Geeky Entrepreneur and I had been apprehensive about traveling (as in a 2-hour drive) with Amor Chiquito because last time we did it was chaotic. Lots of crying on the car ride, lots of crying at the hotel, did not want the playard, up until midnight, lots of crying during nap time the next day...
I knew that eventually she would do fine. She understands more and more language every day, so I figured I could explain to her what we are doing in a simple, toddler-friendly way. I have been seeing lots of progress in the sleeping department. Six months ago, she would only sleep in her crib. Now, she sleeps in her crib at home and on a toddler bed at Abuela's. She can cosleep and not try to nibble all night like she used to.
Last Friday, Geeky Entrepreneur said he wanted to drive down to see his father on Father's Day. I reminded him that if he drove down without the baby, his mother would disown him!
We brainstormed on what would work best. I figured we should leave at naptime so Amor Chiquito would sleep on the car ride. That adventuresome, curious, very active free spirit absolutely refuses to sit still for that long, just like her father!
Back to planning, Geeky Entrepreneur came up with a better idea: leave at bedtime, around 8pm. We could spend the next day with his parents and drive home at bedtime. We decided to go for it. Once I said yes, I got anxious, but, at the same time, I wanted to do it and had a feeling that it would work.
So, on Friday night, while Geeky Entrepreneur and Amor Chiquito went on their evening walk, I packed frantically! Off we went around 9pm, behind schedule, of course!
I put Ari in the car. I said "sleepy time in the car." She nursed. While she was nursing, I sang the bedtime song. Geeky Entrepreneur played the "rain on the roof" track from Happiest Baby on the Block (we play it every night). Ten minutes in she was asleep! She slept the entire time!
We got into our hotel room. Amor Chiquito woke up briefly and went right to sleep. She got up again at 3am, but went back to sleep easily. We got up at 7am and by 7:45am we were at my mother-in-law's.
Amor Chiquito napped in the car at 1pm. Again, it went well. She slept for an hour. Not ideal, but good enough.
After dinner, we got in the car and 20 minutes in she was asleep. She woke up ten minutes before we got home.
So, it could not have gone better! I am very happy that we found something that works. The takeaway is: be mindful/considerate/awear of her schedule, tell her what we are doing and replicate the bedtime routine as much as possible.
I am looking forward to planning a trip to the Boston area so we can see our "Boston friends" (hi Yaminette, hi Liz!).