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We are driving to Minnesota so Pea can meet her great grandparents for the first time, and she will even meet her great great grandma! It's a 10 hour drive though and the last time we took a long drive she was 2 weeks old. I know it's a whole new ball game now. So I need advice on how to keep her happy during the drive, and also how the heck do you warm a bottle in a car?! We have a bottle warmer, and a plug converter for the cigarette lighter but it's not powerful enough to work so that's kaput. We aren't sure if what time we should leave either. :-/
I would either leave at around her bedtime, or really early in the morning, that way she sleeps most of the ride, also get a good thermos and put hot water in it. Not a cheapo plastic one, but a good ole metal coffee one! That will keep water warm for a long time! Good luck!
Also make a couple long stops where she can get out n play..
We have been on 3 8hr+ road trips with Dahlia as well as plenty of 2-3hr trips. Here is what works for us.
We have tried leaving at all times of the day, but leaving at like 5-6am works the best. Morning/early afternoon time they are the least fussy and most content to sit in a carseat. Afternoon and evening hours are really bad bc they are already tired from the day. Neither of my girls sleeps that long in a carseat, so even night driving does not work for us. Waking them up 2-3 hours early makes them mellow the first couple hours to allow us to get a good head start, Dahlia will sleep during that time too, but our 2.5 yr may or may not. If we have to stop more towards the end, it doesn't seem as bad as if we had to stop a lot in the beginning! So the head start is essential for us.
Bring a bag of new toys/baby books (think dollar store type) to pass out after every hour or so, or during really fussy times. Older toys don't seem work, but new interesting toys do the trick!
I agree about the thermos, but make sure you get a 12hr thermos so you don't end up with cold water halfway through the trip.
Plan for stops!! This is crucial. Even baby needs to get out and stretch her legs. We always try and stop at a rest area or a state park so there is plenty of room to roam safely (you can't exactly let baby stretch out in a Wendy's parking lot, lol). We always try and take a picnic lunch- it makes meals quicker, healthier, cheaper.
Take some baby music with you to help keep her occupied listening to it. If you don't already have a baby mirror, take one so she can see you, sometimes they have fun objects/toys attached to the mirror so baby can look at it. All this helps with boredom for a rearfacing baby.
We take a portable DVD player for our 2.5 yr old, but we only break it out during the last hours of the trip. I would not recommend it for babies though.