We went to Brooklyn to visit Kari and Jenn's new apartment. Really we went to have lunch and ice cream and walk around the neighborhood a little. But the lady didn't like getting in the car in the first place. She was great at the Post Office when we were on line for her US Passport application, but that was the hour before we picked up the ZipCar. Ah... good. Needless to say, there was no lunch out and no walking around. There was a nice time at the apartment and a quick, but painfully full of crying, visit to the ice cream place.
The following day we took Miss thing in the car to visit her grandparents so that mommy and daddy could visit their accountant. The ride was longer, the visit was longer, and there was more napping. We even tried a few different things in the car from the day before. It was less crying-ful and yet we still will avoid car journeys as much as possible.
Here's what we learned:
- Feed her before you get in the car. Even if she's not interested. She'll be very interested as SOON as you start to drive forward. So, you'll spend the next 10-20 minutes with the feeding and then change the poopy diaper. Because, of course, she WILL POOP when you're in the car. She might not have for HOURS beforehand. But there will be poop while in the car.
- If you can, get her to relax and fall asleep IN the car seat before you get the car seat in the car. This is a tough one. It's the best and will not require you to do most of the following things, but it's hardly ever something you can time with her. It's really just a matter of luck.
- Bring 2 blankets. One to either wrap her or roll up to keep her sleepy head up and one, this is the more important one, to cover the car seat so she can't see all the wonderful life outside the window and less light. Keeping her focused on a smaller area, keeps her from freaking out about either not being able to see enough or, truthfully, from seeing too much and being overstimulated. She's a curious kid, so let's not overburden her by giving her too much to see when she's already unhappy about being in the car seat. I've since seen on Babies R Us website that there is some product you can zip up AROUND the entire car seat to keep it dark and, well, better than a blanket. I seriously don't need to keep track of more crap to bring in the car when we go out. The list is long enough right now thank you very much, and she's only 3 months old.
- Bring 2 chupons (pacifiers). If she spits one out and it makes its way to the car floor, there is little chance of getting it clean in time to pop back in her mouth to keep her quiet.
- Bring a little more milk than you think you need. I thought I did this, but you don't want to be, say, 1/4 ounce short and bear the wrath of still-a-little-bit-hungry baby. It kills me when it's been more than 4 hours and we have to throw away what she didn't drink, but it's better than screaming baby.
- Sit on the side of her car seat that makes it easier for you to rock it left-to-right for at least 20 minutes.
- "Car asleep" is not sleeping. Accept the fact that even when "asleep in the car" she will not really be asleep. So every pothole, bump, and construction hole that her father drives over will either surprise her (little hands go up in a kind of "I'm on a roller coaster and I don't like it" way), or wake her up completely.
- Keep moving. Know that if you have the option to keep driving or stop, keep driving. If it means going further out of your way, do it. Especially if she's just ABOUT to relax for a long while. Keep the car moving. The worst is when she's JUST ABOUT done and you stop at a light. Yup, the whole thing starts all over again.
- Nap interruptions have consequences. If you interrupt more than 2 nap periods, she will go to bed for the night much earlier than usual but it will be preceded with hours of on and off crying and not much smiling. So her usual happy self will be replaced with fussy baby. She did, however, fall asleep for the night at about 5pm and didn't wake up until about 10pm. She was about 10 minutes shy of a full 5 hour stretch of sleep. Of course that was followed by being awake every hour and a half afterwards, but I'll take the breaks when I can get 'em.
- Bring a Ryan. If you have the chance to have a Ryan around, do so. A Ryan is a good distract-the-baby-from-crying friend who luckily was around while we were in Brooklyn to entertain Miss Carolina for at least 20 minutes with just moving his hands around. God bless the Ryan :)
She was exceptionally unhappy in the subway on the way to the Mexican Consulate on Monday, and midtown Manhattan was completely overwhelming with all the sounds. I'm glad the Baby Ergo has a snap cover, so that we could cover her head and she couldn't look around as much. If you think she has big eyes normally, you should have seen how big they got when she was trying to take in all of 42nd St at 5th Avenue. Thankfully they were disorganized enough that we had to go home right away, and she slept on the subway ride home. But it was interesting.
Stay tuned for more Travel Tales with Miss Carolina....
She's going for her 3 month checkup today and there will be immunization shots involved. Hooray!