Written by Beck Hendropurnomo
Last week, Evie, my mum, my little sister Hannah and I, set out on a road trip to visit my Gran in NSW. I’ve done this trip many times throughout childhood, adolescence and adulthood. It is long, the scenery doesn’t really change much, and the Hume seems to be a very sad last hoorah for Kangaroo’s and Foxes.
We were to drive from the Mornington Peninsula, to the town of Windsor. If you Google map that, it is a really long drive. And add a 7 and a half month old to the mix, you’ve got interesting times ahead.  Here were my little rules to make the trip bearable:
Pack the car the morning before. Make sure you go through everything with a fine toothed comb! (I thought I did, and ended up forgetting the mattress for her portacot…which equalled a very uncomfortable night’s sleep with her launching herself off of my ribs at 1am with cold toes).
When packing the car, stash water bottles everywhere! You never know when you may need it for washing hands, washing poop, washing faces…and of course drinking.
Nappies and wipes should be everywhere. (Clean ones mind, don’t keep dirty ones. You may be gassed quietly and pass out from the toxic fumes). I packed them in a cardboard box, in my hand bag, and in the nappy bag so some were always on hand.
Along with the nappies and wipes, also pack a spare change of clothes every where mentioned above. When your kid decides to leave nasty pooh leaks in Holbrook, (that awesome town with the submarine), a fresh onesie makes everything better.
A hand pump is your best friend if you are a breast feeding mother. Battery operated ones are rendered useless after about half an hour. Do you want your chest to explode between Goldburn and Gundagai? I thought not.  The best thing about breast milk is that when freshly pumped, it can last up to 8 hours out of the fridge. Hand pump into a bottle and serve. (To the child, unless someone travelling with you is partial to your milk. I am not going to judge).
Don’t allow your small one to eat their baby food from a squeezy tube. It gets everywhere, and one week later the car smells oddly of apricot chicken, and believe me it is super hard to get crusty, dried food off of car seats. Really and truly.
Stop at every rest place you can! It is not only a good time to stretch and use the facilities, it is also very important to dispose of soiled nappies. (Make sure you do dispose of them….it is truly a ghastly experience finding a rather heavy and suspicious plastic, purple bag a week later. Scented bags give up the will to live after a day. Believe me).
As for toys and entertainment for the little un, it is good to pack something to cuddle (bunny), something to chew (for those teething tots), something to rattle (well…a rattle), something for dexterity (blocks and ball), and something to read (hello Dr Seuss). Use them wisely. (Best to save the blocks for the hotel. You do not want to be brained whilst driving).
All in all, we had a great trip. Evie only cracked it during the final 3 hours (excellent timing as it was peak hour through the city of Melbourne), but for the rest of her time trapped in her seat, she had a great time.
It can be done people! Now…to master international travel…..
This article was written by Beck Hendropurnomo who also writes her own blog
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