Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Travelin' Man

Now that Jack has officially reached “big boy” status, it was time to get him a new car seat. So with coupons in hand we went off to Babies ‘R Us and test drove a few rides. Since he’s not yet a year we had to buy a convertible seat that could be rear facing for now and switch to forward facing in the future. I also wanted something that could recline since Jack sleeps in the car a lot (apparently this feature isn’t common in booster seats), matched our car’s interior, and wasn’t too big and overpowering. I also wanted something that was safe, would last us through another kid or two, and wouldn’t cost a fortune. It’s amazing we managed to find one that met our needs!
Jack seems much happier in his new seat, with room to stretch and a spacey area to share with toys. The only thing I don’t like is that it’s no longer easier to just lift a sleeping baby in his seat out of the car and snap onto the stroller. Then again, Jack weighs a lot less when he’s not attached to a baby carrier anyway. And even though we found one with a recline feature, it just doesn’t recline enough. It nearly broke my heart to watch Jack sleep like this on our way to Pennsylvania earlier this month,
but every time I’d gently push his head up it would fall right back down again a few seconds later. Since he continued to sleep like that I guess it wasn’t as bothersome as I thought. I will say it definitely makes me a more cautious driver when I can see my sleeping son’s head rolling back and forth with every turn I make!

We had a fantastic drive to PA with the new seat! It only took us 7 hours to get home, which we considered a great time before we had Jack! One thing that helped was this handy car-adaptor I found at Kid to Kid for my pump. I always have the hardest time feeding Jack on long trips. He’s so easily distracted and usually cranky from the drive that it’s hard to get him to focus on eating. When we drove to Philly in April I had a tough time getting Jack to nurse even the littlest bit. I was afraid he was going to get dehydrated. So this time, instead of pulling over ever 3-4 hours to feed a baby, we figured I’d pump and give Jack a bottle while on the road, and just stop for potty/diaper breaks. It worked perfectly! I’m not sure why he has no problems concentrating on drinking from a bottle but if it works I’ll take it!

We also deal with 45-minute naps on trips. This is a given since we can’t expect him to sleep through a cycle with his chin all the way down at his stomach. But it also means he gets less sleep and more crankiness. We broke down and bought a portable DVD player a few weeks ago. Jack doesn’t watch movies for very long but it was worth every minute of peace we could get out of it. And when Jack did start to protest and no amount of soothing from Fievel or Mommy could appease him, Jon just cranked up the radio to drown out the noise. So far we’ve seen the best results from jazz music, Celtic Dreamland and, our personal favorite, African Dreamland. By the end of the trip Mommy and Daddy were singing along!

We also had a very successful trip home, but that’s probably because it took place between the hours of 9:30pm and 4:15am. Even though Jack slept for most of the trip, I’d much rather be home and in bed during those hours. So next time, I think we’ll just stick with the daytime routine.

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