Oh, I remember the day of peaceful, quite road trips…now our road trips consist of me trying to entertain a baby so she doesn’t cry and give us all a headache. Ha! We went on our first big 11 hour road trip when Hazel was 6 weeks old, and since then we’ve gone on two more 11 hour road trips, a couple 4-5 hour road trips, and a lot of mini 3 hour road trips to visit our hometown. Road tripping with a baby isn’t always easy but we’ve found a few tips, trick, and products that make for a happy ride for all of us.
- Plan Around Naps: Nap time is the easiest time to travel because your baby is asleep, and a sleeping baby makes for a peaceful car ride. For our shorter road trips, we usually get lucky and she’ll sleep the whole time.
- Be Prepared To Make Stops: Whether it’s for food, diaper change, etc., you’re most likely going to be making several stops along the way, so go into the trip knowing it’s going to take a little longer than if you were kid free and don’t be rushed to get there. And when you do make a stop, take full advantage of it by letting your little one stretch his/her legs and play a little before it’s carseat time again.
- Have A Master Packing List: Nothing ruins a road trip or vacation like forgetting something, so have a master packing list to help you remember everything you need.
- A Portable High Chair: This portable high chair is a must for us. We use it when we visit family, stay in a hotel, or go camping. It’s so much easier (and less messy) than having to hold Hazel on our laps to feed her. It’s also great if you make a pit stop to eat somewhere and they don’t have a highchair or you’re picnicking at a rest stop.
- Bring A Car Converter For Pumping/Warming Bottles: You won’t have to make as many stops because you can do your pumping and/or bottle feeding in the car. This was a lifesaver for us on our 11 hour road trip when Hazel was six weeks old and I was pumping + supplementing with formula.
- Snacks: A full tummy = a happy baby. We like teething wafers because they occupy Hazel for a while. We also like squeezes for meal time in the car.
- Pack Toys And Lots Of Them: Bring out one toy at a time so there’s always something new and exciting to play with.
- Choose Your Seat Wisely: The front seat is great for when your baby is napping, but being in the back seat means your can play with your baby to keep him/her from fussing. I like to alternate my seat throughout the trip. If it’s nap time, I’m in the front because if I’m in the back with Hazel, she doesn’t nap as long because she sees me and want to play. But once she wakes up from her nap and gets bored of being in the back by herself, I move to the back to entertain her.
- Gathre Leather Mat: This mat can be used for diaper changes (it’s leather so if you get poop on it, it wipes of easily) or as a play mat. We use the mat as a little diaper changing station on the road, and we also use it a rest stops to give Hazel a place to stretch and play.
- Keep The Essentials Easily Accessible: Keep everything you might need on the road (diapers, wipes, snacks, pacifier, toys, etc) in a bag or basket that is easy for you to grab while riding in the car. You don’t want to have to make a stop because you need something that’s packed away in a suitcase or get car sick trying to dig around to find something.
What are you best tips for traveling with a baby/kids?