Pro Tip :: Do Not Road Trip With a Newborn and Dog

Last month, New Orleans was faced with a “hurricane.” Having a 6 week old and already experiencing plumbing issues so bad we had to move when I was one week postpartum, I decided I did not want to experience a power outage with a newborn. We decided the better option would be to spend the weekend Houston. Well actually, the better option would have been to take my chances with the hurricane. A five hour trip turned into an eight hour trip where my baby screamed for at least four of the eight hours, us stopping every forty five minutes, and me reflecting on all my life decisions.

No worries, I’m a glutton for punishment so we’re making the same trip for Thanksgiving #somepeopleneverlearn

However, during my low point, around hour six and a half, I compiled a list of five dos and don’ts and I want to share them with you:

  1. This is probably a given if you read my title, but never ever hop in the car with a newborn and a large dog. Between the newborn’s screaming and the dog’s whining, everyone will not survive, and my bet is that you’ll be the casualty.
  2. If you must board your dog, either make sure the boarder is near your hotel or pick up the dog before putting the baby in the car. We didn’t do this and we spent one of her two good sleeping hours just in the Houston metroplex – never again.
  3. Start your travels as early as possible. On the way there, our trip was only 6 and a half hours, not bad and sort of expected. We left at 5:30 and our baby usually doesn’t wake up until around 8:30. But, we got cocky, and decided that we wanted to maximize family time before leaving and didn’t depart until 10am meaning we missed her sleeping window – rookie mistake.
  4. Pack all the snacks and don’t drink water, or anything for that matter. And if you must, take small sips. It is absolutely crucial that you only make stops when the baby needs to stop. There is nothing like finally getting that baby to sleep only to need to stop at a gas station interrupting the quiet movement pattern of the car as you pull into the parking lot, waking the baby.
  5. When all else fails turn the music up loud enough to drown out the baby’s screams, if that’s even possible. In our case it wasn’t, but positive reframe, she slept wonderfully that night.

Before your next trip, be sure make a mental note of these. Save them in your phone if you need to but whatever you do, do not ignore my warning.

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