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Are you worried about taking your first road trip with your young baby?
Lately, I’ve been seeing pictures of moms traveling with their babies just perfect as can be. Sitting there, grinning, wearing a cute outfit, not a care in the world. They make it look so easy. For most of us, that’s not how it goes! Baby is screaming, spitting up, or just had a blowout. Lord, help me get through this road trip!
My family and I recently took a road trip with our 8 month old son from Las Vegas to Southern New Mexico (13 hours one way) and boy, was it tough! Our son is usually such a good baby but traveling that long in his carseat just put him over the edge (and us too)!
I’ve made a list of 10 tips for taking a road trip with a young baby, compiled with things that I brought and things I wish I would have had during this trip.
Hopefully these tips will prepare you for any road trip that you take with your little one. I know it can be intimidating! Keep reading to find out my 10 tips.
1. Travel at night
Traveling at night is easiest on the kids and hardest on the parents. Put baby’s pj’s on. Feed them right before you leave and they should sleep a good chunk of the drive (if they are good sleepers). Make sure that if you do this, you or whoever is driving gets a nap in that day because it’s easy to get tired pulling an all nighter, especially while driving.
We tried doing this on our trip but we just got too tired. We eventually gave up at around 3:00 am and decided to get a motel and get some rest. Don’t risk driving when you’re tired. It’s not worth it!
2. Give yourself extra time to get there
Since we had to get a motel instead of driving through the night, we missed our family photos that were being taken because we didn’t make it in time. We tried our best to make it but it just didn’t happen. Baby wasn’t happy since we were driving another 7 hours during the day. We had to stop a lot. So, do yourself a favor and give yourself some extra time, that way you won’t stress out like we did.
3. Stop when you see a rest area or gas station
This one ties into number 2 but in order for your baby to stay sane during the drive, stop often. If they are sleeping then keep on driving, but if they are awake, stop and let them stretch their little legs and get some fresh air. Change their diaper so they are nice and comfortable when they get back in their car seat.
4. Bring plenty of food / bottles
Make sure to bring bottles and food for baby, and you! If they are breastfeeding then bring a hand pump so you can pump on the road and bottle feed baby in their carseat. If they are formula fed bring plenty of formula and extra water. If baby is eating solids then bring baby food and snacks that they can eat while in their carseat. You can save space in your luggage by only bringing one spoon, bowl, and bib (silicone bib that can be cleaned easily) and just wash them after you use them.
5. Bring baby’s favorite toys
Pack your baby’s favorite toys to make them feel at home while you’re on your road trip. If baby is teething, be sure to bring teething toys for them to chew on. It’s also nice to pack a toy that lights up or makes sounds to keep baby occupied while driving.
6. Bring a travel high chair
This is something that I didn’t have and regretted buying or borrowing one so much! It is really hard to feed a moving target LOL! My boyfriend had to hold our son steady while I tried to aim the spoon into his mouth. Let’s just say that things got messy! I highly recommend getting one of these for your road trip.
7. Dress comfy
If I am not comfortable, I am not happy, especially in the car! You could be that mom that is in full makeup, dress, and heels, and that’s fine but that is NOT me. I am in leggings, a t-shirt, and a sweatshirt if I’m on the road. I’m not trying to impress anyone so who cares, right? This goes for the kids as well.
8. Pack N Play or Bassinet
I don’t know about you but the whole family sleeping in one bed is not the most comfortable. Parents who co sleep have a skill that I don’t have! I brought our son’s pack n play for him to sleep in. It isn’t a fancy one, just a basic pack n play and it does the job perfect for a road trip. That way, we can sleep comfortably in our own bed!
9. White noise machine
Now, not everyone uses one of these but I highly recommend it. We have our son’s turned on every night at home so when we go out of town, we bring the white noise machine and it makes him feel at home. All of the new sounds in a different house or hotel can sometimes scare a baby and wake them up. This works so good to keep them asleep.
10. Bring baby’s usual blanket, swaddle, or toy
Whatever you use to put your baby to sleep in, whether it be a swaddle, sleep sack, favorite blanket, or toy, bring it! You want baby to feel as at home as possible so they can sleep through the night! There is nothing worse than driving on a road trip and finally getting to the hotel to sleep and baby wakes up all night.
Well, you’ve made it to the end of the list!!
I hope that these 10 tips for taking a road trip with your young baby can help you feel more at ease about your up coming trip. Take it from me, you want to be prepared! I am a planner by nature. I think I get that from my mom LOL! Being prepared has not done me wrong so far. Now, relax and enjoy your road trip with that baby!