Surviving and Thriving
Tips for a Successful Road Trip with Your Baby
Going on a road trip with a baby can seem daunting for many parents, but it doesn’t have to be. With some careful planning and preparation, a road trip with your little one can be a fun and rewarding experience for the whole family. Whether it’s a short weekend getaway or a more extended adventure, hitting the open road with your baby can create some unforgettable memories. In this blog, we’ll share some tips and tricks to make your road trip with your baby as smooth and stress-free as possible, so you can focus on enjoying the journey together.
The essentials of a road trip with a baby, toddler, or newborn
We are going to walk you through some of the most important things to know before the baby’s first road trip, including:
- What to pack
- How to optimize your diaper bag
- How to easily change diapers on the road
- The best time to drive
- How to handle breastfeeding on a road trip
What is the most important thing you need to know for that first trip with your baby? Everything may not go smoothly. Yes, that’s correct; you heard it right. Road trips are fun for bonding with your family and exploring new places. The journey can become more complicated if a baby is included.
Here are some excellent tips to keep in mind when planning a road trip with your baby:
Safety first: Make sure your baby is secured in their car seat properly and that the car seat is installed correctly. Take help from the Car seat Techs if required; that will make you feel more confident on the long Road trip ahead… Check the car seat’s height and weight limits to ensure it fits your baby’s size.
What time Is the Best to Drive with a Baby?
Obviously, the answer to the best time to drive with a baby will vary from infant to infant. However, keeping track of your child’s natural rhythms, nap times, and preferred schedule will help you plan.
One mistake we see way too many baby parents make is trying to drive all night while the baby sleeps. Even if your plan works and they do sleep, you end up exhausted and still have a baby to take care of. Plus, you risk hitting night construction and dealing with other drivers’ poor decisions and impairments.
Pro – Tip – Still planning to drive at night? Take a short test night drive with the baby before the trip!
Take Road Trip Tips to Get Baby Ready for a Long Car Ride
One of the ways to get babies ready for a long road trip is to drive them around!
Start with short drives around town and work up to longer stretches. This can also be a great way to change scenery and leave the house. A new baby is an adjustment. The pretty sight will do you both good.
Getting your baby used to the feeling of a car seat before your road trip is crucial. If the first time your kiddo spends extended time in the seat is your 7-hour holiday road trip, things may not go smoothly for you. Give the baby a chance to get used to the sensation of a five-point harness over a few short rides.
Baby Road Trip Essentials: Breastfeeding Tips for Road Trips
Breastfeeding on a road trip can be a little more challenging than breastfeeding at home, but it can be done with some planning and preparation. Here are some tips on how to handle breastfeeding on a road trip:
- Plan your stops around your baby’s feeding schedule: If possible, plan your stops and breaks around your baby’s feeding schedule. This can help ensure that your baby stays on a consistent feeding schedule and can make breastfeeding on the road easier.
- Pack a breastfeeding cover: A breastfeeding cover can help you breastfeed discreetly in public places, such as rest stops or restaurants. If you’re uncomfortable using a cover, consider wearing nursing tops that allow for easy breastfeeding access.
- Consider pumping: If you’re comfortable pumping breast milk, consider bringing a breast pump with you on your road trip. This can help you maintain your milk supply and give you the flexibility to feed your baby on the go.
- Pro-tip – If you pump, invest in a car charger for your breast pump.
- Bring a cooler: If you’re pumping breast milk, bring a cooler with you to store the milk. This can help keep the milk fresh and safe to feed your baby later.
- Research breastfeeding-friendly stops: Research breastfeeding-friendly stops along your route before your road trip. Many rest stops, parks, and restaurants have designated nursing rooms or private areas for breastfeeding moms.
- Stay hydrated and well-nourished: Breastfeeding can dehydrate, so drink plenty of water and eat nutritious snacks and meals throughout your road trip. This can help you maintain your energy and milk supply.
- Practice good nursing hygiene and habits. The last place you want to end up with an infection or breast issue is on a road trip. Pump or feed regularly to avoid mastitis. Don’t wait too long just to get miles in. Wash your hands routinely or use hand sanitizer.
Baby road trip essentials that can help with diaper changes in cars
Changing diapers while on a road trip in a car can be challenging, especially if you don’t have access to a changing table or a private area. However, with a little bit of creativity and planning, it’s possible to make diaper changes on the go easier. Here are some tips to help:
- Use a portable changing pad: Invest in a portable changing pad that can be easily rolled up and stored in your diaper bag. These pads are usually waterproof and can be wiped clean, making them perfect for on-the-go diaper changes.
- Stock up on disposable diaper changing pads: Disposable diaper changing pads can be a lifesaver while on a road trip. They can be easily placed on any surface; you don’t have to worry about cleaning them up afterwards.
- Keep your diaper bag well-stocked: Pack your diaper bag with plenty of diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, and plastic bags for disposing of dirty diapers. Keeping everything organized and within reach can make diaper changes more efficient.
- Choose a safe and comfortable spot: When it’s time for a diaper change, look for a safe and comfortable spot to pull over. Choose a flat surface, such as the trunk of your car or the backseat, and make sure your baby is secure.
- Use your car’s air conditioning or heat: If you’re changing your baby’s diaper in extreme weather conditions, such as hot or cold temperatures, use your car’s air conditioning or heat to keep your baby comfortable during the diaper change.
- Be prepared for accidents: Accidents can happen, so it’s always a good idea to pack extra clothes for your baby and change clothes for yourself in case of any diaper leaks or spills.
Pro-tip -Have all your supplies laid out before you attempt the change. This includes opening the top of the wipes. Keep one hand on the baby at all times.
What to Bring on a Road Trip with a Baby: Baby Road Trip Essentials
We know. The urge to pack each and everything you might possibly need is strong. Very strong. But unless you’re going somewhere too remote for Walmart, you can buy anything you forget. Besides, that gives you an excuse to swing into Target, use the changing table, grab a Starbucks and buy more diapers, right?
From the best strollers for travel to tips for potty training on the road, get all the info you need before taking a road trip with a baby or toddler!
Baby Road Trip Essentials:
- Hand sanitizer
- Sanitizing microwave bags. These were a huge favourite of mine for sanitizing bottles, pump parts, teething toys and more while on the road. Most hotel lobbies have a microwave, even if there isn’t one in the room.
- A sun shade: Consider infant sunscreen when travelling with your newborn. Sunburns can and do happen through car windows.
Baby Road Trip Essentials to Make Your Life Easier
- Baby carrier.
- Board books for an older baby who can hold them. We strongly recommend bath-style books. They’re easy to wash off and sanitize.
- Pacifier. If your kiddo uses one, bring extra. They tend to “fly” out of the car whenever you open the door.😉
- Car seat cover & back of seat organizer.
- A copy of the baby’s birth certificate or passport.
Prepare for Hotel Stays
Staying in a hotel with your baby usually means you’ll get much less sleep than usual, but we have some tips to make these experiences less tiring for everyone involved.
- Ask for a corner room. These are often quieter and farther away from elevators. Many hotels will work to accommodate families with infants, and you should not be afraid to speak up. The worst they can tell you is that they don’t have any available.
- If financially possible, spring for a suite room. These generally have a separate space (such as a shared living room area) to place your baby’s travel cot.
Last but not least, “MOM” - Take care of yourself
This article may be about road trips with a baby, but we’re going to take a moment and focus on you, Mom. It can be tempting to put your needs last, as it so often seems to be a part of being a mother. However, your own well-being is directly linked to the health and happiness of your little one, and it’s important to remember this.
Don’t be afraid to speak up if you’re exhausted. Letting your partner or spouse take the wheel while you’re on the road is an excellent way to catch up on any sleep you may have missed the night before. Even a half-hour of added sleep can do wonders, as you know!
Taking a road trip with a baby can be a challenging experience, but it can also be a fun and memorable adventure for the entire family. With proper planning and preparation, you can make the journey as smooth and enjoyable as possible. From packing the essentials and planning for diaper changes to handling breastfeeding on the road, there are plenty of tips and tricks to make your road trip with a baby successful. Remember to take breaks, stay flexible, and enjoy the journey. With the right mindset and preparation, you and your family can create memories that will last a lifetime. Happy travels!