If your infant is about to embark on their first road trip with you, it might be a bit nerve-wracking trying to prepare for several hours in the car with your baby. But road trips can be a lot of fun for adults, kids, and babies, too! Here are a handful of tips and tricks to surviving and enjoying your baby’s first road trip.
In addition to packing your own bags, your baby comes with a lot of gear. Double-check to make sure that you have your car seat, diaper bag, playpen, stroller, baby’s overnight bag, and other supplies that you will really need while away from your home base. Packing your bags and loading up the car the night before saves you a lot of hassle and stress the morning or day of your road trip.
Be strategic about packing placement and where you put the essentials (which we’ll talk about next). Being organized and keeping a list of all of the things you need to bring is a smart way to stay on top of all of your stuff and your baby’s. The last thing you want to do is forget their all-time favorite receiving blanket that ensures they will nap on the road.
Keep Essentials Within Reach
Strollers, playpens, and other bulky necessities should stay in the trunk. The essentials that keep your baby happy and healthy should stay up in the front near you. Here’s a quick list of common must-haves:
- Bottles of formula or breast milk
Whether you’re driving two hours or ten, keeping multiples of certain things on hand is helpful since babies tend to be chronic droppers and throwers.
Have a stash of pacifiers within close reach, as well as a stockpile of beloved toys. Try to recollect thrown toys and other items every time you stop for bathroom breaks and diaper changes. Don’t forget to keep your own grown-up essentials, like books, snacks, and phone chargers, close by. Your sanity is important during this trip, too!
Whether you’re traveling with your partner, best friend, or family, communicate with the other adults in the car about teamwork. If you’re driving for long hours, talk about switching passenger and driver responsibilities every few hundred miles. Take turns keeping the baby entertained or fed. Keep each other company, and the drive won’t seem as difficult as you might have anticipated.
Drive During Nap Times
Strategic travel doesn’t just include packing checklists. If possible, drive to your destination during prime nap time for your little one. This means less energy spent trying to keep them happy and entertained, and more time relaxing and experiencing the peaceful quiet of the road. If you have a super mobile infant, this is a great way to make sure they aren’t unhappy and feel stuck for long periods of time. While this strategy doesn’t work for every trip, make the most of it if you can. This also applies to baby’s first flight.
Eating in the car isn’t really any parent’s favorite idea. But during road trips, this is a non-negotiable for hungry babies. Keep a small cooler within reach that has breast milk or formula filled bottles, or prepared foods for babies who have already started eating solids. Fruits, cheerios, muffins, rice cakes, and other finger foods are easy to prepare for your little traveler. Don’t forget to keep a few bibs and burp cloths on hand for on-the-road messes.
Your baby’s first road trip doesn’t have to be stressful or as chaotic as you may think. Plan in advance and enjoy the open road with your little one for the first time. They might enjoy it more than you expect.
aden + anais (pronounced UH-nay) has been creating fun, hip baby essentials since 2006. Their modern aesthetic and iconic prints are unique to the baby industry and allow parents to remain stylish while taking care of their young ones. Featuring versatile products that grow with your little one, you’ll find swaddles that double as stroller covers, nursing covers, baby blankets, and tummy time play mats, plus bibs that easily double as burp cloths. aden + anais makes products that make sense in motherhood.
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