Taking a Road Trip with Baby

Taking a Road Trip with Baby

The automobile is part of our lives. Going from work, the market and home is simply part of our daily routine. We have all become used to traveling short distances with our children and their car seats. Strapping and unstrapping our kids to their car seats, keeping them protected and nourished are all simple actions we have become masters at.

But the time will come and that time will come during the holidays and/or the summer months when we need to take a longer trip. The all-encompassing road trip is a much needed family event where we venture to that one vacation spot or that one hardly-visited relative. But what do we do to keep that exhaustive road trip easier on ourselves and especially on our kids.

-If your baby naps very well in the car, plan your driving around naptime. If not, consider taking shifts and driving at night during baby’s bedtime.

-Make sure you take plenty of stops now and then to allow time to stretch, grab a meal, change diapers, dry off baby, let baby stretch legs, etc. Road trips are not competitions and with kids on board, comfort for everyone is your major goal.

-Take care of your baby’s skin by apply sunscreen for long, sunny trips. A lot of sunlight will be hitting your baby’s face and they might not be able to guard their face and eyes from it. Hang up a window shade to block harsh sunlight.

-Pack a lot of easy to access compact toys and books. Bring some new ones but make sure your baby’s favorite is there to. Consider hiding some old ones a week or two before to bring back the excitement.

-Bring a lot of comforts from home, like the aforementioned favorite toys but also their favorite blanket or pillow.

-Keep toys accessible for baby by putting them all in a box that baby can reach from the car seat if there isn’t anyone near.

-Make sure to stock up on little snacks and handy foods – Cheerios, fruit slices, biscuits, soft cookies, etc.

-Bring some soothing baby music or their favorite tunes. Look for theme songs from their favorite cartoons and kids shows.

-Make sure that you, daddy or other family members take turns sitting in back to entertain baby. This will also give the driver (and entertainer) a much-needed break.

-Have bottles and formula readily available. Fill bottles beforehand if possible or keep a much important cooler with you.

-Pack more than extra diapers, wipes, plastic bags (for trash and dirty diapers), towels, and Ziploc bags. You never know what will happen and it always occurs that you will always be low on such supplies.

-Prepare a first-aid kit and baby medicine (even if you don’t need it).

-Bring a travel crib for the hotel which can double as a playpen. This Graco Travel Lite works great, but there is also a higher end one made by BabyBjorn that weighs only 11 lbs.

-If you can, request a suite or one with connecting hotel rooms (for older children). At some places, you can get a suite for just a simple $20-$50 upgrade. It will allow you to create a quiet space for baby to sleep.

-If you can get one, install a DVD player in your car. I know too much TV can be bad, but it will keep baby relaxed for the trip. Also, try to get one in your hotel room, it will entertain your baby, giving you enough time to get ready, pack things, and prepare the diaper bag for the day.

-Always bring a compact lightweight umbrella stroller. Sometimes, you can’t bring that heavy tank of a stroller that some families bring -- the simple, foldable stroller is perfect for short trips.



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