Is there anything specific to think about when planning a long car journey (12 hours with an overnight stop) with a 2-month-old? I guess one of the issues is whether one of the adults stays in the back with the baby, or whether both being up front is ok? We would make sure we stop regularly of course.

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    Check out some of the questions tagged "travel" and "car-seat", they might help you, too. Commented Jan 12, 2012 at 12:11
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    We learned pretty quickly to just never leave unless we knew she was about to fall asleep. It ultimately meant less travel for us, but after a couple years they are pretty easy to travel with.
    – Kai Qing
    Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 23:59

4 Answers 4


We have taken several road trips that each were in the range of 700 to 1500 kilometers (per direction). Things that were helpful to us include:

  • Have enough baby necessities on board. Think of diapers, wipes, baby food, and so on. Whatever is age-appropriate, just make absolutely sure you don't run out.
  • Have a high-quality car-seat for the baby. This is the single most important thing for the safety and comfort of your baby.
  • Ensure the long-duration comfort of the parents. They are going to have it the hardest, not the baby. This includes sitting in front if that's the most comfortable (it usually is, in most cars), adjusting the seat properly, having enough food and drink for yourselves, taking a leg-stretching break (run 5 laps around your parked car) at least every 2 hours, and so on.

I would not recommend that one parent sits in the back, unless the baby is very very fussy. For very long drives, it can be assumed that one person cannot drive the whole distance. This means that the other parent must save enough energy to take his or her share of the drive. But if you've spent the whole time until then caring for the baby, then you're as exhausted as the driver. You would then need a stop of several hours.

The safer recommendation is to deliberately put you (and especially the driver) in a position where you can't address every little whim and whine of the baby. If it's worth making a rest stop for, then do that. If it isn't, then carry on -- you've got a long road ahead and you won't get there if you stop every fifteen minutes.

Make sure that the essentials are reasonably within reach from the co-pilot's seat. If you're lucky, the co-pilot can even reach around the back and hand baby the toy that she just threw onto the backseat, out of baby's reach. Make sure the rest of the car is safely packed, of course.

  • Point taken about the comfort of the parents (us)!
    – tdc
    Commented Jan 12, 2012 at 13:48
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    In my experience, the baby (normally) won't require continuous full attention from the parent sitting on the back seat, so (s)he can rest, or even have a short nap every now and then. YMMV. Commented Jan 12, 2012 at 14:14
  • Seems along time ago now, but I can report that the journey was a success! She tended to sleep for two hours at a time, at which point we were quite happy to have a rest stop to feed/change her, and then get back on the road for another 2 hours. There were only a couple of journeys of more than 4 hours which were a bit harder but still ok. The biggest issue was that she would wake every time we went through a Péage (this was France)! We both sat in the front - there was too much luggage in the back.
    – tdc
    Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 8:24
  • @tdc: Glad to hear! Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 10:32
  • I'd always recommend having an entire extra outfit or two inside the car, that's easily accessible (rather than in bags/in the trunk), and some spare plastic grocery bags. Spit ups/throw ups happen and 1) Can cover a baby's outfit and 2) Can smell if you don't seal them in a bag for the trip. If you don't have a plastic bag, throw the dirties in the trunk!
    – user11394
    Commented Jan 11, 2015 at 5:31

We did a long car journey (4 days with overnight stops, then 3 days on the way back) with our firstborn when she was 5 months old. One of us sat at the back to entertain her, equipped with the usual army of toys, colourful pictures, baby food etc. etc.

It went fairly well, she had no big problems. Whenever she wanted to move more than it was possible inside her safety seat, or was breastfeeding time, we stopped for a break. (She already started to eat some solid food at that time, but was still being breast fed a couple of times a day.) For a 2 months old, I guess this would cause even less trouble.

One of our friends did a similar journey at that summer, with a somewhat bigger baby. They also shared the back seat with the baby. They travelled mostly during the night, so their baby slept through most of the travel.

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    +1 We did a 1400km trip with a 3 month old, and he slept nearly the entire trip except for feedings and diapers, at which time it was a nice time for a rest anyway. Remarkably, when we arrived in the evening, he slept through the night as well! Travel sleep doesn't count as actual sleep, apparently. Commented Jan 12, 2012 at 14:18
  • @Torben Gundtofte-Bruun nope, travel sleep does NOT count as actual sleep!
    – monsto
    Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 9:55
  • @monsto: That would be interesting to ask on Skeptics :) Commented Jan 16, 2012 at 9:57

Put the kid behind the driver. That way, the person riding shotgun can easily reach it, while it is out of reach and out of sight for the driver.

Also be advised that they need to get out of the car as often as you do. If it's not too cold, bring a blanket for your kid to lie / crawl on when you make a stop.


A 2 month old doesn't have a whole lot of interests yet anyway, so there isn't a whole lot that can be done.

I would suggest several things:

  • do NOT go the Benadryl route until you've exhausted all other options.
  • do NOT be afraid to stop for "a while" . . . I know you don't want to be all month gettin' where you're goin', but if you need to stop for :90 and play at the park, then do it.
  • do NOT be afraid to jack them into a video. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. It will probably do nothing more than be a tranquilizer anyway.

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