Traveling with a toddler can go one of two ways; really good, or really bad. We've never traveled more than 5-6 hours with Jai. Which isn't a very long trip. But it can seem like forever to a baby. He loves being in the car, looking out the window, playing with his toy piano, smiling and laughing while looking at us in the mirror that hangs in front of him on the back seat.
The only time he cries (which usually isn't long) during car rides is when he's sleepy. This road trip won't be any different right? Wrong! About an hour and a half of driving, Jai started whimpering. I passed some food to my daughter so she could give him some and that worked, but not for long. He had some chicken, half of a strawberry and a couple of pretzel sticks about 2 inches long. And just a few sips of his juice. Then he started crying. Because we took a rental car this time, there was no mirror on the back seat (we didn't think to take it with us), so I couldn't see him. And of course, I can't expect my 12 year old to figure out what the problem is. We make another stop, I nurse him and we got the road again. 20 minutes later, he's crying again. Playing his favorite song back to back worked, but once we got tired of hearing it and turned it off, he started crying...AGAIN! Diaper check, fine. Is he hot? Nope! We make another stop and I decide to get in the back seat. The first thing he did was grab the collar of my shirt, which is what he normally does as he goes to sleep.
And sure enough, he was content. So here I am, in the back seat, pregnant, leaning forward so he's able to hold onto my shirt so he can go to sleep. That's all he wanted. He was out cold within minutes. There is no way I could ever be ok with the cry it out method. Babies don't cry for no reason. They depend on us for every little thing. And it's up to us to figure out how to make them feel better. If I have to sit in the back seat on the trip home, in order for him to be content, then that's just what I'll have to do.