The Family Road Trip, Part 2

So, what I told you last week came true. Our family road trip/vacation was a disaster! It never fails; we have the worst luck.

Let me share my drama. First of all, we were supposed to leave on Tuesday which then turned into Wednesday, so it was a late start to begin with. Then to beat it on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning baby Zachary (who’s now 9 months old) woke up sick with a cough. I have to admit I was a little concerned just because his cough had a very deep and wet sound to it. The nurse in me thought well, it’s just probably a cold; he’ll be sick whether we stay or go. However, the mommy in me had a very uneasy feeling about the whole thing. Something just didn’t feel right to me.

At any rate, I put the bad feelings aside, and we packed up and headed to Chicago. Well, I should have listened to my mommy voice, because Saturday morning I found myself with Zachary in the Urgent Care waiting for him to be seen. His cold had turned into bronchiolitis, and he was now wheezing and having difficulty breathing. The doctor proceeded to put him on antibiotics, steroids, and another medication to help open his airway passages to help him breathe better.

After seeing the doctor and getting Zachary’s medications filled at the pharmacy, we packed up again and went to Michigan to my brother-in-law’s college graduation activities. I know it sounds crazy. (I wouldn’t have even attempted this; but after I explained the saga to the doctor, he was kind enough to give us his phone numbers so we could reach him in case of emergency while we were in Michigan. And to make matters worse, on our way to Michigan Zachary got sick to his stomach and vomited all over himself and the car seat . . . three times. YUCK!

Life only got worse from then on. Saturday night found us in Michigan in a hotel room with a very cranky baby who didn’t sleep. The next morning was Sunday (the day of graduation), and our daughter woke up with a fever and, of course, a cough. Yet my husband and I persevered and dragged our two sick kids to his brother’s graduation and then out to dinner. Boy, did we ever pay the price for that one! The kids were so restless, and Zachary was crying; therefore we ended up outside with both of them and missed the entire graduation ceremony. So much for pre-planning!

I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I’ve never, ever been so happy to be back home! At least now the kids are doing better. Zachary had an appointment with our pediatrician to follow up from his sickness in Illinois, and he’s doing well. He still wheezes from time to time, but he’s improved greatly.

So, last week I started with the family road trip, and this week I’m ending with it. So I found an article from parenting.com entitled Stay-Healthy Travel Guide that gives some good tips on how to keep your babies healthy while traveling. I wish I had researched this beforehand (ha, ha).

If you’re traveling by air…

  • Postpone if your baby is sick.
  • Book the most baby-friendly seat. The aisle.
  • Schedule the flight during naptime.
  • Feed before you board.
  • Protect his nose. Use nasal saline drops.
  • If you need to ask the flight attendant to heat up a bottle, try to supervise the process yourself.
  • Wash your own hands as often as possible.
  • Prevent ouchy ears. During take-off and landing have your baby suck on a paci, nurse, or drink from a bottle or sippy cup to keep the ears popping.

If you’re traveling by car…

Try to plan your route over straight freeways. Frequent stops and starts and winding roads upset tiny bellies.

Travel at naptime.

Give him/her a small snack or feeding before you buckle them in.

Start the trip with a full tank of gas. Babies are sensitive to the exhaust and fumes at gas stations.

Give your child a view.

Open a window on each side of the car (if it’s not too cold). Fresh air is an upset stomach’s best friend.

Talk to your doctor about medications.

No matter how you get there…
Babies thrive on routine, and it’s best to keep them on their same schedule, more or less, while you’re traveling.

Well, I hope some of this information helps you and your kids along your vacation travels. Since our family “vacation” has come to a close, I’ve learned a big lesson. . . . Don’t travel when your kids are sick! Stay home!