Hello and happy Monday! Well, we survived our big trip!
Thanks again for your advice on travelling with Lula. I think Blackhuff was exactly right- the driving was the least of our concerns! We hit the road late on Saturday morning after running a 10K! (more on that later). Lula snoozed for part of the race (she was in the stroller) but beyond that, she hadn’t had her morning nap and we took off at 11:30- yikes. She was out before we left our subdivision!
She slept for an hour or so and then happily played with a few toys for forty-five minutes before we needed to stop for a potty/lunch break.
We hoped to find a nice rest area to stop at for lunch but we ran into some that were closed so after fueling up the car, we ended up driving around a small town until we found a shady, grassy spot behind a hotel. Lula sat on a blanket and played with grass and Pa and I were able to eat lunch and stretch our legs. We stopped for about 45 minutes, much like Lindsay suggested, and it worked really well. I nursed Lula right before we began driving again.
She whined for about 15 minutes and then conked out for about two hours which was just what she needed after an early start to the day. I drove and Pa and I had some great conversation. We stopped with about 30 minutes left of the drive to use the restroom and wake Lula up and arrived at my MIL’s house by 5:30.
Overall, the drive was wonderful and I would imagine in many ways, a lot easier with a baby who takes long naps rather than a toddler who wants to be running around and exploring.
I found that the hard part about travelling in this instance was acclimating Lula to people she hadn’t seen for a few months, a new environment, and a new place to sleep! We had a fantastic time and Pa’s mom and sister helped out as much as they could but a baby who doesn’t want to take a nap or go to bed at night and screams instead of sleeps is still not fun to deal with.
There were definitely some stressful moments for this mama. It got to the point where I was dreading nighttime because of Lula’s erratic sleep schedule and I know it didn’t help that she was sleeping in the same room with us.
One evening she woke up at 9:30 when Pa and I came in her room to go to sleep and she was up until 1:30…we actually left the room at 10 and slept in the living room but she just kept on crying. I tried to nurse her, I tried to rock her to sleep, Pa actually drove her around town for 45 minutes…nothing doing! I was at my wit’s end and I had to just put her down and let her cry. Fortunately, no one heard her except for me and Pa so that helped a lot. Needless to say, for a large portion of our trip Lula was very overtired and only wanted Mommy. She is also cutting both of her front teeth so perhaps that was part of the issue.
For our own sanity, Pa and I decided that we would take drastic measures the next night which included running an air purifier to block out sound (the walls of the living room are shared with the room she was sleeping in), hanging blankets to darken the room, and me and Pa sleeping in the living room again.
That evening, she and I went in her room at 7, I changed her diaper and nursed her. In about 10 minutes, she passed out. I tiptoed out of there and didn’t hear from her again until I went to nurse her the following morning at 6:50. Having a good night’s sleep was amazing- for all of us!
Of course, beyond spending time together, the purpose of the trip was to paint my MIL’s house!My sister-in-law and I took turns watching Lula so I could do some painting and I found it to be a nice respite- it was surprisingly therapeutic!Thank goodness we brought our stroller with us- some days that was the only way Lula took a nap!The drive home was pretty similar to the drive to my MIL’s house- she napped for a huge portion of it, we had a relaxing lunch at a real rest stop this time, and I was so very happy to get back to our house, her crib, and our own routine. Many thanks to Bobbie for the recommendation to wrap a blanket around the pack and play mattress- I think that helped her!
Pa and I used to make this drive a few times a year and it always felt long. Having Lula along and taking breaks actually made the drive feel shorter- it’s becoming more about the journey in addition to the destination.
We made some great memories and I’m so glad we took the plunge and travelled with Miss Lula- beyond her sleeping habits, it really was a fantastic trip!
Have a great week!