4-5 hours. Any tips to keep her occupied? Anything you've done which has worked well? I know nothing! Happy to be educated in all ground rules when travelling with babies 😂
Thank you VERY much from the bottom of my nervous heart!
Time the driving with nap time as much as possible. If baby is awake then have the passenger sit next to them. Plenty of toys, including ones that attach to the car seat. And snacks/pouches that you can feed whilst moving. Do you breast feed or bottle feed? It’s very easy to give a bottle in a moving car, boob might involve an impressive display of gymnastics though!!
Alternatively we did this drive once and put baby to bed in her car seat at 7pm, drove through the night, switching drivers once and sleeping when the other one was driving. Insane as it was, we were in Provence the next morning and DD had slept the entire way.
Drive as much as you can overnight. Particularly round the Lyon bit where theres always a horrendous traffic jam
I found driving with babies much easier than driving with older children to be honest - especially if you only have one. Mine generally nodded off with the motion of the car and the sound of the engine and if awake were entertained watching the world rush by out of the window or with toys dangling from the car seat. Driving in France on motorways is far preferable to driving in the UK - there are lots of places to stop so if the baby gets grouchy you can pull off the road for a drink or a snack or a kick about on the back seat or a car rug under a tree. Make sure you have everything you need easily accessible. I think it will be much easier than you imagine.
Official guidance for driving without stopping is two hours, but if your DD is well travelled already and seems quite happy, I'd try and push it to 3 hours. Do make sure that when you actually do stop, you stretch her limbs, gently rotate her joints and you could even massage her back and buttocks. Also aim for a few minutes of tummy time during a stop.
Children younger than two are rarely travel sick, but it can occur. Try not to give a full feed just before travelling and look out for an increase in dribbling (this indicates nausea).
If she has a comforter, I'd suggest using a dummy clip to attach it to her car seat so she doesn't drop it. Same if she has a dummy.
These toys worked well at that age www.mothercare.com/travel-toys/vtech-pull-and-spin-snail/148173.html?cgid=car_traveltoys#start=4
We've just done it with a 10 week old and it was fine. Definitely drive over nap time or in the evening/overnight so you can get a good chuck done when they are asleep. There are lots of aires to stop at, get them out of their seat and lay them flat for a bit. We let him have a kick around with no nappy on each time we stopped. We also had lots of noisy toys to distract him when he was awake (he's a very alert nosy baby), I'd bought a few new ones in the hope they would hold his attention for a bit longer. Also had his dummy clipped onto him so I wasn't fishing around for it in the dark. He slept more than normal due to the motion which was helpful.
Have a lovely holiday!
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