Mexico City from Guadalajara: Road Trip with a 9 Month Old

vendors on the highway

The drive from Guadalajara to Mexico City is 6 hours on a pretty decent highway.

Previously Baby Boy’s longest drive had been to San Miguel de Allende, for a total of 4.5 hours driving time. So we were adding a decent chunk of time, at an interesting age. At 9 months, Baby Boy wants nothing to do with being strapped into a car seat (or anywhere that can’t let him move).

Complicating the matter, we could not leave until mid-day, and had to make a 1 hour stop downtown before leaving town. Are you getting the hint that it might not have gone so well?

Rest Stops from Guadalajara to Mexico City

All in all the drive down wasn’t that bad. But, Baby Boy took a nap in the morning before we left the house, and another one during that one hour stop, meaning that most of the drive he was awake.

When we did make stops, there was no shade to be found. We didn’t find any Pemex (gas stations) with a little rest area like last time. So the kiddo wanted to explore, we wanted to feed him and get going, and the situation didn’t allow either of us to get what we wanted.

During our drive, we were stopped by a federal police, trying to “get” us on something. However, all our paperwork was in order and he was pretty annoyed about that!

rest stop on the way from Guadalajara to Mexico City
happy for a break from the car seat

Nearing Toluca and Mexico City

The last hour and a half there was a lot of crying going on as the kiddo wanted out. It was his usual bath time and bedtime so our usually content kid was pretty miserable. Meanwhile, we were trying to maneuver into the city before dark.

When you reach the forests of Toluca, know that you’re almost there! There’s just getting into DF (Districto Federal, i.e. Mexico City itself), which requires a lot of patience. Traffic is bad enough that there are vendors in the middle of the highway!

We made it, of course, to our rental apartment in the Centro Historico. There were lots of adventures to come, including more policemen and more traffic but also sightseeing!


Tips for Taking a Road Trip with a 9 Month Old

On the way back, we learned from our mistakes and did the following:

  1. Leave early, so that there is plenty of time for stops! Also, most babies are more tired in the morning, so that means there is a higher likelihood they will nap on the way.
  2. Plan for many stops so that the kiddo can stretch out and play. (After enough play time, Baby Boy was also willing to eat).
  3. Babies like to have snacks on the road just as much as adults. We found Mum mums to be the least messy.
  4. Try to arrive at your destination before bed time, this way you can work your normal routine and get a better night’s rest.

The way back was significantly easier for all of the above reasons. But enough about driving, next post I’ll talk about what we did!

Do you have any other tips for a road trip with a crawling baby?

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