The idea of a road trip with little ones can be scary. You don’t know how they’ll cope with the long hours if they’ll scream the entire way and/or if you’ll keep your sanity. We listed six ideas for successful baby travel to help ensure a road trip with your infant isn’t a nightmare.
Stockpile the Essentials
It’d be nice if a baby would just sit back and enjoy the ride, but odds are they’ll be moving and looking around hours at a time. This means you might give them a toy only to have them chuck it right back out of their seat. Keep things stockpiled within your arm’s reach so it’s easy to grab something and give it right back to the baby. Things like wipes need to be easily accessible if you need to give them one for sticky situations. Snacks and bottles need to be easy to reach so you can hand it back to them. Put a basket of toys right next to them so they can easily grab whatever they need in the basket. The best news is the things you stockpile might also keep them entertained for a little bit.
Plan Your Route Around Delays
Driving during Rush Hour and around construction delays can be avoided if you research a bit before you leave. You might still run into traffic delays, but try to avoid those that you know about by planning ahead. Look up construction zones and detours that you’re going to run into. You can even use the app Waze to tell you in real-time about accidents or delays on the roadway.
Never fear, have your road trip guide & route map for a flawless trip. Don’t travel during high traffic hours. If you’re going to hit a major city during times when traffic is high, adjust your time so you aren’t sitting in that traffic with a baby. It won’t be fun if they wake up while you’re sitting idle. Babies don’t exactly like to be idle in the car.
Drive When They Sleep
Your baby probably isn’t going to sleep for eight hours straight, but try to plan the drive around their nap and sleeping time. You know their natural times to nod away so take off down the road during those times. If they like to take a long morning nap, leave around that time so a few hours are knocked out on the road without having to entertain them.
Most babies enjoy the lull of the car so it’ll knock them out for longer periods of time than they normally sleep; however, some babies just aren’t the best sleepers in the car. To test this, go on a night drive and see how they do in the car. Test to see if they fall asleep and for how long. The results may surprise you!
Ride Beside Your Baby
You get to look out the window at all of the interesting things while your baby is staring at a seat. Sometimes sitting back without anyone to talk to gets boring to them. If you need, climb in the backseat if you aren’t alone on the ride. Entertain them, give them a snack and/or read them a book. If you aren’t travelling with a partner, get a mirror. A baby mirror easily straps to your backseat so they can see themselves, and you can see if they’re awake.
Take Lots of Breaks
Babies usually don’t enjoy sitting for hours on end. Even if you can sit in a car for three hours, they usually lose their attention. Take lots of breaks when on the road to combat this problem. You’ll quickly learn just how long they can take in the car before losing their mind. Stop along the way to take bathroom breaks, get out and stretch your legs and grab snacks.
If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll need to take breaks to stop and feed them. This will help break up the trip and give them a bit of a distraction. You can look up fun places to visit along the way so you get in a little tourist sightseeing as well.
Be Ready For Anything
A road trip is literally uncharted territory for many people. Be ready that your baby might sleep like an angel or might be a terror screaming the entire time. Make sure to have diapers and wipes ready so when you stop, you can quickly change them. Be ready for a wild diaper blowout because you never know when this can happen. Be ready for their breakdown with toys and snacks just waiting in the wings. Have the music pumping because they may love a good tune. You’re going to figure it out as you go, so be ready to just have fun and enjoy the ride together.
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